T Nation

Geopolitical Catch-all


Actually, Ahmadinejad is 100% incorruptible and that’s the reason people - poor rural folk - voted for him when he was elected president. You could list dozens of reasons why he’s a reprehensible human being but being corrupt is not on the list.

He’s one of those true believers - he’s eking out a living as a school teacher, takes a bus to work, and has been living in the same shitty appartment for the last 30 years.


Which brings up a question I’ve had. Does he (and other Shiites) really believe they can bring about the return of the Mahdi if they cause enough chaos? Or is that Sunni propoganda? Some of the things MA said when president led me to believe that’s what he’s after.



Well, some of his statements we’re “out there” but from I understand a very, very fringe element of society believes something akin to that. Even the hardlines are somewhat embarassed by such dubious rhetoric.

Edit: Sunnis in general are much, much more apocalyptic that Shiites. Shiites in general don’t take end-of-days stuff seriously.

The poor voted for Ahmadinejad because he promised (and delivered) subsidies and handouts.

But obviously the regime isn’t taking any chances because they barred him from running for office and now have arrested him. And by “regime” I mean the Council of Guardians and the Ayatollah himself. So obviously even they think he’s at least partially insane.


Am l remembering incorrectly - l thought his mindset was that he, himself was the 12th imam and predestined to usher in whatever they call the new age?


@loppar, do you think the secular section of Iran was larger before the Khomeni regime, or was it always a minority?

Has the needle moved significantly for the secular or conservative in the prevailing years? If it has, has the shift been recent or more gradual?


Iranians are by far the most secular Muslim nation. I’ve worked in many Muslim countries, and that’s an indisputable fact. The difference is even starker when you compare the attitude towards religion of Iranians to that of Muslim immigrants into Europe and the US, especially Pakistanis and Arabs.

During the discussions I’ve had in Iran many Iranians have subtly alluded that almost 40 years of living under the brutal regime pushed even more people towards clandestine secularism.

It’s like communism in the USSR. There is a core of true believers, but the majority of the population simply accepts this staggering hypocrisy and tries to get by. Even the public faces of the regime are not immune to that:

Azadeh Namdari, a popular television personality in the Islamic republic, has been a vocal advocate of women sticking to the dress code. She regularly posts photographs of herself, dressed in a full chador and hijab and has previously said that women who do not cover themselves are “exposed.”

But Namdari is now the target of accusations of hypocrisy after leaked images appeared online, showing her unveiled in public and drinking beer while on holiday in Switzerland. Alcohol is proscribed in Islam and alcoholic drinks are banned in Iran.

Which brings us to another point - treatment of women, the best yardstick to gauge “religiousness” in a Muslim country. As can be seen from the example above, even the “hardline” Iranian women ditch the hijab as soon as the plane starts taxiing on the runway.

In the Iranian expatriate community in the West there is no Mo Ansar, no Linda Sarsour, no CAGE or similar pro-sharia activists who managed to convince clueless leftists and postmodernists that “the hijab is an integral part of a Muslim woman’s identity that actually empowers them”. Pretty much everyone knows it’s bullshit.

That’s why the “religiousness” in Iran has to be imposed top-down by detachments of the religious police and the Revolutionary Guards, under pain of death or lengthy prison sentences. It’s not bottom-up as in many self-isolated Muslim communities in the West.

But paradoxically, even under such brutal subjugation the women are freer than in all Gulf dictatorships combined. 90% of engineers are women for example, and women work as nurses or waitresses, dealing with men and women alike.

You can normally communicate with an Iranian woman in a professional or public setting - they’re usually very self assured, intelligent and attractive.

I’m not sure you can do the same with a Pakistani woman in Bradford.

Compare this picture from Tehran with a picture of those burqa clad Muslim women in the UK.



I don’t know if anyone’s following, but things in the Middle East have gone into “holy shit I can’t believe what I’m seeing” mode, I guess trying to follow the frenzied tempo set by Trump’s tweets.

The Kurdish YPG militia in north eastern Syria is reeling under a Turkish/AQ attack. Let that sink for a minute - AQ foot soldiers embedded with regular Turkish Army units, which means that a NATO member state is now officially backing the group that carried out 9/11.

Turkish army tanks and APCs rolled into the AQ stronghold Idlib as reinforcements. Unreal.

Didn’t hear Haley’s take on this.


How have we not booted them out of NATO at this point? It is astonishing.


Turkey. Don’t let them into the EU. This is reason 5,783.


This is getting more insane every moment- AQ complaining over an IED attack on their (new) Turkish allies


So if I’m understanding this correctly. ISIS is all but defeated, only for Al Qaeda to get territory and ally with Turkey? Why is this not the biggest story in the international press right now?



People have probably become smart enough to not start posting “Mission Accomplished” signs and bragging about “winning” when it comes to the Middle East.

What is temporarily “defeated” is all-to-often simply replenished, often with something even more radical.


Be that as it may. Turkey giving them material aid is bad news. Didn’t they learn anything from the US supporting the mujahadeen? Stop giving these zealots weapons, money and legitimacy. I don’t care what Turkey stands to gain by this, eventually AQ will be killing Turks in their cities for being too secular.

It’s like somebody hit the repeat button on an old CD player.


I guess you missed the part where Turkey threatened to target US personnel on the ground?

The U.S. should leave the Syrian city of Manbij, as Turkey aims to return it to its true owners, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Tuesday.

Speaking at a parliamentary group meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in Ankara, Erdoğan criticized the U.S. for not fulfilling its promises in Syria.

“They [the U.S.] told us that they would leave Manbij, but why are you still there now?” Erdoğan said, adding that the U.S. placed terrorist PKK-linked People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Manbij.

The president reiterated once again that Turkey will go there to liberate the city from terrorists and return it to its rightful owners.

He highlighted that Turkey does not have any occupation intentions unlike the U.S., which has been in Afghanistan and Iraq for over 15 years.

“Why does the U.S. continue to send weapons to northern Syria even after Daesh has been cleared? Why are you still here, why do these [weapons] still arrive? You must have calculations against Turkey, Iran or maybe Russia,” he added.

He noted that Turkey will take necessary measures regarding the delivery of weapons by the U.S. to YPG terrorists in Syria.

A jihadi statelet protecting their southern flank and enslaving the Kurds.

Well, it seems that the AQ is more amenable to negotiations - socialist Kurds were always the greatest threat. If you check the YT videos of AQ and Turkish soldiers rampaging through the villages of northern Syria shouting “atheist pigs” at the Kurds and demolishing liquor stores, you’ll see they’re cooperating quite nicely.

The treatment of women was always the yardstick in the Middle East - and since Turks and their terrorist friends started torturing Kurdish women like ISIS, before the Kurdish women know they have no option but to fight (yet again)


But once the Kurds are out of the way… Turks will die at AQ hands. Same thing happened with the Mujahadeen after Russia was gone. They killed Americans once they got bored.

The Sunnis/Shias seem to hate Kurds even more than the Jews. What is their great offense?


Actual socialists who walk the walk and are dedicated to absolute gender equality. In the eyes of Islamists, it doesn’t get worse than that. I’m waiting for all those Western gender-neutral identity politics radical feminists to even mention Kurdish feminists wielding actual guns and dying in combat.

But Shiites don’t hate the Kurds as much - Shiites are much, much more theologically flexible and have even started supplying ATMs to YPG in northern Syria, even allowing resupply convoys and reinforcements to the Kurds through IRGC controlled territory.

Iran also forged that deal with the Kurds about northern Syria and unimpeded access to the Alawite heartlands through Kurdish controlled territory.

Like I said, you can always cut a deal with Shiites. With Sunnis, not so much.

Since the majority of terrorist attacks in Turkey conveniently killed mostly socialist Kurds, it seems they already have a deal.


Called it a year and half ago. Can’t let all those salafi sunnis go to waste. Since the ISIS name is too much for the Americans, they have simply renamed them FSA after the defunct “moderate rebels” and the West gets their “victory” against ISIS


Stephen Harper is my jam. My fiancé is Canadian, so I, to an extent, keep up with Canada politics.