Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Putin not impressed by Iranians

'Educational": That's how President Vladimir Putin's entourage described the Russian's recent whirlwind trip to Tehran. Islamic Republic President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hyped the 36-hour visit as a "historic event." Some Western commentators even suggested that Putin and Ahmadinejad planned to create an axis to counter Western influence in the Middle East. In fact, the visit seems to have persuaded Putin and his closest advisers that the Tehran leadership is culturally and temperamentally incapable of playing the classical Cold War-style power games that the Russians are interested in.

"This was the first time that Putin was talking to senior Islamic Republic leaders in a substantive and focused way," says a senior Russian official familiar with what happened. "The president found his Iranian interlocutor weird, to say the least. The Iranians mouthed a lot of eschatological nonsense and came close to urging Putin to convert to Islam. It was clear they lived in a world of their own." Russian sources say that both Ahmadinejad and "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei gave the impression that they settle matters "in the metaphysical space" and with "the help of the Hidden Imam."

"The Iranians think they have already won," reports one Russian source who witnessed the visit. "So intoxicated they appeared with hubris that they did not even ask Putin to help them ward off further United Nations sanctions." Ahmadinejad gave the impression he sought neither advice nor support from the Russians. All he wanted was to project the Islamic Republic as the regional superpower and invite Putin to acknowledge its new status. "It was as if Russia needed Iran, not the other way round," says the Russian source. "Putin was taken aback. He had not expected what he heard."

None of this means that Putin won't use the Islamic Republic in his power game against the Western democracies. But his trip may have helped him understand the limits of playing the Khomeinist card. A member of Putin's entourage sums up the Russian leader's visit to Tehran: "He came, he saw, he was dismayed!"






There is a rather silly article in the NYT which claims to interpret people's feelings about politics from brain scans. Quite aside from the fact that the sample was too small for the differences described to be statistically significant, pretending to detect thoughts from something as crude as a scan of a whole brain area is absurd.

Roger Kimball sums up the disgusting Norman Mailer.

A truly loony Leftist blog: The "Think Progress" blog claims to be "non-partisan" but also claims to promote "progressive" ideas. So apparently it is Leftist and impartial at the same time. Maybe that makes sense to Leftists but logic obviously took a holiday from there a long time ago. In a recent effusion, they describe a TV weatherman who doubts global warming as "discredited" but give no information about how, when or why he became discredited. They say that his expertise in weather is not enough to qualify him to talk about climate. Apparently you have to have qualifications in climatology to talk informatively about climate. That requirement does exclude both Al Gore and the writers of Think Progress from commenting on climate but, with their usual freedom from logic, they do not seem to see that at all. Amy Ridenour and Noel Sheppard rub it in.

There is a roundup here on the aging Greenie 'kid' who put up the fake climate science journal recently. See also here

There is a very clear post here on Obama's "flexibility" over what he believes in. He shows himself as being completely psychopathic but, like psychopaths generally, he cannot see what is wrong with having no real principles, consistency or beliefs at all. And there's the story of another prominent leftist here who advocates lying in order to get elected and then breaking all your promises. Psychopathy is endemic to Leftism, sadly.

The reality of Vietnam veterans: "These interviews have afforded me the privilege to become acquainted with some of the finest people I have ever met in my life. These men and women are intensely committed to their communities, public-service oriented to an extraordinary degree, and have greater moral integrity than many, many of my peers. That simple fact may have profound implications for our nation. Now, obviously, to see all Vietnam veterans as heroes is unquestionably false. Of the 2.9 million men who served in-theater during the Vietnam War, some committed crimes and did things they look back upon now with shame. However, the stunning thing for me has been to find that so many of these men and women (despite whatever trouble they might have had earlier in their lives) have found ways to create for themselves, in the language of psychologist Erik Erikson, generative lives. They have struggled through their pain and healed their scars, and done things. In whatever way they have elected to do so, these Vietnam veterans contribute, give back, and make the world around them a better place to live in. Vietnam veterans are an active, important and productive segment of American society."

Deluded Germans again: "A majority of high school age students polled in East-Berlin (and sizable minorities of West-Berlin students) either agreed with or held a "neutral" position on the propositions that the GDR (the former East German regime that erected the Berlin Wall) was not a dictatorship and that the Stasi was just an intelligence agency like any other. This represents a dangerous ignorance of one's own national history as well as a frightening willingness to condone or overlook the crimes of the former East German regime."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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