The Virgin hazmat suit recluse vs. the Chad public shrine licker: However, the actual Iranian government - literally run by mullahs - was less appreciative of their devotion. The shrine lickers were arrested and are facing sentences of 74 lashes and/or imprisonment. And yes, they also closed down the mosques. Ironically, actual theocracies may have... Read More
Some people on here and Twitter were sure they'd succeed. But they seem to have vanished off the radar in the past couple of days. Few news stories, no updates on /r/worldnews. What happened? In reality, as I pointed out, they were almost certain to fail. To get a color revolution going, you need a... Read More
The data points keep getting better and better. We now know that 10/11 missiles hit (up from the initial estimate of 6/11). The damage they did has also been upgraded, with a Danish soldier speaking of many helicopters destroyed (as opposed to the US claim of one damaged) and 11 US soldiers reported injured. More... Read More
To do a color revolution, you generally need: Significant proportion of the population going out into the streets (not just university students and office plankton). Some degree of elite defection. Trump's bombast regardless - congratulations to him on learning Farsi and becoming an Iran expert in the past 48 hours - I don't see either... Read More
The Iran War has been called off for the time being, but the threat of a renewed crisis and future escalation remain. The Iranian missile strikes on two US bases in Iraq provide updated data points on how such a clash will go. 1. The most important adjustment we need to make is that Iranian... Read More
PS. Events overtook my writing of this blog post. Looking forwards to a resolution of the Stealth Question and the Aircraft Carrier Question. How would an Iran War be fought? I already addressed this question on several occasions, most notably on The Road to World War III (see 2.c. The Persian Gulf), as well as... Read More
I am not an Iran expert, and will not pretend that I have magically become one in the past few days. Nor do I see much point in a detailed chronicle of the latest developments and Tweets - for that, there is, say, /r/SyrianCivilWar. Instead, I think it would be more productive to highlight a... Read More
There are reports just coming in that Iran has seized 1 2 3 (?!) British-linked oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. This is in response to analogous British piracy off Gibraltar a few weeks ago. Anyhow I suppose we will soon see how special the "special relationship" between the US and the UK really is.... Read More
So apparently the US decided to step up its sanctions on the evil mullahs and gas killing animal Assad by banning the popular multiplayer video game League of Legends in those countries. Anyhow, apart from illustrating the schizophrenia of the USG - do they expect gamers to rise up against those regimes and do what... Read More
Discuss the recent Iranian attack (or "attack") on the oil tankers, and the recent Iranian shootdown of the $200 million American drone (allegedly over international airspace - Iran denies it) here. *** I have discussed the consequences of a major US - Iran war in previous posts. I don't have much more to add at... Read More
As I have blogged before (see "2.c. The Persian Gulf" in this article), Iran's best chance to substantially shut down the Strait of Hormuz is to lay mines, then target US minesweeping vessels. They are far less well defended than its capital ships, and more fragile than the double-hulled, compartmentalized behemoths that constitute modern oil... Read More
First, you have the obvious false flag in the Gulf of Oman, which Pompeo is already blaming on Iran. Even though one of the tankers in question was Japanese, with whose PM the Iranians were meeting on that very day. Plus there is the fact that the Japanese ship - which was coming from Saudi... Read More
Commenter German_reader summarizes an anonymous Iranian journalist about the protests there. Hilarious if true. And it just might be: Comment from an Iranian on Patrick Lang's blog: Evidently, the protests were initiated by political enemies of Rouhani in Mashhad. That city is referred to in Iran as a "hizbollahi city" - "Party of God City".... Read More
Epistemic status: Low. I don't know Farsi. I don't particularly follow Iran. That said, I am hardly alone in this. Bryan MacDonald: "Even I’m kinda astonished by how many American “Russian experts” have suddenly become “Iran experts” in the past 48 hours. молодцы товарищи!! #ачтивмеасурес" 1. Widely divergent reports about how many people are protesting.... Read More
This is an argument that is doing the rounds on the Internet after Iran's condemnation of the Saudi execution of 47 people (including at least 4 "politicals") to mark the New Year and the ensuing breakdown in Iranian-Saudi diplomatic ties. After all, they say, Iran executes a lot more people than the Saudis.
It might happen this June or later, reports RT citing Israeli media. Obama and Netanyahu are at least discussing the prospect. In previous years I was sure that it would happen eventually, probably before year end 2012. That is because that was the most convenient window between the fielding of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (early... Read More
At least if you take Michael Bohm's arguments in his latest Moscow Times missive on how Russia Is Turning Into Iran to its logical conclusion. Look, I'm not a fan of blasphemy laws. The First Amendment is a wonderful thing and something that makes the US truly great... even exceptional, to an extent. Although it... Read More
This is the Karlin Freedom Index for 2012, a political classification system I formulated more than a year ago in response to systemic bias on the part of traditional "freedom indices" such as Freedom House and The Economist Democracy Index (hint: they give massive bonus points for neoliberalism and pro-Western foreign policy orientations). The explanation:... Read More
It's been a great year! To recap, in rough chronological order, 2011 saw: The most popular post (with 562 comments and counting; granted, most of them consisting of Indians and Pakistanis flaming each other); Visualizing the Kremlin Clans (joint project with Kevin Rothrock of A Good Treaty); my National Comparisons between life in Russia, Britain,... Read More
This is the first post in a series of three, in which I will analyze the major trends that will define the next ten years and their likely impacts on global regions. To put these forecasts into context, I must first describe the narrative through which I view the history of the post-WW2 era (the... Read More
This might well be my favorite cable so far - perhaps even better than the Caucasus wedding - courtesy of US ambassador to Iran Bruce Laingen in August 1979. Now maybe US diplomats are culturally West-centric and insular today, but they've got nothing on their predecessors. "Perhaps the single dominant aspect of the Persian psyche... Read More
Another Wikileaks cable - a secret one, not merely confidential - from our Caucasus ethnologist and bestest bud at the State Department, William Burns. Dated October 2007, it describes America's perception of Russia's global arms trade and emphasizes its concerns that many of its partners are "rogue" or "anti-American" states like Syria, Iran and Venezuela.... Read More
It's sad, but not unexpected, to see the usual motley of neocons, freepers and general creeps crawling about the interwebs, baying for Assange's blood and calling for him to be disappeared into the Nacht und Nebel. But it is absolutely tragic that, misled by the MSM and dulled by their own cynicism, so many people... Read More
I was recently interviewed on Middle East geopolitics and the Iran Question by Marat Kunaev, a blogger and translator at InoForum. I would like to thank him for the opportunity to express my views on the topic and providing a possible gateway into the geopolitical commentary on Runet. I'm reprinting the interview from here, with... Read More
This is the second article of a three-part series about the Iranian Question - that is, the question of how the world is going to deal with the Islamic regime's pursuit of a nuclear bomb, which is likely to be one of the defining processes of global geopolitics in the next five years. The first... Read More
Every once in a while, there occurs a major shift in the international arena. The First World War and its consequences were the seminal change of the last century, collapsing ancient empires and ushering in a new era of ethno-nationalist clashes, political radicalism and emerging powers challenging the established order of Versailles, forces that were... Read More
With the recent election of the controversial (to put it mildly) Ahmadinejad to the Iranian Presidency, it is time to look at what this portends for the future of Iran and the Middle East region in general. The first question we need to ask is whether Ahmadinejad's victory was free and fair. Stratfor believes it... Read More
Watching the US presidential candidate debate this Friday has only further confirmed my belief an American would have to be either a moron or a traitor to vote for him. What he would do as President: 1) Stay on in Iraq And leave Russia (and every other competitor) a free hand. Even the success of... Read More
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.