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Update: Wikileaks and Cryptographic Mythology

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

[ by Charles Cameron ]

It seems my intuition of a Lovecraft connection with WikiLeaks was right, as was Jean’s suggestion that the MARUTUKKU quote is “more specific and extensive and ‘mythological'” than the translations of Enuma Elish she’d found on the net. I dropped Anders Sandberg a line letting him know I’d quoted him in my earlier post, and he graciously responded with this clarification of the mystery:

I think the MARUTUKKU name/description is from the Simon Necronomicon, which did its best to shoehorn mythology into the mythos, and might explain the different translation. Of course, one might argue that that book is a real, a hoax posing as real, real posing as a hoax, or both at the same time.

Anders, currently a staff member with the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford (which name strikingly reminds me of the Bright Futures Institute in Qom, Oxford’s parallel in the Iranian universe), is also known for his writings on Mage: the Ascension and other role-playing games — see for instance this account of the Asatru in M:tA.


Bryan Alexander Steve Burnett

The bearded, theremin-wielding mage Steve Burnett [left] also noted the origin of the MARUTUKKU quote in the Simon Necronomicon in his comment on my no-less-bearded mage-friend [right] Bryan Alexander‘s blog Infocult — which features a rich vein of gothic imaginings and runs with the subtitle “We haunt every medium we make”.

Delighted to find an excuse to post that photo, btw. My warm regards to all…

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007


Milt Bearden, the highly respected CIA operative who managed American covert operations to aid the Afghan mujahedin during the Soviet War, has strong cautions in an op-ed on a possible war with Iran in the International Herald Tribune. An excerpt:

“The Bush administration might dismiss the need to negotiate with Iran’s blustering president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, over Tehran’s nuclear aspirations and the proxy wars it is accused of waging in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. But Washington should nevertheless remember that the modern nation of Iran traces its roots back to ancient Persia and that beneath every Iranian lies a Persian who views his country in the context of “Greater Iran.” Even before Rome conquered the Western world, the lands controlled by a series of Persian empires stretched from the Caucasus to the Indus River, a cultural and sometimes political arc that not so long ago contained Iraq and Afghanistan and much, much more.”

It is almost certainly true that the Pasdaran is providing military aid to Shiite militias inside Iraq and possible to likely that Hezbollah operatives are present as well. Where this leads to deaths or injury of American troops, it is perfectly appropriate for U.S. forces to retaliate or even initiate lethal operations if that is what is required to “send a message” to indicate the kinds of conduct that will not be tolerated. Trying to root out Iranian personnel “fish” from the Iraqi Shiite population “sea” is a hopeless task for U.S. troops. Applying pressure to Iranian interests inside Iraq, or even across the Iranian border, on the other hand, is more easily done. At times, it can be stealthily done, depending on the message CENTCOM or Washington would care to send Teheran.

Moreover, there is no reason, to cite the Afghan War example, that we cannot bleed Iranian special operatives on Iraqi streets even as we talk to Iranian diplomatic plenipotentiaries across polished conference tables. We did it with the Soviets to good effect in the 1980’s and the former activity seemed to reinforce the seriousness of the latter. The Iranian regime has many dangerous, hostile and fanatical elements but it is also riven with corruption, stultifying authoritarianism and looming economic problems. Teheran is not ten feet tall by any means nor is that factionalized, clerical, government as wholly irrational or erratic as is Pyongyang, to whom we do talk.

Diplomacy may fail but we shouldn’t fail to try diplomacy before rolling the dice on a major war.

Hat tip to Colonel Lang.

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