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Archive for December, 2006

Sunday, December 31st, 2006


Somebody who does not have a Blogger account, please try to leave a comment on this post. Thanks !


Thank you to all who commented – I think it is now functional.

Saturday, December 30th, 2006


Lexington Green was kind enough to let me know that comments were not functioning properly today. Trying to fix it now with a test post. My apologies to anyone who experienced problems.

Saturday, December 30th, 2006


Let us not waste too many words on the late Saddam Hussein, at best he tasted only a small measure of the misery and fear he dealt out to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis but as he had but one life to give for his crimes, that will have to be enough.

Predictably, the special pleading is rolling in from Sunni, Palestinian and pan-Arab apologists for Saddam, sounding remarkably like elderly Nazis and Stalinists defending their respective monsters. As if Saddam’s tyranny ever took a holiday for Eid. Where were these false pieties when Saddam was in power? Perhaps if the complainers should begin to petition Khartoum, Teheran and Damascus to ease up on human-rights violations, I’ll give their hand-wringing over Saddam’s execution a shred of credence.

Until then, this was exactly the demographic we intended to upset and demoralize by bringing Saddam to justice.


The Glittering Eye with a round-up of Iraqi blogger reactions.

Bruce Kesler -“The Morality of Saddam’s Hanging

LTC Rick Francona -“After Saddam’s execution, outlook for Iraq grim

Juan Cole (at Salon) – ” The Death of a Dictator

Counterterrorism Blog -“Saddam Hussein, Longtime State Sponsor of Terrorism, Executed by Iraqis

Mudville Gazette

Abu Aardvark

Thomas P.M. Barnett

Saturday, December 30th, 2006


A good time to push the new, tie up loose ends and entertain a few tangents. No theme today.

Top billing far and away goes to the thread “Kilcullen — New Theories for a New Way of War ” at The Small Wars Council, begun by DNI’s Fabius Maximus. The high quality of the discussion and the no-holds barred debate makes this one a definite ” must read” for anyone interested in COIN, 4GW, military strategy, defense policy or Iraq. It is long, so pour yourself a cup of coffee ( or something stronger) and enjoy.

Dan of tdaxp completes his series on The Wary Guerilla that I first featured here. The series in its entirety:

1. Abstract 2. Terrorism 3. Predictions 4. An Experiment 5. Results 6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain 8. Future Research 9. Political Implications 10. Bibliography

Chris Heffinger – “The Ideological Voices of the Jihadi Movement” at Jamestown Foundation.

Nathan Freier – ” Primacy without a Plan? ” in PARAMETERS .

Collounsbury – “Islamic MBA

Wiggins at Opposed System Design -“Knowing the Enemy Part III: Sources of Radicalization” ( Part II. and Part I. here).

Wretchard at The Belmont Club -” The Blogosphere at War

Colonel W. Patrick Lang – “A Concert of the Greater Middle East” at The National Interest

Why the U.S. Should Spring for a New Particle Accelerator” at SEED .

2006 a Year of Invention” in New Scientist.com

That’s it !

Friday, December 29th, 2006


Of a book that intersects Cold War history, intelligence and Iran –The Rise and Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty: Memoirs of Former General Hussein Fardustreviewed by Hayden B. Peake for Studies In Intelligence.

“Hussein Fardust was a childhood friend of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the last shah of Iran, one of the few non-family members Reza trusted throughout his life. They attended schools together in Iran and Switzerland, and after the prince assumed the throne in 1941, Fardust was sent to Britain for intelligence training. On his return he became head of the Special Information Bureau, an organization akin to Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). At one point he was also deputy chief of the SAVAK (Iran’s secret police) and was responsible for its reorganization.

Fardust’s memoirs give a detailed look at some familiar and less familiar events in Iran’s history from the other side. He begins with the Anglo-Iranian oil relationship, moves to the 1953 coup and the background to the overthrow of Mossadeq, describes the shah’s extensive cooperation with Western intelligence— mainly CIA and MI6—and Iran’s relationship with its Middle East neighbors, including Israel, and the long war with Iraq. There are several chapters on Iran’s intelligence services in which their organization and operations are described in greater detail than in any other English-language source. In 1977, public protests began in part because of the shah’s corrupt government, the “use of torture and political persecution” by SAVAK, and near 50-percent inflation. (377) Whether the shah grasped what was happening is unclear, though Fardust does say, “No one dared to tell the truth to the Shah.” (543).

The politics of the frustrating but inevitable collapse of the regime are described, as is the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini, which led to the revolution and the shah’s permanent departure. The takeover of the American embassy is barely mentioned (Fardust was gone by that time). In a bid to escape the executioner he went into hiding, though he was arrested after five years and confined to his house. It was then that he wrote his memoirs, but he died in 1987 of a heart attack before finishing them. The translator has added some details about Fardust’s final days and in the process noted that the Islamic regime was quick to establish its own Intelligence Ministry. This book is filled with essential background on Iran, a country that is often hard to understand.”

This one will have to be interlibrary loan as I do not expect it to be on the shelf at Border’s and in any event, I’m not shelling out $ 56 for a new copy, cheap bastard that I am. As if I don’t have a three foot high bookpile….

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