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Monday, 18 October 2010

Iran War Update

Counter In addition to what was mentioned in the previous post, the following is of relevance in the upcoming combat phase of the Persio-Israeli war:

- Israel continues to train for a long-range helicopter attack from the sea. This battle plan envisions takeoff from a carrier in the Arabian Sea, which will most likely necessitate American cooperation.

- The US is stockpiling bunker-buster bombs at its bomber base in Diego Garcia, a few hours' flight from Iranian shores.

- The Turkey-Iran-Syria-Hezbollah-Hammas alliance is shaping up to come under the cover of growing military superpower Red China, which is rather ironic considering that Turkey is still a member of NATO. Turkey, remember, refused to allow NATO forces passages across its border with Kurdistan for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Turkey's Anatolian Eagle air war games from Sept. 20 to Oct. 6 included Chinese aircraft taking the usual place of the American planes, which were pulled from the exercise when Turkey refused to allow Israel to participate.

And finally, although mutual combat has yet to occur except by proxy, the shooting war has actually begun:

- A top-secret Iranian military installation was ripped by a series of explosions last Tuesday. Tehran admitted to 18 soldiers killed in these explosions. The Revolutionary Guards Imam Ali mountain base in Lorestan held most of the Shahab-3 medium-range missile launchers pointed at Iraq and Israel--all of which were destroyed in the blasts. Tehran, of course, is calling it an accident. We only point out that for some reason, such 'accidents' are becoming commonplace.

- On October 9, the Baluchi separatist organisation Jundallah claimed responsibility for abducting nuclear welder Amir Hossein Shirani in the city of Isfahan. Until now Jundullah's operations were confined to Iranian Buluchistan. Its move into central Iran is an alarming new development.

Prisoner Exchange in the Offing?

CounterThree men are currently languishing behind bars, despite being no threat whatsoever to the respective countries that imprisoned them. Two of them are Americans being held in Iran. One of them is an Iranian being held in America. As an impartial observer, I suggest to the respective governments that the two countries exchange prisoners.

On the one side are Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, Americans arrested for approaching the Iranian border with Iraqi Kurdistan back in July 2009. On the other side is Amir Sanjari, arrested one month before that for withholding court-mandated payments from his estranged wife.

After many months of confinement, all three men have seen their prospects improve slightly. Shane and Josh were charged with espionage, and held without bail. Amir was charged with contempt of court, and held in isolation. Amir is now imprisoned in Plainfield, IN. Although he is hundreds of miles from his friends and loved ones, he is allowed visitors, and will be eligible for parole in five years--if he behaves himself. Of course, he won't be able to make any payments to his wife as long as he stays locked up. Shane and Josh have been allowed one visit by their mothers and a few visits with each other.

What's the next step? Well, it's probable that Amir will eventually be repatriated to Iran anyway, where his wife will never be able to garnish his wages. And it's inevitable that Shane and Josh will eventually be released, once their propaganda value has been exhausted. So what I'm suggesting will only speed up the process. This is especially timely for Iran, which is suffering from a lack of nuclear physicists (Amir Sanjari's specialty) since they executed all those suspected of helping Israel infiltrate the Busheir nuclear reactor with the Stuxnet virus. They could really use Amir's services, and should be glad to get rid of the two Americans in exchange. Here's their chance to cash in at the most auspicious time.

UPDATE OCTOBER 2011: Well, all three Americans are "out on bail"--in other words, the Iranian officials were quite willing to take a bribe to release the hikers--there's no expectation that any of them will ever return to stand trial, and the money, I'm sure, has long been spent. Amir Houshang Sanjari, on the other hand, still has a about three and a half years to serve. According to precedent, however, he will be repatriated upon release.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Are Angels always White?

94020 As a White Man, I feel a bit uncomfortable with the idea that I may be a member of some favoured race. I imagine my readers would feel the same. But as I study the topic, it does appear that there is something behind the idea. I shall get to that in a moment, but first let me again dispel the myth that such a thing exists as a White Race.

Whiteness is nothing more than a condition in which an individual lacks the ability to spontaneously produce melanin in sufficient quantities to darken the skin. When the condition is localized, it is considered a disease and referred to as leucoderma or vitiglio. When it is systemic, it is considered a genetic condition. If it's caused by a single defective gene, it's known as albinism. But if it's part and parcel of one's hereditary package, there's really no name for this condition in the English language. African-Americans who suffer from it can, should they chose, "pass as White," as if Whiteness was something one can put on or take off. Whites who suffer from it will turn red in the sun, unless they use liberal amounts of sunscreen. But for some reason, putting on the sunscreen doesn't have any special name for it, such as "passing as coloured"--although this has been successfully done.

So, whiteness is something that can be experienced by any ethnic group. There are light and dark Africans, light and dark Indians, light and dark Asians. There just aren't any light and dark Frisians or Norsemen. These inbred ethnic groups are so genetically depleted that the melanin-producing genes have been totally eliminated from their national genome. Interestingly, Adolph Hitler supposed that this made them and their kind the most highly advanced race--a race to which he himself obviously did not belong. Such a claim, however, has nothing in history or science to back it up. The Whiteness of Norsemen was a major factor in the extinction of the first colonizers of Greenland; unlike the darker Eskimos, who relied on a steady diet of seals, whales, and fish to provide them with the Vitamin D they needed, the uber-white Norse Groenlanders figured they could survive on just what their farms produced (raw milk being a natural source of Vitamin D). When the Little Ice Age wiped out their pasture, and thence their cows, the vitamin D-starved Groenlanders perished, while a whole ocean of fishes lay at their feet. Their Whiteness, combined with their stubborn ethnic pride and unwillingness to 'go native' when out of their element, was their downfall.

So, physically speaking, having white skin is nothing so special. But what about spiritually speaking? In the Bible, whiteness is almost always a sign of purity--the primary exception being that white skin was associated with the uncleanliness of leprosy. So why should angels manifest the appearance of white skin?

Joshua Milton was the rebel commander over a sector of Monrovia during the First Liberian Civil War. One day, shortly after pulling the heart out of a living child and passing it around in pieces for his boys to eat, he had a Damascus Road experience. Radiating brilliance, a man and woman appeared to him, and his first impression was that of a white man speaking to him in his own Krahn dialect: "My son, why are you living as a slave?" After a conversation with Joshua, the apparition ended, and Joshua was on his way out of the warlord business.

So, why was this African visited by God or an angel in the guise of a White Man? I don't know. Perhaps it was the impression generated by the extreme brilliance that radiated from the manifestation. Perhaps, in another context, angels appear as Black Men. Anyone have any such stories to report?

ETA: According to Joshua at about minute 7 on this video, it was due to the extreme brilliance; he couldn't look at the person speaking to him.

UPDATE AUGUST 2014: I have been informed that Liberians put more stock in a white Bible when used for talismanic purposes.

UPDATE DECEMBER 2016: Someone has submitted an example of a tall black man appearing and disappearing as would an angel, apparently for the specific purposes of:
1) ensuring the believer would realize it must have been an angel, as no other explanation was possible;
2) helping to convince those who heard that story that God is no respecter of persons.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A bungled attempt at censorship

Counter As the darkness of despotism descends over the United States, censorship is growing. Citizens are jailed for filming policemen defending the peace, and individuals are slapped with wiretapping charges for recording their own arrests. But in the once place where censorship actually makes sense--where national security is allegedly at stake in wartime--the censors aren't doing a very good job. Witness the experience of Anthony Schaffer when he published a first-person history of the intelligence war in Afghanistan.
Shaffer’s chain of command in the Army Reserve cleared his manuscript for release, but the Pentagon intervened with additional security concerns in early August, after the books had been printed but before they had gone on sale.

The upshot was that the Pentagon paid $47,300 in taxpayer money for the 9,500 books that constituted almost the entire first print run of the book and had the volumes destroyed Sept. 20, while the publisher, Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, issued a second edition Sept. 24 with roughly 200 words or passages blacked out.

The Defense Department’s action had two effects:

First, it drew attention to a book that otherwise had generated little prepublication buzz. The redacted version of “Operation Dark Heart” made it to No. 1 on Amazon’s overall best-seller list, and a week after going on sale, it was on its third reprint with 50,000 copies sold or on sale, said Joe Rinaldi, spokesman for Thomas Dunne Books.

Second, because St. Martin’s had sent what Rinaldi estimated at “60 to 70, at most” advance copies of the first edition to news organizations, including Army Times, journalists and others can compare the original and censored versions.

The Defense Department was forced into arranging for the books to be destroyed because “the book was not referred to the original classification authorities for a proper information security review until July 2010,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Rene White, a Pentagon spokeswoman. “We are looking into why this happened.”

As for the advance copies that were sent out to the news media, the department “has no plans to purchase the editor’s review copies,” she said. “We had hoped to recover these review copies before they became publicly available. In light of recent events, this has become more difficult.”
Oh boy. Nothing like yelling, "NOBODY LOOK!!!" to get everybody to look.

Among the revelations deleted from the book:

- Among the Taliban troops the US is fighting in Afghanistan are Pakistani Intelligence officers.
- Among the countries giving material aid to the Taliban in their war against the US is Iran.
- The US has successfully penetrated the Iranian intelligence by electronic means.