I had just readied my post for today when a very dear Jewish scholar friend sent me the email I have printed below.   I found it so comprehensive,  fascinating, so sensible that I wanted you all to read it, particularly on the heels of my Sunday Faith Blog yesterday about praying for Israel.   I hope you find this thinking as interesting and valuable as I do: 

Middle Eastern politics is Byzantine beyond Byzantine, with an added dose of both real and fictional conspiratorial thinking, dollops of both real and imaginary paranoid, simple power plays and too many leaders who just disregard any human life.

So, with that cheerful introduction:   Iran has regional hegemonic aspirations: those are based both on itself as the Iranian nation AND its self-identified role as the world leader of Islam (both Shia and Sunni).

Throughout its history too, Iran/Persia has had a complicated and competitive relationship with Arabs and Arabic.  On the one hand, Islam is clearly born in Arabia, and master of Arabic is necessary for religious mastery of Islam.

Yet Iranians are also aware of its pre-Islamic history, its own rich language and culture, and its central role at various times in the Islamic world.

In light of this, Iran sponsors global Islamic organizations, both what we in the West might consider “just” religious, but in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia the distinction between “just” religious and political is hazy.  Indeed, a strong argument can be made that our notions of separation of Church and State are simply inconceivable to the dedicated traditional Shia religious mind.

As aside: Since Shia Islam was political ineffective for centuries following the hegemony of the Sunni Ottoman Empire, Shia developed a sort of political-religious quietism, in which its highest political aspirations would need to wait until the appropriate anointed one — a descendant of Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali — would rule.  The Ayatollah Khomeini’s religious intellectual innovation was to displace that quietism with the revolutionary fervor that sweep Iran in the late ’70’s.

Thus in its efforts to assert regional hegemony, Iran has identified, in my almost completely speculative opinion, a number of long and short term obstacles:

—The American/Western Presence specifically with regard to oil extraction;

—The Russian presence (worst under the Soviets, but still unacceptable under Putin);

—Sunni unity/hegemony, specifically in the religious leadership roles of the Saudis and the Egyptians (in the form of the pre-eminent institution of Arabic Islamic Study, Al-Azhar, which was established around 970 CE).

Note that Israel is not on the list—it is actually a wonderful propaganda ploy for the Iranians (and the leadership would love to damage the country any way it can), but Israel is an “irritiant” to Iran only inasmuch as (i) it occupies territory Iran considers Muslim land (ii) it is an “agent” of the West (and therefore of social and political modernization) and (iii) as a Jewish state, it disrupts traditional Islamic views about the “natural” subordinate status to which Jews (and Christians) belong.

In the immediate situation, the Abraham Accords formalized long pursued, de facto alliances between Israel and the Sunni state, which legitimizes Israel, and creates potentially a very effective anti-Iranian front.  

Iran has used its support of the Sunni Hamas (and Shia Hezbollah) as tools not only against Israel, but to firm up weakening alliances with Sunni states, like Hamas’ traditional funders in the Persian Gulf and the Saudi.

Remember, every side plays ever side for any advantage it can extract.  Like I said, Byzantine beyond Byzantine.

The Abraham Accords threaten to a breaking point those other tactical alliances.


The Iranians would love to have the Biden administration jump back into some form of the Nuclear deal.  They figure Biden will stay true to the Obama foreign policy, which essentially granted Iran much greater regional power and significance, as Michael Doran pointed out long ago.

My bet is that the Iranians calculate, rightly or wrongly, that the bad blood between Obama and Netanyahu will infect relations between Biden and Netanyahu—this war strengthens Bibi’s internal political standing.

Israel was on the verge prior to this violence to have surprisingly the Islamic Party, Ra’am, lead by Mansour Abbas be the decisive party for determining the Prime Minister.  This would have been an incredible watershed experience, for the better in my estimation, for Israeli politics.  If that had happened, Hamas, and perhaps even  Fatah’s, stock would have declined, if not crashed altogether.  

By initiating the violence, my bet again is that the Iranians (and Hamas) want to take off the political table the legitimization of Arab-Israeli democratic involvement.

This part, I fear, the Iranians will accomplish, although at the end of the day I also strongly suspect we will be informed that Iranian intelligence assets were key in sparking the violence, capitalizing on the same dismay that struck the US last spring when BLM capitalized on the covid restrictions social insanity.

I sincerely hope I have thoroughly confused you, for if not, then clearly I have failed to add the necessary, inevitable Byzantinian twists and turns.  If you want a simple story, may I suggest you re-watch Game of Thrones?

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20 Responses to IRAN/ISLAM/BIDEN/etc…..WOW

  1. bocopro says:

    Just after the turn of the 20th century, the region known as Palestine had fewer than ¾ of a million inhabitants. Most (probably around 60%) were Arab Muslims, and another 20% or so were Bedouins and other nomads. Around 10 to 12% were Jews.

    Fast forward to post WWII and heavy-handed British interference, a Jewish state was created in what was essentially a desert wasteland, a place for survivors of the various pogroms designed to eliminate Jewry from western Europe to settle.

    By 1960, with massive injections of aid and military assistance from the US, Israel had become a viable nation, able to feed and protect itself from Muslim hatred, but the Arab population was still small in numbers while Jews from everywhere came to the area to roost.

    Today more than 5 million Arabs have come to the area which nobody wanted until Hebrews took control. I have no idea how many Arabs live in Israel . . . my guess is probably another 5 million in addition to those in “Palestine.” Remember, even Arafat, the Palestinian big kahuna, was an Egyptian.

    As industry and business flourished under Israeli management (and American capital), Arabs began to flock into the region looking for work (and stuff to steal). Essentially there never WAS a Palestine nation, only a region named “Falestin,” (derivative from “Philistine,” with all its connotative baggage).

    Israel was forced to defend itself repeatedly, doing so against enormous odds, and gained territory in the process by chasing various Arab entities out of town as reward for attacking it, a reversal of the custom in that locale of chasing Hebrews out of the area for centuries.

    In essence, then, Hebrews (Jews) took control of a desert wasteland and made it blossom. Arabs (Muslims) are interested only in making it bleed. No amount of American advice or cash will cancel out the ancient enmity between the descendants of Abraham’s sons, Isaac and Yshmael, or the spat between Sarah and Hagar which broke the tradition of primogeniture by denying the first-born his inheritance.

    My advice is to stay the hell out of it and use our influence to convince Russia and China to do the same. When outsiders interfere in a fight between brothers, it’s usually the outsider who gets the worst of it. We (westerners) don’t understand the Middle East mentality. We never will. Killing each other is in their DNA and nothing we can do will ever stop it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Frank Clyburn says:

    I just don’t recognize MY country any longer! What has happened to America in the past few decades?
    Our Biggest, and Greatest City gets invaded by Muslims, and we elect them to our Congress and they want to Impeach our President!
    Our Children don’t have any Identities any more, and our Bathrooms are places for predators. Our subways have become a home tor Psychos, Mental Patients, and the Homeless to do their Dirty Deeds. They are so filled with Crime that people fear to use them.
    We allow Sick people to cross our boarders ILLEGALLY to commit horrible crimes, and bring in drugs and yet we call the Wall that stops them “Immoral”!
    We want more Compassion for the illegal Invaders, yet we have no compassion for our Vets! We impeached the best President that we’ve had in decades, and vote for a Senile, delusional, useless, inept man to destroy it.We put a person into the second highest office in the land only because of her gender, and the color of her skin.
    When if ever will we wake up and see that we have done?


  3. geeez2014 says:

    My friend got back to me this morning and said he had no problem with my using his name “I wrote it, I own it.” His name is Dennis Gura.

    BOCOPRO: I was surprised to hear you say we should get out of the situation after all you’d said about Israel’s history. You’re right; …Westerners do NOT UNDERSTAND THE M.E. mentality..
    If nothing else, it’s worth ticking the muslims off by helping Israel…..EVERYTHING is PRIDE to them and Americans can’t grasp it; I’ve seen this SO often. They don’t go by our sentiments there at ALL.
    I’d never let Israel flounder …because of what they’ve already gone through, because of my strong faith, and because it TICKS IRAN OFF SO BADLY. That alone is worth it.
    I wonder how long it would take for there to be no Israel.
    Palistine, in my opinion, is used as an irritant against the Jews; if Arabs around the world cared a damn for Palistinian people, they’d help them set up a better, prosperous community, not use them to scratch the scAB that develops on Israel every once in a while until Palis make it bleed again.

    FRANK: I can’t agree with YOU MORE………you hit the nails on the head, sadly.

    BOCOPRO that is one VERY depressing image…and true ….darn.


  4. Mustang says:

    Two-hundred twenty-five years ago, a wise man cautioned, “The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.” He cautioned future generations to beware of foreign entanglements. The wise man was George Washington, and no one listened. Consequently, the American people have suffered much pain and loss. Apparently, we still aren’t listening. It may be time to reflect that a hyphenated American is, by definition, an American divided in his or her loyalties. And we wonder why our country has become a cesspool.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. geeez2014 says:

    MUSTANG, at least with Israel we have shown no real habitual hate or fondness….seems like each administration is either fond or hates Israel.
    Not sure we’re hyphenated for helping a foreign ally….I know I don’t like hyphenated nationalities with America….like Polish American or African American.
    I wonder if Washington would feel the same with the types of hate and promises of destruction toward us which have been made so recently..
    I like the idea of another country helping us were we being bombed indiscriminately…


  6. MAL says:



  7. Mustang says:

    I simply feel that we should be living in the kind of republic that doesn’t need to rely on “outside help.” Besides, let’s be honest. The only reason the US has any allies at all is that “they” believe it is in their best interests to ally themselves with the US. There’s also a good argument (given the overwhelming evidence that our foreign policies have been jaw-droppingly incompetent) that no one in their right mind would ever trust anything told to them by a US government official. Sad, truly sad, but undeniably true. We have, in my lifetime, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and we have created virulent enemies where none previously existed. Why? Because most people who vote haven’t a clue, and because our over-priced bureaucrats are either criminally negligent or reprehensibly malfeasant. I know you don’t give me any credibility, so just answer this for me, if you can. Has US policy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, or Saudi Arabia helped, or hurt America’s prestige? Has US policy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, or Saudi Arabia helped, or hurt the Israelis?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. MAL says:

    In 1995 we took a Mediterranean cruise. While on one of the Greek IIles we were told some Israeli businessmen bought a big chunk of baron land there very cheap, then planted trees and vegetation plus irrigation, then sold it back to the Greeks at a huge profit. The Greek lady tour guide then stared for a bit, as if to say how stupid they were for not doing that. Total silence.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Mustang says:

    Good story, Mal. Yeah, if I had to make a choice between supporting people who make something out of nothing, or people who make nothing out of something, I’d go with the former every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. geeez2014 says:

    MUSTANG: not sure why you’d think I don’t give you any credibility just becase I disagree with some of your points or like to get into deeper conversation on them? Especially after I’ve complimented you so much on your writing over the years. (I also have been meaning to tell you to send to EPOCH TIMES…they do good articles)….
    I think disagreements help me THINK and I’ve felt very awkward from some of your remarks to me, too, but I hope we can just keep up conversation on these things…It helps us and helps other readers as their comments do us..

    Yes, I think some US policies over there have helped Israel. And I do believe American prestige hasn’t been hurt by our actions in the countries you’ve mentioned, particularly in those countries whose people want us to stay, no? I’m open to your input as I’m CERTAINLY no military expert!!
    The Abraham Accords could have done great good, but now they are probably jeopardized by Hamas again.

    I WISH WE COULD TOTALLY GET OUT OF EVERYWHERE…….I really do. And I haven’t always bought the “we keep them busy fighting over there, they won’t harm us here”…I’ve never bought into that as all it took was a few Arabs to bring down airplanes and huge buildings……..they can’t do that while we’re over there preventing that? Of course they can.
    By the way, I believe there were WMDs in Syria because of inside information someone I know who worked in ‘arms’ knew….so that’s MY tin hat thought and I won’t change it. I also believe Assad never gassed his own people and that’s becoming clearer and clearer..that he haDn’t.

    I do believe Israel has looked on us as a partner, except for now with Biden….and, of course, Obama’s admin didn’t help them like Trump’s did. The only thing that changed with Trump is he respected them and didn’t favor an Islamic terror country funded by Iran.
    I think most citizens of the M.E. would rather Americans helped than Iranians….I could be wrong, that’s for sure. And it depends on WHO in those M.E. countries.

    I also believe I haven’t a clue of the behind-the-scenes information presidents know that we don’t know and so it’s hard for me to make any big assumptions..

    MAL: She was right; they were very stupid and Israelis are not. But they get a bad rap because they often succeed so well in other cities…as if smarter, quicker and more successful are sins.


  11. MAL says:

    On another subject, in today’s Las Vegas paper they have a picture of a 17 year old black boy that has been accepted into 59 colleges. It says he has a 5.037 GPA (I didn’t know that was even possible!) and has decided on USC because of their film program. He wants to learn all kinds of things—–content creation, music, film making, you name it. He’s a clean-cut looking guy and I’m sure he’ll be great at whatever he does. Nice to see stories like this.


  12. geeez2014 says:

    MUSTANG, By the way, every country allies with any other country which they feel can better theirs…don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. geeez2014 says:

    MAL, I wish we heard more about these great stories!
    Yes, you can get over a 4.0 because of AP classes (Advanced Placement)…they carry more weight.
    USC’s film school is excellent…UCLA’s is excellent, too, but not as well known for it.
    great story!!


  14. Baysider says:

    2 points on ME mentality.
    1) Dario Fernandez Morera writes in his excellent book The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise of the contrast between Islamic Spain (and all of Islam’s realms) and Christian Europe. This was anchored in a lack of distinction between church and civil law, with no separation of church and state in the sense of independent legal entities. In Islam it was one and the same where the equivalent of priests or churches created or administered the law. This is not remotely in the Western mindset.

    2) Tribalism was, and still is, a very powerful force in Arab outlooks. We are just peeking through the window to that here in the arrival of Balkanization by color or type. We were the exception, not the rule. Again, completely out of our mindset until the emergence of modern Marxist Critical Theory.

    “… my bet again is that the Iranians (and Hamas) want to take off the political table the legitimization of Arab-Israeli democratic involvement.” Bingo! Agree.

    Mal: like so much else in education, GPA has been diddled with to make nothing look like something.


  15. Baysider says:

    BP – I had a colleague whose family emigrated to “Palestine” during a Russian pogrom in the late 1800’s. It was pretty empty country. They set up farming and soon had “Palestinians” arriving for jobs on their farm. It got to the point where in the 1990’s anyone who had been in country for at least 18 months could be designated a “Palestinian.” Great numbers emigrated from the Balkans for work in Israel.

    You’re right (of course), the name “Palestine” itself IS a derivative of the Philistines. After the 2nd Jewish Revolt (Bar Kochba, 132 AD) was put down Hadrian renamed Judea to Palestina, expanding the name for Syria to encompass Judea, but specifically to identify the country with Israel’s traditional enemy instead of with the Jews. And he re-named Jerusalem after himself and a pagan deity. Rub out the memory. Jews were not allowed in Jerusalem and a few wistful would climb the Mount of Olives to look back into their lost capital.

    How could the identity of the area be different had the Jewish presence not been wiped out in 2 fruitless revolts? I think about that. Yes, Islam would have stormed through, but into a space occupied and identified with Jewishness.


  16. geeez2014 says:

    BAYSIDER, EXCELLENT input, thanks very much.

    Funny, no Jews are allows to live in Palestinian territory, from what I’ve heard, but plenty of Palestinians are not only living IN Israel but in the Kineset…yet the SQUAD is calling Israel out for APARTHEID? OOOOPS!
    And, as far as I know, no Jewish cartoons for little children portray Arabs as pigs or monkeys? No.

    I think it’s that JEWISHNESS of God’s people which just can’t be wiped out; thank God.

    And yes! Hamas wants NO Arab to have anything to do with Jews………..

    It was fun today to watch THE FIVE, one of my (only) favorite TV programs….to see Jessie Watters argue with Juan Williams, who says it’s the Jews who have the Iron Dome (which only intercepts 1/3 of the rockets, by the way) and the “poor P\alis are defenseless”.
    Odd a people would lob rockets, unprovoked, and still be called DEFENSELESS.

    Then STOP SHOOTING ROCKETS!!!!!!!!!!!


  17. MAL says:



  18. geeez2014 says:

    MAL; it was!! I was surprised when I learned this new stuff, too!!!


  19. MAL says:

    Z, I believe they give extra credit for extra classes. One of our grandsons just graduated from high school and will be attending UNLV here in town and he already has 2 years of college classes taken while in high school so perhaps that enters into it somehow, too. He wants to be a DDS and work with his dad.


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