A Modest Proposal to dismember Syria …


" … the five countries called for a UN-supervised election for the -Syrians inside and outside the country and for radical changes in the Syrian constitution including stripping the Syrian presidency from most, if not all, of its powers.

The five countries also suggested stripping the Syrian government from many of its powers and creating two parliaments that will have limited powers. This will leave most of the state’s establishments under the control of the local authorities in a decentralized political system.

Syrian pro-government activists described the proposed constitution as an attempt to legalize the stateless situation in some parts of Syria in order to end the Syrian state once and for all.

Bashar Jaafari, the Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations, rejected the Arab-Western plan and stressed that its content contradicts with the international resolutions, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)."  SF


The French and British created the state of Syria in pursuit of their imperial interests and now, in association with the US and Saudi Arabia, they seek to destroy it.  Jordan?  This is laughable.  Jordan is yet another artifact of the post WW1 re-structuring of the ecumenical empire that the Sublime Porte had more or less governed for hundreds of years in the name of Islam.  For the Jordanians to sign on to the destruction of Syria is worse than a crime.  It is stupid.  Have the Jordanians no sense at all of what may be their fate when greater powers find them inconvenient.

Saudi Arabia?  Their obvious desire to subjugate the interests of the many religious and ethnic groups of Syria is clear.  They have sought Wahhabi Sunni triumphalism and rule in the Levant for many years.  Their participation in this foolish proposal is yet more of the same.

Unless the Turks conquer a great deal of northern Syria and thereby make moot any such agreement, it is likely that in the end there will be some measure of autonomy granted to the Syrian Kurds by the SAG, but not more than that.  Loosely confederated states are not favored in the Islamic World.  They are thought to be inherently weak instruments of foreign meddling.  pl 



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69 Responses to A Modest Proposal to dismember Syria …

  1. Kooshy says:

    Colonel very well said, but what else the poor state of Jordan can do or say? They are a rented state, living on handouts. Sovereignty comes with self sustainable economy, Jordan’s sustainable economy is KSA and USA economic aid.

  2. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not understant why Jordan attaced her name to this.
    The Monarch of Jordan had been confirmed by Iran in his role as the Custodian of Holy Christian and Muslim sites in Al Quds only a few weeks ago. Are the Jordanians mad?

  3. Charles Michael says:

    The immodest Macron is the proud number 1 poodle of DJTrump.
    Different style, more charming manners than tweets.
    I have always considered the (mine ?) président Macron as the worst intellectual fraud ever in the French Republic, and we have been collectionning some.

  4. Degringolade says:

    I find that this little gem, taken together with your post, gives an excellent point-counter-point to the ongoing shitshow.

  5. eakens says:

    This reminds me of that old George Galloway clip of him on Sky News during the 2006 Lebanon war where he reminds the news anchor that Israel was getting its hat handed to it on the other half of the screen.
    Jordan and KSA will come to rue the day, the same way the Kurds have after trying to rely on the US and Israel for support.

  6. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    “Shitshow” is an excellent description. Things can get quite interesting in Manjib in a few weeks. TSK is moving very slowly to avoid casualties, but it is moving, and will keep moving until it is given a good reason to stop. PYG, et. al. are not “a good enough reason”.
    In the meantime I am hoping Patrick Bahzad would comment about the French “contribution” to this charade.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  7. different clue says:

    One can only hope, with real sincerity, that these 5 powers taken together are too weak to force their plan into reality. One can only hope that the SARgov, Russiagov, and Irangov together can block and prevent this plan from advancing beyond the target-of-derision phase.
    If the Chinagov understands what is at stake, perhaps the Chinagov will also lend all necessary material support to the R + 6 to allow them to make good their rejection of this plan and the concept behind it.
    Ergogan would like this plan, while perhaps pretending not to, because he would think that he could sneak in at some point and grab big pieces of a dismembered de-stated Syria. It would suit his Ottomaniac dreams.

  8. Lemur says:

    i’m not entirely sure the Westphalian state model can be exported to many parts of the world at all. The nation state is a product of a European modernity, a historical arc places like the Levant have not experienced organically. Arab Ba’athism was a product of a tiny Western educated cogitative elite, many of them from minority groups, who cobbled together elements of socialism, fascism, and liberal ideas so their regions could function in the post-WWII order. They created states with standing armies, flags, and anthems, but often at dissonance with the way of being of the inhabitants. The effect is a simulacrum of Western state with a mode of interaction that resembles traditional patterns.
    The most promising ideas I’ve heard for the region are those of the SSNP (Syrian Social Nationalist Party), which views the Levant as a unique eco-system of of religious and ethnic identities, a sort of illiberal pluralism. They thus provide an alternative to the centralizing, top down tendency of empire, both in a traditional sense (Ottomans) or when one powerful group subordinates others within the context of a state-sovereign entity.

  9. Every time the P 5+1 make gains, as they are now, with their campaign to regain control
    of Idlib, the opponents create as much havoc elsewhere as possible.
    Methodically, the SAA and allies stick to their game plan, in this case regaining control
    of all of Idlib province, & Afrin.
    Once those goals are achieved, we will find the KSA led opposition moving the goal posts, again, only to find the P5+1 having no interest whatever in their proposals.
    After Idlib, it will be time for removal of the US base on the Jordanian border.
    That will be accomplished via diplomacy led by the PRC. Jordan is bankrupt. It is on IMF life support. Trump’s give away of Jerusalem makes a mockery of the hashemite kindgom’s responsibilities to the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.
    Russia via Patriarch Kiril, and the PRC will make Jordan an offer they cannot refuse, and will not refuse, on one condition…… the Yankees must go home…..

  10. turcopolier says:

    Dr. George Oprisko
    OK What is P+5+1? pl

  11. Kooshy says:

    Press TV reported as of today Jordan has doubled the price of bread in the kingdom. My feeling is KSA and MBS are not or maybe are curing back on cash payments to thier Arab clientele. 60% of Jordan’ income is from export of her educated labor to PGCC and as well as banking money laundering for gulf Arabs. Much like Lebanon’ economy.

  12. Henshaw says:

    Syrians under 40 (and that’s the bulk of them) have grown up with a strong sense of national identity- as molded by the Ba’ath party for sure, but most still identifying as Syrians before they identify as anything else.
    While previous forms of identity (religion, location, family and tribe) have assumed greater importance as the State has been unable to function normally, I expect that the re-establishment of state services in many areas will restore much of the pre-war identification with the Syrian nation.

  13. turcopolier says:

    I sincerely hope that you are right. pl

  14. Peter AU says:

    Trump may have had his own agenda at the start, which greatly disturbed the hegemon,
    and although I have mostly been optimistic, judging by recent Tillerson proclamations, it looks as though the hegemon is now back on track. I have seen TTG use the term DIP. Seems to be the attitude of the hegemon.

  15. Tel says:

    I cannot believe anyone would be intended to take such a proposal seriously. This is perhaps just bureaucrats keeping themselves busy waiting for some real work to came along, and if asked they can give a large count of the number of “peace proposals” they are delivering, and blame the other guy when nothing works.
    In future we might discover that Syria really is ungovernable and will over time break up in a natural way, but that remains to be seen. I’m sure Assad is capable of making his own negotiations with various regional factions and needs no instruction from France, UK, etc.

  16. J says:

    You don’t think that the discovered and crushed coup by his family to his King position had anything to do with Jordan’s King’s decision?

  17. catherine says:

    In the Agreement with Iran
    P5+1 group–China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, plus Germany

  18. catherine says:

    If I am not mistaken the ‘Clean Break’ envisioned cutting Iraq into 3 separate states…with Free Kurdistan getting the largest share.
    So Clean Bread ambles on creating one pile of sh*t after another.
    Lord willing and the creek don’t rise..The Stupid Shall be Punished.

  19. Wunduk says:

    I traveled when young and an aspiring archeologist the whole of Syria in the early 90s, and did not find among my peers (now in their 40s) that their tribal identities were anything else than additional identity markers, which could sometimes and in some locations be useful to parley for a job. This I noted primarily in the Euphrates valley, e.g. on a dig in Doura Europos and near Ar-Raqqa around the Byzantine border fortress. That identity-based hiring system worked in my observation only in the East, from Tadmor onwards. Not in Qalaat Samaan, and also not in the South.
    This point is supported by this Chatham house op ed I found this morning, which also touches on the Turkish attempt to instrumentalise Syrian tribal and clan identities through the December conference of Syrian tribes. I think Egypt sponsored a similar meeting in September.
    For what it’s worth the refugees I meet during my free time here in Europe also don’t identify with tribal markers, but as Syrians. So even those running away from the Syrian Arab Republic maintain their adherence to the concept – even the Syrian Kurds I must add.
    But of course we look also for ground-based military and political players to fill this venture with life. But the most muscular one, the YPG, has never argued for a break with the SAR, only for some autonomy. That leaves as possible actors of the popular will only the non-Kurdish parts of the Syrian Democratic Forces, and the “non-dogmatic” jihadis/free syrian army remains in Idlib, Manbij, Hama and the fringes of the Golan and Jabal Hawran. But have we not learned that none of these forces can stand up to the SAA or even ensure some sort of rudimentary administration and service delivery?
    Daesh and Al-Qaida of course remain out, with Zawahiri gloating over the failure video message, likely from Pakistan.
    So I am left to wonder who would fill in for the voters and delegates in the parliament envisaged, for which one should contemplate the break-up Syria. Turkish or US troops? Erdogan hinted that he wanted this area to be a home for repatriating Syrian refugees. Good luck: I guess these refugees will opt as in the Aleppo case study for the Government-administered part. So even bussing refugees over the border from the more than half-empty Turkish camps won’t help as they are likely to cross over into the SAR proper.
    The only thing that keeps them in line is fear of suffering the horrible abuses meted out to dissidents and revolutionaries in the past. But one ht either hand most people will trust an amnesty offer and try to get on with their lives.
    I second Henshaw that the provision of state services is the key, and there is only one shop that offers it, the SAR.

  20. JohnB says:

    This and Tillerson’s earlier statements on Syrian chemical weapon attacks being ultimately Russia’s responsibility are the first salvos in the ‘New Cold War’.
    Everyday we see more and more how the Trump Presidency has sold out to the Republican establishment with one of the staunchest defenders of the administration now being Senator Lindsey Graham.
    Whilst the headlines may shout: “Russia-gate” and collusion with Putin, behind the scenes Trump has shifted US Foreign Policy in a more hawkish & militarized direction than we have seen in a generation.
    Historians of the future will look back at Trump as the President who began the “New Cold War”. Whether Trump really had any interest in non-interventionist foreign policy who knows? On balance I think he probably did but that is now over. “Drain the Swamp” how empty a political slogan that sounds today with Trump now the gelded President.
    Some people are still deluded in thinking that all this is part of cunning plan by Trump and he’s setting a trap for the Military-Industrial-Beltway Complex. Forget it, Trump is now a paid up member of the swamp he insisted he would drain during the campaign.
    Trump can continue to tweet nonsense to his hearts content safe in the knowledge he’s in office for as long as he wants. In office, yes. In power, No!

  21. Barbara Ann says:

    KSA recommending a head of state be stripped of powers, devolution (& U.N.-supervised elections according the the Reuters article on the ‘deconstitution’ document) – is there a superlative beyond “hypocrisy”?
    This garbage smacks of desperation. The hype around Olive Branch is very important, as Erdogan has deliberately tied his political fate to solving the southern border issue i.e. the US abandoning the Kurds. If they won’t leave, he has clearly signaled that he is willing to make them, as his survival probably now depends on it. The latter option would likely lead to a chaotic exit, serious domestic US political fallout and perhaps even the loss of Incirlik. This is Erdogan’s ace card, which has already been flashed as the rhetorical war has ratcheted up. Either way, the US presence in northern Syria has become a liability. Mattis etc. have lost this high stakes poker game – the only question is how fast they realize this.
    The Borg needs to recalculate its dismemberment strategy, but I’m sure they won’t give up. Syria is so fascinating, as it has come to represent a fight to the death over the future of US influence in ME affairs vs. a future where the Eurasian powers are able to deny them such influence.

  22. turcopolier says:

    I stated that progress had been made toward creating a Syrian national identity. IMO you underestimate the level of remaining ethnic and religious sectarian identity. Westerners often do this hoping and believing that such differences are gone. And, the local people are quick to tell you that this is true because they know it satisfies you and meets their own hope. In fact all these countries are a mass of local loyalties. pl

  23. turcopolier says:

    IMO the outcome of the struggle for power in DC is not yet played out. pl

  24. EEngineer says:

    Syria and Lebanon are the crossroads of the OBOR and ME gas pipelines now being built. PRC likes to stay in the shadows but will not let the new silk road be blocked.

  25. Seamus Padraig says:

    No, it was Britain and France that created “states with standing armies, flags, and anthems, but often at dissonance with the way of being of the inhabitants.” The Ba’ath were Pan-Arab nationalists who sought to reunify the Arab world into a sort of secular Caliphate. They decried the historic dismemberment of the Arab nation into tiny, bite-sized states by the Sykes-Picot agreement.

  26. Barbara Ann says:

    “Trump has shifted US Foreign Policy in a more hawkish & militarized direction than we have seen in a generation.”
    So far that does seem to be true, but whether by accident or design FP under Trump, at least in the ME, appears to be a total catastrophe – from the Borg’s POV. His naïve focus on clumsy military-oriented FP and threat-based ‘diplomacy’ is rolling back US soft power at a tremendous rate. The result is pissed off erstwhile allies (Turkey, Pakistan) nations cooperating more closely together against US interests (China & Russia in general and SAG, Russia, Iran & now Turkey in Syria) and even hard power assets like Incirlik and Afghan bases being put at potential risk. If he keeps this up his legacy could be rather different.

  27. Seamus Padraig says:

    It was the swamp that drained Trump!

  28. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That is only the tip of the iceberg, the fundamental struggle is interior, how much Islam, and how much Modernity. Expecting this to be resolved by anything except the force of arms is a fantady; the intellectual foundations for its resolution on the plain of ideas does not exist outside of Iran anywhere among Muslims.

  29. Babak Makkinejad says:

    But Arabs will tell you that the ideal situation is a Pan Arab state; that, Arabs are victims of imperial machinations, thus rendering any existing Arab state only a temporary arrangement.

  30. turcopolier says:

    Do you understand the difference between “emic” and “etic” knowledge? pl

  31. Babak Makkinejad says:

    At the theoretical level, yes.

  32. Terence says:

    Jordan can declare neutraily on the issue of Syria which is what they should have done in 2011; none of the other Arab states (all dictatorships) are in any position to lecture the Syrian Government on anything

  33. turcopolier says:

    When the Arabs tell you they want a Pan-Arab state that is “emic” knowledge (i.e. what they say or wish to think) The truth is that collectively they lack the temperament and political sophistication to achieve such a result. The knowledge that this is true is “etic” knowledge. The same thing is true of Wunduk’s belief in the ephemeral nature of tribal, ethnic and sectarian identity in Syria. That is based on “emic” knowledge. pl

  34. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you.

  35. Willybilly says:

    Can you please expand on the “ emic “ and the “ etic “ …. ?

  36. aleksandar says:

    I am optimist about Syria. For two reasons.
    First all nation ( not countries )were cretaed by war, whatever internal or against another country.War is a melting-pot.
    Secondly, you will never after combat interact with another soldier the same way as before.And Syria will have a lot of veterans.
    This guy, he was where I was, in the same foxhole, with dust, sand, mud, thirsty like me, starvish like me, full of fear like me, has slept on the ground like me, going over the top like me, and has buried dead comrade like me.
    I know that’s something difficult to understand for those who have not been in the Army and especially during combat phase, but it is very powerful and above anything else ie tribal, ethnic and sectarian identity.

  37. Degringolade says:

    Thanks Lemur, Wunduk, Henshaw, Babak, and Colonel. (ref: Comments 9, 13, 20, 23, 29, 31, and 32)
    This little string is an excellent primer on the core problem in the current iteration of the “Great Game”. I actually spent the time to string them together in a single document to begin working through the implications
    I think that I will spend some time mulling this over and spend a pleasant afternoon re-reading “The Clash of Civilizations?”.

  38. Kooshy says:

    “And, the local people are quick to tell you that this is true because they know it satisfies you and meets their own hope.”
    Colonel very true, also true in Iran, based on personal experience, in talking to a taxi driver or a local, in first look of body language, or a word out of you the locals immediately know you are not a local, and most be an expatriate Iranian, most probably from LA (now days they actually ask from LA?). Immediately they assume since you are an expatriate and living away, therefore you must dislike or be against the Iran’s government or system. With that assumption they try to talk in favors of what they assumed your position is. The minute they find they made the wrong assumption they will artistically change the talk to your liking position what ever that is. IMO, this is why most foreign visitors say everybody we visited or talked to in Iran hates the regime, regardless that the international poles show otherwise. Sir you have a very well experienced observation of middle easterners.

  39. turcopolier says:

    Emic knowledge is what people tell you about themselves. Etic knowledge is what you come to know from a variety of sources, experience, emic knowledge and long observation is actually true about them. In other words, don’t believe what people tell you about themselves without checking it. pl

  40. Willybilly says:

    Thanks Pat, that’s very helpful indeed. I never came across these definitions before and I am delighted to learn. Thanks again. Appreciate your taking the time.

  41. Sid_finster says:

    And yet there are those who refuse to believe this, even though the evidence is right there before their eyes.
    Cognitive dissonance.

  42. TonyL says:

    “Emic knowledge is what people tell you about themselves. Etic knowledge is what you come to know from a variety of sources, experience, emic knowledge and long observation is actually true about them. In other words, don’t believe what people tell you about themselves without checking it. pl”
    That’s a sage advice. IMO, it is true for most people in many cultures.

  43. Keith Harbaugh says:

    The French and British created the state of Syria in pursuit of their imperial interests …

    That is certainly true for the current state bearing the name “Syria”.
    There is a longer timescale, of course.
    I learned world history from Arnold Toynbee’s A Study of History,
    which made the ancient “Syriac Civilization” one of the 20 or so civilizations that Toynbee discerned in world history.
    For a table of those, showing their lifespans and parental relations, see
    Naturally, all of Toynbee’s structuring is arguable.
    But I suspect that, while details may be arguable, the basic idea is sound.
    Surely there was a civilization of Western Christianity,
    which unfortunately has been being deconstructed over the last 50 years.
    By the way, if you read Toynbee’s biography,
    his experience with the ME, especially the Greek/Turkish questions,
    was quite extensive.
    He served the British government in both world wars.
    It would be interesting to know exactly what he did there
    (I have not seen that information published).
    Perhaps David Habakkuk has insight on this.

  44. Yeah, Right says:

    I wonder what May’s reaction would be if Russia and China got together with a few of their allies and “proposed” that the United Kingdom be decentralized with the role of Prime Minister reduced to that of collecting traffic fines in the City of London?
    Or what Macron would say if those same countries suggested that the current French Republic is, well, just all wrong and needs to be rejigged in such a way that his authority within France is reduced to nothing but a strutting peacock in a suit?
    I would imagine that both would be outraged – utterly outraged – at such presumptuous interference in the sovereign right of the UK and France to decide their own internal affairs.
    But when it comes to Syria then different rules apply. Apparently.

  45. VietnamVet says:

    Thanks for your description of Emic and Etic Knowledge. This is true of Americans also. Off topic but as a suburban West Coast draftee in the Army, I had more in common with urban Blacks than rural Southerners who kept playing “Okie from Muskogee” on their tape machines, over and over, again.
    I was on the lowest rungs of the Democrat’s meritocracy constituency until they allied with neo-Nazis in Ukraine. As hinted by TTG’s post below, what Russia must do, if it can, is tell the truth and push for Détente with Americans to end the Globalists’ new Cold War. The democratic sovereign governments in the West need to be restored. Regime Change ended.
    The worst outcome is that outsiders inflame internal tensions. Donald Trump builds his wall. The environment is polluted. Americans continue to die earlier. Infrastructure collapse spreads.
    California will split off.

  46. turcopolier says:

    There never was a state of Syria before this one. pl

  47. Cortes says:

    State building is a lengthy process. Even a relatively moderate sense of identification with “Spain” has taken the better part of two centuries for progression from primary identity being a “patria chica” – Aragón, Galicia or Castilla, for example – to the modern conception of Spain.
    The same process is at a very early stage in much of the world, the ME included. And perhaps even the USA?

  48. Babak Makkinejad says:

    France went through the analogous process. But in Spain and in France, tribes had become extinct a millenia earlier. That does not obtain in Afghanistan, or in Libya, or among large segments of Kurds and Arabs. Furthermore, both France and Spain had centuries of centrslized governance behind them.

  49. Jony Kanuck says:

    On twitter this afternoon, Nasim Nicholas Taleb gave a link to Bashar Jaafari discussing Saudi Arabia’s qualifications to tell anyone how to run their government. Dripping with sarcasm doesn’t do his diatribe justice.

  50. Thomas TE says:

    @50 Babak, “But in Spain and in France, tribes had become extinct a millenia earlier.” – Any further information how this came about? Thanks

  51. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not know – Germanic tribes that invaded and settled the lands of the former Roman Empire did not retain their tribal cohesion: not in Italy, not in North Africa, not in Gaul and not in Spain. I do not know why.,

  52. charly says:

    I understand tribe in the context of an Amazonian tribe but i have problems understanding the concept of tribe in the context of a million strong Iraqi tribe. Without understanding the concept i simply can’t say if there is tribalism in Western Europe. Maybe there is an we just don’t have words for it.
    @Barak, Those Germanic tribes were not really tribes but more hords with a much smaller tribal core. A group would start to move and on the way it would pick up lots of other groups and individuals who often spoke different languages etc.
    When they settled it was also not that they were the only people there. It was more of a new boss then a new people.
    There is also the problem of the early middle ages with it very low number of written sources and being conquered by the Church (Gaul) and Islam (Spain, North Africa). But what we do know is that they spoke Germanic in Paris in 800 so that unsuccesful where those Germanic tribes not.
    Also all those areas have been settled at least twice (Spain) or more (rest) since then. It was also a very long time ago. Are there still tribes in Iran from 1500 years ago?

  53. turcopolier says:

    Ever heard of Scottish Clans? Those are tribes. We are not really responsible for your lack of knowledge of social anthropology. “Tribes also privilege primordial social ties, are clearly bounded, homogeneous, parochial, and stable. Tribes are an organization among families (including clans and lineages), which generates a social and ideological basis for solidarity that is in some way more limited than that of an “ethnic group” or of a “nation”.” wiki on “tribe” pl

  54. turcopolier says:

    Ever heard of Scottish Clans? Those are tribes. “Tribes also privilege primordial social ties, are clearly bounded, homogeneous, parochial, and stable. Tribes are an organization among families (including clans and lineages), which generates a social and ideological basis for solidarity that is in some way more limited than that of an “ethnic group” or of a “nation”.” wiki on “tribe” In Arab societies there is a very clear hierarchy of loyalty; family, clan, tribe and confederation of tribes. These ties persist long into sedentarization and are often the source of widespread nepotism. Have you never noticed how many immigrants from the 3rd world that you meet are related? pl

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “Babak” is the correct name.
    You are quibbling – the Lombards were an honest-to-goodness tribe and gave their name to the region called Lombardi. But nothing of their tribal structures have remained – to my knowledge.
    In Hungary, the Huns are no longer tribal – as far as I know.

  56. Harper says:

    I am sure that the capitulation of Jordan’s King Abdullah II to this rubbish proposal is tied to the so-called “Shia Corridor” scare that Iran is the big winner and will use a docile Assad-led Syria to form a corridor from Iran through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean coast. This fear has been stoked by the Pentagon, the British and anyone else who is prone to hyper fears about Iran taking over the region from our dear friendly empire friends in Riyad and Ankara.
    I continuously reflect back on the fact that Col. Lang was 100 percent correct in saying that the war in Syria could be won militarily by the R+6 forces from the moment in late September 2015 that the Russians stepped in with both air support and a full restructuring of the Syrian Armed Forces. Now it appears that the losers in that fight somehow feel they are empowered to set the terms of surrender–of the Syrians. What imperial arrogance!

  57. charly says:

    Sorry for misspelling your name.
    Italy was conquered a few times since then with new societal layers but on top of it so it is not surprising that the Lombard tribal structures are not clear anymore but that doesn’t mean that they have been gone for a thousand years

  58. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You best then get yourself a book on late antiquity developments and study it.

  59. Kooshy says:

    Babak was a freedom fighter, and leader of first organized revolut against Arab conquers of Iran.

  60. different clue says:

    (reply to comment 54),
    I am not sure of this, and Babak Makkinejad and/or Kooshy can certainly correct me if I am wrong, but off the top of my head I remember the names of 3 currently existing tribes in Iran: Bakhtiari, Kashqai, Kashquli. Maybe the Arab-ancestry people in Khuzestan are still members of tribes.

  61. kooshy says:

    If I remember correctly, Kashkulies are a branch of Qashqaies which are dominant in southern Fars province, and Bakhtiaries are Lur tribes living further north on Zagros mountains they both still exist. They have modernized, and move with pickup trucks instead of on foot and horse and mule. Both very colorful tribes and warriors specially the Bakhtiaries. Tribal system in Iran started to decline after the constitutional revolution, and specially when central government became strong and was able to provide security in rural areas during Reza shah when Gendarmerie was formed although still exist, but they rely on central government for education, security and subsides.

  62. Olga says:

    I don’t know if mad… This could be an honour for Jordan, but also an obligation. One way for Iranians to give J. something, while also extracting a price. Just a thought…

  63. Kooshy,
    The process you describe in your last sentence concerning de-tribalization in Iran is, in general terms, what occurred in France under the Bourbons and England under the Plantagenets and Tudors. I think we can agree that the process took generations and that it was usually not apparent (as a process) to those who were alive while it was happening. The vestiges of tribalism and feudalism are still with us, as with Col. Lang’s beloved Scottish clans; but centralized governance prevails. It does not prevail in Afghanistan and may never, but Iran does seem to be on that path.

  64. turcopolier says:

    William Fitzgerald
    Tribal identity is a potent force. To think otherwise is to deceive oneself. This discussion reminds me of people before 1979 who claimed that Islam was a wasting force. They don’t say that much anymore. The devotees of modernism just can’t face the fact that a rave New World of unified cultural globalism is a long way off. BTW Scottish highland clans have not amount to anything since the Enclosures drove crofters off the land. pl

  65. Kooshy says:

    Yes I agree, by now in Iran for most part the security and Judicial powers of migrating tribe’ khan have for more most parts gone, and no longer necessary. But culturally, their traditions have been tried to be preserved. The tribes main integrity problem is that their youth have no choice but to go to cities for work. IMO thier traditional way of living and economy can no longer suport increase in thier population, so thier is not much future for younger generation unless they move out. The same is true with small farming villages. Average living age in Iran has increased by over 20 years to over 76 ever since the revolution and universal medical insurance even in small villages.

  66. J says:

    It appears that Gen. Votel violated a direct order from the President, and should be immediately relieved of his command at CENTCOM.

  67. Roberto says:

    Hello: I ask you: who or what is SAG? My email: verttuti@gmail.com

  68. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Syrian Arab Government.
    It could also mean “dog” in Persian.

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