The Butcher of Tehran is Dead

The death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has prompted many Iranians in Iran and abroad to celebrate with fireworks and drinks. (Image: Social Media)

People in Iran are celebrating the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi with fireworks, memes and jokes. But why this outburst of joy and celebration over the death of a national leader? And is the celebration just about Raisi’s death or is it indicative of a fightback by Iranians long repressed by a theocratic state?

“I think this is the only crash in history where everyone is worried if someone survived,” Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad wrote on X, after reports of that a helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi crashed. “Happy World Helicopter Day!” the Iranian activist wrote.

While hundreds gathered in the main squares of Tehran and Mashhad to pray for the safety of President Ebrahim Raisi following reports of the helicopter crash, scores of videos and reports emerged showing Iranians celebrating the news. Many Iranians and Iranian expatriates on social media were also seen joking and sharing memes of the crash.

Comment: Remember those massive crowds across Iran only a few short months ago protesting the brutality of the Raisi regime? I do. And I remember Raisi’s reaction to those protests. Pray for his soul? Sure. Offer condolences? Not a chance.

On a less emotional note, here’s a more sober article on Raisi’s death and what may happen next.


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74 Responses to The Butcher of Tehran is Dead

  1. Condottiere says:

    The timing is impeccable. This would be a great time for the Ahwazi Arab separatists (ASMLA), the Mujahideen El Kalk (MEK), The Kurdistan Workers Paety (PKK), the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), the Azerbaijan National Resistance Organization (ANRO), maybe ISISK, and all the other fringe groups with grievances to start violently asserting their autonomy from Iran. Let’s start calling it the Arab Gulf too.

    • TTG says:


      Unless we are prepared to put our lives and fortunes on the line, we shouldn’t be egging any of these groups to rise up against the regime. We did that to the Shia and Kurds in Iraq after Gulf War I and then watched as Saddam Hussain slaughtered them.

        • Stefan says:

          The borders across the middle east are arbitrary. Most of them created by colonial powers more with an eye to keeping “the natives” at each other’s throats making them easier to rule. Who, in their right mind, creates a nation like Iraq otherwise?

          • Fred says:

            Perfidious Albion strikes again. The French too.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Yes, of course. Life in the MENA was much better when the imperial Turks came storming in with swords flashing in the sun, seized everything and ran the place for all those centuries, never mind the genocides – eggs cracked to make omelets and all. At least they weren’t evil white men!

            And before the Turks was there peace? Sanasids? Darius? So many other war lords both known and forgotten. Seems to me that the people of the MENA have needed no outside help to be at each others’ throats since history was first recorded.

          • Fred says:

            You left out the folks who swept out of the desert and defeated the Roman’s, not to include the Byzantines, and ran the region for centuries.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            weird typo or something. Meant to write Sassanids.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Or the guys who came out of the desert and overran Spain and got into Eastern Europe. Peace is a rare commodity everywhere, but Marcus is no where to be found in the entire history of MENA. Colonialism aint got nuthin to do with it; except in Marxist and Islamic comic books.

          • LeaNder says:

            never mind the genocides
            The genocide on your mind seems to have been post Osman Empire. Or am I missing something in your ethnocentric diatribe, EN? Earlier Osman genocides?

        • James says:

          Eric Newhill,

          Which is why we genetically superior white people have every right to oppress and exploit them.

          • TTG says:


            Sarcasm, I gather.

          • James says:


            Yes – I was being sarcastic.

            To be more serious I have to admire your willingness to pray for Raisi’s soul while not offering condolences. That strikes me as a mature balance.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            It’s not white people, genetically superior or otherwise, who are exploiting and wrecking the MENA.

            Let’s take a look at Lebanon as an example. It was a great land. Beirut was once called “The Paris of the Mediterranean” (or sometimes “the Jewel of the Mediterranean”. It was predominantly populated by Christian Arabs with a smattering of other Christians (like Armenians) and some Jews. Then came the PLO and then Hezbollah and Iranian influence. The Christians were largely driven out and Jews were totally forced to flee.

            Or Egypt, which was once almost entirely Arab Coptic Christians and a few Jews. Then came the Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, etc. Then same story as Lebanon with regards to non-Muslim people.

            Or the Levant (much of what is present day Turkey) that was home to Christians like Armenians and Assyrians since the beginning of recorded history and some Greeks. All of whom were killed in pogroms by the relatively newly arrived Muslim Turks for centuries and then finally totally wiped out in the early 20th century.

            There is a pattern here that you refuse to see.

            Your insistence on white colonizer as source of all evil is ahistorical. To characterize anyone who doesn’t buy into your wrong and ugly little fairy tale as a nazi level racist is dangerous.

          • Stefan says:

            ” The Christians were largely driven out and Jews were totally forced to flee.”

            Someone get this man an atlas and some current demographics for Lebanon. The Christian community there is still strong with large communities. To argue that Christians were “totally forced to flee” shows a profound ignorance of Lebanon. But no surprise there.

          • Stefan says:

            38% of Lebanon is still Christian. So they were not “largely driven out”. No one with a basic grasp of Lebanese history and culture would make such a claim. The change in demographics over the last 50 years in Lebanon has more to do with large Muslim birthrates NOT because they were “driven out”.


          • Eric Newhill says:

            Lebanon going from 90% Christian to 35% is “being driven out”. Muslim birth rates? Give me a break. I actually know Christians that were drive out. Some are relatives. Birth rates have nothing to do with it. Also, it’s an ongoing process. The driving out is still happening. Is there any disingenuous pro-terrorist argument that you won’t make?


          • Eric Newhill says:

            and the Jews being totally driven out? Don’t want to touch that, do you?

          • James says:

            Eric Newhill,

            I have been to Egypt. I have been to Lebanon. I spent 6 weeks in Syria. Have you actually been to any of these countries and talked to the people there face to face?

            I have also had people, in these countries, start to rant to me about the Jews and how “perfidious” they are. I would tell them “Look – two of my best friends at University were Jewish and they were terrific guys. You don’t know what you are talking about.”

            When I would ask these people if they had ever met any actual Jews they would say “No – but we know what those people are actually like.”

            There are a lot of people in the world who think they are expert about people they have never met.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Yes, I traveled in my youth. It’s overrated in terms of understanding people and cultures. People tell you what they want you to hear and keep a lot to themselves. You’re there for a week, a month, maybe a year; you’re not inside the culture. Rather, you’re still an outsider who is not trusted with the true depths of the mindset and probably couldn’t grasp it even if you were trusted. It also depends on exactly where you go and who you talk to and why you’re there. Two miles away it could be a totally different scene.

            You keep ignoring that I’ve have told you, repeatedly, I have MENA roots on my father’s side. English was not his first language. My grandfather, his father, lived with us after my grandmother died. When people fled Lebanon, many came to Detroit, where I grew up. Many of these people sat in our living room on countless occasions and talked about the situation in the old country for hours on end because my father was part of a group that helped such people; kind of a godfather figure. They made a point of educating me because they thought it was important to understand my heritage. Some of these people were tailors and some were doctors and others had been government officials. A wide swath of MENA society. I spoke to the Syrians in French and the Lebanese in a mix of English and Armenian.

            I think you and a couple others keep ignoring this background of mine because you don’t like what I have to say and want to imagine that I am some kind of redneck bigot (who else could possibly disagree with you?!). “Eric Newhill” is a nom de internet. My real name has multiple syllables and is clearly Middle Eastern. Ok? You and others are trying to educate me about my own people because you briefly visited places and where my family lived, and a few still do.

    • Wunduk says:

      Anything but arbitrary. Western border of Iran is a result of over a century of warfare of Safavid Iran with the Ottoman Empire, and was fixed by 1639 (though some subsequent attempts were made to modify it). Armenians and Kurds live on both sides of the border, but that only means that these states were the expression of power of dynasties and not nation-states. Iran’s Northern borders were the outcome several wars with Imperial Russia, remained fixed since 1828 (treaty of Turkmanchay). Everything North had been part of Persia’s periphery since Antiquity (Armenia, Georgia, Arran = today Azarbaijan), everything South was the core territory even in Antiquity. The North-East, East and South-East borders are conservative description of what Safavid Iran controlled in the 16th century. It all makes for five centuries of belonging together into the same polity for those inside these borders. That’s a lot of shared history, which will not be easily disregarded because of ethnic or political differences. Ask yourself why separatist projects fared so badly with Iranian minorities.

    • babelthuap says:

      3 amazing events in a week not 1!

      Also no more live feeds from Gaza.

  2. leith says:

    Iran pissed away millions the IRGC’s Shia Crescent, missiles, killer drones, enrichment of uranium. Instead they could have modernized their 60-year-old fleet of helicopters, and installed flight safety systems for fog and other degraded visual environments. Seems though that they like having Raisi as a martyr.

    550 dead and mass arrests of 19,000 protestors was where Raisi got the Butcher name tag. After the death of a young aspiring law student who was beaten to death with batons by Iran’s morality police for wearing her hijab incorrectly. A year later they beat another girl into a brain dead coma. But long before that he was known as the ‘Chairman of the Death Committee’. Good riddance to bad rubbish I say.

    • Stefan says:

      “they could have modernized their 60-year-old fleet of helicopters, and installed flight safety systems for fog and other degraded visual environments. ”

      Not really possible due to years of sanctions.

      • Wunduk says:

        Stefan you might remember that Islamic Republic unilaterally cancelled all long term treaties including purchase orders with the US in 1979. Sanctions came later, and were successfully circumnavigated with the help of some Americans like Col. North. Also I see a massive stockpile left behind by the US in neighbourhood. If it had mattered to them they would have gotten it.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          “One of the culprits behind yesterday’s tragedy is the United States, because of its sanctions that bar Iran from procuring essential aviation parts,” said Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s former foreign minister. “These will be recorded in the list of US crimes against the Iranian people.”

          LOL. Ewww….so scary…..Whatever. But no surprise to see these very same words being repeated here, as if serious.

          If your helos aren’t well maintained, then don’t have VIPs on board; especially flying around in the fog over mountains.

          If you don’t like sanctions, then don’t take over embassies and seize hostages. Don’t sponsor terrorism, don’t call for genocide, etc.

          As I have been saying all along, these people are stupid flunkies incapable of honest self-reflection and, therefore, of peace and prosperity. Violence and hate is their only means of interaction with the world.

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            If by “these people” you mean those currently ruling Iran and their supporters, I agree with you. They’re not the only crew who can be characterized that way. The Salafist Jihadists are even worse. But I see the “replacement theory” and “Jews will not replace us” crowd as similar. Maybe not quite as bad, but they all march to the same drumbeat.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Yes. “these people” = ruling regime of Iran and some of the other countries/groups + their supporters.

            Agree that there are vicious cretins marching to that same beat all over the world.

            The Iranian people are very decent and, if allowed to be free, very capable, excluding supporters of the religious regime. They deserve a better government. Many of the best Iranians fled when the religious nuts took over.

            I’m not sure what the “replacement theory” and “Jews will not replace us” crowds are – if you mean opponents of open borders, I don’t think that is based on racism; more on security and protection of jobs, culture and political influence. All reasonable concerns.

          • mcohen says:

            The iranians have a magnificent culture going back centuries.They also have great mosques with incredible art work and design.However the pistachio nuts are the standout.Just ask the israelis who prefer iranian to the californian nuts

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Agree. Iranian pistachio nuts are the best. I buy them regularly at a local Middle Eastern market; quite addictive.

    • Christian J Chuba says:

      Iran’s missile arsenal is the only thing that kept us from bombing them so they got / get an ROI from it. We have bombed Syria and Iraq multiple times because neither of those countries have a credible deterrence. After Iran lobbed a few well placed missiles at Al Asad airbase we did not have the stomach for a direct attack on Iran (good choice).

      People are saying that Iran’s drone / missile attack was a failure but Israel’s response was muted and Israel is certainly not shy about bombing weak neighbors, So it certainly looks like it had a deterrent effect.

      I never liked the argument, ‘if only Iran had invested in their people instead of …’ We broke their legs with sanctions and then jeered at their inability to run. Not because we stopped trading with them but because we forced the rest of the world not to trade with them. Brazil was too scared to sell them corn and even Russia cancelled a railroad and nuclear enrichment project that was required for Iran to keep lower enrichment levels. We even stopped S. Korea from paying Iran for oil that was already delivered and acted like it was a gift from God when we allowed it years after the fact.

      Iran’s done okay considering how we put a millstone around their neck.

      But anyway, Iran needs missiles, drones, and a better navy in order to have any deterrence against attacks.

    • TonyL says:


      Your second paragraph is my sentiment, exactly.

  3. Eric Newhill says:

    “I think this is the only crash in history where everyone is worried if someone survived”

    “Good riddance to bad rubbish”

    Karma trumps Allah. Or inshallah?

    More Iranian Islamic leadership helo crashes please. Maybe a window of opportunity will open for the Iranian people to un-do their insane revolution.

    • James says:

      Eric Newhill,

      I had a Persian Uber driver a month back and he is convinced that the US was behind that revolution. A lot of Persians agree with him.

      • TTG says:


        We were behind the overthrow of Mosaddegh along with the Brits and Western oil companies. That’s a given. Pahlavi was Western oriented and was considered a staunch ally of ours. My ODA (long before I got there) helped set up and train his Special Forces which still exists apart from the IRGC. I think the idea of us being behind the overthrow of the Shah in favor of the Ayatollah is ludicrous. Some Persians, like your Uber driver, may think that, but my guess that’s more a function of desiring to blame someone other than themselves for their current predicament.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Nonsensical far out conspiracy theories are the social currency of the ignorant angry masses. And there’s always some spin master working to feed them more BS.

      • Condottiere says:

        I’ve heard/read this theory too. Except it was done to trigger a chain of things to happen among others and resulted in Soviet intervention in neighboring Afghanistan. The rest is history.

    • Peter Hug says:

      I am prepared to feel sorry for the crew, at any rate.

  4. mcohen says:

    Cumulus granatis.

  5. walrus says:

    From the images, it looks to me to be a classic CFIT accident. Controlled flight into terrain during an episode of “scud running”. This is the act of trying to fly between low clouds over rough terrain] you are gambling that you can find gaps between the terrain and the low cloud to thread your way through. If the cloud drops to the top of the hills you can get boxed in and enter cloud at treetop height with quick and fatal results. Few helicopters are fitted for instrument flight so going up through the cloud is often not an option.

    We had a recent helicopter accident like this near Melbourne. I was almost caught like this myself a few years ago but escaped. Scud running is very tempting especially if you have pax with a bad case of “get there itis” like this guy must have had.

    • Fred says:

      What was the President doing with the Foreign Minister doing such a thing in a 45 yo helicopter going between two points in the middle of nowhere?

    • Mark Logan says:


      Agree. Can’t leap to any conclusions of sabotage in an aviation accident that includes the words “mountains” and “fog”.

    • leith says:

      Walrus –

      I’m no pilot but I’ll take your word for the CFIT scenario. But I do recall that in Nam every helicopter I ever caught a ride in had altimeters to safely get over or on the peaks and ridges of the Que Son mountains. Even Hueys, that the Raisi’s Bell 212 was derived from, had them. So why did they do the scud running? Bad altimeter? Suicide by pilot to get Raisi? Or icing conditions at higher elevations? I’d guess the latter. Or maybe the altimeter was on the fritz as Iranian media has said that technical failure was the cause. But the official Iranian investigation is just getting underway. The IRGC may yet use it as an excuse to blame the Izzies, or maybe the Kurds.

      • Mark Logan says:


        I’ll take a stab at that question. His altimeter being out is an extremely low probability. Altimeters are dirt-simple and almost never fail. Extremely easy to replace too.

        If it was instrumentation/equipment I might bet on some of the things which are needed to operate a copter in a cloud. Copters are significantly more difficult than fixed wing to fly without visual reference and require specialty stuff including delicate electronics which break all the time. In an Iranian helo due to difficulty obtaining replacements it’s a fair bet some of that stuff was inop. A glance at the required equipment copters need to fly in clouds which fixed wing craft do not will fill out that tale. It’s an expensive list.

        Scud running -if that was the problem- might’ve of been the result of “Get There Itis”. A dangerous condition which can be squared or even cubed in pilots transporting a VIP. GTI killed Kobe, and a heck of a lot of other people.

        • leith says:

          Thanks Mark.

          But I do still wonder. What about something external to the altimeter? Corroded or loose connections perhaps, at the antenna or at the unit itself?

          • Mark Logan says:

            An altimeter is simply a sensitive barometer, nothing electrical about it,,and just a few moving parts.

            What I suspect likely (if this was the problem) would be some of the gadgets on this list. Note the autopilot/stabilization electronic packages.


            Very few helo operators maintain this ability. Air ambulance, military (and not all of that), a few very special VIP chauffers and that’s about it. Costs a small fortune to keep all that running and maintain currency and helos only rarely need the ability.

          • leith says:

            Mark –

            Those barometric altimeters are not good for flying over mountainous terrain. They only give altitude above sea level. So maybe that was the problem. They should have used a radio altimeter.

            Here’s a quote from the SKYbrary: “Prudent use of the radio altimeter can be a valuable defence against Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT).”


            But even that might not help in extremely steep terrain as it only looks down, not forward.

          • Mark Logan says:


            Radio altimeters are not put in helos. Those are in airliners and other jets specifically for very low ceiling and zero visibility landings on runways. They measure the distance to the ground directly below the aircraft, not ahead. “…directly below the aircraft”. All but useless around steep slopes.

          • TonyL says:

            Leith & Mark,

            Most modern helos have radio altimeter (aka radar altimeter). I’m not sure about this Bell model, though.

          • Mark Logan says:

            Tony, Leith,

            I stand corrected. Been away from the industry for too long to be making assertions like that, I guess. Back in the day there were none, even in the air ambulances, and is still not in the MEL for IFR ops.

            Yet it seems this is a device used just for landings and some aerial crane ops, and nobody uses it as a way out of a dead end valley in the mountains. It’s only for terrain directly below the craft.

          • leith says:

            Thanks Tony. I suspect they even had them back in Nam on those wild rides in CH-46 Phrogs to mountainside LZs.

    • mcohen says:


      I took off from a dirt runway in a c152 on a leg of my first nav test.This at 5000ft in with carb heat on
      Made a left turn to fly above a valley and forgot to turn it off .
      Would not climb as valley rose full worried,checked instruments and pushed it in and climbed out.sweated a lot.

    • Condottiere says:

      Perhaps the decades of sanctions caused Iran to seek aircraft parts on the black market? Wouldn’t it be shitty if those parts were substandard or…tampered with. There is no way of telling the authenticity or QC when you buy US made stuff from shady arms dealers with a questionable supply chain.

      On a side note, wasn’t Bell Helicopter Iran an agency front during the Shah? There were some interesting contractor pilots on that contract, like former Air America and future Iran-Contra. Robert Rackstraw (alleged DB Cooper) first comes to mind.

      • TTG says:


        Iran has developed and fielded some fine ballistic missile and drone technology. They could have developed their own commercial aviation industry if they made that choice.

        • James says:


          With respect – I don’t think the economies of scale of civil aviation would have allowed for that.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Khamenei is worth something like $200 billion. He and his buddies could buy a new, well functioning helicopter or two from Russia or China. But no, cheap ass, over glorified third world, tin horn, f’ ups. Their deaths are as comical, a la Wiley Coyote, as they are welcome. This incident is as bone headed as their lame missile/drone attack on Israel.

            The only reason they are respected at all is that they exist among a bunch of equally backwards f’ed up third world dummies. I suspect the Israel and the US haven’t destroyed the Iranian regime b/c it is secretly understood that there is no need to because those screwballs are only a threat to themselves.

          • James says:

            Eric Newhill

            It’s too bad we can’t talk face to face. I don’t entirely disagree with your view of the world I just have different biases.

            But the Persians are not nearly as useless as the Arabs. Not even close.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          I said somewhere else on this thread that the Iranians/Persians are decent people, excluding the religious maniacs in leadership and their supporters. So, yes, I agree. Somehow, the Iranian people allowed themselves to be hijacked into hell by this evil regime. I hope they can free themselves some day.

      • leith says:

        Condottiere –

        Regarding your first link on ‘The Shahs Americans”. Richard Sale, the author, was one of the best journalists on the middle East. Years ago he used to post articles here on Sic Semper Tyrannis with Colonel Lang’s blessing.

  6. drifter says:

    It’s funny when guys who took advantage of girls in their youth are all of a sudden concerned about girls when they can no longer take advantage of them.

  7. A Portuguese Man says:

    “Butcher of Tehran”, really?

    You, soldier, would’ve done better in his place? Who washed your hands, then? Butchers in Washington, DC?

    At least at the very end the “sober” article does come. Will it next time, still?

    This website slowly but surely inches toward the anal-imperial official line with every post…

    • TTG says:

      A Portuguese Man,

      If you have any good words to share about Raisi, go ahead and share them. His own people dubbed him the Butcher of Tehran. They marched in the streets for weeks braving arrest, torture and death protesting his butchery.

  8. English Outsider says:

    Likely we’re still stirring the pot in Iran.

    Relationship during Trump presidency

    In 2017, the year before John Bolton became President Trump’s National Security Adviser, Bolton addressed members of the MEK and said that they would celebrate in Tehran before 2019.[244] By 2018, operatives of the MEK were believed to be still conducting covert operations inside Iran to overthrow Iran’s government.[245] It also maintained some operations in France, and in January 2018, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani phoned French president Emmanuel Macron, asking him to order kicking the MEK out of its base in Auvers-sur-Oise, alleging that the MEK stirred up the 2017–18 Iranian protests.[246] By 2018, over 4,000 MEK members had entered Albania, according to the INSTAT data.[247]

    On 30 June 2018, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, lectured an MEK gathering in Paris, calling for regime change in Tehran. John McCain and John Bolton have met the MEK’s leader Maryam Rajavi or spoken at its rallies.[248][249]

    During the Free Iran 2019 conference in Albania, Rudy Giuliani attended an MEK podium, where the former New York City mayor described the group as a “government-in-exile”, saying it is a ready-to-go alternative to lead the country if the Iranian government falls.[72] Additionally, the Trump administration said it would not rule out the MEK as a viable replacement for the current Iranian regime.[2


    In January 1993, President-elect Clinton wrote a private letter to the Massoud Rajavi, in which he set out his support for the organization.[397] The organization has also received support United States officials including Tom Ridge, Howard Dean, Michael Mukasey, Louis Freeh, Hugh Shelton, Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, Bill Richardson, James L. Jones, and Edward G. Rendell.[3

    And that’s just Wiki. Are we hoping to use them as the Iranian equivalent of the Hotel Syrians? Maybe if we left the place alone for once we’d be doing them a favour. They’re not very keen on our brand of Freedom and Democracy when all it really amounts to is an attempt to destabilise yet another country.

    • F&L says:

      English Outsider,
      Geopolitical Futures published this today. I’ve copied the 1st and last paragraphs here for you. The timing is interesting.
      First paragraph:
      Syrian President Bashar Assad has reason to distance himself from his erstwhile ally Iran. It’s true that Iran helped stabilize the government in Damascus and was instrumental in putting down a rebel uprising, but its continued presence on Syrian territory is a threat to Assad – not least because it invites occasional strikes from Israel. Assad sees Israeli pressure as an opportunity to get rid of Iran for good, and to that end he has signaled an interest in meeting with the United States, which sees ousting Iran as a necessary step in rehabilitating the Syrian regime. Given the escalation between Iran and Israel, it is unlikely that Assad would have made such signals if he were not sincere in his desire to draw closer to the U.S. and further from Iran.
      Final Paragraph:
      It’s unclear how the U.S., for its part, feels about a possible rapprochement with Syria. It would relish any opportunity to isolate Iran, but it is also leading the charge in opposing normalization between Syria and the Arab world. Still, the war in Gaza has accentuated some of the differences between Iran and Syria such that Damascus believes there is now an opportunity to make its move.
      Syria is an improbable country, severely divided along sectarian, ethnic and regional lines. In the 1950s, it was an arena for regional power competition. Bashar’s father, Hafez Assad, used excessive repression to control and transform it into a modest regional power. The Assads are minority rulers, and many see Bashar as paranoid and conspiracist. Even so, Bashar allowed Iranian influence in the country after he pulled out the Syrian army from Lebanon in 2005. Despite the rift between the Assad regime and Iran, the odds are that postwar Syria will reemerge into a weak state dominated by other countries, including Iran, which will be one of several states meddling in its domestic affairs.
      Full Text here:

    • leith says:

      EO –

      Maybe Iran should leave us alone. Stop with the assassinations and bombing attempts on US and European soil. Stop the hostage diplomacy, 22 Americans incarcerated for no reason. That’s if you don’t count the 444 from fortyfive years ago.

      F&L –

      Be wary of any signals coming from Assad. He’s a master at the business of red herrings, and has been known to pull the rug at the last minute. He even likes to joke about it.

      • “Maybe Iran should leave us alone.”

        Maybe we should leave their neighborhood and they might not come to ours?

      • F&L says:

        Thanks concerning Assad. By the way – 444 was the number of days during which the American diplomats were held until Ronnie Raygun got them out with his talk of turning Iran into a parking lot which glows in the dark. Recall that 444 was “the number” on the day of their release – the organized crime “policy” game number .. last 3 digits of the total amount of money wagered at Aqueduct race track that day. AFAIK no one ever did a piece of investigative reporting on that strange coincidence.

    • mcohen says:

      Could be right about democracy.Most of the middle east is tribal.Especially arab countries. Even the israelites.They have several.

      Frankie goes to hollwood

  9. F&L says:

    Off topic for TTG. An account of new Russian infantry tactics which may interest you published this morning. No idea how accurate.
    Russian troops have developed a new assault practice.
    “Tsar-Barbecue”, combat motorcycles and even robotic mini-tanks – this is what new and modernized weapon systems look like, which are used today by Russian assault groups in the Northern Military District zone. Not only military equipment has changed, but also the tactics of attack aircraft. Who, how and with what is acting on the battlefield today? (More at link)

    • English Outsider says:

      Also golf carts. And light cars. Earlier they used obs0lete tanks for the all-important quick dash into the position. Anything to cover the ground quickly and dispersed. Me, I’d insist on being given a pick and shovel. And go in slow and dignified and safely underground. Might even decide to stay down there. Nothing of what those men above ground are doing looks 100% safe to me.

      But the Russians apparently took the slag heap at Avdeevka, which was not an easy job, with no casualties. And elsewhere their first consideration seems to be husbanding manpower. Throwing “human waves” in my foot, though that meme is still beloved of our press rats and swallowed whole by the few armchair warriors in England still following the proceedings.

      Wouldn’t be surprised if the meme didn’t find its way into the history books. Also the meme that the Ukrainians lost because we in the West failed to support them adequately. That’ll be a handy meme for the coming blame game too. Except that we have damn all to support them with and it turns out we never did.

      I get the impression the Ukrainian regulars are still putting up a superb resistance. But they are tired and depleted and appallingly badly generalled. If our lot are still micro-managing this war then God help NATO troops who find themselves under their command.

      The Russians pulling troops up north and then demolishing them and their equipment before even they have been deployed is a killer. On our side, pulling out units from the good Ukrainian formations and sending them up as a hodgepodge, seemingly all mixed in with raw and untrained conscripts and such of the gun-shy far right soldiers as they can actually persuade to fight, might as someone said be imitating the formidable German Kampfgruppe in the later stages of WWII; but there was more to those Kampfgruppen than slinging a hodgepodge together and praying.

      Were I a conspiracy theorist I’d come up with a theory that the West wants Russia to finish the job quickly. After Istanbul the Russians decided that the only way to beat the West was to demolish our manpower, mostly Ukrainian but a fair few under the counter Western personnel, and to demolish what exiguous amount of Western equipment we could bring to the party. I’m not military, but what I’d be seeing is the West helping them with that demolition of men and equipment to the limit.

      But I’m not a conspiracy theorist and all I’m seeing is what I’ve been seeing since Istanbul. The SBU and the far right ensuring our proxies get fed into the killing fields. The Western politicians doing all they can to ensure that process continues, Looks to me like both sets of bastards really are intending to fight to the last Ukrainian.

      Thoughts provoked by seeing this amateur night bigwig trotting out the usual nonsense even today:-

        • English Outsider says:

          Is that a response to our recent in your face talk on the Baltic Sea? Or is it what I used to write on English blogs in 2022. “The Russians are shutting the door on Europe and making sure the door has locks. “

          Will this be one of the locks? After Istanbul the Russians gave up on trying to talk to the West so we might get a few more unilateral moves like that. “If you don’t want to talk to Mr Putin and Mr Lavrov you’ll have to talk to Mr Shoigu and Mr Gerasimov”, used to be the talk. Looks like it’ll stay that way.

          Wonder if NATO’ll test the locks. Wouldn’t put it past us. As ever, we’re itching for a casus belli – keeps the tribals of Europe heart and soul behind Cold War II – but not so keen on the bellum.

          The sheer diplomatic ineptitude of the current crop of Western politicians leaves me stunned, mcohen. Like watching Orangutans knitting.


          That poetry’s haunting. Hope there’s more.

  10. leith says:

    Those people in Iran publicly celebrating the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi are quieting down now. They have been receiving death threats from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence AKA Vaja, the successor of the Shah’s Savak. One family who danced on hearing of Raisi’s passing received the following message from Vaja: “Stop celebrating Raisi’s death, or we will kill your other nephews too”.

    Undoubtedly the IRGC’s Basij are also involved. The current Minister of Intelligence, Esmaeil Khatib, has a long association with the IRGC.

  11. mcohen says:

    Thank you wrote this a few years ago.Based on a march of the living article i read


    When old stub came home
    Said he had seen it all
    From the mountains of shiraz
    To the golden tomb

    He could still tell a good tale
    Around a fire set
    The stars across the night
    The whispering waters of the lake

    In an Inn one night
    He had heard talk of the bluebells
    High up in the mountains
    Passed the gates of hell

    He set out the very next day
    Travelled for many a moon
    Crossed great rivers
    Walked the way

    Then one spring day
    He came to the gates
    There he read the words inscribed
    Work shall set you free

    On a white plateau
    He saw the fields of bluebells
    Each with numbers engraved
    That stretched on for days

    Old stub began to weep
    In the quiet of the night
    For a darkness deep
    In the fields of blue and white

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