‘Beware of Greeks bearing gifts’ or ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’?

My international readers will understand the first admonishment, but outside of a horse culture, the second might bear some explanation. So, the anecdote:

It was Summer of 1977, at the Sportsman Bar in Columbia Falls, Montana, I was drinking with a friend, George, when a grizzled sheepherder decided to interrogate us, for the fact of our long hair and his desire to know if we were hippies or the fundamentally different ‘mountain people.’ Sort of like you wouldn’t necessarily know by superficial glance, whether a horse was six years old or sixteen years old. After a few short, unsatisfactory answers to his rude interjections, the old shepherd suddenly demanded to know “How old do you think I am?” George and I looked at each other and ignored this question. Our ignoring him did not derail his determination, however, and he answered his own inquiry with a solemn and and assertive “I am forty five.”

With a nod of the head towards the ancient one (he couldn’t have been a day under a badly beat up sixty years, by all outward appearance, and looked a full ten years older or more than that) I told George “You had better check his teeth.”

My indirect but satisfactory reply caught the old man just as he was taking a swallow of his beer (as if to punctuate his declaration) and he blew the beer out his nose with involuntary laugh and as well choked on significant amount of brew that went down his windpipe and began a coughing fit so severe it changed the color of his complexion and looked as though he actually might not survive.

With the old man hanging onto the bar with both hands so as not to collapse while struggling to find his ability to breathe, George’s and my conversation went something like this:

George: My God, Ron, ‘better check his teeth’ was a little harsh.

Myself: If he dies, whose fault is it? We didn’t initiate his ass-holiness.

It seemed like five eternities, but could not have been five minutes, finally the old man had recovered his breath, and altogether satisfied we were not hippies, afterwards left us alone. As a matter of fact we were ‘mountain people’, both young war veterans who were expert horsemen and local hunters influenced by the indigenous tribal culture reflected in our long hair; rather far away, philosophically speaking, from your typical ‘peace and love’ college student/dissident types.

It follows, when it comes to rude people interjecting uninvited crude behaviors into other peoples’ lives, that old man, with his honest sense of humor and ability to laugh at himself when confronted concerning his bull-shit, was possessed of humanity ten thousand times greater than a Gina Haspel or Hakan Fidan.

Speaking of jokes that can kill people, in the 1 November update of this blog’s piece on the Khashoggi assassination, you will find this language:

“When Gina Haspel flew to Turkey to ‘review evidence’, no doubt she compared notes with Hakan Fidan on who has the better ‘insurance file’ where national players represented in the intelligence agencies heads do business based not only on common interests but also liberally blackmail each other”

The very next day, the timing couldn’t have been more fortuitous, a former head of a French intelligence agency made what amounts to an unheard of admission (big mistake), the proposed fact intelligence agencies are often in position to call the shots between nations, in international relations:

Sophie Shevardnadze: But nevertheless, when the Washington-Moscow relationship was already in tatters, sanctions were flung around and everything, heads of Russian security and intelligence services – top brass – went to the United States to meet with their American counterparts (despite the personal sanctions). It showed that if need be, two conflicting sides can still benefit from talking to each other.

Bernard Squarcini: This is where I’m telling you that on one hand, it is a necessity, and on the other hand, if we don’t want to show it, it is done in a fairly confidential way, via the intelligence services, who are trusted by the heads of state.

Shevardnadze: The intelligence services are actually right after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,’cause their are kind of doing what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs couldn’t do? 

Squarcini: But we work together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we transmit all the tidbits of information that are brought forth that might be of concern to them, and even better, and it happened to me personally, often when I went to see my foreign counterparts, I would always go visit our ambassador in that country and would transmit fresh analysis to the embassy.

Shevardnadze: So when diplomacy fails, that’s for secret services to come into play.

Squarcini: Which is very good! Especially useful when two countries no longer talk… Like in a married couple…

Meet NATO’s Trojan Horse

It was 22 October when the CIA’s Haspel traveled to Turkey for a meeting with MIT’s (Turkey’s intelligence chief) Fidan. It was one week later, two remarkable things happened, and both are concessions to Iran; 1) it was announced eight nations, presumably including Turkey, will be exempt from sanctions if they continue doing oil business with Iran, and 2) USA tells the Saudis to wind down and quit the proxy war with Iran in Yemen.

Recalling Squarcini’s “if we don’t want to show it, it is done in a fairly confidential way, via the intelligence services” one wonders who might have been present at the meeting other than the obviously blackmailed parties, that is Haspel and Fidan. Obviously blackmailed, one might ask? Certainly.

Erdogan and Fidan are no darlings of the Iranians, the Turks have been key in creating the perfect mess in Syria, to the Iranians profound concern. If it were not for that fact, the USA military would not be camped out in Syria east of the Euphrates, on Iran’s border, as the guests of separatist minded Kurds. That Erdogan had been too stupid to see this coming, changes nothing. He blew it in the eyes of Tehran. Moreover, it wouldn’t matter who was in charge in Turkey, they’d have to cooperate with Iran in regards to the Kurds.

This brings up Turkey and Iran on opposite sides of the ‘regime change’ endeavor in Syria where the losing Sunni extremists (takfiri-salafi) will be dispersed to the four corners of the world. Certainly by now the Iranians have all of the intelligence they need to expose Erdogan and Fidan’s Salafi nature (with Fidan a member of the Turkish branch of al-Qaida since the 1990s.) The Iranians could live without Erdogan and his minions but meanwhile, when stuck with this bozo leading their neighboring nation, the point has come the blackmailed Erdogan regime can be the Iranians’ useful idiot.

On the Western democracies side, it is simply inadmissible, however consistent with Erdogan’s policies, that 1) a serving NATO intelligence chief of 8+ years, Hakan Fidan, is a bona fide Salafi terrorist with two decades passed since he’d taken membership in the Turkish branch of al-Qaida. It follows, the gross imbecility of the other NATO nations intelligence agencies either 2) unaware of this information and associated potential for career ending scandal or what’s worse 3) knowing but allowing this to go unchallenged, would put every Western intelligence head at risk of not only scandal but in jeopardy of prison term.

The result? This not only explains Iran’s history of exploiting Fidan where he…

“arranged the secret black marketing of Iran through Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government”

…as a means of breaking past USA imposed sanctions but explains how it is the USA is presently taking steps to make the renewed sanctions regime ineffective enough Iran will survive until alternative (to SWIFT) oil trade mechanism is in place, and conceding the proxy war with Iran in Yemen; following the meeting between the CIA’s Haspel and MIT’s Fidan. This also should explain certain European nations resisting the Israeli lap-dog Atlantic Council’s policy on Iran in regards to reimposing sanctions; raising the question in geopolitical chess terms: what other, related avenues to ‘check’, could possibly be in the works? Stay tuned.

A former Special Forces Sergeant of Operations and Intelligence, Ronald Thomas West is a retired investigator (living in exile) whose work focus had been anti-corruption. Ronald is published in International Law as a layman (The Mueller-Wilson Report, co-authored with Dr Mark D Cole) and has been adjunct professor of American Constitutional Law at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany (for English credit, summer semester 2008.) Ronald’s formal educational background (no degree) is social psychology. His therapeutic device is satire.

Contact: penucquemspeaks@googlemail.com

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