Burnes Programme 88


I have just returned from recording a very long interview for Radio Scotland for a programme they are doing on Alexander Burnes in their series on great explorers. Just a few snippets of mine will be used in a half hour programme, but I have enormously enjoyed working with the BBC’s extremely knowledgable producer and research historian on this and I think the programme will explain why I am so enthusiastic about rescuing Burnes from obscurity. I will let you know the broadcast date.


88 thoughts on “Burnes Programme

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  • Komodo

    Has anyone read “The Wandering Who”? I’m thinking of getting it.
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    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=35217

    “In his inimitable deadpan style, Atzmon identifies the abscess in the Jewish wisdom tooth – exilic tribalism – and pulls it out. Ouch!” Eric Walberg, Al Aharam Weekly.
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    “exilic tribalism”. A neat summation.

  • ingo

    Everyone is convincing themselves that war is inevitable and that its all down to Irans civil nuclear programm, bar the IAEA who got it wrong in Iraq, but who also has had changes within since it could not find any WMD’s there. They think that Iran, surrounded by nuclear weapons bases, has a secret nuclear programme.

    The US concerns sound rather hollow, as if they had no say in the affair at all. Moreover who controls Iraqi airspace? Afaik there has been one attempt already a few years back and Israel was not able to carry out the attack as it meant overflying Iraqs airspace, then they did not have US permission, today it would be up to Iraq to let them overfly.

    So if the US patrols Northern Iraqi airspace and does not allow any overflights, then Israel will have to overfly Syria and/or Turkey, very unlikely to be allowed, so they’d just do it and try the direct route, by preventing Syria to defend its airspace? a unilateral pre empted strike of Syria’s fighter capacity on the ground? It would be one way to get them involved from day one.
    Iran claims to own some s300 surface to air missiles, but Russia has been presssured into not delivering the 800 million system, so one can assume that Israel will be flying to a turkey shoot, not that this will devalue Irans missile capacity, I expect Iran to retaliate, but not necessarrily instantly. Thos fighterjets need refueling and this might mean US refueling planes, without refueling these jets will have one chance to fly there hit the target and come back, they can be prepared to encounter Iranian jets on the way home, who knows some pilots might have to eject over Syria if they can’t get the refueling right, attacking via helicopters, drones and Tomahawk could also commence from the Persian Gulf, with the 6th. fleet on high alert in Bahrain, watching Israels back and joining in when it gets too hairy.

    Off course Israel will endanger some 40.000 Jews who live in Iran, something netanyahu is prepared to contemplate and risk. They did not want to leave Iran for Israel, not even for $10.000.

    As for Goldstone, he has been rumbled, somebody knows something off him he does not want us to hear, my guess. How can he possibly be still on the Russell committee? how do they keep themselves clean?

  • Komodo

    Israel has no intention of attacking Iran unless it can be certain that the US will weigh in in support (and preferably be induced to do the initial attack as well) It ought to realise that bombing nuclear facilities in Iran will not be met in quite the same way as its strikes on Syrian and Libyan (alleged) facilities. Neither Syria nor Libya had the resources or will to risk a direct conflict with Israel. Iran probably has. I guess our destabilisation of Syria is rather crucial to Israel’s thinking, but my guess is that Syrians hate Israel even more than they hate Assad and that may be a bit of a problem.

  • angrysoba

    Glenn: Ace! You’ve piqued my interest in this Burnes character, I look forward to buying your book in due course. Signed, as you have the others, preferably.

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    I also would be interested in reading it and I’ll look out for a rare unsigned copy. 😉
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    P.S have you ever looked into a Scottish adventurer called Thomas Glover. There seem to be a lot of superficial similarities between him and Sekundar Burnes although I imagine you might think their motives were quite different.

  • angrysoba

    Komodo: Has anyone read “The Wandering Who”? I’m thinking of getting it.

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    I think that by now there is no question that Gilad Atzmon peddles in anti-Semitic tropes as even the SWP and Richard “Lenin” Seymour has recognized. Atzmon couldn’t be any more explicit about this than if he were to title his book, “The Jews Are Bad!” with the subtitle, “The Nazis Kinda Got it Right”.
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    I can only assume that you are not some dispassionate scholar of Jewish history but just want to read an author who will bolster what you already believe and maybe add a few more things to be outraged about.

  • Komodo

    Angrysoba,
    From my limited exposure to your views on Israel, your comments amount to unqualified endorsement of Atzmon’s book. However, I am not so much interested in fuelling my (as you would say) prejudices but in trying to understand the behaviour of a people I find completely alien. I have read apologiae for Israel, and I have read Mearsheimer and Walt. Neither offers a rationale I can understand. What turns a people supposedly devoted to the highest moral principles into emulators of its late oppressors? (see Jpost’s blog comments passim for instances) Why do perhaps the most cerebral people on earth base the totality of their behaviour on the demands of an antique tribal deity?
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    Atzmon makes somewhere the interesting point that Israel consistently acts in an extended present rather than with regard to the future consequences of its actions. This is hardly the approach of the stereotypical crafty Jew, is it?
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    So, thank you for your recommendation. I shall certainly buy it.

  • angrysoba

    Komodo: From my limited exposure to your views on Israel, your comments amount to unqualified endorsement of Atzmon’s book.
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    If you say so, although bear in mind that neither of us were talking about Israel but rather about Atzmon’s book on Jews. Make sure that you remember it is you who explicitly equates Israel with Jewishness next time you feel the need to do the “I’m-not-an-anti-Semite-I’m-an-anti-Zionist” jitterbug.
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    However, I am not so much interested in fuelling my (as you would say) prejudices but in trying to understand the behaviour of a people I find completely alien.
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    If Jews are alien to you you might try finding something a little less obviously hostile to read than “The Wandering Jew”. But like I said, if you just want your prejudices confirmed that Jews are alien people then you could read that, Meine Kampf, Synagogues of Satan and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Consider my comments to be “unqualified endorsements” if you like.
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    “I have read apologiae for Israel, and I have read Mearsheimer and Walt. Neither offers a rationale I can understand. What turns a people supposedly devoted to the highest moral principles into emulators of its late oppressors? (see Jpost’s blog comments passim for instances) Why do perhaps the most cerebral people on earth base the totality of their behaviour on the demands of an antique tribal deity?”
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    To use the fashionable parlance of the day, what you are doing is called “essentializing”.
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    “Atzmon makes somewhere the interesting point that Israel consistently acts in an extended present rather than with regard to the future consequences of its actions. This is hardly the approach of the stereotypical crafty Jew, is it?”
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    Your prejudices are your own. It might be worth recognizing that you can’t assume we all hold your prejudices. To do so is known as “projection”. Presumably you reject the idea given that some Jew called Freud came up with it.
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    “This review of “The Wandering Who” may well be better than the book itself, as it picks up on the flaws in Atzmon’s arguments as well as the good ideas. You will not like parts of it, Angry. But it is in no sense antisemitic.”
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    The review makes the book look disgusting and, in fact, the review is disgusting too. It is at least as nauseating as anything Robert Spencer writes about Muslims. It even includes the Spencerian canards that if a Jew/Muslim says X then that Jew/Muslim is evil and if a Jew/Muslim says –X then that Jew/Muslim is an evil liar.

  • ingo

    Komodo, when you say “Israel has no intention of attacking Iran unless it can be certain that the US will weigh in in support (and preferably be induced to do the initial attack as well) ” then this certainty must already be a given, otherwise the noises we are picking up would not be amplified.

    The US will have to help with re fuelling and it will have to help Israels frigatte’s in the Gulf of Persia, I don’t think they will refuse to hyave a go at the man who would like to be paid in a basket of currencies, rather than with dollars.

    There are some promising Iranian ex pats and Shah lovvies waiting in the West, ready to allocate some preferential oil deals to the US and bash those mullahs, when its all over, the challabi types will come out of the woodwork. What the worlds Shia’s will do is another unpredicted unknown, but they won’t be happy.

  • Komodo

    Don’t know about you, angryhasbara, but the whole extent of my interest in Jews is bound up with my revulsion at Israel’s rationalisation of what by any standards is disgusting behaviour. Apologies for not making this clear. I don’t generally talk about “Jews”, and I avoid the term “Zionist” except where its correct usage is clearly indicated. But I have the impression of a common mindset which is relevant to Israel’s policy (as Old Etonians tend to share a mindset: this is due to their specialist education and self-imposed exclusivity, too), and that is why I am interested in a Jewish take on this.
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    At least I got you to read something on a white supremacist website. As one of the authors there points out, it is apparently perfectly ok to punt the zionist line and denigrate those who don’t subscribe to it as antisemites, but not ok to punt the “white” nationalist line and denigrate those who disagree with it as zionists. Point taken.
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    I believe free speech is important, however. I can take issue with a number of points in that review myself; much of it conflicts with my opinion, but it is certainly worth taking on board.
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    Re my prejudices, you don’t know what they are. I was referring to the standard caricature, which itself is self-parodic these days, as promoted by- but not confined to – Goebbels, Streicher et al.
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    And, as the review suggests, if I have prejudices, what caused them? That is a question which any honest Jew (or Muslim) should address. It is not enough to say that the prejudices are based in myth and propaganda, much as their expression is admittedly couched in those terms. The reviewer suggests that the expulsion of Jewish communities in Europe had its roots in nothing worse than a conflict of economic and/or political interests. Not a very racist POV, in my opinion. But I know you will differ.

  • ingo

    I know this is a report from a year ago, but Israels subs are patrolling Iranian waters with Tomahawk missiles.

    JERUSALEM – Exactly a year after the Israeli navy sent at least one of its Dolphin-class submarines into the Persian Gulf on a training exercise, the authoritative Sunday Times of London newspaper is reporting that Israel is on the verge of deploying several of its cruise-missile armed advanced subs close to the Iranian mainland on a regular basis.

    http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/43947

  • Komodo

    Ingo,
    While some sort of US support is a given, as always, Obama is looking at the next elections, and calculating whether he will pick up more votes and/or campaign contributions from the 2.5% Jewish swing vote (many of whom are liberals) than he will lose from the increasingly antiwar Left. If he loses, Israel can breathe a sigh of relief and its tame senators and Congressmen will find more tax dollars with which to launch Operation Enduring Bullshit. But until then, the issue is debatable.
    As you suggest, the large Shi’a population in Iraq, Pakistan, even Syria, is an additional complication.
    I’ve replied to our resident dissident, but the post got lost, probably temporarily.

  • ingo

    It is debatable Komodo, maybe too much noise has got us on to a false path, still its good to know what contingencies are in place.
    What is becoming clearer by the minute, even in Israel’s highest circles, there’s no love lost between Bibi and Dov Weinglass the arch zionists, that Marwan Barghouti is the biggest key on their chain. His release as part of the second 550 prisoners still to be released, would seriously transfer power to a moderate, who knows what pressures he is under in prison.
    Israel cannot afford to go to war knowing full well there’s a petrol can and some matches behind their back, they have never done this.
    AIPACs bill is more important that Obama’s electoral reservations imho, if Israel does go to war and the industrial millitary complex smells profits to be made, they will join in, within 48 hrs. Media pressure and some hickey interviews going through the news, tinged with a few religous conotations will ensure that uncle Sam is with it. I’m sure that BAE will be slobbering at the prospects of us taking up their cudgel.

  • glenn

    Komodo:
    Ron Paul certainly has sense on some issues, on most others he’s totally off his head. He’s ‘libertarian’ in the US meaning of the term, so there’d be no regulation of anything. You’d have the courts to uphold copyrights and so on, and the police to enforce them, but that’s pretty much it.
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    This lot believe most of the Ayn Rand BS, and would be happy to see people starve if they can’t get along in the free-wheeling, unregulated totally free market economy. Did some people die from poisoned food, or dangerous products from the pharmaceutical industry? Then the market would become aware of this danger and not buy any more products from them. We don’t need regulations, because people would soon figure out who are bad doctors, bridge-makers and aircraft operators and so on!
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    The ‘free market’ is a religion to these people, and like anyone suffering the delusion of a religion, they believe in things that are manifestly untrue and unprovable, and should rightly be regarded as insane.

  • angrysoba

    Sorry, Komodo, but I looked up that reviewer on Google and discovered he is a researcher into some kind of special genetic characteristics of Jews and how they can outsmart the Gentiles with their magic powers. It is a bit of a racist thing to subscribe to and it is often the plea of the racist to say that it isn’t their fault if they are prejudiced against a group of people but the fault of the people they are prejudiced against; “I wouldn’t hate them if they weren’t like that!”
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    I’m pretty sure you are not racist yourself but you must see the danger in reading white supremacist sites in order to confirm your suspicions about Jews.
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    It’s generally the type of thing that only racists do.

  • Komodo

    angrysoba:
    As I said above:
    “At least I got you to read something on a white supremacist website. As one of the authors there points out, it is apparently perfectly ok to punt the zionist line and denigrate those who don’t subscribe to it as antisemites, but not ok to punt the “white” nationalist line and denigrate those who disagree with it as zionists. Point taken.”

    So, I’m probably not a racist. Thank you. As I am not one, I try to get an idea of all points of view. This means while my politics, in conventional terms, are contradictory and not always right-on left-approved, my opinions on specific issues are generally broadly informed. And if this means going to sites like the Jerusalem Post or PNAC, it means also going to equally offensive sites like the one in question.
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    I draw the line at MEMRI and Stormfront, however….
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  • Komodo

    …and the review, whatever the beliefs of the reviewer (no stranger than the belief that God’s promise to the Jews, recorded only in a Jewish text some millenia since, entitles the Jews to perpetual and sole possession between the Nile and the Euphrates, surely), was cogent and contained some interesting insights. The only other review I could find which was not either from a left wing anti-Israel POV, or from an incensed zionist, was from Veterans Today. But the review was rambling and the reviewer, who had edited other work of Atzmon’s, was uncritical.

  • books

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  • mary

    Five spambots intervene between your post and mine. Thanks for that link which is very useful. I recognize some of the names as the funders of MPs’ trips to America, listed in their entries on the Register of Interests.
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    There is a link on Medialens to the outfits who distribute billions of dollars world wide to promote AMERIKA’s interests.
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    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1320905063.html

  • mary

    The link within that medialens link.
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    Democracy promotion: America’s new regime change formula
    18 November, 2010, 01:15
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    Washington’s formula for regime change underwent a makover in the 1980s. In a bid to ensure US political and economic interests were safeguarded, CIA backed coup d’états ousted democratically elected leaders from Iran to Chile.
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    http://rt.com/usa/news/democracy-promotion-usa-regime/

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