There's a non-zero possibility that Iran has a fleet of Communist assassin dolphins

For better or for worse, humans have been training dolphins as soldiers of war since at least the 1960s; even to this day, the Russian government in particular has been known to enlist them in subterfuge.

But twenty years ago, the cash-strapped and crumbling Soviet Union sold a group of highly-trained aquatic assets to the Iranian government. Military.com (a subsidiary of Monster, apparently) has a good breakdown of the history, pulling largely from a BBC article published in 2000:

In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the dolphin unit was sent to the Crimean Peninsula from a base in the Russian Pacific area. There, the dolphins were trained to kill enemy frogmen using harpoons mounted on their backs. They would also swim at enemy ships in suicide attacks while carrying explosive sea mines, as they were able to distinguish between Russian and American submarines by the sounds their propulsion systems make underwater.

The highly trained killer dolphins were moved from the Black Sea to the Persian Gulf after Iran purchased them -- for reasons unknown. According to the Russian newspaper, Zhurid's work, which supposedly continued in Iran after the 2000 sale, was solely of a military nature.

It's a weird little factoid of military history. But here's the catch: dolphins can live for around 50 years. Which means that some of these dolphins could still be alive today. Which means it's not not impossible that a pod of these haggard soldiers is hanging around the coastal US, waiting for their retaliatory strike — though whether that would be against the country's foreign policy, or its oversights in regards to noise pollution from seismic testing, that's still up in the air. Read the rest

The Alt-Right's White Nationalist Poster Boy is very upset about US interference in Iran

Neo-Nazi Media Darling and accused domestic abuser Richard Spencer had a meltdown on Twitter after Iranian authorities launched a missile attack against a US base in Iraq.

Spencer went on to post and retweet some other criticisms of the "American Empire" and pinned a tweet saying, "To the people of Iran, There are millions of Americans who do not want war, who do not hate you, and who respect your nation and its history. After our traitorous elite is brought to justice, we hope to achieve peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness."

Spencer also led a protest against airstrikes in Syria in 2017. Granted, his anti-interventionist stance is largely based in anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic beliefs. (See also: Ecofascism.) So this is less of a "My enemy's enemy is my friend," and more of a "My enemy's enemy is still my enemy even though we kind-of agree on a single action despite coming to those views for completely opposing reasons, which is why we are enemies." But still. Broken clocks, et cetera et cetera.

Image via Wikimedia Commons Read the rest

Iran War: As U.S. sends 3,500 more troops to mideast, the vibe in Baghdad is bad

PHOTO - In this 2016 photo released by the office of Iran's supreme leader, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran. Soleimani was killed yesterday in U.S. airstrike on the Baghdad airport in Iraq.

As the U.S. sends some 3,500 additional troops to the mideast, Washington Post reporter Mustafa Salim [@Mustafa_salimb on Twitter] describes the mood in Baghdad as grim. Read the rest