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SYRIA

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#181 Postby Dave B » August 12th, 2014, 1:13 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Should have kept the paper, nothing online, but the Metro today had a picture of a grinning jehdist in Syria holding up two severed heads of Syrian soldiers. It seems the previous day's paper had a picture of a nine year old boy also holding up a severed head, that was Twittered or Yuotubed with the title, "That's my boy!". Luckily the heads in both pictures were blacked out.

So, once again the barbarians Islam prove their depravity. I agree with Ifty that Islam could be interpreted to say that this is truly barbaric but it also seems to offer the opposite interpretation as well if one is selective. Thus it is basically Islam that is at fault here, as much as those who do the interpreting.
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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#182 Postby animist » August 12th, 2014, 4:17 pm

Dave B wrote:
animist wrote:Going back to the Syrian theme, all this mayhem in Iraq must be joy to Assad. Only a few months ago he was threatened with military action by the West, now it is his enemies who are the baddies!
Probably a mixed blessing:

ISIS/ISAL seem to spend as much time fighting other anti-Assad groups which is good for Assad. They also seem to want a caliphate that involves Lebanon, Syria and Iraq - or at least the Sunni part. Not so good for Assad if they can gain adherents and arms from all those areas. Not so good for Iraq either if it comes to that.
well, looks as though you were right, Dave! It is hard to believe that humans can be so depraved and deluded as to be attempting genocide of the odd but harmless Yezidis, but that is what is happening

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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#183 Postby Dave B » August 12th, 2014, 5:36 pm

animist wrote:well, looks as though you were right, Dave! It is hard to believe that humans can be so depraved and deluded as to be attempting genocide of the odd but harmless Yezidis, but that is what is happening
As far as these people are concerned it does not seem to matter who or what you are, if you are not a Muslim, or of their specific version of Islam, you are evil and have no right to live. Sunnis and Shi'ites each consider the other to be heretical and thus not of the "true faith". Too many passages in the Q'ran seem to allow killing such to be justified if interpreted by a perverted or deluded mind.
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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#184 Postby animist » September 7th, 2014, 8:19 pm

the West looks to be slowly moving towards some sort of understanding with Assad in order to fight the common enemy, Isis. This reminds me of that Cold Warrior of the Reagan administration, Jeane Kirkpatrick. She was his Ambassador to the UN and was (in)famous for her view that authoritarian governments (ie military dictatorships of the kind which littered Latin America at the time) were preferable from the US POV to what she saw as totalitarian Marxist governments or movements (eg Cuba and the revolutionaries of Latin America and elsewhere); hence her support for nasties like Galtieri and Pinochet, plus the Contras in Nicaragua. Most of us deplored all this at the time, but if one substitutes "Islamic" for "Marxist" and Middle East for Latin America we seem to be moving towards feeling that the continuation of secular governments like that of Assad, however unpleasant (as were those of Gaddafi and Saddam before their demise) seems preferable to the gratuitous violence of the Islamists

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Alan H
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Re: SYRIA

#185 Postby Alan H » September 26th, 2014, 5:57 pm

2014-09-26_17h56_41.png
2014-09-26_17h56_41.png (516.01 KiB) Viewed 2317 times
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There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#186 Postby Dave B » September 26th, 2014, 6:06 pm

Pretty good analysis!

But I think something like IS might have eventually developed even without us invading Iraq and Afghanistan, either as a development of Al Q itself or grown from it. Whatever, we would still have been in a dodgy position in terms of terrorist attacks at home.

Can't really back that up, just a feeling from what I have seen and heard.
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Re: SYRIA

#187 Postby Alan H » September 26th, 2014, 6:20 pm

It's difficult to know what would be best, but when was the last time bombing achieved anything?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#188 Postby animist » September 26th, 2014, 7:54 pm

Alan H wrote:It's difficult to know what would be best, but when was the last time bombing achieved anything?

bombing may not win territory - but then that is not the West wants, and instead the objective is to give the Kurds and Shia Iraqis a chance to defeat Isis. Bombing was fairly effective in recent years in at least two 1990s conflicts - Bosnia, and the aftermath of the first war against Saddam Hussein, and US bombing strikes also cooperated with the Northern Alliance in 2001 to get rid of the Taliban in Afghanistan. So bombing can win wars in fact, but it cannot control territory

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1116005

Most of the problem with Isis and similar bodies comes from our tolerance of militant Sunni Islam, which has been encouraged by the Saudis and other Sunni states; Shia Islam seems much less aggressive. We should therefore reduce our dependence on these Sunni countries and stop the persecution of Iran, IMO - though this does mean accepting the Assad dictatorship in Syria

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Re: SYRIA

#189 Postby Dave B » September 26th, 2014, 7:56 pm

Alan H wrote:It's difficult to know what would be best, but when was the last time bombing achieved anything?
It is a given that (short of using nukes or total saturation tactics) air power does not win battles. OTH I doubt very much that we could talk a peace out of the likes of IS, it is not the West's place to offer them any kind of deal that leaves them with authority. I suspect they are worse than the Taliban in terms of getting them into any kind of democratic parliament.

Saudi Arabia holds a lot of the pieces here, they are accused of allowing funding some groups (but not Al Q I think) by their own nationals, as are other Sunni Arab nations. If we could get Saudi Arabia to cut of the funding, make it illegal, that would help greatly. But IS are actually doing something close to what the Saudis, as Salafists - strict Muslims believing in the older rules and laws - find acceptable. Apart from knowing they have the West by the short and curlies because of the oil. And being ruled by probably the most arrogant royal family in existence!

That there are Sunni nations fighting with the Yanks is, against a Sunni fundamentalist organisation is, sort of, good. Unfortunately that means they may be fighting with Iran - Sunnis ganging up with Shia to fight Sunnis - what a mess!

Mr Bailey had it right!

America's broken promises, first to the Iraqi rebels and then the Syrian rebels, definitely does not help the West's case - Muslims have a strange attitude to honour (to Western values) and a long memory for what they consider insults or being let down. As America's friends that makes us as liable, so, as I said, we would probably be watching our backs even if we did not indulge in what might be a pointless exercise. Even if they blow up every tank, missile wagon or artillery piece those people can fight a war of attrition for years and years - as has been seen.
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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#190 Postby Dave B » September 26th, 2014, 8:08 pm

animist wrote:
Alan H wrote:It's difficult to know what would be best, but when was the last time bombing achieved anything?

bombing may not win territory - but then that is not the West wants. It was fairly effective in recent years in at least two 1990s conflicts - Bosnia, and the aftermath of the first war against Saddam Hussein
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1116005
Not sure that "no fly zones" apply here - do IS have any aircraft?

No, the West do not wish to win territory but they do wish to deny IS any more land/influence and to assist Iraq and the Kurds in recovering the lost territory. The distinction is rather thin!

One of the better outcomes could be similar to that when the Iraqi Sunnis rose up against the Al Q franchise in that country because they were too strict. But the Yanks did not fully trust them and did not really give them enough support. Much like their attitude to the Kurds currently. It will be the Iraqis and Kurds who either win or lose this one, as it should be. Not inspired by the Iraqi army recently though . . .
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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#191 Postby animist » September 26th, 2014, 8:16 pm

Dave B wrote:
animist wrote:bombing may not win territory - but then that is not the West wants. It was fairly effective in recent years in at least two 1990s conflicts - Bosnia, and the aftermath of the first war against Saddam Hussein
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1116005
Not sure that "no fly zones" apply here - do IS have any aircraft?
they don't, I see what you mean. But the point is that attacking the enemy from the air (whether the target is planes or ground forces) can be effective if combined with land operations, which can be by another party as long as there is coordination
Dave B wrote:No, the West do not wish to win territory but they do wish to deny IS any more land/influence and to assist Iraq and the Kurds in recovering the lost territory. The distinction is rather thin!
no, the difference is crucial. It was because those idiots Bush and Blair appeared to be conquering Iraq by occupying it that the population understandably resisted, as we all know. Incidentally, the fact that Isis lack planes (and missiles, hopefully) is a positive reason for the current intervention by air only

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Fia
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Re: SYRIA

#192 Postby Fia » September 26th, 2014, 8:26 pm

Thanks for posting that pic Alan, cleared it up for me :D

Crossposting... but I'm musing on a different level:

Dave B wrote:But I think something like IS might have eventually developed even without us invading Iraq and Afghanistan, either as a development of Al Q itself or grown from it
You're probably right Dave. Doesn't put our previous intervention in this, costing far too many lives on all sides, in a good light does it? If it wasn't for oil it wouldn't be "our" problem.

Alan H wrote:It's difficult to know what would be best, when was the last time bombing achieved anything?
Quite. My heart sank as I listened to some the debate this afternoon. I concede there's a problem, mostly of our - as in the west - making, but it seems we have learned nothing. We wage war when many thousands of UK families eat from food banks; the disabled are persecuted; a gagging law sneaked in on the back of the the Indie vote; the systematic dismantling of the NHS; the selling of our data; the triumph of powerful money over people. How does the mightily expensive bombing some other poor folk look to the disadvantaged in the UK? How are the many families who have lost loved ones in the 'service of their country' feeling now? Where's your morals now Westminster?

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Altfish
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Re: SYRIA

#193 Postby Altfish » September 26th, 2014, 8:33 pm

I always ask in these situations, "What have we got to do to 'win'" in other words, what is the exit strategy.

Have we got one? No that I've heard.

Into the valley of death again

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Re: SYRIA

#194 Postby Fia » September 26th, 2014, 8:53 pm

+1

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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#195 Postby Dave B » September 26th, 2014, 9:07 pm

+2
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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#196 Postby Dave B » September 26th, 2014, 9:17 pm

effective if combined with land operations
The critical phrase, animist!

As I said, not a lot of faith in the Iraqi army at the moment and the Kurds need heavy stuff (that I cannot see the Yanks allowing them unless things get super hairy). I cannot see either the British or American public standing for our troops going out there again.

The trick will be to find some way of keeping the Kurds et al equipped with big stuff "just in time", making sure they have only enough stores only for immediate operations, as little nothing left as possible for the enemy to make use of if it goes pear shaped.

Either that or it will have to be the highest and most expensive technology to ensure that every bomb does the maximum of damage. I often wonder what the military actually have when digital cameras can now detect whether a face is smiling or not. Image processing has progressed somewhat. Already though there are complaints about civilians getting killed by the allied bombs in Syria.
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Alan H
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Re: SYRIA

#197 Postby Alan H » September 26th, 2014, 9:22 pm

Fia wrote:
Alan H wrote:It's difficult to know what would be best, when was the last time bombing achieved anything?
Quite. My heart sank as I listened to some the debate this afternoon. I concede there's a problem, mostly of our - as in the west - making, but it seems we have learned nothing.
What we have not learned is that selling arms to others very frequently backfires [sic]. And if it's not 'our' arms manufacturers or our Government that provided the means of death to one side that is now used against us or innocent civilians or soldiers, then it's some other country and other manufacturer of death who provided weapons to the other side to give 'balance'. And so the cycle of war, destruction and death continues.

We wage war when many thousands of UK families eat from food banks; the disabled are persecuted; a gagging law sneaked in on the back of the the Indie vote; the systematic dismantling of the NHS; the selling of our data; the triumph of powerful money over people. How does the mightily expensive bombing some other poor folk look to the disadvantaged in the UK? How are the many families who have lost loved ones in the 'service of their country' feeling now? Where's your morals now Westminster?
+1
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#198 Postby animist » September 26th, 2014, 9:40 pm

Altfish wrote:I always ask in these situations, "What have we got to do to 'win'" in other words, what is the exit strategy.

Have we got one? No that I've heard.

Into the valley of death again
hang on, what I try to get over is that it is not this time a matter of us "winning", but of giving the vast majority of people in this region a chance to repel an especially murderous gang of fanatics. Have they got missiles or planes? If not, what is the threat to the forces of this coalition. And it is frankly lazy thinking to just assume that because some, not all, interventions failed, this one will do

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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#199 Postby animist » September 26th, 2014, 9:54 pm

Dave B wrote:
effective if combined with land operations
The critical phrase, animist!
yes indeed, the Kurds need arming and the Iraqi army needs reforming. A long way to go, but worth it IMO - do you really want Isis to go on murdering people?

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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#200 Postby animist » September 26th, 2014, 9:58 pm

Alan H wrote:
Fia wrote:
Alan H wrote:It's difficult to know what would be best, when was the last time bombing achieved anything?
Quite. My heart sank as I listened to some the debate this afternoon. I concede there's a problem, mostly of our - as in the west - making, but it seems we have learned nothing.
What we have not learned is that selling arms to others very frequently backfires [sic]. And if it's not 'our' arms manufacturers or our Government that provided the means of death to one side that is now used against us or innocent civilians or soldiers, then it's some other country and other manufacturer of death who provided weapons to the other side to give 'balance'. And so the cycle of war, destruction and death continues.

We wage war when many thousands of UK families eat from food banks; the disabled are persecuted; a gagging law sneaked in on the back of the the Indie vote; the systematic dismantling of the NHS; the selling of our data; the triumph of powerful money over people. How does the mightily expensive bombing some other poor folk look to the disadvantaged in the UK? How are the many families who have lost loved ones in the 'service of their country' feeling now? Where's your morals now Westminster?
+1

Alan, I answered your question! Fia, I agree about not selling arms for profit, but whatever you do you mean by calling Isis "some other poor folk"? Would you have called the Nazis "some other poor folk" who were not be bombed?

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Fia
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Re: SYRIA

#201 Postby Fia » September 26th, 2014, 10:10 pm

animist wrote: but whatever you do you mean by calling Isis "some other poor folk"? Would you have called the Nazis "some other poor folk" who were not be bombed?

I'm thinking of the many deaths that are "collateral damage". Usually women and children...


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