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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

#221 Post by Dave B » July 5th, 2015, 8:36 am

Latest post of the previous page:

Altfish wrote:I'm thinking the only solution to this whole ISIS mess is to let them have a state. Like Israel was created for the Jews; well let them have some part of the middle east and create their caliphate
Their programme was, possibly still is, a global caliphate.

Giving them a "state", a stable base on which to build and train a larger overt/covert army, might not be the best idea! And does a country have to "donate" the territory? I would not be surprised, within a year or two, to see a reduction in their aggression as they consilidate and train even more overt/covert fighters.

I doubt the the Saudi Arabia regime if openly financing them but turning a blind eye to those SA businessmen who do so. That should be the main thrust of the fight against them, hit their financial base.

Even warfare is bloody economics by other neans!
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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#222 Post by animist » July 5th, 2015, 9:20 am

Dave B wrote:
Altfish wrote:I'm thinking the only solution to this whole ISIS mess is to let them have a state. Like Israel was created for the Jews; well let them have some part of the middle east and create their caliphate
Their programme was, possibly still is, a global caliphate.

Giving them a "state", a stable base on which to build and train a larger overt/covert army, might not be the best idea! And does a country have to "donate" the territory? I would not be surprised, within a year or two, to see a reduction in their aggression as they consilidate and train even more overt/covert fighters.

I doubt the the Saudi Arabia regime if openly financing them but turning a blind eye to those SA businessmen who do so. That should be the main thrust of the fight against them, hit their financial base.

Even warfare is bloody economics by other neans!
you are dead right, Dave. The Iraqi government needs to become less sectarian itself, but there is no way that the West could force it to relinquish its claim on the territory for the benefit of an insane gang whom even most Sunni Muslims detest. Syria itself - this is now a complete mess, though I would prefer to live under the Assad government (I think) than Isis.

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Re: SYRIA

#223 Post by Dave B » July 5th, 2015, 9:42 am

animist wrote:[you are dead right, Dave. The Iraqi government needs to become less sectarian itself, but there is no way that the West could force it to relinquish its claim on the territory for the benefit of an insane gang whom even most Sunni Muslims detest. Syria itself - this is now a complete mess, though I would prefer to live under the Assad government (I think) than Isis.
Iraq is certainly a big part of the picture and all the pundits say that they need their Sunnis on their side. But, who can fight 1400 years of stupity with logic?
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Re: SYRIA

#224 Post by Altfish » July 5th, 2015, 10:09 am

Dave B wrote:
Altfish wrote:I'm thinking the only solution to this whole ISIS mess is to let them have a state. Like Israel was created for the Jews; well let them have some part of the middle east and create their caliphate
Their programme was, possibly still is, a global caliphate.

Giving them a "state", a stable base on which to build and train a larger overt/covert army, might not be the best idea! And does a country have to "donate" the territory? I would not be surprised, within a year or two, to see a reduction in their aggression as they consilidate and train even more overt/covert fighters.

I doubt the the Saudi Arabia regime if openly financing them but turning a blind eye to those SA businessmen who do so. That should be the main thrust of the fight against them, hit their financial base.

Even warfare is bloody economics by other neans!

Do you not think that there is a limited amount of people who will go for this?
They are anti-education, anti-"progress" and heading back to the stone age in many ways. They are relying on educated recruits from the west to boost their technology; they will soon run out. They are then relying on a constant supply of western weapons, pressure on Saudi will slow that.
I do realise there is a problem with 'whose land' - how was Israel created?
History teaches us that rebel/terrorist groups cannot be defeated. Look at the IRA, they were not defeated but appeased. All Cameron's talk of 'defeating' ISIS is nonsense, it will never happen.

I have not thought this totally through but what we are doing now is obviously failing.

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Re: SYRIA

#225 Post by Dave B » July 5th, 2015, 10:59 am

Yes, Altfish, their pool of recruits will be limited, it's early days in terms of how Muslim fanaticist leaders, who hold their faith above their personal ambitions for power (unlike Saddam say).

But gifting them a stable base will provide them with the chance to enact their version of "assymetric warfare", i.e. small strike groups and individual bombers - a situation very difficult to combat without strict restrictions on even your own citizens.

That might lead to our kind of assymetric warfare - blow them to dust.

But you would never get every one of them and one charismatic person could start it all over again.

As I have said before, don't use Wetern thought models to compare or judge them by, they are mental aliens to us.

Saddam attempted to use Western strategies and would have lost adainst IS as well. The Iraqi army is constrained, by being in the internation eye, to also using "acceptable" strstegies in any overt action, the IS are not.
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Re: SYRIA

#226 Post by animist » July 9th, 2015, 10:26 pm

Altfish wrote:Do you not think that there is a limited amount of people who will go for this?
They are anti-education, anti-"progress" and heading back to the stone age in many ways. They are relying on educated recruits from the west to boost their technology; they will soon run out. They are then relying on a constant supply of western weapons, pressure on Saudi will slow that.
I do realise there is a problem with 'whose land' - how was Israel created?
History teaches us that rebel/terrorist groups cannot be defeated. Look at the IRA, they were not defeated but appeased. All Cameron's talk of 'defeating' ISIS is nonsense, it will never happen.

I have not thought this totally through but what we are doing now is obviously failing.
in essence the IRA was defeated - tell me in what way they were appeased? Anyway, the IRA were pussycats in comparison to Isis. I am not sure what you are trying to say - you seem to be saying both that Isis will be defeated and that they will not. Containment is surely better than nothing, and how in principle can you say "what we are doing is obviously failing"? However can you guess what would have happened without the airstrikes, which the Kurds and the Iraqi army absolutely rely on to help them deal with this dreadful menace?

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Re: SYRIA

#227 Post by Dave B » July 10th, 2015, 3:53 am

Some might construe giving murderers who were members of a IRA immunity as a form of appeasement.

We also have the problem, now, of who was/is the IRA - some variants using that title still exist. They might be schizms but it muddies the water badly.

Altfish, agree with what you say about anti-western education - for femakes at least, b6t ISIS can adopt technology to their holy cause with perfect religious logic I think!

Boko Haran probably no different, in theory ALL western education is evil - exceot that brought to the causevholy crusade of course. Illiterate people can still shoot and bombmquite adequarely and AK47s are made in Pakistan and other countries and it does not take a lot of written instructions once one person has learned how to make an IED.

Betcha the muja Hadin who beat the Russians in Afghanistan did not have a high literacy level, just skill, cunning, berserker religious "courage" and even more bloodthirstyness than their ehemy.
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Re: SYRIA

#228 Post by animist » October 1st, 2015, 12:19 pm

the war in Syria is not over, but Russian intervention must make it clearer than ever that the Assad regime, or something like it, will survive. The West are idiotic in the way that they still seem to pursue completely incompatible aims, ie the removal of Assad and the defeat of Isis, and the best hope for peace, or at least for the diminution of war, is that the moderate opposition to Assad will make some sort of deal with him.

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Re: SYRIA

#229 Post by Dave B » October 1st, 2015, 4:58 pm

animist wrote:the war in Syria is not over, but Russian intervention must make it clearer than ever that the Assad regime, or something like it, will survive. The West are idiotic in the way that they still seem to pursue completely incompatible aims, ie the removal of Assad and the defeat of Isis, and the best hope for peace, or at least for the diminution of war, is that the moderate opposition to Assad will make some sort of deal with him.

It seems that every quote from Syrians re Assad, that the BBC broadcast, is that they can/will not do deals with him.

Semms suspicion so far is that the Russians are attacking rebels rather than so called IS. Syrian govt spokeswoman still denying there is a civil was, only gvt against terrorists - oh, and that Assad will stand down any time the people ask him to.

Are we on the same planet? In the same dimension? Same universe?
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Re: SYRIA

#230 Post by animist » October 1st, 2015, 5:54 pm

Dave B wrote:Are we on the same planet? In the same dimension? Same universe?

who is "we", Dave?

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Re: SYRIA

#231 Post by Dave B » October 1st, 2015, 6:00 pm

animist wrote:
Dave B wrote:Are we on the same planet? In the same dimension? Same universe?

who is "we", Dave?
Anyone other than Assad and his bunch or his supporters!

That is, of course, assuming the accounts we see/hear/read from the news media are honest and accurate...
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Re: SYRIA

#232 Post by animist » October 3rd, 2015, 1:12 pm

Dave B wrote:
animist wrote:
Dave B wrote:Are we on the same planet? In the same dimension? Same universe?

who is "we", Dave?
Anyone other than Assad and his bunch or his supporters!

That is, of course, assuming the accounts we see/hear/read from the news media are honest and accurate...
you may be missing the point. Assad's supporters seem to include the governments of Russia, Iraq and Iran, plus Hizbollah, and anyone on the other side (plus civilians) is likely to be pulverised; so it is in their interest, maybe aided by Western pressure if it can escape its present confusion, to make some sort of arrangement with the regime

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Re: SYRIA

#233 Post by Dave B » October 3rd, 2015, 1:33 pm

Not doubting that some sort of political outcome will be the real solution.

My comments referred to the apparent difference in perception between the Assad regime and its supporters and its opponents and their supporters.

To take one aspect: to claim that Assad is only in power by the mandate of the people and would step down if asked seems to go against the history. The majority sect is Sunni, very, very few Shia. The Iranians consider that the Alawite sect, Assad's sect, is close enough to Shia to be acceptable. Apart from that allying with Syria gives them political and geographical/communications advantages - including potential naval access to the Med.

It also gives the Russians a Mediteranian naval base.

So, vested interests all round, I wouod cynically suggestvthst the powers-that-be do not give a shit for the people, only their own territorial access intetests. But then, what's different from most of history?

Now the Russians appear to be calling all anti-Assad forces legitimate targets, including "legal" rebels, and the Yanks have shit in everyone's face by managing to bomb the MSF hospital.
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Re: SYRIA

#234 Post by Dave B » October 3rd, 2015, 10:11 pm

Re my last, misheard location of hospital hit byvtge Americans, thought it was in Syria.

Even then it is a disaster for those killed and injured and for the area it was in. That "accidehts" happen in wars is a fact, but it seems the location of the hospital was well known, that smacks of incompetence or worse.
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Re: SYRIA

#235 Post by animist » October 8th, 2015, 5:49 pm

the Free Syrian Army is AFAIK the only faction in this dreadful conflict to be recognised as legitimate by the West, but it is clearly not capable of forming an administration to succeed the present one. I think of jaywhat and his relatives every time I post here, and I dare say that my repeated pleas that the Assad regime be supported must seem very callous to them. I can only repeat that war must be the greatest of evils, and so that a dictatorship which, for whatever reason, cannot easily be overthrown and replaced by a better alternative, is better than perpetual and multi-sided war

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Re: SYRIA

#236 Post by Dave B » October 8th, 2015, 6:44 pm

animist wrote:the Free Syrian Army is AFAIK the only faction in this dreadful conflict to be recognised as legitimate by the West, but it is clearly not capable of forming an administration to succeed the present one. I think of jaywhat and his relatives every time I post here, and I dare say that my repeated pleas that the Assad regime be supported must seem very callous to them. I can only repeat that war must be the greatest of evils, and so that a dictatorship which, for whatever reason, cannot easily be overthrown and replaced by a better alternative, is better than perpetual and multi-sided war

I wnder, animist, did you support Saddam Hussein? Frankly I see little difference between him and Assad. Unfortunately I fear Syria is in for a rocky future whoever wins. The Russians, Iranians and, probably, the Chinese will pour aid into a post conflict Assad ruled Syria. But it will be a country with a very much reduced population to support its industry and infrastructure and with most of its cities in ruins, I cannot see all the Sunni refugees moving back. Perhaps the Palestinians will move in.
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Re: SYRIA

#237 Post by Dave B » October 9th, 2015, 4:30 am

My, so called, mind has obviously been reviewing what I said above whilst I was asleep.

I am always banging on about pragmatism, forgetting that it can be a philosophy with a sharp point at both ends. Though cynically political and potentially a disaster for humanity at the local scale, there are times when the otherwise unthinkable option becomes acceptable to prevent a greater, regional, disaster.
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Re: SYRIA

#238 Post by animist » October 9th, 2015, 8:39 pm

Dave B wrote:id you support Saddam Hussein? Frankly I see little difference between him and Assad. Unfortunately I fear Syria is in for a rocky future whoever wins.
cast your mind back to the 1980s and early 1990s, Dave. Saddam invaded Iran in the 1980s and Kuwait in the 1990s. The Assad regime has done nothing remotely comparable; like most animals, it simply seeks to survive by all available means, and can one blame it?

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Re: SYRIA

#239 Post by Dave B » October 9th, 2015, 9:18 pm

animist wrote:
Dave B wrote:id you support Saddam Hussein? Frankly I see little difference between him and Assad. Unfortunately I fear Syria is in for a rocky future whoever wins.
cast your mind back to the 1980s and early 1990s, Dave. Saddam invaded Iran in the 1980s and Kuwait in the 1990s. The Assad regime has done nothing remotely comparable; like most animals, it simply seeks to survive by all available means, and can one blame it?

Yes, Saddam Hussein attacked his neighbours as well, fighting one of the longest wars in history against Iran, but that sort of war has been going on throughoutvhistory - differences are ones of scale. I cannot now remember the actual triggers for the Syrian civil war but, like Saddam Hussein, Assad has used chemical warfare and the deliberate bombing of civilian areas as strategies.

Unfortunately this strategic mindset seems to be inherent in the culture of the whole region. The "West" are pilloried, for days if not longer, by all for every instance of "collateral damage", as is right - yet the wholesale killing of women and children by suicide bombers often gets less mention.

Assad's victory will do nothing good for the West but that is not they point - what would it do for the millions of Sunni citizens of Syria who are still fleeing its borders? Will they want to go back? Will they be greeted with open arms and given the chance of rebuilding a good life? Like Iraq Syria has lost a great deal of its arts and culture and national personality. I fear it will not be easily regained under such a regime.

Not that the West were exactly brilliant at building a "cicilised" society in Iraq!

Perhaps, in terms of the long view of future history it would be better to let them alone to sort it out once and for all. That would be slaughter I agree, but there may be many decades of slow near genocide to come in the current war, sectrarian and tribal fighting has continued to flare for well over 100 years now, perhaps several hundred, and the "external" influences have only made it worse.
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Re: SYRIA

#240 Post by thundril » October 10th, 2015, 3:06 pm

The West operates a completely unprincipled strategy of excusing and reviling by turns whatever vicious dictatorship happens to be 'ruling' an area of interest to international capitalism. At present it dosn't suit the West's global interest to disrupt the Saudi government; if it did, we'd be inundated with outraged statements in Parliament and terrible stories in the press about the atrocities routinely committed by the Saud family. The slavery. The amputations. The executions literally every other day on average. All perfectly true stories, sadly. But our government says as little as possible about these at the moment. Therefore the rightwing press says very little about them.
But if Western interests decided chaos on the Arabian peninsular would be strategically advantageous, Joe Public would soon be howling for Saudi blood, calling for them to be bombed back to the Stone Age. Suddenly giving a shit about Saudi women's rights. And all that bollocks.
Can anyone tell me how the Sauds are morally less repulsive than Saddam? Can anyone tell me how Saddam suddenly became more of an evil tyrant after he had finished gassing Iranian people? Can anyone explain how the people of Syria would be helped by dropping yet more high explosives onto them?
(And please don't offer the 'we must do something; bombing is something' line. That one exhausted its fragile credibility a long time ago.)
Is Afghanistan a better place now than it was before the Russians invaded?
Is Iraq better now than it was before the US and its pack of poodles attacked it?
Do either of these places look as though they might ever get to a stage where the people who have suffered so much agony and loss will think it was all worthwhile?
War does not help anyone except the arms manufacturers, and the least competent politicians.

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Re: SYRIA

#241 Post by Dave B » October 10th, 2015, 3:43 pm

I think, thundril, that the "East" also has a habit of supporting despots for its own cynical purposes. Admittedly, in the past at least, the drive was ideological and militarily strategic rather than capitalist, but it was no sweeter.

Now, though not overtly capitalist, China at least will support any regime they will sign over resources for some infrastructure of rubious worth or durability.

We too often tend to use the "capitalist" bogeyman to blinker us from the other global baddies IMHO. It has been suggested that Putin's strategies are also based on his own investments and those of the oligarchs who back him. Russian and Chinese capaitalists are still capitalists!

I would be interested hearing which regimes you admire, thundril.
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