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Iraq Troops flee Al Qaeda

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    Posted: 11 Jun 2014 at 07:55
Al Qaeda Rebels have engaged the Iraqi Army over much of Iraq, signalling a resurgence of the terrorist organisation in that country since the US forces were withdrawn.
According to reports, many Iraqi troops abandoned their Uniforms, weapons and Armoured Vehicles, leaving them for the rebels.
It seems to be that the billions of dollars the US government spent in dispensing with Saddam Husain and then Al Qaeda was money down the drain.  
 See Below:-
Quote As many as 500,000 people have been forced to flee Iraq's second city of Mosul after Islamist militants effectively took control of it.
Troops were among those fleeing as hundreds of jihadists from the ISIS group overran the city and much of the surrounding province of Nineveh.
Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki responded by asking parliament to declare a state of emergency to grant him greater powers.
The US said the development showed ISIS is a threat to the entire region.
ISIS - the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - is an offshoot of al-Qaeda which now controls considerable territory in eastern Syria and western and central Iraq, in a campaign to set up a militant enclave straddling the border.
'Chaotic situation'
Residents of Mosul said jihadist flags were flying from buildings and that the militants had announced over loudspeakers they had "come to liberate" the city.
"The situation is chaotic inside the city, and there is nobody to help us," said government worker Umm Karam. "We are afraid."
Many police stations were reported to have been set on fire and hundreds of detainees set free.
"The army forces threw away their weapons, changed their clothes, abandoned their vehicles and left the city," Mahmud Nuri, a resident fleeing Mosul, told the AFP news agency.
Meanwhile, the Turkish consulate in Mosul confirmed reports that 28 Turkish lorry drivers had been abducted by militants in Nineveh province.
US State department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the situation in Mosul was "extremely serious" and that the US supported "a strong, co-ordinated response to push back against this aggression".
A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "gravely concerned" at the situation.
Heading to Kurdistan
Sources have told BBC Arabic that the tens of thousands of fleeing refugees are heading to three towns in the nearby region of Kurdistan where authorities have set up temporary camps for them.
Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani issued a statement appealing to the UN refugee agency for help.
Security sources told the BBC that fierce fighting had erupted between Iraqi forces and ISIS fighters in a town called Rashad near Kirkuk, south-east of Mosul.
There were also reports that jihadists had seized other areas of Kirkuk and two towns in the neighbouring Salaheddin province.
In a televised announcement, Mr Maliki said that security forces had been placed on a state of "maximum alert".
He also said he had asked parliament to declare a state of emergency - which would broaden arrest powers and allow curfews to be imposed - and a "general mobilisation" of civilians.
Parts of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, and much of the nearby city of Fallujah have been under the control of ISIS and its allies since late December.
ISIS has also been informally controlling much of Nineveh province for months, and in the past week has attacked other areas of western and northern Iraq, killing scores of people.
The Iraqi government is struggling with a surge in sectarian violence that killed almost 800 people, including 603 civilians, in May alone, according to the UN. Last year, more than 8,860 people died.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2014 at 21:55
A very serious situation in Iraq. Not exactly al-Qaeda, but the Sunni fundamentalist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has now taken over Mosul and Tikrit, in addition to Ramadi and Fallujah, which they captured a while back. The Shiite fundamentalist government in Iran won't like this at all, so close to their border. It's also a threat to the continued existance of the official Iraqi government, which is supposed to be a composite of Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds.
I imagine that many of the refugees fleeing south are Shiites, and probably Arabic or Aramean Christians as well.
 
It's a very complicated situation. The conservative Sunni Arab states of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, etc., aren't going to want to be seen as supporting Shiites against Sunni fundamentalists. But the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIL) has long been considered a terrorist organization, allied with al-Qaeda (though they've recently opposed each other in Syria), and they won't want to be seen as supporting terrorists, either. The Syrian regime (a composite of Alawites, Shiites, Sunnis, Christians, etc.) is  offering  aid to the Iraqi government.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2014 at 22:30
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

It seems to be that the billions of dollars the US government spent in dispensing with Saddam Husain and then Al Qaeda was money down the drain.  
 
Billions are down the drain, but you'll recall that it wasn't all spent to get rid of Saddam Hussein
Originally, the charge of developing WMD's was leveled, a transparent one remarked on as such at the time, and later more forcefully. Linking Iraq with 9/11 was also tried out by the administration's spin miesters, more subtly, but also more ludicrously. It was only later that the fallback position of removing Hussein, and spreading democracy to the Mid-East was announced, after the first two rationales fell through. And event his third iteration must raise eyebrows, as the world is littered with non-democratic regimes, and psychologically distressed dictators, some of whom enjoy enthusiastic support from Washington,  including, for a short time anyway- Mr Hussein himself. So why this particular time and place?
It's likely that the Cheney-Bush administration felt moved to engage in the Great Game, as the Brits once put it. The Russians had collapsed, and were busy swilling Vodka, and China had yet to prove herself. What better time to engage in a little power politics, and try and ensure America's position in a strategic part of the world? Iraq sits on, or is close to, masses of oil. It is also close to the arch-enemy Iran. More influence in the Persian Gulf area might also mean, indirectly, more leverage over energy hungry China. And as a side benefit, they could also take out an enemy of Israel, sure to be worth something.
Of course it didn't work out quite the way planned, and year after year of mayhem and body bags didn't play well with the voters, and so the half thought out scheme was abandoned, victory declared, and the now chaotic Iraqis left to themselves. Quite a clean up job, eh?
So now we continue to see the knock-on effects, as tribe and mystical belief are more appealing to some than the artificial creation of first the British and French imperialists, and then the re-installation attempt of the US. 


Edited by Captain Vancouver - 11 Jun 2014 at 22:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2014 at 02:25
Deja Vu all over again!
 
Yes I realise that the effort wasn't entirely about Saddam Hussein, but he did provide a handy fall back position. (No pun intended).
 
Is there currently a war going on anywhere in the world which isn't, in part at least, religion inspired? Islam inspired?
 
Once again, unfortunately, it's a Muslim country hitting the headlines with insurrection being the topic.
It begs the question, "Should the west turn a blind eye, and let them get on with it?"
 
On a humanitarian basis, of course not. But efforts to bring stability to the middle east over the past fifty years haven't exactly been successful. Where the US has interceded, a measure of peace has been found, which rapidly deteriorates when US forces  leave.
 
I believe that the same will apply to Afghanistan.
 
This current conflict with Sunni versus Shi'a again, is reminiscent of the middle ages Catholic versus Protestants-as I said, Middle Ages.
 
Will Islam ever know peace?
 
Quote
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.



How Many Roads lyrics - Bob Dylan | AllTheLyrics.com


Edited by toyomotor - 12 Jun 2014 at 02:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2014 at 03:23
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Deja Vu all over again!
 
Yes I realise that the effort wasn't entirely about Saddam Hussein, but he did provide a handy fall back position. (No pun intended).
 
Is there currently a war going on anywhere in the world which isn't, in part at least, religion inspired? Islam inspired?

There are zero wars going on today based on religion. All religion is a projection of human angst, and as such is all about us, not metaphysical belief.

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

 
Once again, unfortunately, it's a Muslim country hitting the headlines with insurrection being the topic.
It begs the question, "Should the west turn a blind eye, and let them get on with it?"
 
On a humanitarian basis, of course not. But efforts to bring stability to the middle east over the past fifty years haven't exactly been successful. Where the US has interceded, a measure of peace has been found, which rapidly deteriorates when US forces  leave.
 
I believe that the same will apply to Afghanistan.

I have to disagree with you here toyomotor. The west has interceded repeatedly over the years in the Middle East, in almost all cases for their own strategic interests. From the imperial division of the Middle East at the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, to the Bush II intervention in Iraq, it has been all about what is best for western interests. If this has included some humanitarian aid, then great. If it has included large volumes of napalm or white phosphorus, then that that was the course of action.

US policy in the Mid-East has never been about stability, but what has been best of US strategic interests. This has meant for the most part secure access to oil resources, but also since about the mid to late '60s the national interests of Israel. If "stabilizing" things has met those criteria, then excellent. If throwing a monkey wrench into the region's apparatus, then also excellent, in the view of the state department. History has documented this.

The US (and at times other western countries) have supported heinous dictators (in Iran, Egypt, Saudi, and other places) if it suited their interests. They have supported and encouraged morally wrong issues (Israel's takeover of Palestine) provided enough incentive was there.

There has been no measure of peace after US interventions. Only the churning and disconcerting turn of the wheel of violence and retribution that follows from aggressive and self interested actions.
 
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

This current conflict with Sunni versus Shi'a again, is reminiscent of the middle ages Catholic versus Protestants-as I said, Middle Ages.  

Yep, it is. And until we can leave magic and mysticism behind, and put more value on a liberal arts education, we will be a long time evolving away from this sort of stuff.


 
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Will Islam ever know peace?
 
Quote
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.



How Many Roads lyrics - Bob Dylan | AllTheLyrics.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2014 at 07:33
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

[QUOTE=toyomotor]
Deja Vu all over again!
  
There are zero wars going on today based on religion. All religion is a projection of human angst, and as such is all about us, not metaphysical belief.
 
So, the problems in Syria have no religious aspect-purely political?
 
The Political Parties involved are mixed Sunni-Shi'a?
 
There is no religious element to the current problems in Iraq?
 
I'd go so far as to say that the root cause of most middle east problems is the Sunni-Shi'a conflict.-, that and the fact that in some areas, Islam remains rooted in the Medieval period.
 
Let's not play semantics here Captain.


Edited by toyomotor - 12 Jun 2014 at 07:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2014 at 12:20
The Sunni-Shia divide was deliberately stocked up and brought to a head by British and American agents during the Iraqi occupation in order to divide and conquer. Furthermore Journalists love it as a go-to explanation for everything because it saves on thinking or actual understanding.

The billions of dollars were only wasted if you think that the purpose of the Iraqi invasion or continued destabilisation in the middle east has something to do with the middle east. It doesn't. Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, BAE, Thallas and co have all made great profits from it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2014 at 13:17
@toyomotor, don't produce stuff out of thin air.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27802746
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2014 at 15:44
Quote
 
ISLAMIC jihadists were 90km from Baghdad last night after vowing to march into the Iraq capital with “a score to settle”.

Iraqi security forces were scrambling to fortify Baghdad in expectation of a push by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, whose gains in northern Iraq have stunned the Iraqi and Western governments.

The US was considering providing Iraq with drones to try to repel the advancing gunmen, whose mission is the establishment of a caliphate spanning parts of Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

After storming through northern Iraq — taking Mosul, Iraq’s second city — with summary ­executions and kidnappings, ISIS triggered a refugee crisis of an estimated 500,000 people.

In a new audio recording, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi urged his fighters to march on Baghdad because they had “a score to settle”, the BBC reported.

ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani declared fighters would take Baghdad and Karbala, a city southwest of the capital and one of the holiest sites for Shia Muslims.

The group seized the town of Dhuluiyah, 90km from Baghdad, witnesses and officials said, adding that the nearby Muatassam area had also fallen last night.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said security forces were “getting ready” for a counter-­offensive against ISIS.

“We are not going to allow this situation to carry on, regardless of the price,” he said. Mr Maliki announced his intention to try to arm civilians so they could defend themselves against ISIS.

He was attempting to get parliament to declare a state of emergency, which would allow the government to limit public movement and impose curfews.

Washington is considering several options for military assistance, including drone strikes, a US official was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse.

Washington appeared surprised at the sudden victories of ISIS. “We are working together to roll back aggression and counter the threat,” US National Security Adviser Susan Rice said.

But the US was not considering sending ground troops back to Iraq, where about 4500 US ­soldiers died in the eight years after the 2003 US-led invasion.

“The US must do more to strengthen our partner’s capacity to defeat the terrorist threat on their home turf by providing them the necessary training, equipment and support,” Ms Rice said.

After taking control of Mosul on Tuesday night (AEST), the rebels headed south and took Tikrit yesterday, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein. In addition to Fallujah, which it seized in January, ISIS now controls significant parts of the country.

This week Iraqi forces have capitulated in the face of the advancing ISIS fighters, some shedding their uniforms. In their retreat they joined the flood of refugees, many of whom fled to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

Eighty Turkish citizens have been taken hostage — 31 truck drivers and 49 people inside the Turkish consulate in Mosul. Turkey threatened “retaliation” if ISIS harmed any of the hostages.

ISIS is an offshoot of al-Qa’ida although in recent months the two groups have fallen out.

As an indication of how the Iraq crisis is changing the politics of the Middle East, Iran and the Assad regime in Syria offered to help Iraq fight the “terrorists” of ISIS.

Any attempt by ISIS to push into Baghdad is likely to be met with armed opposition.

Northern Iraq is heavily Sunni — ISIS is a Sunni group — while Baghdad has a much larger percentage of Shia Muslims.

 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2014 at 17:41
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

 
So, the problems in Syria have no religious aspect-purely political?
 
The Political Parties involved are mixed Sunni-Shi'a?
 
There is no religious element to the current problems in Iraq?
 
I'd go so far as to say that the root cause of most middle east problems is the Sunni-Shi'a conflict.-, that and the fact that in some areas, Islam remains rooted in the Medieval period.
 
Let's not play semantics here Captain.

I'm sure many of the participants here would insist to the death that this is all about religion. But really, all one needs is an identifiable group that then experiences real or imagined wrongs, which then build animosity and eventually violence. These things can then be self sustaining. The philosophical beliefs are essentially unimportant. Just look at all the religious, ethnic, racial or national conflicts in history. In many cases, one would have been hard put to perceive any differences in the opponents. 

Many of these groups have lived beside each other in peace for long periods of time. Sunni/Shia, Arab/Jew, you name it, the philosophical beliefs have always been of much less important than the prevailing political and emotional climate. But once conflict gets started, then feelings harden, and the cycle goes on.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014 at 01:47
Captain wrote:
Quote Many of these groups have lived beside each other in peace for long periods of time. Sunni/Shia, Arab/Jew, you name it, the philosophical beliefs have always been of much less important than the prevailing political and emotional climate. But once conflict gets started, then feelings harden, and the cycle goes on.
 
I can't argue with that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014 at 04:20
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

[
Billions are down the drain, but you'll recall that it wasn't all spent to get rid of Saddam Hussein.


And how does that old conspiracy theory go again?

Quote
Originally, the charge of developing WMD's was leveled, a transparent one remarked on as such at the time, and later more forcefully. Linking Iraq with 9/11 was also tried out by the administration's spin miesters, more subtly, but also more ludicrously.


Depends on who you believe. The left side supporting this or the right side denying it. Personally, aside from Cheney believing it to be so, most of the spin was done throughout the media that has continued to cloud this issue.

Quote
 It was only later that the fallback position of removing Hussein, and spreading democracy to the Mid-East was announced, after the first two rationales fell through.


Why thank you very much for summing up the US position. I am so glad you live here and listened to all the ins and outs on what to do with Saddam Hussein since 1988.

I remember a time through out the 90's and for a few short years after the towers fell, that the removal of Hussein was a bipartisan effort in the US, until it was politically unpopular  to do so. The ol' "I voted for it before i voted against it" schtick! Quite the pu**y move leaving the other half of the country to become the villians.

Quote
And event his third iteration must raise eyebrows, as the world is littered with non-democratic regimes, and psychologically distressed dictators, some of whom enjoy enthusiastic support from Washington,  including, for a short time anyway- Mr Hussein himself. So why this particular time and place?


Unlike for most of the world, as the rest of the coalition left the region after the first gulf war in 91, the US and only a few allies remained behind (At the behest of the UN) to make sure Saddam abandoned his WMD capabilities and that he didn't kill anymore Iraqi's. And for what? To become a punching bag!? Let me put this another way. For some one who lectures the rest of us on what Washington is doing only to follow it up with a non sequitur for a question, i would have thought the answer would have been obvious to you before it was to the rest of 7+ billion people on this god planet. Duh... US greed, selfishness, war mongering and arrogance is the usual unthinking answer to such a unhistorical question

Quote
It's likely that the Cheney-Bush administration felt moved to engage in the Great Game, as the Brits once put it. The Russians had collapsed, and were busy swilling Vodka, and China had yet to prove herself. What better time to engage in a little power politics, and try and ensure America's position in a strategic part of the world? Iraq sits on, or is close to, masses of oil. It is also close to the arch-enemy Iran. More influence in the Persian Gulf area might also mean, indirectly, more leverage over energy hungry China. And as a side benefit, they could also take out an enemy of Israel, sure to be worth something.


That's the usual non-thinking theory that is often trotted out  for the past 11 years continuously masquerading as a fact.  I have my opinions as well, but their based on chronological events beginning in the late eighties that drove this to it's inevitable conclusion once the towers fell. I suspect, much better historians in the future will have a much better handle of the situation than us current know it alls.
Quote
Of course it didn't work out quite the way planned, and year after year of mayhem and body bags didn't play well with the voters, and so the half thought out scheme was abandoned, victory declared, and the now chaotic Iraqis left to themselves. Quite a clean up job, eh?


Whoa! Has the world stopped spinning or is the good captain actually going to blame Obama for abandoning the Iraqi's to this fate. Never mind the fact that Bush had intended to have residual bases left behind to help the Iraqi's out of a situation that is now becoming a reality. Nope, Obama gave up on SOFA, abandoned Iraq to his successful vision. 

Quote
So now we continue to see the knock-on effects, as tribe and mystical belief are more appealing to some than the artificial creation of first the British and French imperialists, and then the re-installation attempt of the US. 


This is the first thing you said that i can agree with. For a more worthwhile and in depth reading for what is going on; Who will have Mosul?  Dare to go beyond the headlines!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014 at 05:00
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:



There are zero wars going on today based on religion. All religion is a projection of human angst, and as such is all about us, not metaphysical belief.


You really need to read what the terrorist jahadis are writing because it is about expanding their religion, the reestablishment of the caliphate and making all of us into good little Muslims.


Quote
I have to disagree with you here toyomotor. The west has interceded repeatedly over the years in the Middle East, in almost all cases for their own strategic interests. From the imperial division of the Middle East at the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, to the Bush II intervention in Iraq, it has been all about what is best for western interests. If this has included some humanitarian aid, then great. If it has included large volumes of napalm or white phosphorus, then that that was the course of action.


History isn't static, it is a progression of events. If you really think this is all to do with what happened in the 20th and 21st centuries, than brother have i got a building to sell to you!

Quote
US policy in the Mid-East has never been about stability, but what has been best of US strategic interests. This has meant for the most part secure access to oil resources, but also since about the mid to late '60s the national interests of Israel. If "stabilizing" things has met those criteria, then excellent. If throwing a monkey wrench into the region's apparatus, then also excellent, in the view of the state department. History has documented this.


Yes, history has documented this and the political agendas out there have further corrupted history for their own agendas. Yes, i do agree the US like any state has it's strategic interests in the middle east based more around oil and to a lesser extent, Israel. The strategic interest of the US surrounding oil is it's availability to the rest of the world and not for us or our control. Control and output is still held by OPEC. That doesn't mean they can secure this trade without outside intervention, the Iran-Iraq war laid this out clearly for non-politicized analysts too see. If other and more countries are blocked off from middle eastern oil, that tends to have a ripple effect that eventually affects the US; ergo it is felt throughout the global economy.

Israel, since the 80's being more and more touted as the evil entity that is driving middle eastern instability, had captured US interest in it surviving as a state, first because of the cold war (Anyone remember that? Duh.) against each succeeding Arab coalition supported by the Soviets in wiping out Israel. Then there was a quid pro quo. We had the arms, they had the money. And they were especially keen on securing these arms for their survival (For some reason, hmmmm...) Third, the tiny little state of Israel, when compared with the Nasser's, Assad's, Arafat's and Saddam Hussein's of the region just seemed a lot less insane than their opponents from the late 40's through to the 80's were. Instead of be unstable, Israel appeared to be the most stable country in the region.

Quote
The US (and at times other western countries) have supported heinous dictators (in Iran, Egypt, Saudi, and other places) if it suited their interests. They have supported and encouraged morally wrong issues (Israel's takeover of Palestine) provided enough incentive was there.


Geezus, let's just ignore cold war history for some good ol west bashing!

Quote
There has been no measure of peace after US interventions. Only the churning and disconcerting turn of the wheel of violence and retribution that follows from aggressive and self interested actions.
 


Yeah, democracy sucks like that.


[quote]
Yep, it is. And until we can leave magic and mysticism behind, and put more value on a liberal arts education, we will be a long time evolving away from this sort of stuff.

That would be fine if we weren't so caught up in our equal biases towards one another.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014 at 07:16
Panther: WOW!!!
 
We don't see anything from you for a while, and then you come out both guns blazing.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014 at 12:50
This is a disgusting situation.  But it will be under control soon and there will be a reckoning for the sponsors of these dogs for what they have done to Syria and Iraq.


Edited by Zagros - 13 Jun 2014 at 12:57
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014 at 16:39
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

[
Billions are down the drain, but you'll recall that it wasn't all spent to get rid of Saddam Hussein.


And how does that old conspiracy theory go again?

Quote
Originally, the charge of developing WMD's was leveled, a transparent one remarked on as such at the time, and later more forcefully. Linking Iraq with 9/11 was also tried out by the administration's spin miesters, more subtly, but also more ludicrously.


Depends on who you believe. The left side supporting this or the right side denying it. Personally, aside from Cheney believing it to be so, most of the spin was done throughout the media that has continued to cloud this issue.
Whoah- Mr P, I hardly know where to begin. I hope the pounding hasn't damaged your keyboard.
There are no conspiracies or media spin involved here. Pronouncements were made by White House spokesmen, and duly reported in the media. This is pretty cut and dried. M. Bush & co. did not want, as they put it, a mushroom cloud to appear over an American city, and so they were going to take preemptive action. This despite the fact that the UN weapons inspector on the ground at the time told them there were no WMDs in Iraq, and the situation was under control. This despite the fact that several major US allies told them this course of action was wrong-headed, and would lead to disaster. Even Colin Powell, then US secretary of state, later admitted that the information he had presented was wrong.
And of course, no WMDs were found. It was at that time that the new rationale made its appearance. In speech after speech, Bush and others in the administration continually made referrence to Saddam Hussein and terrorists, implicitly suggesting that there was a link. It worked. Polls at the time showed a vast number of Americans thought there was a link between Iraq and 9/11. The actual situation was just the opposite. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, but after the US invasion, it became a magnet for extremists who flocked in to the mayhem.


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Quote
 It was only later that the fallback position of removing Hussein, and spreading democracy to the Mid-East was announced, after the first two rationales fell through.


Why thank you very much for summing up the US position. I am so glad you live here and listened to all the ins and outs on what to do with Saddam Hussein since 1988.

Your welcome. Your old captain has been observing events from long before 1988, which was around the time, by the way, that the US was willing to sell arms to Hussein, as that happened to meet the needs of realpolitik, which is what we are discussing here.


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


I remember a time through out the 90's and for a few short years after the towers fell, that the removal of Hussein was a bipartisan effort in the US, until it was politically unpopular  to do so. The ol' "I voted for it before i voted against it" schtick! Quite the pu**y move leaving the other half of the country to become the villians.

Quote
And event his third iteration must raise eyebrows, as the world is littered with non-democratic regimes, and psychologically distressed dictators, some of whom enjoy enthusiastic support from Washington,  including, for a short time anyway- Mr Hussein himself. So why this particular time and place?


Unlike for most of the world, as the rest of the coalition left the region after the first gulf war in 91, the US and only a few allies remained behind (At the behest of the UN) to make sure Saddam abandoned his WMD capabilities and that he didn't kill anymore Iraqi's. And for what? To become a punching bag!? Let me put this another way. For some one who lectures the rest of us on what Washington is doing only to follow it up with a non sequitur for a question, i would have thought the answer would have been obvious to you before it was to the rest of 7+ billion people on this god planet. Duh... US greed, selfishness, war mongering and arrogance is the usual unthinking answer to such a unhistorical question

Yes, they did stay behind, and did the job. So then, the question remains, why invade if the job was done? Administration insiders such as Richard Clarke and Colin Powell have stated that there were no WMDs, the UN weapons inspectors said there were no WMDs. Are these folks all left-wing conspirators?

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Quote
It's likely that the Cheney-Bush administration felt moved to engage in the Great Game, as the Brits once put it. The Russians had collapsed, and were busy swilling Vodka, and China had yet to prove herself. What better time to engage in a little power politics, and try and ensure America's position in a strategic part of the world? Iraq sits on, or is close to, masses of oil. It is also close to the arch-enemy Iran. More influence in the Persian Gulf area might also mean, indirectly, more leverage over energy hungry China. And as a side benefit, they could also take out an enemy of Israel, sure to be worth something.


That's the usual non-thinking theory that is often trotted out  for the past 11 years continuously masquerading as a fact.  I have my opinions as well, but their based on chronological events beginning in the late eighties that drove this to it's inevitable conclusion once the towers fell. I suspect, much better historians in the future will have a much better handle of the situation than us current know it alls.

I'd be interested in reading your theory if you post it here.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Whoa! Has the world stopped spinning or is the good captain actually going to blame Obama for abandoning the Iraqi's to this fate. Never mind the fact that Bush had intended to have residual bases left behind to help the Iraqi's out of a situation that is now becoming a reality. Nope, Obama gave up on SOFA, abandoned Iraq to his successful vision.

There are no US bases in Iraq today for the same reason there are non in Vietnam, and will be none in Afghanistan. These sort of ventures must weigh the merits of geopolitical gain or loss, and also public opinion. A constant low level guerrilla war, in which young men and women are send to  possible death or disfigurement on into the indefinite future, was weighed against the muddle-headed original idea of advantage in the Persian Gulf. Either Bush or Obama would have had to come to the same conclusion.


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Quote
So now we continue to see the knock-on effects, as tribe and mystical belief are more appealing to some than the artificial creation of first the British and French imperialists, and then the re-installation attempt of the US. 


This is the first thing you said that i can agree with. For a more worthwhile and in depth reading for what is going on; Who will have Mosul?  Dare to go beyond the headlines!

I have dared a number of times, which is why I am going to answer your next post, after breakfast.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014 at 18:10
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:



There are zero wars going on today based on religion. All religion is a projection of human angst, and as such is all about us, not metaphysical belief.


You really need to read what the terrorist jahadis are writing because it is about expanding their religion, the reestablishment of the caliphate and making all of us into good little Muslims.

I have no doubt they are convinced of their beliefs. As are many who believe in alien abduction, wrist magnets, pyramid power, faith healing, and any number of  other notions. But religion is always grounded in human angst; it is a projection of human needs and desires. Hence, it is all about us, and nothing about metaphysical entities. If it was, then we would have philosophers sitting around and debating alternate realities over coffee. The fact that some are driven to kill means that psychological issues have risen to the fore. And very often we do not need to dig deep to find the political, social, or psychological forces that are shaping "religious" behavior.


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Quote
I have to disagree with you here toyomotor. The west has interceded repeatedly over the years in the Middle East, in almost all cases for their own strategic interests. From the imperial division of the Middle East at the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, to the Bush II intervention in Iraq, it has been all about what is best for western interests. If this has included some humanitarian aid, then great. If it has included large volumes of napalm or white phosphorus, then that that was the course of action.


History isn't static, it is a progression of events. If you really think this is all to do with what happened in the 20th and 21st centuries, than brother have i got a building to sell to you!

All history is an influence, but there are two basic kinds. In one, we have the remaining facts on the ground that can have an effect on life today. In the other, we have cultural and historical readings, which one can consume, and decide what sort of behavior we would like to adopt in response. And it is a choice. If your family had played a dirty trick on you, and insisted that you are really Malaysian, but merely living in Texas temporarily, you may well have developed different beliefs about both Malaysia and the US. We are what we are today, and the rest contains a great deal of hubris.

Yes, the Mid-East has a long history of conflict of their own, but the fact remains that European and US interventions over the last 100 years or so have left a considerable impact on the landscape, in particular the 1919 drawing up of boundaries to suit western interests, not Middle East ones.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Quote
US policy in the Mid-East has never been about stability, but what has been best of US strategic interests. This has meant for the most part secure access to oil resources, but also since about the mid to late '60s the national interests of Israel. If "stabilizing" things has met those criteria, then excellent. If throwing a monkey wrench into the region's apparatus, then also excellent, in the view of the state department. History has documented this.


Yes, history has documented this and the political agendas out there have further corrupted history for their own agendas. Yes, i do agree the US like any state has it's strategic interests in the middle east based more around oil and to a lesser extent, Israel. The strategic interest of the US surrounding oil is it's availability to the rest of the world and not for us or our control. Control and output is still held by OPEC. That doesn't mean they can secure this trade without outside intervention, the Iran-Iraq war laid this out clearly for non-politicized analysts too see. If other and more countries are blocked off from middle eastern oil, that tends to have a ripple effect that eventually affects the US; ergo it is felt throughout the global economy.

Absolutely. In our small world of today, no country is an island, not even the US. A crashing of the world economy would have dire consequences for the US.


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Israel, since the 80's being more and more touted as the evil entity that is driving middle eastern instability, had captured US interest in it surviving as a state, first because of the cold war (Anyone remember that? Duh.) against each succeeding Arab coalition supported by the Soviets in wiping out Israel. Then there was a quid pro quo. We had the arms, they had the money. And they were especially keen on securing these arms for their survival (For some reason, hmmmm...) Third, the tiny little state of Israel, when compared with the Nasser's, Assad's, Arafat's and Saddam Hussein's of the region just seemed a lot less insane than their opponents from the late 40's through to the 80's were. Instead of be unstable, Israel appeared to be the most stable country in the region.

1) Israel is being "touted" as evil because it continues an illegal occupation and land grab. It is hard for many in the US to see this, but it incenses many people in Arab countries, and is indeed a great source of instability. The 9/11 hijackers listed this as one of their reasons for their actions.

2) The cold war is a weak example of US support for Israel. Initially, US policy towards Israel was much more neutral. Unquestioned backing didn't really begin until the Nixon/Kissinger era, well into the cold war. And the cold war ended in 1991. If anything, US support for Israel is now stronger than ever.

3) They don't have the money. Israel gets billions in military aid gratis, thanks to the US taxpayer.

4) Stability is not necessarily a requirement for US support, if we review history. Why Israel?


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Quote
The US (and at times other western countries) have supported heinous dictators (in Iran, Egypt, Saudi, and other places) if it suited their interests. They have supported and encouraged morally wrong issues (Israel's takeover of Palestine) provided enough incentive was there.


Geezus, let's just ignore cold war history for some good ol west bashing!

The cold war ended some time ago. Listing this as an excuse for supporting questionable regimes is less than effective.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Quote
There has been no measure of peace after US interventions. Only the churning and disconcerting turn of the wheel of violence and retribution that follows from aggressive and self interested actions.
 


Yeah, democracy sucks like that.




Iraq is not a democracy in the western sense.


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


[quote]
Yep, it is. And until we can leave magic and mysticism behind, and put more value on a liberal arts education, we will be a long time evolving away from this sort of stuff.

That would be fine if we weren't so caught up in our equal biases towards one another.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 01:12
A good analysis of the situation here, from someone with experience in the area:



"..The American invasion of Iraq revealed the ineptitude of leading from the gut, whether based on imperial interest or neo-conservative belief, and ignoring evidence-driven reality. Despite continuing investment in the Iraqi military, the current fragmentation of Iraqi society and the irreversibility of conflict once the ethnic spectre is fully awoken begs the question of whether there is any alternative to authoritarian rule. Indeed, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is no democrat, although it is difficult, so far at least, to compare his brutality to that of his predecessor. The Prime Minister presides over a fractured state whose boundaries were drawn by the colonial powers during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. These borders ignored ethnic and discordant belief systems of which Iraq is a prime example..."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/iraqs-disaster-shows-the-folly-of-our-meddling/article19155314/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 08:06
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:


Whoah- Mr P, I hardly know where to begin. I hope the pounding hasn't damaged your keyboard.
There are no conspiracies or media spin involved here. Pronouncements were made by White House spokesmen, and duly reported in the media. This is pretty cut and dried. M. Bush & co. did not want, as they put it, a mushroom cloud to appear over an American city, and so they were going to take preemptive action.


Sure, and the media never takes anything out of context. Never shapes a story to make it sell. Interestingly, i remember politicians from both sides of the aisle expressing this fear and the administration reacting to these public announcements as to taking measures in preventing such an eventuality from happening.

Quote
 This despite the fact that the UN weapons inspector on the ground at the time told them there were no WMDs in Iraq, and the situation was under control. This despite the fact that several major US allies told them this course of action was wrong-headed, and would lead to disaster. Even Colin Powell, then US secretary of state, later admitted that the information he had presented was wrong.


Yes, and too bad the administration's usual crystal ball was out of service leaving them to rely on the back up magic eight ball. Geeze, as if this wasn't a confusing enough situation where some decision had too be taken. Glad to have all the Monday morning quarterbacks come out of the wood work after the fact.
I believe the administration and bipartisan politicians (Befoe they turned into a bunch of pu**ies) felt it safe to go with what they knew about Saddam, that he was bluffing about their destruction and the only way too know for sure was to take him out. We did and we darn well know for sure now, don't we.  The situation now in Iraq, as it was through the 90's up to his removal, in my view was all of his own making.  He manipulated people into believing he was indispensable all the while continuing to starve and abuse his country to blame his enemies and make others look bad and corrupting an organization that was supposed to keep him contained. Nope, i sure as in hell am not going to weep over his removal!

Quote
And of course, no WMDs were found. It was at that time that the new rationale made its appearance. In speech after speech, Bush and others in the administration continually made referrence to Saddam Hussein and terrorists, implicitly suggesting that there was a link. It worked. Polls at the time showed a vast number of Americans thought there was a link between Iraq and 9/11. The actual situation was just the opposite. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, but after the US invasion, it became a magnet for extremists who flocked in to the mayhem.


This is the type of partisan sh*t  stories the media loves to push. Bush didn't link Iraq with 9-11, he believed however that according to reports that there was some sort of ties between Saddam's government and Al Qaeda. This is a humungous difference. That it turned out to be low level -getting to know one another - sort of meetings that didn't go anywhere was the truth that eventually worked it's way out in time. They did flirt with Al Qaeda. And at the time, any sort of contact with them was suggestive proof that something of no good was being planned. This is the nature of the fog of war. This is one of the problems in abandoning HUMINT back in the 70's and trying to restart it in the midst of mass confusion; re: Curve ball.

Quote
Your welcome. Your old captain has been observing events from long before 1988, which was around the time, by the way, that the US was willing to sell arms to Hussein, as that happened to meet the needs of realpolitik, which is what we are discussing here.


Puh-lease. Why don't you go further and tell us who else was selling him weapons and other questionable items. France, Germany, Soviet Union/Russia, China, The UK and Germany too name a few. I've even heard unsubstantiated rumors that Canada got into the act. But anyways... pointing out the facts that there were a host of other countries getting in on the game might just ruin the nice little blame only the US narrative that has been established! D'oh!

Quote
Yes, they did stay behind, and did the job. So then, the question remains, why invade if the job was done? Administration insiders such as Richard Clarke and Colin Powell have stated that there were no WMDs, the UN weapons inspectors said there were no WMDs. Are these folks all left-wing conspirators?


The job was not done, or did you not notice the UN food for oil fiasco and vote buying corruption was undermining the very raison d'être for what we even bothered involving ourselves in the first place. Another year or two and Saddam would have had the votes and enough corrupted officials to see the sanctions lifted off of him. What was the point in the US and it's few remaining allies to enforce UN resolutions other than to take the fall for the corruption of others and the continuing blame in further propping up Saddam's regime?


Quote
There are no US bases in Iraq today for the same reason there are non in Vietnam, and will be none in Afghanistan. These sort of ventures must weigh the merits of geopolitical gain or loss, and also public opinion. A constant low level guerrilla war, in which young men and women are send to  possible death or disfigurement on into the indefinite future, was weighed against the muddle-headed original idea of advantage in the Persian Gulf. Either Bush or Obama would have had to come to the same conclusion.


No US bases in Iraq at the moment, but that could change very quickly? Afghanistan, unless plans have changed, like i've always maintained will have a residual force of around 5 - 10 thousands troops remaining. AFAIK that is still the plan? And Vietnam, the irony here is that with it's growing tension with the Chinese in the South China sea might mean a US base or two might happen to find itself back in operation in this country in the coming years.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 08:17

Panther wrote:

Quote
1.      Sure, and the media never takes anything out of context. Never shapes a story to make it sell. Interestingly, I remember politicians from both sides of the aisle expressing this fear and the administration reacting to these public announcements as to taking measures in preventing such an eventuality from happening.
and
2.      No US bases in Iraq at the moment, but that could change very quickly? Afghanistan, unless plans have changed, like I've always maintained will have a residual force of around 5 - 10 thousands troops remaining. AFAIK that is still the plan? And Vietnam, the irony here is that with it's growing tension with the Chinese in the South China sea might mean a US base or two might happen to find itself back in operation in this country in the coming years.

I read of a case or cases somewhere a while ago about the media actually influencing government actions, before the government had decided that there was an issue. I don't think it unusual that the media has such power, quite the contrary. And of course the media never twists the facts in order to create a better story.

Of course the media is capable of “driving” an issue, shaping it to the medias benefit, and in the process, misleading the public as to the actual facts.

Imo, the WMD publicity was one such case.

The latest from the US government is that it has no intention of deploying ground troops to Iraq, but is considering "other options"

Between those "in the know" HUMINT has always been the most reliable, but it also poses the danger of false info being fed to a source, or a source defecting to the other side.
 


Edited by toyomotor - 14 Jun 2014 at 08:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 10:08
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:



I have no doubt they are convinced of their beliefs. As are many who believe in alien abduction, wrist magnets, pyramid power, faith healing, and any number of  other notions. But religion is always grounded in human angst; it is a projection of human needs and desires. Hence, it is all about us, and nothing about metaphysical entities. If it was, then we would have philosophers sitting around and debating alternate realities over coffee. The fact that some are driven to kill means that psychological issues have risen to the fore. And very often we do not need to dig deep to find the political, social, or psychological forces that are shaping "religious" behavior.


I disagree. While i do not deny your point that angst is what fuels their ranks via propaganda and strictly controlled narratives, their goal isn't the alleviation of social ills, setting up psychological workshops or kicking out empires. The ultimate goal is power through a reestablished caliphate as they believe it will restore Islamic glory while turning the rest of the world into good little 2nd class Muslims. However, however... A bright spot for the rest of the world is their lack of cohesion and observed stratification via class, race, economy, culture and religious differences has kept them from being a pure unifying force for what they call the Ummah. It is their strict interpretation of Islam, or more correctly misinterpretation of Islam that causes all the problems.  Where ever they go and where ever they establish power, ends up alienating the hell out of the local populace by killing unbelieving Muslims (The Shia, kurds, and other Islamic minorities) and terrorizing the rest of the minorities that do not follow the Islamic faith, because it is all about religion to them.

Quote

All history is an influence, but there are two basic kinds. In one, we have the remaining facts on the ground that can have an effect on life today. In the other, we have cultural and historical readings, which one can consume, and decide what sort of behavior we would like to adopt in response. And it is a choice. If your family had played a dirty trick on you, and insisted that you are really Malaysian, but merely living in Texas temporarily, you may well have developed different beliefs about both Malaysia and the US. We are what we are today, and the rest contains a great deal of hubris.


Your talking about current propaganda and subjective beliefs. It's not my intention to argue this point with you. Rather, what i meant was the problems afflicting the middle east countries today stretch back shortly after the establishment of Islam and the break between the Sunnis and the Shia's and minorities that usually lose or to the two dominant branches.

Quote
Yes, the Mid-East has a long history of conflict of their own, but the fact remains that European and US interventions over the last 100 years or so have left a considerable impact on the landscape, in particular the 1919 drawing up of boundaries to suit western interests, not Middle East ones.


Yes, the evil west, if not for them, why the middle east would still be a Eden on earth. Uh-huh! Now, I suppose if the Ottoman empire hadn't sided with Germany in World War one and remained neutral it would have creaked along until it imploded somewhere at the mid century point or soon after and the result would be about the same mess we have now. The religious & nationalism would still come  to the fore, minorities would be fighting for or meekly acquiescing their place at the state political table, groups would branch off and fight the powers that be in whatever state and for what ever their reasoning, said states might end up looking abroad for help or just implode, land would still be fought over along with resources, Israel would still have come into existence, but at a little later date, oil would still be the main source of revenue (Still the lands blessing and it's curse) and the ills that afflict the land would still be blamed on a foreign entity rather than by the local political powers that be because it is more expedient than saying that their leaders are thoroughly corrupt screw ups without a clue on how to rule except for the acquisition of more power and more control.


Quote
Absolutely. In our small world of today, no country is an island, not even the US. A crashing of the world economy would have dire consequences for the US.


Not just for the US, but for the majority of the globe.


Quote

1) Israel is being "touted" as evil because it continues an illegal occupation and land grab. It is hard for many in the US to see this, but it incenses many people in Arab countries, and is indeed a great source of instability. The 9/11 hijackers listed this as one of their reasons for their actions.


I agreed with Zagros some time ago on Israels 1967 borders being legitimate and that they should not have kept what they captured from that war. However, that isn't the point a lot (But not all) of the locals. As it has been reported by Micheal Yon, Michael Totten or Bill Riggio's websites from time to time... when they say end the occupation, they mean the end of Israel and not Gaza or the West bank. Pretty plain and simple if the news wasn't so watered down now a days it might actually clarify the unique situation in this area far more than just tip toeing around it with political correctness and the need to find a bad guy. It either hurts Israel or it hurts the Palestinians without end until the destruction of one or the other, or maybe both.

Quote
2) The cold war is a weak example of US support for Israel. Initially, US policy towards Israel was much more neutral. Unquestioned backing didn't really begin until the Nixon/Kissinger era, well into the cold war. And the cold war ended in 1991. If anything, US support for Israel is now stronger than ever.


Yes, duh... i know that. We picked up the slack around the end of the 60's when the French grew tired of supporting Israel against the Soviet backed Arabic regimes.

Quote
3) They don't have the money. Israel gets billions in military aid gratis, thanks to the US taxpayer.


Nope, not anymore. Now we're idiotically subsidizing most of the countries on the globe with tax payer money and not just Israel. Why the focus on them only. Why not the other 150 or so countries we blindly send money too?

Quote
4) Stability is not necessarily a requirement for US support, if we review history. Why Israel?


If we review US foreign policy, the approach is mostly bilateral and not a one size fits all. So you won't find a unique formula that will explain what drives the US to do what it does in one country and not another. That is because a unique set of complex factors are always at play. Anyways, I believe it is still about stability and supporting an allied democracy in a unstable region.

Quote
The cold war ended some time ago. Listing this as an excuse for supporting questionable regimes is less than effective.


You brought up the events that happened during the cold war in a clueless manner. If you can't bother to remember what you lived through or read up on the events that drove the two superpower to do what they did from this particular era, than perhaps you might need to stop bothering with the subject of history and move onto something else?


Quote
Iraq is not a democracy in the western sense.


Why should they be one in a western sense. Democracy where ever it is tried can... and will still be a messy business because of us humans.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 10:24
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Panther wrote:

Quote
1.      Sure, and the media never takes anything out of context. Never shapes a story to make it sell. Interestingly, I remember politicians from both sides of the aisle expressing this fear and the administration reacting to these public announcements as to taking measures in preventing such an eventuality from happening.
and
2.      No US bases in Iraq at the moment, but that could change very quickly? Afghanistan, unless plans have changed, like I've always maintained will have a residual force of around 5 - 10 thousands troops remaining. AFAIK that is still the plan? And Vietnam, the irony here is that with it's growing tension with the Chinese in the South China sea might mean a US base or two might happen to find itself back in operation in this country in the coming years.

I read of a case or cases somewhere a while ago about the media actually influencing government actions, before the government had decided that there was an issue. I don't think it unusual that the media has such power, quite the contrary. And of course the media never twists the facts in order to create a better story.

I don't like it. No! I absolutely hate it because it divides people from one another, needlessly. And i do wish i could say they do not twist facts, or worse, create a story when there is none. But i've seen far too many horrendous examples of them doing so. Of course, this is our media doing this childish crap. I don't know about other countries.


Quote

Of course the media is capable of “driving” an issue, shaping it to the medias benefit, and in the process, misleading the public as to the actual facts.

I still want to naively believe that our media is not thoroughly politicized and not in the pocket of one party or the other, but i am afraid that this is so? Mostly in the pocket of the left but there are some news organizations that lean strongly to tipping over into the pocket of the right.

Quote Imo, the WMD publicity was one such case.

The latest from the US government is that it has no intention of deploying ground troops to Iraq, but is considering "other options"

Between those "in the know" HUMINT has always been the most reliable, but it also poses the danger of false info being fed to a source, or a source defecting to the other side.


HUMINT is reasonably reliable if an intelligence agency never abandons it. Ours did for the most part. I believe curve ball was the result this so called half a$$ed job having been thrown together quickly in order to figure out what the hell was really going on in Saddam's Iraq. If memory serves, it turns out that they just wanted a fast ticket out of Iraq and was willing to tell us anything too make that happen


Edited by Panther - 14 Jun 2014 at 10:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 10:48
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

A good analysis of the situation here, from someone with experience in the area:



"..The American invasion of Iraq revealed the ineptitude of leading from the gut, whether based on imperial interest or neo-conservative belief, and ignoring evidence-driven reality. Despite continuing investment in the Iraqi military, the current fragmentation of Iraqi society and the irreversibility of conflict once the ethnic spectre is fully awoken begs the question of whether there is any alternative to authoritarian rule. Indeed, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is no democrat, although it is difficult, so far at least, to compare his brutality to that of his predecessor. The Prime Minister presides over a fractured state whose boundaries were drawn by the colonial powers during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. These borders ignored ethnic and discordant belief systems of which Iraq is a prime example..."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/iraqs-disaster-shows-the-folly-of-our-meddling/article19155314/


Interesting commentary and thank you for sharing it. Unfortunately, my crystal ball is still a bit fuzzy on how this is all going to play out. So, I called the white house and asked to borrow their magic eight ball, but they declined my request because it is seeing heavy use currently. I guess i will just have to remain guarded but hopeful with the outcome.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 12:07
Quote Iraq is not a democracy in the western sense.

Western politicians say that it is. An announcement by the British government that they were not planning to interfere in the crisis mentions their democratic status as one reason for allowing Iraq to sort it's own problems.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 12:18
Panther wrote:
Quote

I still want to naively believe that our media is not thoroughly politicized and not in the pocket of one party or the other, but I am afraid that this is so? Mostly in the pocket of the left but there are some news organizations that lean strongly to tipping over into the pocket of the right.

I don't know if the Australian media is quite so blatant, but I will say that much of what is provided to us is driven by the US Media.

Australians aren't so naive as to believe all that they see and hear in the media, but it does become clear when it decides to take the front seat on a particular issue, and the government often succumbs.
 
From what I've seen over the years, I could easily believe that mainstream media in the USA is politicised, but I haven't read any reports from the media to confirm it.Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 18:57
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Sure, and the media never takes anything out of context. Never shapes a story to make it sell. Interestingly, i remember politicians from both sides of the aisle expressing this fear and the administration reacting to these public announcements as to taking measures in preventing such an eventuality from happening.
Yes, and that's why we must carefully take into account the credibility of sources, and the professional behavior (or lack of) of media outlets.


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:



Yes, and too bad the administration's usual crystal ball was out of service leaving them to rely on the back up magic eight ball. Geeze, as if this wasn't a confusing enough situation where some decision had too be taken. Glad to have all the Monday morning quarterbacks come out of the wood work after the fact.
I believe the administration and bipartisan politicians (Befoe they turned into a bunch of pu**ies) felt it safe to go with what they knew about Saddam, that he was bluffing about their destruction and the only way too know for sure was to take him out. We did and we darn well know for sure now, don't we.  The situation now in Iraq, as it was through the 90's up to his removal, in my view was all of his own making.  He manipulated people into believing he was indispensable all the while continuing to starve and abuse his country to blame his enemies and make others look bad and corrupting an organization that was supposed to keep him contained. Nope, i sure as in hell am not going to weep over his removal!

You are giving the impression here of an administration that didn't really know what was going on, but decided to blunder ahead anyway, killing 100,000 people, and later saying, hey look at the bright side, we did get ride of one heinous dictator.
That's bad enough in itself, but there are those close to the administration at the time, and also reputable historians that have looked into this, that make credible claims that WMDs were just an excuse for an otherwise unsalable geopolitical initiative, ie: strengthening America's hand in a strategic part of the world, by rather crude means. Richard Clarke, security adviser to the president, in his book Against all Enemies, says the Bush team was making invasion plans on Sept 12, 2001. When told that Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, based on the best evidence of US security agencies, the administration rejected this evidence, and continued with the Iraq plan. Paul O'Neill, Treasury Secretary at the time also backed this view.
Historian Gywnne Dyer has also written about the time, in a couple of books and in a number of articles.
There was no crystal ball gazing, and no evidence. It would have been politically unacceptable to tell Americans that they were going on a military adventure, in order to achieve the goals of some rather right wing principles in Washington, and too bad if your son in the army has to pay the price.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


This is the type of partisan sh*t  stories the media loves to push. Bush didn't link Iraq with 9-11, he believed however that according to reports that there was some sort of ties between Saddam's government and Al Qaeda. This is a humungous difference. That it turned out to be low level -getting to know one another - sort of meetings that didn't go anywhere was the truth that eventually worked it's way out in time. They did flirt with Al Qaeda. And at the time, any sort of contact with them was suggestive proof that something of no good was being planned. This is the nature of the fog of war. This is one of the problems in abandoning HUMINT back in the 70's and trying to restart it in the midst of mass confusion; re: Curve ball.


If the US invaded every country that "flirted" with a criminal organization, the streets would be deserted, as every man and woman would be needed in the military for the massive operation spanning every continent. Low level, and didn't go anywhere- exactly. There was nothing foggy about this, it was understood.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Puh-lease. Why don't you go further and tell us who else was selling him weapons and other questionable items. France, Germany, Soviet Union/Russia, China, The UK and Germany too name a few. I've even heard unsubstantiated rumors that Canada got into the act. But anyways... pointing out the facts that there were a host of other countries getting in on the game might just ruin the nice little blame only the US narrative that has been established! D'oh!

We are here to discuss history- the good, bad, and the ugly. I don't think we can get an accurate picture of past events, and hopefully learn something from them, by hoping that one's home team is not capable of less than honorable behavior. What has happened has happened, and those responsible-whomever- should either receive blame, or credit- but not whitewash.
My point here is that the US has been engaging in Realpolitik, just as many nations before, and currently. In other words, what is best for the perceived interests of those in power, regardless of how unpalatable they would seem to the general public. Iraq was not a crusade to promote democracy. It was not to stamp out terrorism. Saddam Hussein himself was mere collateral damage. It was not about WMDs.
If the fear of nuclear weapons was paramount, then why not invade N Korea? Here there was no question that they had them. They do. And they are under the control of a murderous crazy. Why not Pakistan? Here is one of the most unstable countries on the globe, with at least a few dozen nuclear weapons, that could come under the control of some Islamic  nutter quite easily.
The facts do not add up, and indeed have been refuted by key players there at the time.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


The job was not done, or did you not notice the UN food for oil fiasco and vote buying corruption was undermining the very raison d'être for what we even bothered involving ourselves in the first place. Another year or two and Saddam would have had the votes and enough corrupted officials to see the sanctions lifted off of him. What was the point in the US and it's few remaining allies to enforce UN resolutions other than to take the fall for the corruption of others and the continuing blame in further propping up Saddam's regime?


It was done in relation to looking for WMDs, according to the experts on the ground at the time. As for Iraq getting around sanctions, perhaps, but at that point Iraq was in a shambles, with little to no military capability. And if your response is going to be, well we couldn't let that heinous regime rise back up, not under any circumstances, then, what about all the others in the world, as bad or worse? What about the Congo, where millions were being killed, raped, and mutilated? There were (and are) no end of horrible events and just causes, so the question remains- why here and now? What made Iraq tower above all other causes, including ones more pressing, such as chasing down terrorists, dealing with (real) nuclear proliferation, mass murder and mayhem in Africa, or other items?
It's a rhetorical question of course, because the why has been rather studied and documented. It was low hanging fruit, the geopolitical gains from a takeover seen as much greater than any risk or downside. Unfortunately, it didn't work out like that.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

No US bases in Iraq at the moment, but that could change very quickly? Afghanistan, unless plans have changed, like i've always maintained will have a residual force of around 5 - 10 thousands troops remaining. AFAIK that is still the plan? And Vietnam, the irony here is that with it's growing tension with the Chinese in the South China sea might mean a US base or two might happen to find itself back in operation in this country in the coming years.
The US is not going back into Vietnam under any circumstances. There are no ground troops going back into Iraq. Afghanistan? Maybe a few CIA and special forces.
Why not? Ironically, because the US has proved to the world that these sort of interventions do not work, after several spectacular failures. Given voter fatigue with such missions, and the rising demands of social and infrastructure needs over military spending, it is extremely unlikely any similar missions will take place.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2014 at 00:16
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

 
I disagree. While i do not deny your point that angst is what fuels their ranks via propaganda and strictly controlled narratives, their goal isn't the alleviation of social ills, setting up psychological workshops or kicking out empires. The ultimate goal is power through a reestablished caliphate as they believe it will restore Islamic glory while turning the rest of the world into good little 2nd class Muslims. However, however... A bright spot for the rest of the world is their lack of cohesion and observed stratification via class, race, economy, culture and religious differences has kept them from being a pure unifying force for what they call the Ummah. It is their strict interpretation of Islam, or more correctly misinterpretation of Islam that causes all the problems.  Where ever they go and where ever they establish power, ends up alienating the hell out of the local populace by killing unbelieving Muslims (The Shia, kurds, and other Islamic minorities) and terrorizing the rest of the minorities that do not follow the Islamic faith, because it is all about religion to them.


Yes, they can alienate folks pretty fast, because it is really their own dysfunction they are acting out, not religious ideas as the vast majority see them today. We must look though to underlying social and political problems, because that is a big part of the picture, whether such extremists can comprehend it or not.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Your talking about current propaganda and subjective beliefs. It's not my intention to argue this point with you. Rather, what i meant was the problems afflicting the middle east countries today stretch back shortly after the establishment of Islam and the break between the Sunnis and the Shia's and minorities that usually lose or to the two dominant branches.

All it takes is at least two identifiable groups, some major slight or injustice done, and we have the seeds of conflict. The historical roots soon become illelavant. Catholic/Protestant, Arab/Jew, Gay/straight, you name it, conflict can occur, and it is a choice based on current perceptions, not on irredeemable historical facts. Those at peace yesterday can be at war today, and visa versa.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:



Yes, the evil west, if not for them, why the middle east would still be a Eden on earth. Uh-huh! Now, I suppose if the Ottoman empire hadn't sided with Germany in World War one and remained neutral it would have creaked along until it imploded somewhere at the mid century point or soon after and the result would be about the same mess we have now. The religious & nationalism would still come  to the fore, minorities would be fighting for or meekly acquiescing their place at the state political table, groups would branch off and fight the powers that be in whatever state and for what ever their reasoning, said states might end up looking abroad for help or just implode, land would still be fought over along with resources, Israel would still have come into existence, but at a little later date, oil would still be the main source of revenue (Still the lands blessing and it's curse) and the ills that afflict the land would still be blamed on a foreign entity rather than by the local political powers that be because it is more expedient than saying that their leaders are thoroughly corrupt screw ups without a clue on how to rule except for the acquisition of more power and more control.

I'm not saying the west is evil, just that there has been considerable interventions in that region in recent history, and that goes a long way to explaining why many things are as they are there today. Just think what the popular sentiment in America would be if the situation was reversed. If Arab states had either established protectorates, sent in troops, played off one US state against another, in order to get a grip on US resources, and also injected a Muslim community onto a choice bit of land they insist is theirs historically, how would the man in the street in the US react?

One of the problems in Iraq today is that it is a country drawn up by Europeans at the 1919 Paris peace conference. It includes several disparate ethnic groups, thrown together whether they like it or not.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:




I agreed with Zagros some time ago on Israels 1967 borders being legitimate and that they should not have kept what they captured from that war. However, that isn't the point a lot (But not all) of the locals. As it has been reported by Micheal Yon, Michael Totten or Bill Riggio's websites from time to time... when they say end the occupation, they mean the end of Israel and not Gaza or the West bank. Pretty plain and simple if the news wasn't so watered down now a days it might actually clarify the unique situation in this area far more than just tip toeing around it with political correctness and the need to find a bad guy. It either hurts Israel or it hurts the Palestinians without end until the destruction of one or the other, or maybe both.


The only land that could be considered morally and legally Israeli is perhaps the land bought and occupied in Palestine before 1948, and in some cases not even that. After that, Israel engaged in what is called today ethnic cleansing, and invasion of sovereign countries, both illegal in mainstream world view.

Whatever the case, today only the most radical in the Arab world call for the destruction of Israel, in the sense of tanks driving people into the sea. Both the Arab League, and the Palestinian Authority back a Saudi proposal from a few years back that  offers peace on reasonable terms. This includes a boundary based on the 1967 line, with agreed on adjustments for security or other purposes, Arab recognition and trade with Israel, and a refugee settlement that could include return, or financial compensation. 


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Yes, duh... i know that. We picked up the slack around the end of the 60's when the French grew tired of supporting Israel against the Soviet backed Arabic regimes.

Given this rationale then, US support for Israel should have slackened off after 1991, yes?


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Nope, not anymore. Now we're idiotically subsidizing most of the countries on the globe with tax payer money and not just Israel. Why the focus on them only. Why not the other 150 or so countries we blindly send money too?

The focus is on Israel because it tops the list- by far- yet is a small and relatively well off country that in reality has no strategic interests for the US to speak of. There are endless examples of other states that have massive problems, or that have vast utility for US geopolitical interests, or both, yet receive very  much less. India, for example, has struggled to remain a democracy, but has huge problems with poverty, and if built up could become an essential counterweight to a new and aggressive China. Yet India is far, far down the list from Israel. Delving into answers for this will lead us into unsavory territory I suspect.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:



If we review US foreign policy, the approach is mostly bilateral and not a one size fits all. So you won't find a unique formula that will explain what drives the US to do what it does in one country and not another. That is because a unique set of complex factors are always at play. Anyways, I believe it is still about stability and supporting an allied democracy in a unstable region.


Nonsense. The US has supported whoever has helped meet their foreign policy goals. Saudi Arabia and Egypt are two major partners in that region, and recipients of foreign aid. Neither are stable, nor examples of democracy.


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:



You brought up the events that happened during the cold war in a clueless manner. If you can't bother to remember what you lived through or read up on the events that drove the two superpower to do what they did from this particular era, than perhaps you might need to stop bothering with the subject of history and move onto something else?

No, you brought up the cold war as a rationale for US policy in this region. I stated that it ended in 1991, and so today we must consider other factors.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Why should they be one in a western sense. Democracy where ever it is tried can... and will still be a messy business because of us humans.



The original intent in Iraq was the destruction of WMDs, not the installation of democracy. I'll concede that a belated attempt was made in this direction, but clearly it is not working. Iraq is fracturing along ethnic and tribal lines. The conflict going on there today has little to do with democracy, but lots to do with sectarian animosity.


Edited by Captain Vancouver - 15 Jun 2014 at 00:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2014 at 07:14
Windemere wrote:
Quote Not exactly al-Qaeda
 
Well, let's not nitpick here. The insurgency was inspired by Al Qaeda, is armed by Al Qaeda, and some of its leaders have Al Qaeda links.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2014 at 23:10
Yes, I believe that ISIL developed out of al-Qaeda, was inspired by it, and ever since its inception has been allied with it. They probably share the same ultimate goals, and funding sources. But al-Qaeda's raison d'etre has been international terrorism. directed against the West. ISIL seems more bent upon territorial conquest. I suspect that much of ISIL's rank-and-file, as well as their military leaders, are coming from the old Iraqi army of Saddam Hussein. They've been disgruntled for the past ten years, and have joined the Sunni insurgency. They know the Iraqi terrain, and people.

Edited by Windemere - 15 Jun 2014 at 23:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2014 at 01:40
Originally posted by Windemere Windemere wrote:

Yes, I believe that ISIL developed out of al-Qaeda, was inspired by it, and ever since its inception has been allied with it. They probably share the same ultimate goals, and funding sources. But al-Qaeda's raison d'etre has been international terrorism. directed against the West. ISIL seems more bent upon territorial conquest. I suspect that much of ISIL's rank-and-file, as well as their military leaders, are coming from the old Iraqi army of Saddam Hussein. They've been disgruntled for the past ten years, and have joined the Sunni insurgency. They know the Iraqi terrain, and people.
 
Can't argue with that.
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