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Syrian Mess

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 22:31
We left out Kurds. They are almost neutral in the conflict. They are controlling their own domain in NE. They are around 10% of population and have ties to Iraqi Kurdistan and PKK. Wow, the picture is getting wider now. I guess they want autonomous status. Does the FSA accept this?

According to AJ. FSA is the strongest group among opposition and it is funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. What is the FSA consisted of? Nationalist? Islamists? Democrats? Anarchists? regular people with no political affiliation? Do you have any idea, AJ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 23:20

Officers and men who defected from the Syrian army. They have about 50k men on the ground with 20k being well armed enough to conduct military operations. Their leadership is secular and they have the best ties with the coordination councils.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 00:03
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Norway's not a terribly good example.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Norway

Did you actually read that link? Or did you just assume it supported your statement?
What is past is not necessarily settled.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 00:08
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

Shia and Alawite are 13% of population. 3k figure is stupid. As AJ said there are 74% Sunni Arabs in Syria. I assume there are different groups among Sunni Arabs: Brotherhood, Nationalists, Bathists, fundamentalists and smaller groups. This division makes the FSA weaker than an effective block against Assad regime. Even if they manage to overthrow Assad, there will be another power struggle among themselves, or they create a weak government just like Libya. 
Which party is the strongest among opposition?
 
Alawis are not shia, any one who thinks so doesn't know a thing about shias.
 
Alawis worship Ali, literally. Orthodox shia view until Khomaini came to power consider them apostates (according to an ancient scholar more than sunnis) and even today most cosider them as such. They don't believe in the twelvers nor follow any of the major shia tenets. Shias in Syria are roughly 3000 people maybe more since this is from an old census.
 
Alwais are indeed about 10%. But that gives them no special treatment except guarantees of their freedom of worship which no one denied them before Hafiz came and started following sectarian policies.
 
As for the rest of the 75%, Syria is not Libya. Short of an Iraqi scenario when the Americans literally fired every civil servant for being a Baathist and appointed ministers and civil servants based on their affiliation with groups that came aboard the American tanks (there was one minister who couldn't read or write Arabic because he spent his entire life in Iran) Syria will not collapse. In the "liberated areas" visited by journalists civil government exists and except for some isolated Islamists groups no one challenged the FSA authority, not even the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood itself is weak, weaker than salafists and Islamists in general are weak. Once Bashar falls there will definitely be some chaos but no country will gamble with the stability of Syria which is why they will force the opposition groups to unite and over the past few months several groups did.
 
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You're hair-splitting. I said the Alawis were a Shia sect. They clearly grew out of the Shia movement.  Or are you claiming differently?
 
Well I hope what you say is true.  I have no interest in seeing Syria fail as a state.  We shall see...
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 00:23

Are Mormons christians? If so, and their theology is light years away from orthodox christian doctrine, then remember that Alawis are even light years away from the equivalent to mormonism.

 
As for Syria turning into a failed state. It all depends on how limited foreign intervention is. According to highly placed defected sources the regime is hell bent on leaving nothing to the future regime. Systematic destruction of infrastructure and even archaeological treasures is up and running. Farm land has been extensively burned and perminantly destroyed along with forest lands and major roads. The Iranian revolutionary guard members who were captured belong to units specialising in sabotage and they worked extensively in Iraq. The Hawks in the Iranian revolutionary guards are also preparing for getting involved in sabotage operations through Hizbos and Alawi militias. Israel is also doing its own sabotage work with several assassinations being reported targetting Syria's weapons program officials.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 00:50
I think you are exaggerating about Iranian revolutionary. They are bunch of crappy militia with limited capabilities. They are certainly helping Assad, but Saudis, Turks and Qataris are doing the same for opposition.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 08:33
All of the states in that region are failed states.
"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 Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 08:43
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:


LOL good one, no China and Russia don't pretend to serve anyone's interest except their own.  |It's a bit nauseating every night seeing Hillary on the news with her sanctimonious tripe, when you just have to look back a few years to see what her country was doing in Iraq to weed out a handful of militants in Ramadi and Fallujah.




I'm in agreement with all you say, but that makes Hillary the hypocrite, not the whole west.




Er errm.  She's the secretary of state of the United States.  She speaks for American policy on this matter, it's her job.  Most other politicians have echoed her rhetoric, here in the UK, in France, in Germany and state media coverage has been completely biased in those countries.
"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 Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 08:47
I found some opposition groups with their affiliations

SLA: Syrian Liberation Army is consisted of armed Syrian civilians from Idlib province. They have received very limited support and have weapon shortage, but they have 32k fighters. Since they have a weapon shortage they have focused mainly on bombing and roadside explosion,

Fatah Al-Islam: A radical sunni Jihadist group consisted of  Palestinians refugees, Saudis, Syrian, and Jordanian islamists. They have been involved in many terrorist activities in Syria and Lebanon. They usually use bombing and assassination attempts to achieve their goal.  They have 200-300 fighters and have links to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Liwaa Al-Umma: It is well trained militant group guided by a Libyan commander and some of his Libyan soldiers ( trained by Qatari special forces) and well funded. 90% of the fighters are Syrians and the rest are Libyans and from other Arab countries. Liwaa Al-Umma is well funded compared to other Syrian rebel groups, with most of its uniforms and weapons having been bought in Turkey.the group's funds come from a network of private donors from throughout Syria, the Middle East, and North Africa. This group has 6000 fighters, but have some Islamic ideals.

Al-Nusra Front: They are Sunni Jihadist terrorist group established in Syria in late 2011 and absorbed many members from Al Qaeda in Iraq. They are responsible for many bombing, assassination, mass killing and kidnapping of Media personnel. There is no data about how many active members they have.

Jund u Sham: Another Al Qaeda affiliated group with 100 members. It is active in bombing.

Al Qaeda in Iraq: This group has 1000 members and have been relocation their members to Syria since last year. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 11:17
Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Norway's not a terribly good example.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Norway

Did you actually read that link? Or did you just assume it supported your statement?

I read it. The line between 'forms of language' and 'languages' is a pretty fine one. I don't think a country that has an official institute devoted to maintaining the relative use of different 'forms' of language is a terribly good example of linguistic homogeneity.

http://www.ssb.no/english/yearbook/2007/tab/tab-240.html is straightforwardly titled "240 municipalities by language used in administration". 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 14:59
Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

I found some opposition groups with their affiliations

SLA: Syrian Liberation Army is consisted of armed Syrian civilians from Idlib province. They have received very limited support and have weapon shortage, but they have 32k fighters. Since they have a weapon shortage they have focused mainly on bombing and roadside explosion,

Fatah Al-Islam: A radical sunni Jihadist group consisted of  Palestinians refugees, Saudis, Syrian, and Jordanian islamists. They have been involved in many terrorist activities in Syria and Lebanon. They usually use bombing and assassination attempts to achieve their goal.  They have 200-300 fighters and have links to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Liwaa Al-Umma: It is well trained militant group guided by a Libyan commander and some of his Libyan soldiers ( trained by Qatari special forces) and well funded. 90% of the fighters are Syrians and the rest are Libyans and from other Arab countries. Liwaa Al-Umma is well funded compared to other Syrian rebel groups, with most of its uniforms and weapons having been bought in Turkey.the group's funds come from a network of private donors from throughout Syria, the Middle East, and North Africa. This group has 6000 fighters, but have some Islamic ideals.

Al-Nusra Front: They are Sunni Jihadist terrorist group established in Syria in late 2011 and absorbed many members from Al Qaeda in Iraq. They are responsible for many bombing, assassination, mass killing and kidnapping of Media personnel. There is no data about how many active members they have.

Jund u Sham: Another Al Qaeda affiliated group with 100 members. It is active in bombing.

Al Qaeda in Iraq: This group has 1000 members and have been relocation their members to Syria since last year. 
 
Where did you get these numbers from?
 
The SLA is the FSA. Its commander is a brigadier and is part of the FSA military council. Since it is an independent nationalist organisation it received little foreign support because it refuses to become a tool in international politics.
 
The rest are nobodies and the numbers are gross exaggerations. Fatah Al-Islam and AQ in Iraq in particular are surrogates of Syrian intelligence since both leaders and command staff are agents of the Syrian government as the defected Ambassador to Iraq and former intelligence chief said.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 19:32
Check Wiki and their references.

Actually these groups are pretty active specially during the Aleppo battle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 19:36
Jess what branch of Muslim are you? Sunni, Shia, Wahhabi, Ibadi?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 19:48
Anyone can write in Wiki. My sources are the dozens of journalists and analysts who monitor the situation in real time.
 
Although there is no such sect as Wahhabi you can consider me such. And I was a former Brotherhood goon before I was "enlightened".
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SPQR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 20:07
Military Intervention

what do you guys make of this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 23:22
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Norway's not a terribly good example.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Norway

Did you actually read that link? Or did you just assume it supported your statement?

I read it. The line between 'forms of language' and 'languages' is a pretty fine one. I don't think a country that has an official institute devoted to maintaining the relative use of different 'forms' of language is a terribly good example of linguistic homogeneity.

http://www.ssb.no/english/yearbook/2007/tab/tab-240.html is straightforwardly titled "240 municipalities by language used in administration". 

They were essentially self-defining themselves against the Danish and Swedes who had been ruling them previously.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 23:42
Originally posted by SPQR SPQR wrote:

Military Intervention

what do you guys make of this?
 
Interesting but not fundamentally illuminating.  These guys tend to see everything through big power politics but they often underestimate ideology and the experience of people on the ground. We've seen that lots of times before: in Vietnam immediately after WW2, in China during the revolution in the late 40s, in backing the Shah in Iran,  in not realising that Castro was not simply anti-Battista, in thinking Russia would transform into a democratic pro-capitalist country.  
 
There is nothing in there to suggest they understand what Islam or Ba'athism are for instance.
 
It's interesting to know just how deep special forces involvement is already.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2012 at 18:00
This group is strong and serious. Did you miss them AJ?

Liwaa Al-Umma: It is well trained militant group guided by a Libyan commander and some of his Libyan soldiers ( trained by Qatari special forces) and well funded. 90% of the fighters are Syrians and the rest are Libyans and from other Arab countries. Liwaa Al-Umma is well funded compared to other Syrian rebel groups, with most of its uniforms and weapons having been bought in Turkey.the group's funds come from a network of private donors from throughout Syria, the Middle East, and North Africa. This group has 6000 fighters, but have some Islamic ideals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2012 at 06:19
There is a high possibility that Syria will be divided to smaller states. Assad and the rest of Alawites establish an Alawite state along the Mediterranean coast, Kurds gain their own state in north east, and Sunni Arabs get the central and southern Syria. What do you think?  Is this the beginning of a new ME?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2012 at 20:32
Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

There is a high possibility that Syria will be divided to smaller states. Assad and the rest of Alawites establish an Alawite state along the Mediterranean coast, Kurds gain their own state in north east, and Sunni Arabs get the central and southern Syria. What do you think?  Is this the beginning of a new ME?

I doubt Turkey would tolerate a Kurdish state anywhere.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2012 at 21:33
Turkey has already gambled with supporting FSA. The only way to stop Kurds is to enter Syria directly which I doubt Turkey does that. (the complication of the situation) Turkey was against Iraqi Kurdistan forming, but she did nothing to stop them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2012 at 23:30
Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

Turkey has already gambled with supporting FSA. The only way to stop Kurds is to enter Syria directly which I doubt Turkey does that. (the complication of the situation) Turkey was against Iraqi Kurdistan forming, but she did nothing to stop them.
I think the Kurds are playing a long game. They will be prepared to live with an autonomous region in Syria as in Iraq, allowing for de facto union of those two parts of Kurdistan. Longer term they hope to get something similar in Turkey.  There is really no logical reason why a Kurdish state shouldn't be formed. It is probably more logical and consistent than most ME states!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2012 at 02:09
I agree that Kurds need their own state, but there are many differences between Kurdish leaders that makes it a serious challenge to united all of them under the same banner. Once, one of the Kurd leaders said " There is only one thing that all Kurds share and that is Kurdish mountain". There are major difference among Kurdish parties even you may see hostility among two parties within same country.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2012 at 10:48
Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

There is a high possibility that Syria will be divided to smaller states. Assad and the rest of Alawites establish an Alawite state along the Mediterranean coast, Kurds gain their own state in north east, and Sunni Arabs get the central and southern Syria. What do you think?  Is this the beginning of a new ME?
 
The only way to establish a majority Alawi state is to ethnically cleanse the current absolute majority sunni population living there. Not only this is impossible to do, that state will be doomed to failure. The French tried it in the 20s and the 30s and failed.
 
As for the Kurds, roughly 1/3rd of them are stateless refugees given citizenship in the past few years. 40% of the population of the Kurdish areas are Arabs who have been historically living there since before Roman times (Remember Crassus). The first time Kurds moved into what is now known as Hassakah province was around 1000 AD. Before that the river Tigres was their boundry.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2012 at 11:13
Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

Turkey has already gambled with supporting FSA. The only way to stop Kurds is to enter Syria directly which I doubt Turkey does that. (the complication of the situation) Turkey was against Iraqi Kurdistan forming, but she did nothing to stop them.
I think the Kurds are playing a long game. They will be prepared to live with an autonomous region in Syria as in Iraq, allowing for de facto union of those two parts of Kurdistan. Longer term they hope to get something similar in Turkey.  There is really no logical reason why a Kurdish state shouldn't be formed. It is probably more logical and consistent than most ME states!
 
The Kurds drew their own fate with their own hands.
 
They had an opportunity of an independent state after the last realignment in the middle east (1917-1925) but they squandered it with over ambition and division*. Any realignment of the map now will lead to even more bloodshed than the last one which anyone who read the history of the middle east knows it included the ethnic cleansing of the Armenians, part of the Assyrians and Arabs** and Kurds of Turkey. This is especially true since we know for certain that Water and Oil will be the sources of the new conflict and the Arab countries will suffer the most from any Kurdish ambitions.
 
*Contrary to propaganda, there is no such thing as a "Kurdish people". Hell there is no such thing as a "Kurdish language". There are three languages each claiming to be Kurdish and none of them are mutually intelligible (Kurds from different parts of Kurdistan use Arabic, Turkish or Persian for communication).
 
Regionalism and religion are stronger than nationalism. Shia Iranian Kurds are among the most loyal to the Iranian regime and it was their refusal to leave the Shah that doomed the first Kurdish state because it was dominated by Sunnis who are 80% of the total Kurds.
 
In Iraq regionalism is still stronger than nationalism. The three governorates are more powerfull within their borders than the Kurdish government and political leaders there are nothing more than fief chieftains refusing to apply the laws they dislike. Only opposition of the central government unifies them but once a powerful central government takes over in Baghdad the Kurds there are doomed.
 
** Arab tribes used to pasture in the upper Tigres as far north as the city of Silvan (formally Miyafarqin). An old neighbour of mine was from the tribe of Shammar and was born in the desert near Mardin. They were forced to leave when Turkification started although some stayed.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2012 at 20:33
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

Turkey has already gambled with supporting FSA. The only way to stop Kurds is to enter Syria directly which I doubt Turkey does that. (the complication of the situation) Turkey was against Iraqi Kurdistan forming, but she did nothing to stop them.
I think the Kurds are playing a long game. They will be prepared to live with an autonomous region in Syria as in Iraq, allowing for de facto union of those two parts of Kurdistan. Longer term they hope to get something similar in Turkey.  There is really no logical reason why a Kurdish state shouldn't be formed. It is probably more logical and consistent than most ME states!
 
The Kurds drew their own fate with their own hands.
 
They had an opportunity of an independent state after the last realignment in the middle east (1917-1925) but they squandered it with over ambition and division*. Any realignment of the map now will lead to even more bloodshed than the last one which anyone who read the history of the middle east knows it included the ethnic cleansing of the Armenians, part of the Assyrians and Arabs** and Kurds of Turkey. This is especially true since we know for certain that Water and Oil will be the sources of the new conflict and the Arab countries will suffer the most from any Kurdish ambitions.
 
*Contrary to propaganda, there is no such thing as a "Kurdish people". Hell there is no such thing as a "Kurdish language". There are three languages each claiming to be Kurdish and none of them are mutually intelligible (Kurds from different parts of Kurdistan use Arabic, Turkish or Persian for communication).
 
Regionalism and religion are stronger than nationalism. Shia Iranian Kurds are among the most loyal to the Iranian regime and it was their refusal to leave the Shah that doomed the first Kurdish state because it was dominated by Sunnis who are 80% of the total Kurds.
 
In Iraq regionalism is still stronger than nationalism. The three governorates are more powerfull within their borders than the Kurdish government and political leaders there are nothing more than fief chieftains refusing to apply the laws they dislike. Only opposition of the central government unifies them but once a powerful central government takes over in Baghdad the Kurds there are doomed.
 
** Arab tribes used to pasture in the upper Tigres as far north as the city of Silvan (formally Miyafarqin). An old neighbour of mine was from the tribe of Shammar and was born in the desert near Mardin. They were forced to leave when Turkification started although some stayed.
 
Al-Jassas
No state is going to be perfect. But if Kurds wish to have a Kurdish state, I don't see why they shouldn't.  What is the alternative? A sectarian state? A Caliphate? An Arab nationalist state? They all have their problems and the Kurds don't come off well from any of them.
 
But I think a sensible way forward is an autonomous region as in Iraq.
 
And before you say we know nothing of these things, I should add there are plenty of Arabs and Kurds (and Turks and Jews and Iranians) in London where I am from!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2012 at 21:18
There is a simple solution. The Kurds must accept the fact that they will always become a stateless minority. They missed their chance and any attempt to realign the current map will end in blood.
 
 
They are several ethnicities that are larger than theirs and are without a state like the Balouch. Accepting their fate while stressing their rights without excess is the best way to solve the Kurdish issue.
 
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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: 22 Aug 2012 at 21:45
An independent Kurdish state is only viable inside of a greater political structure. Then it will be guaranteed, (if not all) most of states in region follow same goals thus conflicts will be avoided. Greater political structure makes divisions less important but more stable in general. There would be flu borders for countries anyway. Larger market, eased borders and political stability will open ways to a more prosperous economy.


Edited by Paradigm of Humanity - 22 Aug 2012 at 21:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2012 at 23:02
Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

Turkey has already gambled with supporting FSA. The only way to stop Kurds is to enter Syria directly which I doubt Turkey does that. (the complication of the situation) Turkey was against Iraqi Kurdistan forming, but she did nothing to stop them.

I would say there was a very obvious reason for that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2012 at 03:04
I guess the same reason that you mentioned can be applied here. Why Russia, China, US or any other supperpower have been holding back in Syrian case? Have you ever asked yourself why...?
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