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padraig (u.s.)
16-07-2009, 02:17 AM
just in case you forgot. (which it's surprisingly easy to do, at least in the States where it seems to be pretty far off the table right now)

Exhibit A - Iraq Suffers as the Euphrates River Dwindles (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/14/world/middleeast/14euphrates.html) - great

went to see The Hurt Locker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hurt_Locker) w/my folks the other day. it is, not to put too fine a point on it, fuckin' A phenomenal. stunning. I reckon the defining cinematic statement on the war, can't see how anything would top it. stirred up all kinds of feelings in me - pride, shame, & seething, futile rage.

still waiting to see whether sectarian violence spikes in the upcoming weeks. whether or not Maliki & co. have any kind of a handle on things. what the Iranian regime will do, if anything, given its own current problems. & so on.

a stalemate's better than nothing I guess.

have at it folks.

vimothy
04-08-2009, 02:01 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/31/AR2009073102582.html?nav%3Drss_nation/special&sub=AR

Mr. Tea
04-08-2009, 02:39 PM
Interesting piece there, Vim.

I liked this line:


If you try to control the Middle East, it will end up controlling you

Abizaid reads Negarestani...?

padraig (u.s.)
04-08-2009, 05:07 PM
Col. Timothy Reese - It's Time For the U.S. to Declare Victory & Go Home (http://washingtonindependent.com/53224/col-timothy-reese-its-time-for-the-us-to-declare-victory-and-go-home)

or declare victory & get thee to Afghanistan, more like.


We too ought to declare victory and bring our combat forces home. Due to our tendency to look after the tactical details and miss the proverbial forest for the trees, this critically important strategic realization is in danger of being missed.

vimothy
04-08-2009, 05:22 PM
Damn -- not mincing his words there...

padraig (u.s.)
04-08-2009, 05:31 PM
Damn -- not mincing his words there...

nope. but it's hard not to wish there'd been a lot less mincing of words over the last 6+ years...

thought that point in the WP article you linked about ambitious military officers trying to get switched into Afghan instead of Iraq deployments was interesting. that's certainly what I'd be doing.

vimothy
05-08-2009, 10:31 AM
Interesting to contrast that article with the comments of Anand at AM -- generally get a really favourable impression of the IA from him.

Also, see this story for some context to the above: http://washingtonindependent.com/53243/senior-military-official-u-s-should-withdraw-from-iraq-next-year

padraig (u.s.)
05-08-2009, 03:47 PM
Also, see this story for some context to the above: http://washingtonindependent.com/53243/senior-military-official-u-s-should-withdraw-from-iraq-next-year

nice that Col. Gentile got a mention. here's the NYT article (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/world/middleeast/31adviser.html) where I originally saw Reese's memo mentioned. includes link to a pdf of the On Point II (http://cgsc.leavenworth.army.mil/carl/download/csipubs/on_pointII/p1_48.pdf) paper, a history of the war 2003-5, which Reese coauthored while at Fort Leavenworth (around the same time Petraeus was there).

as far as the IA, who knows? I think it depends on what you mean by favorable. in some ways Col. Reese's view was favorable, in that he cites major improvement & describes the IA as up to the task of keeping the GOI in power. I suspect what he says about the entrenched military culture is largely true, as it matches the majority of what I've read as well as what I've heard from just about every vet I've talked with. another thing that gives Reese credibility are military's weak responses, typical disavowal stuff, e.g. - "there were problems but now they've been solved" or a discrediting "it's just the view of one man", same old same old.

the real debate anyway is about the timetable for withdrawal & there's certainly a ton of factors that go into that. but I haven't seen anyone come out & claim that it's not largely diminishing returns from here on out.

scottdisco
06-08-2009, 06:26 PM
appalling allegations against Blackwater boss Erik Prince


The accusations against Mr Prince are being made by two former employees, including a former Marine, who have sworn them anonymously as John Doe No 1 and John Doe No 2, because they said they feared for their lives if their identities were revealed.

In one of the statements, John Doe 2, who worked for Blackwater for four years, alleged that Mr Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe” and that his companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life”.

foul stuff; rest here (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6740735.ece)

also (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6740737.ece):


Iraqi officials reacted gleefully to the news of fresh allegations against the company in legal documents filed in the United States.

“The company is mainly made up of mercenaries who lack high standards and discipline like official forces of international institutions,” said Tahsin al-Shekhli, a Defence Ministry spokesman.

“They needlessly massacred Iraqi citizens, and in cold blood."

scottdisco
06-08-2009, 07:07 PM
oh, re the recent violence at Camp Ashraf (“Our hospital is out of medicine and there is no place for the wounded,” he said. “They are resting in every place we can put them") (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/world/middleeast/30iraq.html), at least 12 dead? smells like a massacre.

a Telegraph blogger has his say (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damienmcelroy/100005339/iraq-kills-iranian-dissidents-earning-brownie-points-in-tehran/).

yes, it is the NCR, and here's their statement (http://www.mojahedin.org/pagesEn/detailsNews.aspx?newsid=5542).

at least - as when we last discussed this tragic stand-off some months ago - Baghdad says it will not send any of them back to Iran (even though it continues to look for other countries to take people in).

sufi
07-08-2009, 12:06 PM
occasionally, browsing thru the channels late at night i come across يوميات مدينة /yomiaat madina - 'city diary', on al-sharqiya, which is a private iraqi channel broadacast apparently (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Sharqiya)from dubai.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/21/Al_Sharqiya_logo.png

it's on at like 2AM baghdad time/after midnight GMT
you can watch it here: http://live.alsharqiya.com/

i've been meaning to recommend this programme to you lot for ages on purely aesthetic merit, it's fantastic viewing.... but there may be some political message there too ... judge for yourselves

the format is: someone gets a camera and goes for a wander for an hour or two in an iraqi city

... usually it's just one loooong shot, mooching around the market in karbala at pilgrimage time, or the park by the river full of families out at night, or the social club, or some other such public space; last night it was a shopping street in mosul,
there's interaction with people, but very little conversation and no narration, no presenter,

people seem unconcerned as the camera pans past them, getting on with their lives, not usually at all shy or evasive, but not engaging apart from to say welcome, raise a hand in greeting, before the camera driftson...

this is a totally different presentation of iraq, there's no particular evidence of war or militarisation, (are there no bins in the park because of bombs or shortage of bins?) a glimpse into 'normal' life of people, the impression is so calm and pleasant, even mesmerising (& definitely worth a watch)
perhaps that's the message?

polystyle desu
07-08-2009, 03:16 PM
Thank you Sufi
There is somewhat similar show on NHK Japanese TV that walks through cities,
this sounds like a tonic .
Cheers

sufi
18-08-2009, 11:19 PM
this on the other hand is absolutely horrific

http://www.hrw.org/en/sites/default/files/imagecache/crop-200x133N/media/images/report-covers/iraq0809.jpg

"They Want Us Exterminated" (http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/08/17/they-want-us-exterminated-0)
Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq
Human Rights Watch August 17, 2009

This 67-page report documents a wide-reaching campaign of extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, and torture of gay men that began in early 2009. The killings began in the vast Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, a stronghold of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, and spread to many cities across Iraq. Mahdi Army spokesmen have promoted fears about the "third sex" and the "feminization" of Iraq men, and suggested that militia action was the remedy. Some people told Human Rights Watch that Iraqi security forces have colluded and joined in the killing

vimothy
21-08-2009, 11:32 AM
Via Tom Ricks, an fascinating new paper from a former major general, police chief, and mayor of Tel Afar, now working as a senior fellow at the National Defense University:

Najim Abed Al-Jabouri -- An Iraqi Assessment after US Troop Withdrawal (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/images/090810_iraqcivilwar.doc) (direct DL)

vimothy
24-08-2009, 03:15 PM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/08/24/world/24habbaniya.inline.650.jpg

A day out at the beach, Lake Habbaniya in Anbar Province, Iraq

padraig (u.s.)
28-08-2009, 05:17 AM
via Abu M:

Bovine Intervention (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200909/cows-iraq)

found this particularly interesting, having had a fair bit of experience myself w/milking cows.

scottdisco
25-11-2009, 05:41 PM
via Abu M:

Bovine Intervention (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200909/cows-iraq)

found this particularly interesting, having had a fair bit of experience myself w/milking cows.

nice one, P.

elsewhere, Reidar Visser and Peter Galbraith won't be exchanging cards this holiday, i fear.


Galbraith can abscond to gubernatorial ambitions in Vermont and enter a multi-million lawsuit against DNO [Norwegian oil company] in London. Around the world, there will always be takers for his simple message of ethnic decentralisation as the universal tool for solving political conflict...Accordingly, instead of taking their cues from Galbraith (who is now presumably basking in perfect “congruence” in Townshend, Vermont) both the Kurds and DNO would stand to gain a lot from adjusting their policies to the new realities in Baghdad. Above all, this would mean realising that Iraqi Shiites are not particularly interested in symmetrical federalism for Iraq. True, there are Shiite sectarians today, just like there were anti-Shiite bigots during the Baath. But the irreducible minimum on which all parties south of Kurdistan can agree (and something which an alarming number of Western analysts still just cannot seem to get their head around) is a consensus position on Iraq as a unified territorial shell. Today, the real tension in the Shiite Islamist camp is between Shiite chauvinists who pay lip service to the idea of Iraqi nationalism and Shiites who are genuine Iraqi nationalists – and not so much between centralists and separatists (even ISCI now seems to have given up its federalism ambitions, if perhaps somewhat reluctantly).

(1 (http://gulfanalysis.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/bremer-speaks-on-dno-and-galbraith/))


Finally, in a welcome development, the editorial board of the NYT has ruled that Galbraith did indeed have a conflict of interest which should have been disclosed when he wrote op-eds in the paper in favour of the soft partition policy in Iraq. This should make it clear once and for all that there is more to this case than the primitive Norwegian “conspiracy” alleged by some Vermont newspapers, according to which the whole affair has been fabricated by all-powerful Norwegian trolls bent on revenge for the Eide/Galbraith dispute in Afghanistan.

(2 (http://gulfanalysis.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/a-weak-attempt-at-rebuttal-galbraith-2009-is-contradicted-by-galbraith-2006/))

adruu
26-11-2009, 12:53 AM
shameful to hear the galbraith accusations, but there should be a list of companies and people and pundits that are in positions to reap rewards from contracts at this point. if I'm hearing just one name im very skeptical

scottdisco
26-11-2009, 01:27 PM
shameful to hear the galbraith accusations, but there should be a list of companies and people and pundits that are in positions to reap rewards from contracts at this point. if I'm hearing just one name im very skeptical

i hear ya but i must be honest the only reason i posted was i'm interested in what Visser says wrt PG in general, for me the money quote up above is


But the irreducible minimum on which all parties south of Kurdistan can agree (and something which an alarming number of Western analysts still just cannot seem to get their head around) is a consensus position on Iraq as a unified territorial shell.

- this is certainly a line you can associate w PG.

so just flagging up a (appropriate) dig at PG here, but, please, you have at other matters if you want - nothing to do w needing to be skeptical

craner
15-12-2009, 10:30 PM
Anyone else finding the Iraq Enquiry absolutely enthralling?

All the old names and accusations and back room intrigue oozing out again. It's a world I still live in, it's gripping to me.

I am the man who imported the Douglas Feith book in hardback and read it back to front, including the extensive footnotes. Good times!

padraig (u.s.)
24-01-2010, 06:11 PM
this story is just unbelievable

British Man Held for Fraud in Iraq Bomb Detectors (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/world/europe/24scanner.html)

not that a war profiteer swindled the Iraqi govt. I mean, no surprise there. no, it's what he was swindling them with. selling overpriced, substandard equipment is a time-honored war profiteer tradition but usually they have to least pretend that what they're selling isn't worthless garbage. to wit:


The ADE 651 is a hand-held wand with no batteries or internal electronic components, ostensibly powered by the static electricity of the user, who needs to walk in place to charge it...The Times of London quoted Mr. McCormick in November as saying that the device’s technology was similar to that of dowsing or divining rods [me, aside: there is no "technology" of dowsing rods. they're just Y-shaped branches FFS! it's pseudoscientific, spurious nonsense that's failed badly in every study ever done on it. anyway...] used to find water. “We have been dealing with doubters for 10 years,” he said. “One of the problems we have is that the machine does look primitive. We are working on a new model that has flashing lights...Shortly after the arrest on Friday, the BBC reported that it had arranged a lab test of the device and found that its bomb-detection component was an electronic merchandise tag of the sort used to prevent shoplifting.

yes, flashing lights should fix things right up. what a wanker. I really hope dude goes to prison for a good long while. not even for the $85 million he prised out of the Iraqi govt so much as the hundreds of Iraqi injuries & deaths he's at least partially responsible for with his placebo bomb "detectors".

craner
29-01-2010, 07:02 PM
Blair did well today.

droid
29-01-2010, 08:24 PM
'Well'?

If by that you mean he betrayed no sign of remorse or compassion for his victims and continued to lie through his teeth despite overwhelming evidence of his crimes - then I agree.

Monbiots bounty idea is a good one. He should change it to 'dead or alive' though.

craner
30-01-2010, 03:33 PM
Anyone interested in the details of WMD should read this book by the way:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XZ7WklYuL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

craner
30-01-2010, 03:35 PM
As for the UN, two other essentials:

http://www.harrywalker.com/images/book-covers/Gerson_Kirkpatrick.jpg

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31RzrRt1I3L._SL500_AA240_.jpg

vimothy
30-01-2010, 07:09 PM
his victims

?

sufi
05-03-2010, 11:02 PM
A history of the Iraq war, told entirely in lies
By Sam Smith (http://www.harpers.org/archive/2003/10/0079780)

All text is verbatim from senior Bush Administration officials and advisers. In places, tenses have been changed for clarity.


Once again, we were defending both ourselves and the safety and survival of civilization itself. September 11 signaled the arrival of an entirely different era. We faced perils we had never thought about, perils we had never seen before. For decades, terrorists had waged war against this country. Now, under the leadership of President Bush, America would wage war against them. It was a struggle between good and it was a struggle between evil.

It was absolutely clear that the number-one threat facing America was from Saddam Hussein. We know that Iraq and Al Qaeda had high-level contacts that went back a decade. We learned that Iraq had trained Al Qaeda members in bomb making and deadly gases. The regime had long-standing and continuing ties to terrorist organizations. Iraq and Al Qaeda had discussed safe-haven opportunities in Iraq. Iraqi officials denied accusations of ties with Al Qaeda. These denials simply were not credible. You couldn't distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talked about the war on terror.

craner
05-03-2010, 11:14 PM
Cheap.

I recommend Doug Feith's book as a counterbalance, heavily foot-noted.

sufi
06-03-2010, 12:44 AM
Cheap.

& cheerful! :)

sufi
03-09-2010, 01:18 AM
http://www.hollow-hill.com/sabina/images/tony-blair-is-a-wanker.jpg

Still Targeted: Continued Persecution of Iraq's Minorities

Although the overall security situation in Iraq has gradually improved, the conditions for minority communities of the country’s diverse population remain extremely distressing. Investigations throughout 2009 by Minority Rights Group International’s (MRG’s) partner in Iraq, Iraqi Minorities Organization (IMO), coupled with secondary research sourced from 2009 and the first half of 2010, lay bare the frequent bombings, torture, arbitrary arrest, intimidation, displacement and marginalization facing Iraq’s cultural and religious minorities.

The research focuses on the Kurdistan Region; Kirkuk and Nineveh provinces in the north; and Baghdad, given the concentration of minorities in these areas, collecting accounts primarily from Christians, Faili Kurds, Shabaks, Turkmen and Yazidis. The report details evidence of violence against these communities, including targeted killings, gender-based violence and attacks on religious sites; arbitrary arrests and intimidation; political disenfranchisement; internal displacement and resulting loss of property; and discrimination in accessing public services. It finds that violence and marginalization has occurred for reasons ranging from territorial disputes between Arabs and Kurds, to religious bias, political representation and long-standing patterns of discrimination (http://www.minorityrights.org/download.php?id=834)

padraig (u.s.)
17-12-2010, 04:17 PM
I wasn't sure what thread to put this in, but this seems as good a place as any.

Blackwater Founder in Deal to Sell Company (http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/blackwater-founder-in-deal-to-sell-company/)

I didn't realize this was happening, admittedly I haven't been paying very much attention to current events politics recently, maybe other people were already up on it. well, I knew Blackwater/Xe was having serious problems, and everyone probably remembers the shootings in Nisour Square back in 2007, but I had no idea that Blackwater execs were under federal indictment for weapons charges and rather bizarre ones too - it seems they illegally bought AK-47s and then gave them to the King of Jordan as gifts in the hopes procuring Jordanian business (I'm wondering, why would King Abdullah be impressed by AK -47s? the most common assault rifle in the world? anyway). I also didn't know about the various allegations of weapons smuggling, though that's no surprise. or Blackwater involvement in secret CIA assassination programs or top AQ players, which is surprising, not that the CIA has secret assassination programs (well, of course) but that they'd outsource them to f**king mercenaries. I mean, of all the thing you wouldn't outsource, that'd have to be at the top of my list.

I don't really know where I'm going with this other than to say that the mercenary business ca. the end of 2010 is a very strange one, now that it's all gone corporate, where you can just rebrand and auction things off to investors and keep right on plugging, like any other Fortune 500 joint, just with guns and helicopters and a bad reputation for itchy trigger fingers. it almost makes one long for the days when mercenaries were crazed Welsh SAS veterans with names like Mad Mike who inspired pulpy novels by hack European writers. I guess it's kinda like the transition from individual robber barons like Vanderbilt or Rockefeller, to the utter impersonality of corporate boardrooms and faceless gray suits, the whole transition from mercenary to "private military company". I mean it's not surprising that mercenaries are on the ascendant, second oldest profession and all that, but all this bid for corporate respectability is just...it leaves a bad taste in the mouth you know?

rubberdingyrapids
03-09-2012, 11:07 AM
desmond tutu on why blair should be tried as a war criminal.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/02/tony-blair-iraq-war-desmond-tutu

baboon2004
03-09-2012, 11:58 AM
I'm sure he's said something dodgy at some time or another, cos everyone has, but Desmond Tutu always seems incredibly spot on whenever I've read what he has to say. The type of guy who would make an excellent president.

I know someone who worked at the ICC, and it sounds like a complete shambles on top of everything else. Apparently Americans ascend the ranks faster than anyone else, despite/because of the US's refusal to ratify the appropriate statute.

craner
03-09-2012, 12:24 PM
Tutu, in 2004, called the Iraq War "immoral"...

...which it wasn't.

droid
03-09-2012, 12:31 PM
Crawl back into your sewer Craner!

craner
03-09-2012, 12:45 PM
Condoleezza Rice, in her terrific speech at the Republican National Convention last week, noted that "the promise of the Arab spring is engulfed in uncertainty, internal strife, and hostile neighbors are challenging the young, fragile democracy of Iraq," which was more to the point than Tutu's irrelevant blather.

Mr. Tea
03-09-2012, 12:50 PM
Oh man, just like old times. :)

baboon2004
03-09-2012, 01:12 PM
Pointing out that the ICC only puts on trial people from less powerful countries can't be described as irrelevant blather. It's simple fact.

Desmond Tutu speaks like a sane person. Condoleeza Rice is clearly mad.

Sectionfive
03-09-2012, 02:30 PM
US's refusal to ratify the appropriate statute.

Not on their own in fairness. China, Israel and a few others are the same but it makes a sham of the whole set up.

craner
03-09-2012, 06:57 PM
The thing with the ICC I don't understand is this (among many other things, I must say) -- when a case is brought or made or sought, and based on the amount of people killed by an action or decision, is it based on:

* the amount of people killed with intention, as in genocide cases where the bodycount is factored into a deliberate policy of extermination, or

* the amount of people killed without intention, as the result of a policy the aim of which does not factor in a bodycount and, in fact, seeks at the outset the minimise the number who die?

In the case of Blair and Bush, surely any violations of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention would be due to actions or decisions committed or sanctioned by those under their ultimate command, but not due to any executive decision or policy plan as such? In the case of water-boarding, liability would presumably go quite high up, without necessarily implicating Bush or Blair, but would not constititute much of a case as nobody died as a result of it?

Also, could violations of the laws or customs of war or crimes against humanity be brought against Bush and Blair in the case of Iraq, who did not sanction or defend any qualifying actions that occurred due to their decision to invade?

I suspect that if you brought a case against Bush and Blair it would be thin, unlike, say, Milosevic or Charles Taylor.

I don't think we have any lawyers in Dissensus, and the only forensic-minded personage I can rely on answering me is...Vimothy!

craner
03-09-2012, 07:03 PM
Is it culpability or liability?

craner
03-09-2012, 10:15 PM
I have written a rather nuanced assessment (I think) of Rice and the Bush Administrations' culpability regarding the tragedy of post-war Iraq here (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/in-defence-of-secretary-rice-part-2/), and I do think I make some pertinent points that are not often aired in this, my favorite, "chat" forum.

droid
04-09-2012, 10:23 AM
You need to familiarise yourself with this:


The Crime of Aggression is a crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The definitions and the conditions for the exercise of jurisdiction over this crime was adopted by consensus at the 2010 Kampala Review Conference by the States Parties to the Court...

...Under the Statute, the definition of "crime of aggression" is stated as follows:
[edit]Article 8bis
1. For the purpose of this Statute, “crime of aggression” means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations.

2. For the purpose of paragraph 1, “act of aggression” means the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations. Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, qualify as an act of aggression:

(a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof;

(b) Bombardment by the armed forces of a State against the territory of another State or the use of any weapons by a State against the territory of another State;

(c) The blockade of the ports or coasts of a State by the armed forces of another State;

(d) An attack by the armed forces of a State on the land, sea or air forces, or marine and air fleets of another State;

(e) The use of armed forces of one State which are within the territory of another State with the agreement of the receiving State, in contravention of the conditions provided for in the agreement or any extension of their presence in such territory beyond the termination of the agreement;

(f) The action of a State in allowing its territory, which it has placed at the disposal of another State, to be used by that other State for perpetrating an act of aggression against a third State;

(g) The sending by or on behalf of a State of armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out acts of armed force against another State of such gravity as to amount to the acts listed above, or its substantial involvement therein...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_of_aggression

droid
04-09-2012, 11:55 AM
Desmond Tutu wrote that Tony Blair should be treading the path to The Hague, he de-normalised what Blair has done. Tutu broke the protocol of power – the implicit accord between those who flit from one grand meeting to another – and named his crime. I expect that Blair will never recover from it.

The offence is known by two names in international law: the crime of aggression and a crime against peace. It is defined by the Nuremberg principles as the "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression". This means a war fought for a purpose other than self-defence: in other words outwith articles 33 and 51 of the UN Charter.

That the invasion of Iraq falls into this category looks indisputable. Blair's cabinet ministers knew it, and told him so. His attorney general warned that there were just three ways in which it could be legally justified: "self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UN security council authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case." Blair tried and failed to obtain the third.

His foreign secretary, Jack Straw, told Blair that for the war to be legal, "i) there must be an armed attack upon a state or such an attack must be imminent; ii) the use of force must be necessary and other means to reverse/avert the attack must be unavailable; iii) the acts in self-defence must be proportionate and strictly confined to the object of stopping the attack." None of these conditions were met. The Cabinet Office told him: "A legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to law officers' advice, none currently exists."

Without legal justification, the attack on Iraq was an act of mass murder. It caused the deaths of between 100,000 and a million people, and ranks among the greatest crimes the world has ever seen. That Blair and his ministers still saunter among us, gathering money wherever they go, is a withering indictment of a one-sided system of international justice: a system whose hypocrisies Tutu has exposed.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/03/tony-blair-the-hague-iraq-war

Mr. Tea
04-09-2012, 12:13 PM
What was the legal status of the first Gulf war? Did that have UNSC authorization?

droid
04-09-2012, 12:20 PM
What was the legal status of the first Gulf war? Did that have UNSC authorization?

Yeah. 660 and 677 are the important ones.

sufi
23-04-2013, 10:26 AM
10 years on (http://www.irinnews.org/Report/97895/Humanitarian-overview)

craner
11-06-2014, 11:58 PM
Implications of current events, with the Peshmerga and other Kurdish militias and units the only forces left standing and defending their territory in front of ISIS (currently onto Tikrit in their lightning advance south towards the Shia cities).

1) The end of Iraq.
2) The end of al-Qaeda.
3) The decleration of Kurdistan

This could be quite a massive day, when we look back.

Basically, today the Kurds did three things:

1) They offered their fighters and hardware to defend the Iraqi state, and are still waiting for a reply from the Maliki regime.

2) They welcomed refugees from Mosul into Kurdish territory, where Mosul citizens instinctively fled, instead of other central government controlled areas, because they knew they would at least be physically protected there.

3) The set up massive cannons to protect the Kurdish borders against ISIS advance.

I would be happy to see these fuckers demolished by the Peshmerga, I can't lie. My heart was pounding for the Kurds today and will be tomorrow.

Sectionfive
12-06-2014, 04:02 AM
CIA joined twitter in the nick of time

craner
12-06-2014, 09:28 AM
They welcomed refugees from Mosul into Kurdish territory

I should point out that this is an error -- they were kicked back out again!

crackerjack
12-06-2014, 09:53 AM
Friend of mine's been working out there a bit of late. A few weeks back she told me opinion was divided between those who thought Maliki was the new Saddam and those who thought Iraq was heading for civil war. Looks like this has now been settled :(

Craner, what's wrong with the Iraqi army? Channel 4 News hinting at a conspiracy last night, said the withdrawal might be down to ISIS-sympathetic elements within.

craner
12-06-2014, 10:11 AM
I don't know, but I suspect two things: it's always been something of a sham ever since the early Coalition start-up, and then it became riven with sectarianism, mainly during the Maliki era. The Iraqis wanted America out, but then they always expected them to be there in some form too, indulging and underwriting their feuds and power-plays for the sake of stability. Well, that didn't happen. They appear to be fleeing, rather than withdrawing.

What is either interesting, ironic or an important factor, is that Mosul used to be the city that supplied the bulk of the officer class for Saddam's military.

craner
12-06-2014, 10:24 AM
Now ISIS have Samarra.*

I'm not sure you can call what is about to happen a civil war: ISIS are a trans-national jihadi organisation who explicitly repudiate nationalism (which is one of the beefs they had with Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria last year, and which spurred al-Zawhiri's censure of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and therefore, in a roundabout way, the slow eclipse of al-Qaeda in the Jihadi universe).

Edit: * ...although not according to the Mayor!

craner
12-06-2014, 10:28 AM
Kurds have taken Kirkuk. IRGC setting up checkpoints on the outskirts of Baghdad*.

Edit: * Rouhani: Iran to combat terrorism in Iraq (https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/mena/551068-rouhani-iran-to-combat-terrorism-in-iraq)

Among many other things, ISIS advance in Iraq totally saves Assad's skin.

craner
12-06-2014, 10:39 AM
Turkish fighter jets flying over Mosul.

droid
12-06-2014, 10:41 AM
A new era of stability and democracy they said... Forging allies and alliances in an unstable region they said... Freeing a people from terror they said...

droid
12-06-2014, 10:44 AM
http://static.guim.co.uk/ni/1402561826603/iraq_isis_tikrit2.svg

crackerjack
12-06-2014, 10:48 AM
Now ISIS have Samarra.*

I'm not sure you can call what is about to happen a civil war: ISIS are a trans-national jihadi organisation who explicitly repudiate nationalism

But is that ISIS army sweeping Iraq full of Sunni Iraqis who'll drop them (a la Sunni Awakening) once they've used them to put the shits up Maliki?

craner
12-06-2014, 10:49 AM
The Kurds have basically secured their borders and are on the brink of declaring independence. Will probably only happen if the Maliki government falls, or he declares a state of emergency. The Kurdish areas in Syria are de facto autonomous now (and have routed ISIS once already), although the main Syrian Kurdish party is PKK off-shoot and feuds with the powerful Barzani/KDP clan, who effectively own Iraqi Kurdistan.

craner
12-06-2014, 10:53 AM
But is that ISIS army sweeping Iraq full of Sunni Iraqis who'll drop them (a la Sunni Awakening) once they've used them to put the shits up Maliki?

It's possible. ISIS are being aided by other groups like the Ba'athist al-Naqshabandia. I don't think they have non-jihadi Sunni tribesmen in their rank and file. Ceding major cities to "put the wind up" Maliki seems like an insane strategy. But I really don't know, to be honest. I'm just watching, like you are.

craner
12-06-2014, 11:09 AM
CJ: Aymen al-Tamimi just made a sjmilar point to you: "But as a group with sway over Shari'a Committees and real power in remaining rebel localities out of ISIS hands it's still a group."

sufi
12-06-2014, 11:10 AM
all maps must be highly speculative at this stage, esp as Iraq today is full of armed blokes zooming round in pickups establishing facts on the ground, http://gdb.rferl.org/AB15CCD5-6983-41D2-93F0-5F8C355F3C9F_mw1024_s_n.gif
It's possible. ISIS are being aided by other groups like the Ba'athist al-Naqshabandia. I don't think they have non-jihadi Sunni tribesmen in their rank and file.
Sounded to me like deals have been made though, with the tribes, at a higher level than rank & file


Turkish fighter jets flying over Mosul.
Last night ISIS claimed they were flying aircraft over Mosul!

i thought this was pretty interesting:
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/06/02/365262/saudi-spymaster-afflicted-with-poison/

craner
12-06-2014, 11:24 AM
I saw a thing on Twitter where they were boasting about capturing helicopters!

They did get a lot of stuff, though, some of which has gone straight back to Syria.

craner
12-06-2014, 11:26 AM
PKK just said, "we're in."

craner
12-06-2014, 11:28 AM
ISIS convoy 100 km from the capital, apparently. Reporters are describing panic and chaos in the city.

craner
12-06-2014, 11:40 AM
OK, ISIS do actually have helicopters.

Al-Zarqawi never had helicopters.

craner
12-06-2014, 12:07 PM
Hassan Hassan: "ISIS isn't alone in this. In fact in some areas, tribal and Baathist forces are more dominant. ISIS is becoming a shorthand."

droid
12-06-2014, 12:14 PM
all maps must be highly speculative at this stage, esp as Iraq today is full of armed blokes zooming round in pickups establishing facts on the ground, http://gdb.rferl.org/AB15CCD5-6983-41D2-93F0-5F8C355F3C9F_mw1024_s_n.gif

Amazing.

droid
12-06-2014, 03:14 PM
"It seems the fighters have a good security plan for the city. They really know the nature of the city and have not made the same mistakes as the US forces, or Maliki’s forces, when they invaded Mosul. They are protecting all the governmental buildings in the city and have not destroyed or stolen anything. They haven’t harmed a person in the city.

[Isis] fighters have opened and cleared out all the bridges, roads and checkpoints set up by the army. Now, we can move easily. It is so quiet here – not a bullet has been fired so far. Most of the families who fled the city began to head back today. We have suffered a lot under Maliki’s unfair government. It is a sectarian Iranian government. Detention, killing and displacement against the people of Mosul has not stopped for ten years. We’ve had enough injustice and corruption and no longer accept Maliki’s army. Since the US invasion until now, an organised ethnic cleansing was taking place here. Maliki’s men would show up on TV revealing their love to peace and security but the reality is completely different. They are all killers, fanatic and sectarians.

All the fighters who are in control of our neighbourhood now – or at least those I have encountered – are Iraqis and well trained.

Last Thursday, the fighters attacked the right bank of the Tigris river. The army used planes and mortars in the fight, in a crowded residential area. The bombardment cut the power and water supply and sparked panic among the locals. Many civilians were killed.

They are getting closer to Baghdad’s suburbs. I believe this is the end of Maliki and his gangs but we are worried that he will look to the US forces for help. Can you imagine that the armed forces that have had millions spent on them for more than 11 years collapsed within a few hours?"

craner
12-06-2014, 04:11 PM
Who's speaking, Droid?

droid
12-06-2014, 04:18 PM
Tribal leader from Mosul: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/12/crisis-in-iraq-insurgents-take-major-cities-live-blog#block-5399b323e4b00360d270f354

craner
12-06-2014, 04:44 PM
Ah, thanks.

owengriffiths
12-06-2014, 06:55 PM
OK, ISIS do actually have helicopters.

Al-Zarqawi never had helicopters.

Do they have trained pilots to fly them though?

craner
12-06-2014, 07:49 PM
Don't know. Doubt it. Hope not.

droid
12-06-2014, 11:44 PM
...


Reuters reports that a militant parade of captured Humvee vehicles in the city also included two captured helicopters flying overhead. It was, the agency reported, the first time Isis-allied forces have seized aircraft.

Reuters also said Iraqi state TV showed footage of government aircraft firing missiles at rebel targets in Mosul.

craner
13-06-2014, 09:26 AM
While Americans focus on the shock of al Qaeda flags over Mosul, Iraqis describe a more complicated scene. One Iraqi reported that insurgents in Mosul told his brother that they were not al Qaeda, but rather veterans of Saddam’s army. Rumors are rife throughout Mosul and Tikrit that Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, Saddam Hussein’s vice president and the most senior official of the previous regime who evaded American capture, has returned from Syria and is leading renewed insurgency.

Michael Rubin (http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/12/iraq-is-on-a-precipice/) -- he also decsribes Kurdish meddling to undermine al-Maliki which has burned out of control, and a few other things. So this thing appears to be a combined assault by ISIS, ex- and neo-Ba'athists and the Sunni Tribes.

HMGovt
13-06-2014, 01:01 PM
Michael Rubin (http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/12/iraq-is-on-a-precipice/) -- he also decsribes Kurdish meddling to undermine al-Maliki which has burned out of control, and a few other things. So this thing appears to be a combined assault by ISIS, ex- and neo-Ba'athists and the Sunni Tribes.

How long before this lot are at the gates of Vienna?

Mr. Tea
13-06-2014, 01:46 PM
How long before this lot are at the gates of Vienna?

Well they're kind of going the wrong way, so maybe Delhi had better watch out next.

Edit: OK so it seems churlish to criticise prose style in the context of something as potentially massive and tragic as what's going on, but that Rubin piece has got some pretty rotten language in it. So "Iraq [may] become Syria 2.0", may it? Ugh, spare me.

craner
13-06-2014, 01:58 PM
Yeah, I give you that one, but otherwise Rubin is generally a lucid and clear writer. His prose is superior to most other pundits and public intellectuals doing the rounds.*

* Not exactly high praise, I admit.

craner
13-06-2014, 02:03 PM
Saddam's daughter (http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/130620142): I am happy to see all these victories,” she told the Al-Quds newspaper in Jordan, after militants captured Tikrit, her father’s hometown. “These are victories of my father’s fighters and my uncle Izzat Al-Douri..."

craner
15-06-2014, 09:16 PM
I wrote about ISIS and al-Baghdadi, as well as the various Shi'ite militias fighting in Syria, a year ago in my essay Carnival of Death (http://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/carnival-of-death/). There is plenty of material in this with direct relevance to Iraq and Syria today and associated links you may find useful in my footnotes.

craner
15-06-2014, 09:52 PM
See, in particular, point 2 'Al-Qaeda in Syria' and point 5 'Iraqi Exports' and point 8 'Kurdish Fringes' and think about how they are all linking up in Iraq right now.

droid
16-06-2014, 10:55 AM
ISIS are doing it wrong. The correct way to massacre Iraqi soldiers in trenches is to bury them alive and crush them with bulldozers.

Mr. Tea
16-06-2014, 12:10 PM
ISIS are doing it wrong. The correct way to massacre Iraqi soldiers in trenches is to bury them alive and crush them with bulldozers.

Fucking hell, when did that happen?

droid
16-06-2014, 02:15 PM
"For all I know, we could have killed thousands," said Col. Anthony Moreno, commander of the 2nd Brigade that led the assault on the heaviest defenses.

"I came through right after the lead company. What you saw was a bunch of buried trenches with peoples' arms and things sticking out of them."

Maybe 5000 dead.


"A lot of the guys were scared," Queen said. "But I enjoyed it."


http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19910912&slug=1305069

droid
16-06-2014, 11:19 PM
"You cant be too careful in the East" said Metin, twirling his moustache. "As they say in Ankara: Kurdistan is like a cucumber. Today in your hand; tomorrow up your arse."

droid
20-06-2014, 03:44 PM
Reading a fairly straight laced history of the Gulf war (the original) and surprised to find amongst some very sober commentary a clear cut account of the assassination attempt on Shlomo Argov (which, as we all know was the completely ridiculous justification for the launch of Israel's 82 war against Lebanon), which places the blame directly at the feet of Baghdad.

Of course, its common knowledge that two of the Abu Nidal assassins were members of the Mukhabarat, but this was the first time Ive seen this particular assertion stated so baldly. Iraq's aims were to weaken a regional enemy (Syria), divert the attention of global and local powers from their offer of a ceasefire after the ill-planned invasion of Iran had gone sour, and distract Iran by drawing them into a second conflict.

Remarkably successful on all accounts it seems. If true it must be one of the most effective bits of espionage/terror in modern history.

craner
20-06-2014, 03:49 PM
What's the book?

droid
20-06-2014, 03:58 PM
A steal at $0.44

http://www.amazon.com/The-Gulf-War-Origins-Consequences/dp/0413613704

droid
20-06-2014, 04:00 PM
Bulloch also wrote the excellent 'No Friends but the Mountains: The Tragic History of the Kurds', which was one of the first books I read about the region.

craner
20-06-2014, 04:05 PM
Ah, thanks. I've seen copies of the Faber-published Saddam's War in second hand bookshops before -- is it the same book? Haven't read it, anyway.

craner
20-06-2014, 04:09 PM
He was from Penarth, Bulloch was, down the road from my house.

craner
20-06-2014, 04:23 PM
No, it's a different book. I am going to read this. Thank you, Droid.

droid
20-06-2014, 04:33 PM
Always a pleasure.


"You cant be too careful in the East" said Metin, twirling his moustache. "As they say in Ankara: Kurdistan is like a cucumber. Today in your hand; tomorrow up your arse."

You might like the source of this as well. William Dalrymple's 'From the Holy Mountain': http://www.amazon.com/Holy-Mountain-Journey-Shadow-Byzantium-ebook/dp/B0088NCE3W/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403278360&sr=1-3&keywords=William+Dalrymple%27s+%27From+the+Holy+Mo untain%27

droid
23-06-2014, 10:05 AM
Lol. Carter's go-to man for Iran was called 'Gary Sick'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Sick

Nearly finished this now Craner - i could send you it if you like.

craner
24-06-2014, 11:24 PM
Gary Sick, Dick Armey, these guys with their names have been around a while.

Book: yes please. Message me.

Sectionfive
07-08-2014, 10:47 PM
Looking at this ISIS crowd and don't know if the mainstreaming of Vice or luka's Neo-Con strategies thread is worrying me more.

Mr. Tea
12-08-2014, 08:19 PM
Just seen some photos a friend took of a pro-ISIS stall on Oxford Street today. Jesus H. Christ. :-/

Mr. Tea
12-08-2014, 08:23 PM
Just seen some photos a friend took of a pro-ISIS stall on Oxford Street today. Jesus H. Christ. :-/

Can you imagine a group of people bigging up the IDF in a public place in London in the same way? They'd need hospital treatment within two minutes.

droid
12-08-2014, 10:18 PM
Thats why they put the pro-idf stall inside a big building near Oxford Circus.

Mr. Tea
13-08-2014, 09:45 AM
Thats why they put the pro-idf stall inside a big building near Oxford Circus.

Really? Fuck. I actually just despair.

droid
13-08-2014, 10:09 AM
Yeah, there were some protests outside it recently. Here it is:

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/5/20/1305892583593/BBC-headquarters-007.jpg

:D

Patrick Swayze
13-08-2014, 12:57 PM
Thats why they put the pro-idf stall inside a big building near Oxford Circus.


Really? Fuck. I actually just despair.


Yeah, there were some protests outside it recently. Here it is:

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/5/20/1305892583593/BBC-headquarters-007.jpg

:D

lol

Mr. Tea
13-08-2014, 04:01 PM
Yes, very good droid. :cool:

droid
13-08-2014, 04:35 PM
I couldn't have done it without you. Youre the best straight man in the business. :)

Mr. Tea
13-08-2014, 05:01 PM
While I appreciate the gag, they're not actively recruiting for people to go to the Middle East and slaughter Muslims, as the ISIS supporters appear to be doing.

sufi
18-08-2014, 11:31 PM
PAUL BARRY: Were you surprised they broadcast it like that?

FAKE OMAR: No because reality always surpass fiction. There are so many donkeys in this world.

— Media Watch interview with fake Omar Al-Shishani, 15th August, 2014

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4069665.htm

sufi
18-08-2014, 11:39 PM
also this:


SOURCE: JAPANESE NATIONAL HARUNA YUKAWA CAPTURED IN SYRIA WAS PLAYING “SURVIVAL GAME”

http://www.chechensinsyria.com/?p=22395

craner
19-08-2014, 10:54 PM
Point being?

sufi
21-08-2014, 10:50 AM
Point being?
none especially, except perhaps that the isis/western media nexus is increasingly bizarre and disgusting

trza
21-08-2014, 10:45 PM
More like the Technocratic State of Iraq and Syria, they are building hospitals, running bread bakeries, fixing bus schedules, opening schools (boys only for now), and their credit rating might be better than Argentina at this point.

Leo
22-08-2014, 01:12 AM
More like the Technocratic State of Iraq and Syria, they are building hospitals, running bread bakeries, fixing bus schedules, opening schools (boys only for now), and their credit rating might be better than Argentina at this point.

a regular up-and-coming tourist destination, if you don't mind the occasional hostage beheading and village extermination.

Mr. Tea
22-08-2014, 09:28 AM
...fixing bus schedules...

You know who ELSE made the trains run on time, right?

Mr. Tea
22-08-2014, 10:28 AM
none especially, except perhaps that the isis/western media nexus is increasingly bizarre and disgusting

It does seem as if a lot of newspapers and broadcasters couldn't really be going further out of their way to do exactly what these cunts want them to do...

trza
22-08-2014, 02:55 PM
They still aren't as bad as the ice bucket challenge.

Leo
05-09-2014, 08:24 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd-WifC_JYo

Mr. Tea
05-09-2014, 09:55 PM
pffft, says it all really

Patrick Swayze
06-09-2014, 02:22 PM
More like the Technocratic State of Iraq and Syria, they are building hospitals, running bread bakeries, fixing bus schedules, opening schools (boys only for now), and their credit rating might be better than Argentina at this point.

ISIL is becoming increasingly gentrified

Leo
06-09-2014, 03:10 PM
ISIL is becoming increasingly gentrified

LOL!

trza
06-09-2014, 05:35 PM
And it begins


Syrian conflict: Assad forces 'hit IS-run bakery'

(Reuters) - Syrian warplanes bombed a bakery run by Islamic State in the city of Raqqa, killing 25 people, in air raids on Saturday

craner
10-09-2014, 01:49 PM
The entire leadership of Ahrar al-Sham, the biggest jihadi group in Syria, just got wiped out by a bomb. ISIS loving it.

Leo
16-09-2014, 07:50 PM
Branding ISIS, ISIL, IS

To associate such brutal ferocity to the idea of branding may seem simplistic, even callous. Yet the Islamic State’s success at spreading its gospel to destroy “infidels” throughout the world involves cunning propaganda and skillful branding to convince a portion of the Islamic world that they’ll remove Islam’s enemies from their lands, while insuring the IS name is more on their target’s mind than that of its leading competitors, Al Qaeda and the Taliban.


http://www.printmag.com/daily-heller/branding-isis-isil-is/

also...

THE DIVIDENDS OF DEATH


We are becoming inured to the killing, the ice cold murderousness of the Islamists. But IS has produced something new, a way of cataloguing its murders, and communicating to the wider world. Like any company or charity or government department, it publishes annual reports.

http://www.atelierworks.co.uk/blog/the-dividends-of-death.php

ISIS Clothing For Sale As Indonesian Retailers Cash In On Iraq Crisis
http://www.ibtimes.com/isis-clothing-sale-indonesian-retailers-cash-iraq-crisis-photos-1609198

Mr. Tea
16-09-2014, 08:37 PM
Branding ISIS, ISIL, IS


http://www.printmag.com/daily-heller/branding-isis-isil-is/


We've all seen this, right?

http://www.dissensus.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=79&d=1410896230

79

trza
23-09-2014, 03:35 PM
I guess its still going on now.

Leo
30-09-2014, 02:51 PM
The War Nerd: Let’s put Islamic State’s menacing advance into perspective by… looking at a map
http://pando.com/2014/09/28/the-war-nerd-lets-put-islamic-states-menacing-advance-into-perspective-by-looking-at-a-map/

Mr. Tea
14-10-2014, 10:29 AM
I expect most of you have heard about this (http://www.vox.com/2014/10/5/6909837/naomi-wolf-isis-ebola-scotland-conspiracy-theories), right?


Author and former Democratic political consultant Naomi Wolf published a series of Facebook posts on Saturday in which she questioned the veracity of the ISIS videos showing the murders and beheadings of two Americans and two Britons, strongly implying that the videos had been staged by the US government and that the victims and their parents were actors.

I can't think of a clearer example of the insidious crypto-racism inherent in the worldview of the sort of self-loathing white leftists who can't quite bring themselves to credit anyone who isn't a white Westerner (or an Israeli) with active moral agency, or to believe that mere Arabs, mere Muslims, could possibly have an agenda of their own and not just be the "puppets" or "stooges" of Washington/Westminster/Jerusalem, where the Bad Men meet to plan the future of the entire world in every minute particular.

I'd love to watch her accuse the relatives of James Foley or David Haines of being "actors" to their faces - wonder if she'd have the balls.

And as a Brucey Bonus:


Wolf published a separate Facebook post, also on Saturday, suggesting that the US was sending troops to West Africa not to assist with Ebola treatment but to bring Ebola back to the US to justify a military takeover of American society.

If that's what some shadowy branch of the US government is trying to achieve, all I can say is they're doing a *really* shit job of it. (Not that civilian life in America isn't being increasingly militarized by all accounts, particularly with regards to law enforcement - just that this seems to have been going on pretty smoothly over the last couple of decades without the assistance of an artificial Ebola pandemic.)

baboon2004
14-10-2014, 01:52 PM
"insidious crypto-racism inherent in the worldview of the sort of self-loathing white leftists"

It's just Naomi Wolf being silly/insane, but there's no need to generalise and create a stereotype out of thin air. How does self-loathing come into this anyways? People have all kinds of motivations for doing what they do, but I don't see that objecting strongly to US foreign policy (especially in the extended Middle East, but most places really) need be anything more complex than a stance based upon quite liking humanity and not being into imperialism. 99.9% of people who object, do also understand that Isis members are acting from a series of complex motivations themselves, being human beings and all (and not the monsters daily presented to us by much of the Western press).

I was accused of being an Isis apologist last week for merely pointing out that US aims in the Middle East are based upon pursuit of global power and resource greed, and not upon human rights* (fairly obvious, given that they're happy to ignore untold abuses of rights in lots of places it's not necessary to name). I would have laughed if I hadn't been crying with frustration. Seems as self-evident to me as that isis leaders are acting out of similar motives, and not a commitment to the word of Islam.

droid
14-10-2014, 02:56 PM
So the turks are bombing the PKK now.

Mr. Tea
14-10-2014, 04:25 PM
Baboon -

OK, so you're aware that ISIS has arisen as a result of the complex and violent recent history of the region, in which British and American imperialism has played a huge part, and aren't simply a bunch of evil savages that exist for no reason; that such imperialism is largely self-interested (as is all imperialism, in all places and at all times); and that ISIS itself is motivated more by power for power's sake than by any deep mystical connection with Islam.

That's still a pretty bloody far cry from claiming that the entire movement is a CIA false-flag operation! Point is, there's no need to get defensive - I'm having a go at the Truther idiots, not you.

Edit: it may be a stereotype but like most stereotypes it's not based on nothing. On the contrary, rather than coming "out of thin air" it's based on many, many statements I've read or heard from many people over many years. Remember old padraig/HMLT who used to post here? Textbook case, although there have been others. It's a worldview that proceeds entirely from a conviction that "The West", whatever that is exactly, is the Great Satan and that everything bad happening, anywhere in the world and for any apparent cause, is the West's fault. That's the self-loathing part. I call it crypto-racist because basically everyone in the rest of the world, but especially the Muslim world, is assumed either to be acting in a purely reactive, deterministic way, without moral agency, or to be in on the great Western conspiracy. So it either dehumanizes them or makes them the West's puppets.

And it's just so depressingly solipsistic, it makes everything about us.

Mr. Tea
14-10-2014, 06:24 PM
Tangentially related, but a friend of mine posted this on Facebook today:


FWIW, I think Malala Yousuzai's Nobel Peace Prize was well deserved, certainly more so than most that have been given out over the decades. Also, I think that the activists that made the British parliament's non-binding resolution on the recognition of Palestine possible deserve to be commended. To read the comments in my news feed, you'd think that Malala Yousufzai was directing a bombing campaign for NATO and that the PSC were subcontracted by the Netanyahu cabinet to pull off a stunt. There is a lot of weird nastiness in some quarters of the Left ... this is a bit sick.

Incidentally, my friend is a Palestinian and by no means a cheerleader for American foreign policy.

So yeah, I'm certainly not trying to tar all or even most people who identify as left-wing with this sort of obnoxious ultra-cynicism - but there is undeniably a pretty unpleasant current in some leftist discourse that is just so disproportionately obsessed with the absolute evil of Amerisrael is that it's forgotten about everything else. Even, apparently, to the point of being cynical about a young girl who stood up to some vile religious fascists and got shot in the head for her troubles.

baboon2004
14-10-2014, 11:20 PM
Baboon -
Point is, there's no need to get defensive - I'm having a go at the Truther idiots, not you.

Edit: it may be a stereotype but like most stereotypes it's not based on nothing. On the contrary, rather than coming "out of thin air" it's based on many, many statements I've read or heard from many people over many years. Remember old padraig/HMLT who used to post here? Textbook case, although there have been others. It's a worldview that proceeds entirely from a conviction that "The West", whatever that is exactly, is the Great Satan and that everything bad happening, anywhere in the world and for any apparent cause, is the West's fault. That's the self-loathing part. I call it crypto-racist because basically everyone in the rest of the world, but especially the Muslim world, is assumed either to be acting in a purely reactive, deterministic way, without moral agency, or to be in on the great Western conspiracy. So it either dehumanizes them or makes them the West's puppets.

And it's just so depressingly solipsistic, it makes everything about us.

I wasn't getting defensive (!) - I was disagreeing with your use of a stereotype which isn't very helpful, based on something nuts one (famous) person has said. Does Naomi Wolf have any real power? No. So why be concerned with what she's done wrong' rather than the maniacs who do have power and are no less deluded/conspiracy theory oriented then her. And also it stereotypes the left wing in a way that is tiresome because it's the default tactic of right wing apologists every single day. Yes, what Naomi Wolf said is crazy, but way more crazy is bombing the shit out of a country that became totally fucked up because you bombed the shit out of it previously (illegally and against the wishes of millions of your citizens). Decry THOSE people's craziness, cos they run the world, not Naomi Wolf or the small number of leftist conspiracy theorists.

My second point was - why is positing everything as the West's fault (if one were to do this, for argument's sake), self-loathing? It only is if you somehow identify with 'the West', if you identify with the nation-state you happen to live in. Otherwise, it's most frequently not self-criticism, but criticising the force that has done more to fuck up the world than any other (because it got the opportunity to be the preeminent force for various contingent reasons - I quite agree the result would've been the same had the Muslim world become the predominant force in world power), and the force you get to see at work most closely on a daily basis. You might as well say that Afghan people who think the Taliban are the worst thing in the world and spend most of their time criticising them, are 'self-loathing'.

I agree that refusing to see that the Other has agency, is clearly dehumanising.

baboon2004
14-10-2014, 11:38 PM
As to Malala, well - she herself is clearly a brave person and human rights activist who deserves to win something better than the joke that is the Nobel Peace prize.

But unfortunately, such is the awfulness of the world that there is a real tragedy - which is that her bravery and spirit is being used as a product by which to justify US imperialism. It's a fucking PR war, and the US is very good at PR - the best, really, capitalism's forte. I have a connection with all this through work - the part of my work which I try to distance myself from and work on as little as possible; the rest is better and less revolting - so I know a bit about the kind of US-sponsored PR programmes that are going on in the Middle East and subcontinent, and their quasi-religious, crypto-racist, lobotomised insanity is indistinguishable from the 'fundamentalism' (always that word, without even bothering to qualify) that they are supposedly attacking on the grounds of human rights. Laughable, given the history (and ongoing reality) of the US, but that goes without saying.

Using 'the US' as shorthand (mostly) here.

baboon2004
14-10-2014, 11:59 PM
On a side point about this crazy PR war, this guy is obviously a complete legend*:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ibKWVTFSak

Shines out like a beacon, so used am I to hearing (on TV) mealymouthed and evasive horseshit masquerading as analysis.

*Reza Aslan. Young Turks is always pretty good tho in general

Mr. Tea
15-10-2014, 11:25 AM
Does Naomi Wolf have any real power? No.

She's a high-profile figure and people listen to her. If you say she has no "real power" because she's not a politician then you could just as well say the same thing about Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly or whoever. Do the things these people say have no consequence at all?


what Naomi Wolf said is crazy, but way more crazy is bombing the shit out of a country that became totally fucked up because you bombed the shit out of it previously (illegally and against the wishes of millions of your citizens).

Now you're almost making my point for me! Iraq is dysfunctional entirely because The West bombed it, end of story. Because it was, you know, a perfectly nice liberal democracy back when Saddam was in charge.

Do you see what I mean?


You might as well say that Afghan people who think the Taliban are the worst thing in the world and spend most of their time criticising them, are 'self-loathing'.

OK, I should be more clear: it's not a personal self-loathing, more on a cultural and national level. But the comparison between the UK government and the Taliban still doesn't quite hold, as the Taliban has no democratic mandate whereas at least a large proportion of the UK's electorate has voted for parties with belligerent foreign policies (the great majority, in fact, given the similarity in policy between the three major parties).

Moreover, clearly even the most ardent critics of the Taliban haven't accused, say, the recent invasions of Afghanistan (whether by Soviet or NATO-led forces) of being false-flag operations by the Taliban itself, so there is no mirror-image equivalent to loonies like Wolf or Alex Jones who think every little insurrection, bomb plot or whatever happening anywhere in the world is a CIA/Mossad-led conspiracy.

droid
15-10-2014, 12:15 PM
Now you're almost making my point for me! Iraq is dysfunctional entirely because The West bombed it, end of story. Because it was, you know, a perfectly nice liberal democracy back when Saddam was in charge.

Do you see what I mean?


Not to get in the middle of this, but c'mon, thats quite clearly not what he's saying. Look at the counterfactuals. If the west had not invaded and completely shattered iraqi society, you know as well as I do that the country, and the region would be far more stable, despite the lack of 'liberal democracy'.

Mr. Tea
15-10-2014, 12:25 PM
Fine, call that a bit of hyperbole to make a point. Yes, Iraq was "stable" when Saddam was in charge. So was the USSR under Stalin. My point was that saying "Iraq is fucked up because of the invasion in '03" does rather carry an implication that it wasn't fucked up beforehand. It may in some respects have been less fucked up, but by any reasonable standard it was still pretty fucked up.

droid
15-10-2014, 12:42 PM
Now you're being disingenuous :)

Yes, it was 'fucked up' beforehand, now it doesn't exist. Its a bit like saying that my car was 'fucked up' when it was totalled in a crash, exploded, fallen off a cliff and the remains have been crushed into a tiny cube, but it was also fucked up beforehand as the brake pads were worn and the steering was a bit loose.

Mr. Tea
15-10-2014, 01:21 PM
Isn't it a bit soon to be saying Iraq no longer exists? Most of the country is still under government control, for now.

I also think you're rather underplaying the problems the country had prior to the invasion. Worn brake pads, eh!

droid
15-10-2014, 01:57 PM
Almost every state is fucked up, but when the fundamental functions of the state collapses - basic services and security, territorial integrity, self determination (however limited) that things move onto the 'crushed into a cube' state.

Iraq has ceased to exist. The invasion destroyed its culture, economy and society. Its just taking a while for the message to reach the brain. Like those few moments after decapitation when the head can still see.

baboon2004
15-10-2014, 02:13 PM
Not what I'm saying. To make my point clearer: people who share Naomi Wolf's opinions do not run anything/have any power beyond the verbal. People who share the opinions of the right-wing mentalists you've mentioned, do run US foreign policy. Broadly speaking.

Wow, you really do want to 'win the argument' (no, I don't see what you mean, at all). You're drawing a conclusion that doesn't follow in any way from what I said, and what's more you clearly know that. Why even bother? Clearly bombing a country to shit doesn't help its citizens any, and clearly this bombing had nothing to do with the type of regime that was there beforehand anyways.

Your point is irrelevant for someone who voted against those policies/doesn't believe in them. And how do you go from disagreeing with the foreign policy of the country you happen to live in, to loathing one's 'culture' (however you might define this), I have no idea. As if cultures are monolithic anyways.


She's a high-profile figure and people listen to her. If you say she has no "real power" because she's not a politician then you could just as well say the same thing about Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly or whoever. Do the things these people say have no consequence at all?

Now you're almost making my point for me! Iraq is dysfunctional entirely because The West bombed it, end of story. Because it was, you know, a perfectly nice liberal democracy back when Saddam was in charge.

Do you see what I mean?



OK, I should be more clear: it's not a personal self-loathing, more on a cultural and national level. But the comparison between the UK government and the Taliban still doesn't quite hold, as the Taliban has no democratic mandate whereas at least a large proportion of the UK's electorate has voted for parties with belligerent foreign policies (the great majority, in fact, given the similarity in policy between the three major parties).

Moreover, clearly even the most ardent critics of the Taliban haven't accused, say, the recent invasions of Afghanistan (whether by Soviet or NATO-led forces) of being false-flag operations by the Taliban itself, so there is no mirror-image equivalent to loonies like Wolf or Alex Jones who think every little insurrection, bomb plot or whatever happening anywhere in the world is a CIA/Mossad-led conspiracy.

baboon2004
15-10-2014, 02:23 PM
Fine, call that a bit of hyperbole to make a point. Yes, Iraq was "stable" when Saddam was in charge. So was the USSR under Stalin. My point was that saying "Iraq is fucked up because of the invasion in '03" does rather carry an implication that it wasn't fucked up beforehand. It may in some respects have been less fucked up, but by any reasonable standard it was still pretty fucked up.

So are you saying that bombing a country to make it even more fucked up (we can agree on this, it seems) is not crazy? Not even getting into the motivations for said aggression.

Mr. Tea
15-10-2014, 02:50 PM
People who share the opinions of the right-wing mentalists you've mentioned, do run US foreign policy. Broadly speaking.

I'm not sure this is true though, even broadly. There are plenty of high-profile right-wing pundits in America whose ideas of what their country's military should be doing in the Middle East and wider Muslim world make Obama look like a peace-loving hippie socialist (which is pretty much what they think he is, anyway).


And how do you go from disagreeing with the foreign policy of the country you happen to live in, to loathing one's 'culture' (however you might define this), I have no idea.

I was talking about people like Wolf who've let their hatred for their government tip from the rational into the irrational when they start blaming it for the active belligerence of other groups (ISIS) or natural disasters (Ebola). And OK, governments are not cultures, but it is pretty common for people to bewail their whole culture, as if other cultures have got everything all nicely figured out.

Sorry, shouldn't have brought this up in the Iraq thread as it's a much broader subject, it just happened to come up in the context of NW's loony conspiracy ramblings.

Mr. Tea
15-10-2014, 03:01 PM
So are you saying that bombing a country to make it even more fucked up (we can agree on this, it seems) is not crazy? Not even getting into the motivations for said aggression.

No, I'm not saying that at all - just that the fucked-up-ness dates back a bit further than 2003. Who was it on here saying years ago that there was no significant Sunni-Shi'ite divide in Iraq prior to the invasion? I mean honestly.

luka
15-10-2014, 04:36 PM
id like to quote oliver craner re ebola and this discussion

On the campaign trail in 2000, Africa was not important to the national strategic interest, said W.: "there's got to be priorities". Then two years ago the US Middle East Adventure became less secure, less assured, and Dick Cheney predicted that West Africa would become the fastest growing provider of oil and gas to the US. Untapped oil fields were marked throughout the Gulf of Guinea. These are ready to be extracted by advanced drilling techniques and massive multicorporate spending by ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco, amongst others.

The geopolitical balance veers. New military bases, new money. "We can't just rely on these Saudi punks." "We gotta go where nobody is watching."

The US has indentified increasing African oil imports as an issue of 'national security' and has used diplomacy to court African producers regardless of their record on transparency, democracy or human rights.
Ian Gary, Bottom of the Barrel: Africa's Oil Boom and the Poor
www.catholicrelief.org/africanoil.ctm

Mr. Tea
15-10-2014, 05:06 PM
What's all that got to do with Ebola?

luka
15-10-2014, 05:12 PM
??!! tea!!

sufi
15-10-2014, 05:23 PM
The US has indentified increasing African oil imports as an issue of 'national security' and has used diplomacy to court African producers regardless of their record on transparency, democracy or human rights.
Ian Gary, Bottom of the Barrel: Africa's Oil Boom and the Poor
www.catholicrelief.org/africanoil.ctmthat link is defunct
use this one: http://crs.org/publications/showpdf.cfm?pdf_id=186

trza
15-10-2014, 06:44 PM
America found chemical weapons in Iraq while occupying the country, except it was from before 1991, and it injured a bunch of Americans and Iraqis, and the military covered it up.

Mr. Tea
15-10-2014, 06:58 PM
??!! tea!!

OK, I'll have a go:

there is oil in West Africa
there is also ebola in West Africa
America is quite keen on oil
it isn't quite so keen on ebola

How am I doing?

luka
15-10-2014, 07:10 PM
have you forgotten this naomi woman already???

luka
15-10-2014, 07:36 PM
A number of readers have read reports that the CIA was active in West Africa just prior to the ebola outbreak, and some have read reports that the ebola strain is a weaponized version engineered to spread by air and surface contact. Some readers ask me to confirm or refute these reports, and others want to know if the One Percent or the Bilderbergers have started the process of eliminating the surplus population.

Mr. Tea
15-10-2014, 08:35 PM
Oh I seeee. Makes perfect sense put like that.

baboon2004
16-10-2014, 06:20 PM
1/ You're seriously suggesting that US foreign policy isn't far closer to the right-wing political pundits? :confused: Come on....US foreign policy is an imperialist one based upon accrual of global power and resources, that shows little to no regard for what gets in its way. While the right wing pundits may want *more* destruction and wanton disregard for just about anyone else, they'd be pretty happy overall at the way the US has behaved since 2001. Anyone remotely close to the left wing, would not be at all happy.

2/ Naomi Wolf, however mental what she said, was merely proceeding (to a very extreme degree) along the line of argument that the US government would stop at nothing to find crooked ways to excuse its belligerence. Whereas of course (mostly) they're just opportunistically and incredibly cynically taking advantage of what's happening to justify further 'intervention', rather than creating these scenarios themselves. She wasn't criticising or bewailing a whole culture (American or otherwise), at least as far as I've read. It's an entirely different line of argument.

3/ My major point is really that if we want to criticise looniness, then let's look at people who are running things, not Naomi Wolf. But Ive said that before, so I'll leave it at that.


I'm not sure this is true though, even broadly. There are plenty of high-profile right-wing pundits in America whose ideas of what their country's military should be doing in the Middle East and wider Muslim world make Obama look like a peace-loving hippie socialist (which is pretty much what they think he is, anyway).

I was talking about people like Wolf who've let their hatred for their government tip from the rational into the irrational when they start blaming it for the active belligerence of other groups (ISIS) or natural disasters (Ebola). And OK, governments are not cultures, but it is pretty common for people to bewail their whole culture, as if other cultures have got everything all nicely figured out.

Sorry, shouldn't have brought this up in the Iraq thread as it's a much broader subject, it just happened to come up in the context of NW's loony conspiracy ramblings.

baboon2004
16-10-2014, 06:25 PM
No, I'm not saying that at all - just that the fucked-up-ness dates back a bit further than 2003. Who was it on here saying years ago that there was no significant Sunni-Shi'ite divide in Iraq prior to the invasion? I mean honestly.

Er, I don't know.

Well, I think we agree on that. My point is just that bombing a country to get rid of a group of people with a horrible modus operandi (Isis) who sprung up in the chaos caused by previous campaigns of aggression, is 100% insane as a 'strategy to enhance democracy', or whatever the US would laughably call it. What would Britain (for example) be like if it had been similarly bombed? Can you even imagine**?! Extreme circumstances can create extremists (still don't like that word, but hey) of otherwise *relatively* tolerant people.

**and this, to me, links in with what you said previously about 'crypto-racist' assumptions, or whatever you want to call them - too often there is the implication that the 'Others' are somehow not human enough to be affected on a deep emotional level by appalling things happening around them, and that they somehow are supposed to be able just 'get on with it', like automatons. Thinking about what would happen here (UK in my case) in similar circumstances is therefore a vital 'thought experiment'.

Mr. Tea
16-10-2014, 07:11 PM
1/ You're seriously suggesting that US foreign policy isn't far closer to the right-wing political pundits? :confused:

From any kind of remotely sane viewpoint? No, of course not. But they haven't nuked Tehran yet, and it wouldn't be hard to find people in America - high-profile pundits and members of the public alike - who think that'd probably be a pretty great idea.


3/ My major point is really that if we want to criticise looniness, then let's look at people who are running things, not Naomi Wolf. But Ive said that before, so I'll leave it at that.

OK, fair enough. I still think the loony-fringe conspiracy theorists are perhaps not as harmless as all that though, because they can end up discrediting by association more intelligent thinkers whose criticisms of the political and corporate establishment are entirely valid. It also gives Naomi Wolf - who I'm sure considers herself left-wing in most important respects - a certain amount of common ground with the likes of Alex Jones, who (to the extent that he can be classified according to a conventional political spectrum) is pretty clearly on the extreme right.


Extreme circumstances can create extremists (still don't like that word, but hey) of otherwise *relatively* tolerant people.

I guess people with no prior extremist tendencies could find themselves getting swept along with a fanatical movement. But ISIS grew out of a group originally led by al-Zarqawi that was active years before the invasion. It's the power vacuum left by the fall of Saddam's regime, the chaos following the invasion and the corrupt and incompetent government that followed that's allowed ISIS to flourish, agreed - but the ideology was there already.

baboon2004
17-10-2014, 12:46 PM
True. But I think if you went back to 2000, then people would be gobsmacked at quite what has become possible in foreign policy since 2001. The goalposts have shifted radically towards right-wing nutjobbery, even if it hasn't fulfilled their wildest expectations.

yeah, there is the possibility that excessive conspiracy theories will discredit better thinkers on the left, it's true. But people still take right-wing thought seriously despite the pretty high profile (in the US at least) of the extreme right wing nutjobs.

Ok, agreed that the ideology didn't spring out of nothing, but the support for it intensified to a critical point because of what has been happening in Iraq, and the power vacuum created the conditions for Isis to flourish. You also only need to look at what's happened in Europe recently to see that extreme conditions create the conditions where many people let their more extreme tendencies/views come out into the open. Has any journalist written a decent piece regarding Isis member backgrounds/previous political history? Obviously not an easy piece to pull off....

and (not directly relating to any of your points, just saw on Facebook):

http://www.5pillarz.com/2014/10/16/student-rep-subjected-to-islamophobic-witch-hunt-over-anti-isis-motion/


From any kind of remotely sane viewpoint? No, of course not. But they haven't nuked Tehran yet, and it wouldn't be hard to find people in America - high-profile pundits and members of the public alike - who think that'd probably be a pretty great idea.



OK, fair enough. I still think the loony-fringe conspiracy theorists are perhaps not as harmless as all that though, because they can end up discrediting by association more intelligent thinkers whose criticisms of the political and corporate establishment are entirely valid. It also gives Naomi Wolf - who I'm sure considers herself left-wing in most important respects - a certain amount of common ground with the likes of Alex Jones, who (to the extent that he can be classified according to a conventional political spectrum) is pretty clearly on the extreme right.



I guess people with no prior extremist tendencies could find themselves getting swept along with a fanatical movement. But ISIS grew out of a group originally led by al-Zarqawi that was active years before the invasion. It's the power vacuum left by the fall of Saddam's regime, the chaos following the invasion and the corrupt and incompetent government that followed that's allowed ISIS to flourish, agreed - but the ideology was there already.

Mr. Tea
17-10-2014, 01:06 PM
It's the power vacuum left by the fall of Saddam's regime, the chaos following the invasion and the corrupt and incompetent government that followed that's allowed ISIS to flourish, agreed - but the ideology was there already.

A bit like how it was the devastation of WWI, the annihilation of the German economy by the punitive measures imposed by the victorious Allies and widespread dissatisfaction with the corrupt Weimar government that created the social conditions that allowed the Nazis to rise to power. By themselves, those factors sound rather like the ingredients for a Marxist revolution - but it was the far right that took power instead because of the other ingredients: a combination of militarism, ethnic nationalism and reactionary mysticism that began in the previous century, and a popular anti-Semitism dating back to time immemorial.

All of which starts to sound a bit familiar in the context of ISIS, doesn't it? Not so much the ethnic nationalism, but certainly the other bits.

trza
17-10-2014, 08:00 PM
Are we still talking about CIA weaponized Ebola in West Africa?

Mr. Tea
21-10-2014, 12:42 PM
So the turks are bombing the PKK now.

And now they're assisting the Peshmerga! Or at least, no longer actively obstructing them. Weird times we live in...

Turkey opens corridor for Kurdish fighters to relieve Kobani (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/64ed8d28-581e-11e4-b331-00144feab7de.html#axzz3GmLFQzfK)

sufi
24-10-2014, 12:20 AM
Jenan Moussa @jenanmoussa

U have to watch this. Huge coalition airstrike West #Kobane on ISIS caught on camera https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx-jd3w7kPU&feature=youtu.be … @akhbar

https://twitter.com/jenanmoussa/status/525381757898862595
138 RETWEETS 98 FAVORITES أكتوبر 23, 2014

it's like battle of the snuff films

trza
24-10-2014, 01:10 AM
I saw some cable news story about teenage girls running away from America to join Isis. Are there some females on the front lines of ISIS?

Patrick Swayze
24-10-2014, 03:40 PM
I saw some cable news story about teenage girls running away from America to join Isis. Are there some females on the front lines of ISIS?

Think they mainly go over to be wives and bear children for ISIS fighters. The report I heard said they're promised houses.

So they've tapped into something that goes right to the heart of English sensibilities. Not sure if a fixed rate mortgage and a reliable, family-sized car are part of the package.

Mr. Tea
24-10-2014, 04:24 PM
Think they mainly go over to be wives and bear children for ISIS fighters.

Well let's hope for their sake that their brave boys haven't got too into ANAL JIHAD to give them a second glance...

trza
24-10-2014, 04:59 PM
I watched few seconds of the trashy cnn/fox news story about teenage girls running away from Denver to join Isis. My first thought was "girls like guys who have confidence....", one of those things some teenage girls find a attractive is a guy who is really confident and sure of himself.

Then I started to wonder if the whole ISIS/sexism thing is more of a media creation to try to make westerners feel better about themselves and hate isis more. War has a way of turning sex rules upside down and doing crazy stuff to the sexual status quo. the womens rights movement, women leaving the house to work in factories, other stuff was hastened by the labor shortage during wars.

Its like if you are in a civil war and guys are dying all over the place, it makes the women do all the hard work and stuff to keep society going. There might be some hidden matriarchal power structure behind all the propaganda videos and stories of forced marriages.

Mr. Tea
24-10-2014, 10:18 PM
More like the Technocratic State of Iraq and Syria, they are building hospitals, running bread bakeries, fixing bus schedules, opening schools (boys only for now), and their credit rating might be better than Argentina at this point.



Then I started to wonder if the whole ISIS/sexism thing is more of a media creation to try to make westerners feel better about themselves and hate isis more. War has a way of turning sex rules upside down and doing crazy stuff to the sexual status quo. the womens rights movement, women leaving the house to work in factories, other stuff was hastened by the labor shortage during wars.

Its like if you are in a civil war and guys are dying all over the place, it makes the women do all the hard work and stuff to keep society going. There might be some hidden matriarchal power structure behind all the propaganda videos and stories of forced marriages.

Seriously mate, what the fuck kind of trip are you on?

Patrick Swayze
24-10-2014, 11:02 PM
Then I started to wonder if the whole ISIS/sexism thing is more of a media creation to try to make westerners feel better about themselves and hate isis more.

Yeah I didnt think those ISIS blokes were so bad until I found out they were taking our bloody women!

Mr. Tea
25-10-2014, 10:52 PM
Yeah I didnt think those ISIS blokes were so bad until I found out they were taking our bloody women!

I bet they get up especially early to nab all the best spots by the pool an' all, the cunts.

craner
10-03-2015, 12:14 PM
The on-going adventures of Matthew Van Dyke:

http://www.sonsoflibertyinternational.com/missions/iraq/npu/

trza
10-03-2015, 03:26 PM
Has there ever been a bigger "political loser" than this Iran nukes deal? The domestic politics are just a total stinker, there is just no incentive for any politician in America to say they support the thing.

sufi
12-03-2015, 05:28 PM
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/17435-isis-executes-one-of-its-sharia-judges this is the logical progression of takfirism, almost impossible to understand who is kafiring who

Mr. Tea
12-03-2015, 10:06 PM
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/17435-isis-executes-one-of-its-sharia-judges this is the logical progression of takfirism, almost impossible to understand who is kafiring who

Lol, apparently bin Laden himself is now a kafir. With a bit of luck this latest turn will help accelerate the group's surely inevitable implosion under the weight of it its own zealotry.

trza
11-05-2015, 03:27 PM
London Review of Books?

craner
11-05-2015, 03:34 PM
The major US source for the account that follows is a retired senior intelligence official who was knowledgeable about the initial intelligence about bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad.

*sigh*

trza
13-05-2015, 06:26 PM
Looks like Pakistan is taking the article seriously, and maybe some people are piling on a couple retired generals who are in prison and can't get back at people.

Meanwhile Jeb Bush is "mishearing" interview questions about the Iraq war, and totally stumbling through every response. Its like Sideshow Bob stepping on one rake after another, he just can't talk about Iraq without looking absurd. Its one thing to have your brother speak at private fundraisers and woo big money donors, but defending his decisions in public is turning out tragically for Jeb.

trza
01-10-2015, 05:43 PM
Does anyone have any idea what is going on in Syria or Iraq right now?

craner
01-10-2015, 10:11 PM
There's some extraordinarily dangerous stuff happening Syria.

Mr. Tea
01-10-2015, 10:13 PM
There's some extraordinarily dangerous stuff happening Syria.

Yeah, like, potential Cold War Mk2 stuff, if that's not over-egging it...

droid
02-10-2015, 10:11 AM
Lets see...

Under the guise of fighting IS, the Turks are bombing the Kurds and attacking them politically within Turkey, potentially starting another war. The Kurds are of course the most effective anti-IS force on the ground

France, the US, Australia and the UK are bombing IS in Syria & Iraq whilst also providing support and training to other non-IS rebel groups.

The Arab league, Qatar and the Saudis are arming various rebel groups and threatening direct intervention.

The Russians are now using the refugee crisis as an excuse to bomb the main threats to Assad from non-IS rebel groups, including CIA trained groups and supported by various East Europeans and the Chinese.

Iran & Hezbollah are offering technical and independent military support of Assad.

Neighbouring countries, including Jordan, Israel and Lebanon are all involved either directly or covertly.

Every other bunch of scumbags in the planet including Croatia and North Korea are either shipping arms to, or supporting one faction or another.

Practically all of these interventions are illegal under IL, except possibly, the Russians and their allies.

Presumably the 'plan' now is to wipe out opposition to Assad one way or another and allow him to step down with some kind of puppet government set up to manage a 'transition' to democracy and then deal with IS.

Undoubtedly the prospects of a descent into a regional and then global conflagration are far more realistic. This makes Lebanon look like a tea party.

trza
02-10-2015, 02:57 PM
I like to simplify things so I will just blame it all on the political movement that is not part of my identity.

sufi
02-10-2015, 05:52 PM
this is rather interesting
http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5615/neareastarch.78.3.0170#pdf_only_tab_contents

sufi
02-10-2015, 05:53 PM
this is rather interesting
http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5615/neareastarch.78.3.0170#pdf_only_tab_contents


Abstract

This paper focuses on ISIS's recent destruction of archaeological heritage in Iraq and its (self-) representation in the global media. It is argued that the Islamic State's destruction of archaeological sites and museums as well as historical monuments and local shrines can be seen as a form of place-based violence that aims to annihilate the local sense of belonging, and the collective sense of memory among local communities, to whom the heritage belongs. It is also suggested that the Islamic State coordinates and choreographs these destructions as mediatic spectacles of violence aimed at objects and sites of heritage, which take place as re-enactments or historical performances that are communicated to us through ISIS's own image-making apparatus that utilizes advanced technologies of visualization and communication.

sufi
02-10-2015, 05:59 PM
Lets see...

Under the guise of fighting IS, the Turks are bombing the Kurds and attacking them politically within Turkey, potentially starting another war. The Kurds are of course the most effective anti-IS force on the ground

France, the US, Australia and the UK are bombing IS in Syria & Iraq whilst also providing support and training to other non-IS rebel groups.

The Arab league, Qatar and the Saudis are arming various rebel groups and threatening direct intervention.

The Russians are now using the refugee crisis as an excuse to bomb the main threats to Assad from non-IS rebel groups, including CIA trained groups and supported by various East Europeans and the Chinese.

Iran & Hezbollah are offering technical and independent military support of Assad.

Neighbouring countries, including Jordan, Israel and Lebanon are all involved either directly or covertly.

Every other bunch of scumbags in the planet including Croatia and North Korea are either shipping arms to, or supporting one faction or another.

Practically all of these interventions are illegal under IL, except possibly, the Russians and their allies.

Presumably the 'plan' now is to wipe out opposition to Assad one way or another and allow him to step down with some kind of puppet government set up to manage a 'transition' to democracy and then deal with IS.

Undoubtedly the prospects of a descent into a regional and then global conflagration are far more realistic. This makes Lebanon look like a tea party.
What you didnt mention is that as the US/"West" are in de facto alliance with Iran due to their shared "stewardship" of Iraq, they are effectively both backing and bombing pretty much everyone.
Basically a warmonger's jamboree at the expense of us all :(

droid
08-10-2015, 02:05 PM
What you didnt mention is that as the US/"West" are in de facto alliance with Iran due to their shared "stewardship" of Iraq, they are effectively both backing and bombing pretty much everyone.
Basically a warmonger's jamboree at the expense of us all :(

Yeah, sorry, you'd have to write a book to even begin to make sense of the mess.

This is good on putin: http://new.spectator.co.uk/2015/10/how-putin-outwitted-the-west/

Makes the point that a Russian backed Iranian intervention on the ground would put them in direct conflict with US forces.

trza
15-10-2015, 04:53 PM
I love the smell of drone strikes in the morning.....

droid
24-11-2015, 10:08 AM
Russian jet shot down by Turkey:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/nov/24/russian-jet-downed-by-turkish-planes-near-syrian-border-live-updates

trza
03-12-2015, 03:12 AM
so are we back to 2003 with the UK and USA bombing the middle east as partners again?

Slothrop
03-12-2015, 09:13 AM
http://mnftiu.cc/blog/images/war.008.gif

(This from 2001...)

droid
11-05-2016, 01:42 PM
A group of major human rights organizations – Physicians for Social Responsibility (US), Physicians for Global Survival (Canada), and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Germany) – conducted a study that sought “to provide as realistic an estimate as possible of the total body count in the three main war zones [Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan] during 12 years of ‘war on terrorism’,” including an extensive review “of the major studies and data published on the numbers of victims in these countries”, along with additional information on military actions.

Their “conservative estimate” is that these wars killed about 1.3 million people, a toll that “could also be in excess of 2 million”. A database search by independent researcher David Peterson in the days following the publication of the report found virtually no mention of it. Who cares?

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/11/al-qaida-war-on-terror-noam-chomsky-masters-of-mankind

craner
11-05-2016, 02:30 PM
"...said Noam Chomsky."

craner
11-05-2016, 02:39 PM
Although, to be fair, about three quarters of that text is comprised of quotes. The rest is just connecting clauses and snippy asides.

droid
11-05-2016, 02:43 PM
http://www.psr.org/news-events/press-releases/doctors-group-releases-startling-analysis.html


This publication highlights the difficulties in defining outcomes as it compares evaluations of war deaths in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Even so, the numbers are horrific. The number of Iraqis killed during and since the 2003 U.S. invasion have been assessed at one million, which represents 5% of the total population of Iraq. This does not include deaths among the three million refugees subjected to privations.

droid
11-05-2016, 02:45 PM
5% of the population. Another 15% converted into refugees. Destablisation of an entire region. The supreme war crime.

Considering you supported this atrocity, you should, perhaps be more circumspect in your comments about those who opposed it and were proved right.

craner
11-05-2016, 02:48 PM
Body Count takes a clear and objective look at the various and often contradictory--reports of mortality in conflicts directed by the U.S. and allied forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The result is a fuller picture of the devastation and lethality to civilian non-combatants throughout these regions. Unfortunately, these deaths have been effectively hidden from our collective consciousness and consciences by political leaders seeking to pursue military solutions to complex global issues with little, if any, accountability.

Nice objective starting point from the 'Physicians for Social Responsibility', then.

craner
11-05-2016, 02:51 PM
Considering you supported this atrocity, you should, perhaps be more circumspect in your comments about those who opposed it and were proved right.

Fair enough, I just can't understand why you post links to such garbage, though.

droid
11-05-2016, 02:51 PM
Does petty sniping assuage your conscience?

Just imagine, 5% of the UK dead, another 15% displaced, seemingly endless conflict and destabilisation nearly 15 years later, all for nothing.

droid
11-05-2016, 02:52 PM
Fair enough, I just can't understand why you post links to such garbage, though.

Because its true?

droid
11-05-2016, 02:53 PM
I mean, you havent actually got an argument here other than 'waugh, Noam Chomsky' have you?

craner
11-05-2016, 02:56 PM
Well, yes, but I'm not sure where to begin with you, though. You talk as if you know absolutely nothing about what has happened in the last 15 years.

droid
11-05-2016, 03:05 PM
lol, and you act as if you have know absolutely nothing about Western intervention over the last 2 centuries.

Tell me, what would be an acceptable level of Iraqi civilian deaths in your eyes?

droid
11-05-2016, 03:06 PM
Terrorism specialists Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank estimate that the Iraq war “generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost; even when terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is excluded, fatal attacks in the rest of the world have increased by more than one-third”.

Now thats a surprise isnt it?

droid
11-05-2016, 03:10 PM
I understand the scorn. It must be difficult to come to terms with the fact that you enthusiastically supported something that turned out to be a major crime against humanity.

craner
11-05-2016, 03:12 PM
But, you see, this is not a conversation. It's not even an argument. It's just two people standing back to back shouting at opposite walls. We never get anywhere, Droid.

droid
11-05-2016, 03:16 PM
Britain in ruins. Your brothers, friends, uncles, aunts, parents - dead, radicalised, tortured, turned into refugees. No place or person untouched by war and conflict and still no end in sight.

15 years later cheerleaders for war & citizens of an aggressor state claim 'there's not even an argument'.

droid
11-05-2016, 03:17 PM
You would think youd have the common decency not to comment, or, at the very least, say something meaningful.

droid
11-05-2016, 03:23 PM
The first step to redemption is admitting your mistakes.

craner
11-05-2016, 03:27 PM
Alright, then. I think that after the invasion the US made a fatal error in declaring an Occupation and handing over the reigns to Bremer. The direct follow-on on from this was the disbanding of the entire Iraqi army and the simultaneous alienation of the Sunni Tribes. An insurgency, that had been initially generated by ex-Ba'athists and national and international jihadis was given the environment in which to thrive while at the same time Iran was able to support and direct the now powerful Shia parties. In this situation, the US military was clueless. Clueless, rather than malign. And so on.

Lots of connecting events between the Allied invasion and the massive death toll being counted by the Physicians for Social Responsibility, but I don't feel like you're very interested n them.

droid
11-05-2016, 03:33 PM
Alright, then. I think that after the invasion the US made a fatal error in declaring an Occupation and handing over the reigns to Bremer. The direct follow-on on from this was the disbanding of the entire Iraqi army and the simultaneous alienation of the Sunni Tribes. An insurgency, that had been initially generated by ex-Ba'athists and national and international jihadis was given the environment in which to thrive while at the same time Iran was able to support and direct the now powerful Shia parties. In this situation, the US military was clueless. Clueless, rather than malign. And so on.

Lots of connecting events between the Allied invasion and the massive death toll being counted by the Physicians for Social Responsibility, but I don't feel like you're very interested n them.

So, essentially, you don't see that the aggression itself was morally wrong, it was just badly executed?

And despite the hideous legacy of interventions, the universal claim that they are motivated by benign reasons and the consistently predictable consequences that litter history, Iraq could somehow have been different?

That morality has ever played a part in decisions to invade other countries?

That, given the chance, you would support the war again?

craner
11-05-2016, 03:45 PM
I didn't (and don't) see it solely as an "aggression" - there was a whole raft of arguments making a case for 1) a preemptive strike and 2) a humanitarian intervention. The regime change argument was more complicated than the "WMD" reduction eventually presented (for which Bush and Blair were both at fault).

Would I support the war again? In the exact same circumstances, I would have to say yes; in the same circumstances, but with hindsight, I definitely wouldn't support such an invasion with that particular administration in charge. The principle of regime change, though, in the case of that Iraqi Ba'athist security state, I would continue to support. I was never in favour of the occupation administration that eventually transpired.

I've sort of done this (https://kirkpatrickmission.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/in-defence-of-secretary-rice-part-2/) before.

droid
11-05-2016, 04:13 PM
Naivety, stupidity, dishonesty, wishful thinking, seeming total lack of historical knowledge or precedent. The lack of remorse is the icing on the cake.

Youre bordering on psychopathy here. You don't seem to understand that Iraq was full of real people with real lives, hopes, dreams and desires.

sadmanbarty
11-05-2016, 04:23 PM
I presume everyone's in agreement that Bremer's policies helped fan the flames of insurgency in a big way. However, Craner I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on how successful a (realistic) counter-insurgency could have been.

This is an interesting discussion about whether the US should abandon counter-insurgency all together given its history.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc5s6n4joH0

Friedman proposes achieving the desired ends with special operations which have narrowly defined, conventional aims:

https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/end-counterinsurgency-and-scalable-force

craner
11-05-2016, 04:27 PM
Yes, Droid, I am an evil and stupid psychopath.

craner
11-05-2016, 04:34 PM
I presume everyone's in agreement that Bremer's policies helped fan the flames of insurgency in a big way. However, Craner I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on how successful a (realistic) counter-insurgency could have been.

No idea, I'm no strategist. I do think, however, that the way the insurgency gathered momentum and spread, and the particular decisions made by Bremer and his advisers and the circumstances directly caused by them, meant that the Americans were doomed whatever they did. I mean, one of the things they did was to sack Fallujah, but that had nothing to do with the Shia militias that were slowly colonizing important sectors and (by 2006) government posts and were equally responsible for the carnage.

I don't know if anyone's read Emma Sky's book yet. I haven't, but I plan to. It will shed a lot of light on what went down with the US Generals, I expect.

droid
11-05-2016, 04:36 PM
More deflection.

You must surely know that your arguments dont even begin to hold water. They were wrong then and they are wrong know.

And just look at the historical record. Practically every Western intervention of any scale was 'benignly motivated' and practically every one ended in disaster for the population at the receiving end.

The possibility that Bush and Blair, a cowboy and a messianic cynic could have bucked the historical trend and might have been motivated by moral reasons... the very idea... its beyond fantastical.

droid
11-05-2016, 04:39 PM
And youd do it again... astonishing.


Iraqi families sell organs to overcome poverty

"I would tell my son to collect waste bread from the street and we would eat it, but I never asked for food or money."

Facing such poverty, Ms Hussein was driven to make a huge sacrifice.

"I decided to sell my kidney," she said. "I could no longer provide for my family. It was better than selling my body or living on charity."

The couple approached an illegal trader to sell their kidneys, but initial tests proved their organs were not healthy enough for transplant.

Disappointment followed, and the couple considered taking a desperate solution.

"Because of our miserable conditions we even thought of selling our son's kidney," Ali said, angrily, while pointing at his nine-year-old son, Hussein.

"We would do anything but beg. Why on earth were we in this position?"

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36083800

sadmanbarty
11-05-2016, 04:42 PM
The Bush administration's rhetoric and the neo-con literature that informed it both portrayed regime change in Iraq as the precursor to regime change in Iran and Syria. As such those two regimes began aiding the insurgency (apparently even it's Sunni component) to bog the US down in Iraq. That's a large part of the insurgency that can't be blamed on Bremer.

Maybe if they had cooperated with Iran in the same way they had done in Afghanistan (which Iran had offered) things might have been different.

The world's so much easier in counterfactuals.

craner
11-05-2016, 04:44 PM
The law wasn't launched purely for moral reasons, but for security reasons, too. The corruption of the WMD argument obscured the actual argument which was that nobody knew what the state of Saddam's weapons arsenal was because the UNSCOM inspectors kept getting kicked out and, besides, the intention to procure WMD had to be presumed.

The humanitarian intervention argument was separate to this, but was another strand that was rather buried by Blair and the neoconservatives, although it was a central factor in their thinking.

vimothy
11-05-2016, 04:44 PM
Here's an amusing / appalling talk by Peter van Buren about his time in Iraq as an FSO:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8JhtYmEazY

droid
11-05-2016, 04:52 PM
The law wasn't launched purely for moral reasons, but for security reasons, too. The corruption of the WMD argument obscured the actual argument which was that nobody knew what the state of Saddam's weapons arsenal was because the UNSCOM inspectors kept getting kicked out and, besides, the intention to procure WMD had to be presumed.

Laughable.


The humanitarian intervention argument was separate to this, but was another strand that was rather buried by Blair and the neoconservatives, although it was a central factor in their thinking.

Youre a regular comedian.

Firstly, according to Amnesty, the number of people imprisoned or executed by Saddam in the years leading up to the war were in the low hundreds - consistently lower than regimes supported by US/UK.

Secondly, the idea that any great power goes to war for 'humanitarian reasons'... its just ridiculous.

The fact that youre clinging to this stuff... its almost clinically delusional - but of course, there's no way you actually believe any of it.

craner
11-05-2016, 04:54 PM
That's a fair argument, sadmanbarty, and I'm not blaming the insurgency solely on Bremer; it's not even like there was no valid argument for de-Ba'athification, because there certainly was. I remember there being quite a lot of controversy about Iran's offer of assistance in Iraq when Ryan Crocker brought it up in a New Yorker piece a couple of years ago. I'd have to dig that up, though. From what I recall, it wasn't quite as straightforward as all that.

But the fact is, Iran was pouring people across unsecured borders almost as soon as the US tanks had started to roll, and it's reductive to pin that down to "neocon literature", particularly when there were only a handful of them talking up the permanent revolution argument anyway (and when the State Department was making cooing noises about Iran being a legitimate democracy).

Mr. Tea
11-05-2016, 04:57 PM
I mean, you havent actually got an argument here other than 'waugh, Noam Chomsky' have you?

To be fair to craner, droid often dismisses links as "garbage" without further elaboration, or sometimes "The author wrote something else I disagreed with, ergo it's garbage".


In this situation, the US military was clueless. Clueless, rather than malign. And so on.

Lots of connecting events between the Allied invasion and the massive death toll being counted by the Physicians for Social Responsibility, but I don't feel like you're very interested n them.

And to be fair to droid - come on, going in with guns blazing like that and no real clue as to what to do next bespeaks a callousness that borders on complete disregard for the people of the country. You surely don't have to be some Harvard politics/sociology wonk to spot that demobbing a huge army of fanatics, humiliating and executing their beloved leader, impoverishing them and denying them jobs and instituting a government dominated by their enemies but not actually disarming them would lead to ISIS or something like it.

I also don't see there that there's a huge amount of point if debating whether the death toll has been over a million or 'merely' in the several hundreds of thousands, or dividing it up into deaths directly caused by Coalition military action, the subsequent insurgency and general lawlessness or resource shortages and infrastructure breakdown caused by war. And we know that Saddam had fuck-all to do with 9/11 - that was such an obvious myth that even Bush Jnr dropped it pretty quickly - and that there was no WMD threat to any NATO members. It's been an unmitigated disaster.

craner
11-05-2016, 04:59 PM
Secondly, the idea that any great power goes to war for 'humanitarian reasons'... its just ridiculous.

But I didn't say that, did I? I said it was one of the arguments being made in favour of regime change, and some people who happened to be in government subscribed to it, but that the argument was sidelined by the security rationale. (Which is why it wasn't just a "neocon war"). The arguments, the debates, the policy making, it was all pretty loud, and it was there to read and follow.

sadmanbarty
11-05-2016, 05:00 PM
That's a fair argument, sadmanbarty, and I'm not blaming the insurgency solely on Bremer; it's not even like there was no valid argument for de-Ba'athification, because there certainly was. I remember there being quite a lot of controversy about Iran's offer of assistance in Iraq when Ryan Crocker brought it up in a New Yorker piece a couple of years ago. I'd have to dig that up, though. From what I recall, it wasn't quite as straightforward as all that.

But the fact is, Iran was pouring people across unsecured borders almost as soon as the US tanks had started to roll, and it's reductive to pin that down to "neocon literature", particularly when there were only a handful of them talking up the permanent revolution argument anyway (and when the State Department was making cooing noises about Iran being a legitimate democracy).

Fair enough, I've probably misremembered some things. I hadn't really thought about it before, it just popped in to my head reading this thread, so I posted it.

droid
11-05-2016, 05:06 PM
But I didn't say that, did I? I said it was one of the arguments being made in favour of regime change, and some people who happened to be in government subscribed to it, but that the argument was sidelined by the security rationale. (Which is why it wasn't just a "neocon war"). The arguments, the debates, the policy making, it was all pretty loud, and it was there to read and follow.

You're clearly suggesting that the war may have been motivated by moral reasons, out of concern for the Iraqi people.

droid
11-05-2016, 05:07 PM
To be fair to craner, droid often dismisses links as "garbage" without further elaboration, or sometimes "The author wrote something else I disagreed with, ergo it's garbage".

Bullshit.

craner
11-05-2016, 05:07 PM
Plenty of work was done on "what to do next" (e.g. State Department's massive Future of Iraq project) - but what actually happened was that the post-war transition was delegated to the Department of Defense, probably the central decision leading to subsequent disaster. Rumsfeld had no interest in nation building; his view of the war was, go in, take Saddam down, leave again, job done.

Even so, none of this stuff:


demobbing a huge army of fanatics, humiliating and executing their beloved leader, impoverishing them and denying them jobs and instituting a government dominated by their enemies but not actually disarming them would lead to ISIS or something like it.

...was, you know, part of the Game Plan.

vimothy
11-05-2016, 05:17 PM
The idea that great powers go to war for humanitarian reasons might be a little crazy, but not because it's false.

droid
11-05-2016, 05:24 PM
The idea that great powers go to war for humanitarian reasons might be a little crazy, but not because it's false.

Really? Examples pls.

vimothy
11-05-2016, 05:36 PM
All of the recent misadventures in the Islamic world were partly motivated by humanitarian reasons.

droid
11-05-2016, 05:39 PM
Do you actually believe that? Is there any evidence to support the claim?

vimothy
11-05-2016, 05:54 PM
Isn't it sort of obvious? Hence the messianic democratic imperialism.

Mr. Tea
11-05-2016, 07:13 PM
Bullshit.

...


...that parody of an article you posted...

Mr. Tea
11-05-2016, 07:17 PM
Even so, none of this stuff:

...was, you know, part of the Game Plan.

But it is, nonetheless, broadly what happened. You can give reasons why a peaceful, democratic Iraq somehow failed to appear after the invasion, but if the argument is that the nation-building project was left to the wrong arm of the US government that doesn't let the US off the hook in any way, does it?

craner
11-05-2016, 07:39 PM
No, of course not, by my point is that there are reasons why these things happened that are real and complex and can't just be explained away by saying that regime change would inevitably have led to them.

craner
11-05-2016, 07:42 PM
And, if you've been paying attention to what I've been writing, letting the US government off the hook is precisely what I'm not doing. I'm attempting to explain why specific Bush administration decisions led to the outcome. What you want me to say is that there was never a legitimate regime change argument, which I won't, because there were several.

Mr. Tea
11-05-2016, 08:25 PM
And, if you've been paying attention to what I've been writing, letting the US government off the hook is precisely what I'm not doing.

OK, fair enough.

vimothy
11-05-2016, 08:29 PM
But can you imagine a significantly better outcome, given some adjustments in strategy? All of the other interventions in that part of the world seem equally disastrous.

craner
11-05-2016, 08:54 PM
It is hard to, but all the examples of non-intervention have been equally disastrous. The total disengagement from the Syrian conflict at a crucial time is a compelling case in point.

People are happy to look at Libya as a major example of a terribly unfocused and hasty military intervention (certainly not at the behest of the Americans, it ought to be pointed out), and they are right to do so, but the context of the time was Gaddafi's forces surging to Benghazi in an exceptionally menacing manner.

It is also worth noting that other powers are perfectly willing to engage themselves, for example the Saudis or Iranians or Russians, particularly if the West does not engage itself.

Mr. Tea
11-05-2016, 08:58 PM
But can you imagine a significantly better outcome, given some adjustments in strategy? All of the other interventions in that part of the world seem equally disastrous.

Perhaps because they were all equally badly planned? Or maybe it's an inevitable response in a part of the world where people, whatever their politics or beliefs, are just sick to death with European and American meddling, whatever its supposed motivation?

craner
11-05-2016, 09:02 PM
Also, I don't really like to do counterfactuals, but it is surely worth considering what would have become of Iraq without some species of intervention. Apart from other potential outcomes, the idea that in 2003 the Saddam regime was safely contained is a fallacy; on the contrary, both Russia and France were very interested in dealing with it again. Iraqi society was in a state of dangerous decay from within, while the Ba'athist leadership was gaining an increasingly strong hand, through rogue state connections, UN corruption and various international overtures. Iraq was not a problem that was by any means solved, and the country remained technically in breach of UN resolutions dating back to the first Gulf War.

droid
11-05-2016, 09:03 PM
Isn't it sort of obvious? Hence the messianic democratic imperialism.

Ah, I getcha - you mean like the Russian invasion of Afghanistan?

droid
11-05-2016, 09:16 PM
Bullshit.

That was a joke. A JOKE!



...that parody of an article you posted...

Ok, here we are again, and I hate to have to make the point for the umpteenth time, but you are misrepresenting me for the umpteenth time, and its completely blatant.

This is your claim.


To be fair to craner, droid often dismisses links as "garbage" without further elaboration, or sometimes "The author wrote something else I disagreed with, ergo it's garbage".

And the example you use above in context, in which I give quite extensive elaboration:


There was collaboration between Zionists and the Nazi's prior to WWII and then again (far more damningly in my eyes, and completely unmentioned in that parody of an article you posted), between 1940 and 1942 when Zionist paramilitaries Lehi/the Stern gang twice attempted to form an alliance with Italian and German fascism, offering to help with the transfer of European Jews to Palestine in return for help to oust the British and set up a totalitarian Jewish homeland. A prominent member of Lehi, Yitzhak Shamir, served twice as president of Israel in the 80's.

The links to fascism don't stop there either - there is the famous 'natural alliance' of zionism and the neo-fascist Lebanese Phalange, links to far-right Latin American terror groups and governments, and Israel's opposition to various UN resolutions condemning neonazism & fascism...

And this is the Nth time Ive caught you at this.

Please stop.

craner
11-05-2016, 09:16 PM
Well, the USSR is not exactly a bad example of ideological interventions, is it?

vimothy
11-05-2016, 09:17 PM
Indeed not.

droid
11-05-2016, 09:24 PM
Sure, they were clearly motivated by humanitarian concerns in their desire to protect Afghan democracy. In fact they had a much better legal case than Iraq, seeing as they were invited by the Government.

Shame about how they handled the post-invasion period, but in principle, it was all fine.

craner
11-05-2016, 09:44 PM
But they weren't trying to protect democracy, were they? It was the logical outcome of the Brezhnev Doctrine. Therefore ideological.

vimothy
11-05-2016, 09:55 PM
Perhaps because they were all equally badly planned?

But why were they all so badly planned?

vimothy
11-05-2016, 10:07 PM
In my view, the West is generally incapable of this form of intervention (forced regime change + large-scale social re-engineering), even as it is drawn to it as the most legitimate exercise of military power.

craner
11-05-2016, 10:12 PM
Can you explain why, though?

sadmanbarty
11-05-2016, 10:12 PM
In my view, the West is generally incapable of this form of intervention (forced regime change + large-scale social re-engineering), even as it is drawn to it as the most legitimate exercise of military power.

Japan? Germany?

droid
11-05-2016, 10:15 PM
But they weren't trying to protect democracy, were they? It was the logical outcome of the Brezhnev Doctrine. Therefore ideological.

Of course they were. Taraki came to power at the head of a popular revolution, began a campaign of secular modernisation and was beset by violent Islamist rebellion. Brezhnev refused repeated requests for military aid and intervention and only relented after it became clear that the legitimate government was under serious threat from armed insurgents, compounded by Amin's assassination of Taraki.

Perfectly legitimate, humanitarian intervention.