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Thread: Obama has drunk the Kool-aid - Page 10







Post#226 at 10-14-2014 01:34 PM by radind [at Alabama joined Sep 2009 #posts 1,595]
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[QUOTE=playwrite;513487]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Bak..._Islamic_State...

...but primarily to give you and other budding isolationists here a little time to consider who we are dealing with. ...Oh, by the way, from Koran's Book of Battles (Kitab Al-Malahim) - "The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Allah will raise for this community at the end of every hundred years the one who will renovate its religion for it." Oh, and here's a little about Dabiq in Muslim's End of Times -

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/an...hadists-603466

And for further insightful readings -

https://azelin.files.wordpress.com/2...ne-2e280b3.pdf

...QUOTE]
Although I am not an isolationist , I do not see ISIL as an immediate threat to the USA. The current plan for air attacks ( with no US ground troops) looks like the correct response to ISIL. I would like to see more support for the Kurds by sending military arms for them to fight ISIL.
Whenever there is a direct, immediate threat to the USA , I strongly support total destruction of the enemy as rapidly as possible( with WWII as a model).







Post#227 at 10-14-2014 01:46 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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This make my point. We have a few Taliban leaders pledging support, but certainly not the government of Pakistan. At that, I don't see the Taliban getting widespread support either. Other tha the Pashtun tribal regions, support looks thin to non-existent.

Quote Originally Posted by PW ...
I'll respond to more of your interesting post later. Thought I give you and Mike a little time to ponder perhaps some misunderstandings of the shit storm that's a-brew'n.
You should do the same. Find a justification for investing the lives of our sons and daughters and our money in a fight that doesn't impact us at all.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#228 at 10-14-2014 04:13 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by radind View Post
...
Although I am not an isolationist , I do not see ISIL as an immediate threat to the USA. The current plan for air attacks ( with no US ground troops) looks like the correct response to ISIL. I would like to see more support for the Kurds by sending military arms for them to fight ISIL.
Whenever there is a direct, immediate threat to the USA , I strongly support total destruction of the enemy as rapidly as possible( with WWII as a model).
There seems to be three elements to the 'non-interventionist' voices here:

1. ISIS is only possible if we engage.

2. They are not an immediate threat to us so why bother with them now.

3. They're not likely to grow to be one to us because either (a) other in-kind forces will not join them or (b) opposing forces, other than ourselves, will contain/defeat them.

The first is really Mike's argument, and from the facts on the ground that I've stated in responses to him, I find this one particularly preposterous.

The second one is sort of where you fall in, but in a moderated way - i.e., you're okay with doing the air campaign but against the boots-on-the-ground option; and you're okay with this even though you see them as no immediate threat to us.

The problem with using the #2 argument for no engagement at all is, of course, that when they do get to the point where they are an immediate threat, their impact, risks of further impacts, and our cleaning up can all get much more amplified.

Let's say your threshold is pretty early - the take over of Baghdad and civil war breaking out throughout the country. Once fully entrenched in the city, it's going to be a lot harder to extract them - it took us 10 years after the invasion to get things tapped down with a heavy boots on the ground presence. [We may be pretty close to this milestone already, we'll see.]

But lets say that isn't your tripped wire, but rather ISIL insertions into Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon are. Civil war within these countries will make our Iraq invasion and tapping down look like child's play.

And from there it just keeps getting nastier: open Persian-Arab warfare, Egypt and northern Africa conflagrations, Pakistan and Central Asia falling apart, the cancer spreading to Southeast Asia; terrorist cells operating in Europe and eventually the US.

Maybe your middle of the road approach - not an immediate threat but enough risk of much greater consequences later warranting at least the air campaign - is actually a smart one. It's what the Commander in Chief has decided - at least for now.
Last edited by playwrite; 10-14-2014 at 04:59 PM.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#229 at 10-14-2014 04:49 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
This make my point. We have a few Taliban leaders pledging support, but certainly not the government of Pakistan. At that, I don't see the Taliban getting widespread support either. Other tha the Pashtun tribal regions, support looks thin to non-existent.
Ah, argument #3a. Good.

I'm reminded of that devastating political ad back in the 80's of an actor portraying Tip O'Neal in the car scoffing at warnings of a low gas tank; he goes berserk once the car runs out of gas.

Alright then, let's first get you down on record. Where do you draw the line that would indicate ISIL acceptance as the Caliph by enough 'trouble makers' to be of concern to you? What countries; what groups?

You do know that in every country (or major region of a country, e.g., China's Xinjiang, Russia's Caucasus) with a Muslim majority there are internationally-recognized Islamic fundamentalist terrorist cells. What makes you so certain they won't (if they haven't already), pledge to the new ISIL Caliph? And with ISIL making $1M/day (at least up until we started taking out the well fields and refining), why do see such a roadblock to signing on? You do know that the Taliban are real fashion slaves and just had to be the first non-ME group to get those bitch'n black uniforms. More will want to join just out of shear fashion envy! And let's not forget those free subscriptions to Dabiq Magazine - all you need to do is pledge a son or daughter to a suicide bomber club!


Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
You should do the same. Find a justification for investing the lives of our sons and daughters and our money in a fight that doesn't impact us at all.
I do. Since I see the inevitability of confronting them, I'd rather we do it from 30K feet up than have my Marine son do it house-to-house in Baghdad, Beirut or Riyadh.
Last edited by playwrite; 10-14-2014 at 04:56 PM.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#230 at 10-14-2014 06:06 PM by radind [at Alabama joined Sep 2009 #posts 1,595]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
There seems to be three elements to the 'non-interventionist' voices here:

1. ISIS is only possible if we engage.

2. They are not an immediate threat to us so why bother with them now.

3. They're not likely to grow to be one to us because either (a) other in-kind forces will not join them or (b) opposing forces, other than ourselves, will contain/defeat them.

The first is really Mike's argument, and from the facts on the ground that I've stated in responses to him, I find this one particularly preposterous.

The second one is sort of where you fall in, but in a moderated way - i.e., you're okay with doing the air campaign but against the boots-on-the-ground option; and you're okay with this even though you see them as no immediate threat to us.

The problem with using the #2 argument for no engagement at all is, of course, that when they do get to the point where they are an immediate threat, their impact, risks of further impacts, and our cleaning up can all get much more amplified.

Let's say your threshold is pretty early - the take over of Baghdad and civil war breaking out throughout the country. Once fully entrenched in the city, it's going to be a lot harder to extract them - it took us 10 years after the invasion to get things tapped down with a heavy boots on the ground presence. [We may be pretty close to this milestone already, we'll see.]

But lets say that isn't your tripped wire, but rather ISIL insertions into Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon are. Civil war within these countries will make our Iraq invasion and tapping down look like child's play.

And from there it just keeps getting nastier: open Persian-Arab warfare, Egypt and northern Africa conflagrations, Pakistan and Central Asia falling apart, the cancer spreading to Southeast Asia; terrorist cells operating in Europe and eventually the US.

Maybe your middle of the road approach - not an immediate threat but enough risk of much greater consequences later warranting at least the air campaign - is actually a smart one. It's what the Commander in Chief has decided - at least for now.
My threshold now is the same one I had before the Bush invasion of Iraq: No US boots on the ground without a clear ,immediate threat to the US( and I was opposed to this invasion). For now,I think that the 'moderate Muslims' need to be the ones to put boots on the ground , with strong US air support.

Since I see the inevitability of confronting them, I'd rather we do it from 30K feet up than have my Marine son do it house-to-house in Baghdad, Beirut or Riyadh.
I am in total agreement on the air attacks. There is not enough evidence for me to conclude that it is inevitable that we must confront them with ground troops.
Although I have no immediate family members in the military, a key concern is always the risk for any US troop deployment .
Last edited by radind; 10-14-2014 at 06:09 PM.







Post#231 at 10-15-2014 01:27 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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I found mikebert's statement that ISIS called themselves that, means therefore they don't have ambitions beyond Iraq and Syria. Calling themselves ISIL means their ambitions extend to all the nations near the Mediterranean coast (the Levant). So, just what do they call themselves? They have also stated their ambition to create the new caliphate. That means all Muslim and Arab lands should be under their reign. I prefer just to call them the Islamic State. I think that's most-likely what they call themselves, and that we call them ISIS or ISIL. I don't think their aims are limited to Iraq and Syria; that's just where these particular militant fanatics have now gained a foothold toward creating the Caliphate. Eventually they would join forces with Al Qaeda, Boka Horan, the Taliban and all other militants who share the same aim.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#232 at 10-15-2014 07:38 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
I found mikebert's statement that ISIS called themselves that, means therefore they don't have ambitions beyond Iraq and Syria.
I said Iraq, Syria AND Lebanon (I took "the Levant" into consideration)

They have also stated their ambition to create the new caliphate.
Yes, they wish to establish a fundamentalist Sunni theocracy whose ruler would be Caliph, that is from the specified tribe in Arabia

That means all Muslim and Arab lands should be under their reign.
Apparently not. Here are a couple of ISIS maps that suggest various levels of ambitions. Neither contain Saudi Arabia as part of the Islamic state.
Last edited by Mikebert; 10-15-2014 at 08:55 AM.







Post#233 at 10-15-2014 07:42 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
There seems to be three elements to the 'non-interventionist' voices here:

1. ISIS is only possible if we engage.

2. They are not an immediate threat to us so why bother with them now.

3. They're not likely to grow to be one to us because either (a) other in-kind forces will not join them or (b) opposing forces, other than ourselves, will contain/defeat them.

The first is really Mike's argument
You are specifically constructing strawman arguments here.







Post#234 at 10-15-2014 07:43 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Turkey has finally acted ... against the Kurds.

Look here is the problem in a nutshell.

1. The Kurds want to carve a state out of portions of Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
2. Arab Shia fundamentalists would like a Shia theocracy in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
3. ISIS wants to establish a Sunni theocracy in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

So you have three groups all desiring to form overlapping states in the same general region. It is impossible for all three to get what they want, and since two of the belligerents are ideological fundamentalists there can be no willing compromise. So there is war. And yes lots of people will die before it gets worked out, because that is what war is about: people being killed, usually horribly.

And because Iran is itself a Shia theocracy, and Turkey is on the menu, both of these countries have very strong interests in playing a role. And since a lot of Saudis are rich men with nothing to do but mess around with fundamentalist politics they are going to want to mix it up too. Buried in the midst of this is Assad, who is fighting for his life, so he will never surrender.

This will get played out regardless of whether we got involved. But it is likely to be very ugly and the US will get blamed* by the whole world for this ugliness because now we are part of it.

I don't buy Playwrite's Count Floyd act. I think it is as ridiculous as the original, but not as funny.

As for the various things that have been proposed. One is to provide air cover to the Kurds. Sounds reasonable, but what happens if because of our intervention, the Kurds win? We know Turkey and Iran would find this unacceptable as it might spark civil war in their countries. Besides, what happened the last time the US helped create a new state in this region (i.e. Israel). Do we really want to go there again?

M&L suggests we should destroy the US arms ISIS got from Iraq. Since they are using this weaponry to take Kobani in the face of our air strikes, I don't think we can do this, or at least we are not doing it.

*This blame is key. When I say US involvement benefits ISIS I mean that the US will get the blame for ISIS brutality, allowing ISIS to be brutal with impunity.
Last edited by Mikebert; 10-15-2014 at 10:07 AM.







Post#235 at 10-15-2014 09:50 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
(Mike - do you think Al-Baghdadi disagrees with this?
Obviously yes. He already declared himself Caliph; it wasn't conferred upon him by all the Muslims in the world. However, he MAY be interpreting "Muslim nation" to mean the true Muslims (i.e. his brand of Sunni Islam) in the Islamic State, that is, ISIS. And he IS the emir of the Islamic State, and he claims to have the other requirements to be the true Caliph, and so he makes this claim.

As for his march to Rome, sounds like Dean's march to the White House. Not gonna happen.

I note there is no mention of Mecca
Last edited by Mikebert; 10-15-2014 at 09:58 AM.







Post#236 at 10-15-2014 10:49 AM by radind [at Alabama joined Sep 2009 #posts 1,595]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Turkey has finally acted ... against the Kurds.

Look here is the problem in a nutshell.

1. The Kurds want to carve a state out of portions of Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
2. Arab Shia fundamentalists would like a Shia theocracy in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
3. ISIS wants to establish a Sunni theocracy in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

So you have three groups all desiring to form overlapping states in the same general region. It is impossible for all three to get what they want, and since two of the belligerents are ideological fundamentalists there can be no willing compromise. So there is war. And yes lots of people will die before it gets worked out, because that is what war is about: people being killed, usually horribly.

And because Iran is itself a Shia theocracy, and Turkey is on the menu, both of these countries have very strong interests in playing a role. And since a lot of Saudis are rich men with nothing to do but mess around with fundamentalist politics they are going to want to mix it up too. Buried in the midst of this is Assad, who is fighting for his life, so he will never surrender.

This will get played out regardless of whether we got involved. But it is likely to be very ugly and the US will get blamed* by the whole world for this ugliness because now we are part of it.

I don't buy Playwrite's Count Floyd act. I think it is as ridiculous as the original, but not as funny.

As for the various things that have been proposed. One is to provide air cover to the Kurds. Sounds reasonable, but what happens if because of our intervention, the Kurds win? We know Turkey and Iran would find this unacceptable as it might spark civil war in their countries. Besides, what happened the last time the US helped create a new state in this region (i.e. Israel). Do we really want to go there again?

M&L suggests we should destroy the US arms ISIS got from Iraq. Since they are using this weaponry to take Kobani in the face of our air strikes, I don't think we can do this, or at least we are not doing it.

*This blame is key. When I say US involvement benefits ISIS I mean that the US will get the blame for ISIS brutality, allowing ISIS to be brutal with impunity.
This is a murky situation. I may have it wrong, but I would still like to support the Kurds as the only ones who seem willing to fight ISIL. We could just do nothing and wait, but I would prefer to arm the Kurds now and take my chance on the outcome.
Last edited by radind; 10-15-2014 at 12:45 PM.







Post#237 at 10-15-2014 12:41 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
I said Iraq, Syria AND Lebanon (I took "the Levant" into consideration)
I guess if you include Israel too, you could call it ISISIL

Yes, they wish to establish a fundamentalist Sunni theocracy whose ruler would be Caliph, that is from the specified tribe in Arabia

Here are a couple of ISIS maps that suggest various levels of ambitions. Neither contain Saudi Arabia as part of the Islamic state.
It seems to be pretty unclear just where their ambitions stop.

But a new Taliban (or worse) is dangerous, no matter how much territory they actually conquer in their latter-day 7th century campaign. At the very least it creates a need, already great because of another monster in Syria, of where to settle all the refugees from another such genocidal regime. At worst it is a base for ramping up of terrorist attacks in the region and against The West. Since we are at an identical point in our 4T as when the Nazis appeared and started to expand in the previous one, it's plausible to expect that the battle against the Islamic militants will continue to be a major part of our Fourth Turning, and lead to some sort of climactic war in the mid-to-late 2020s that is reminiscent of D-Day. This is true even though the main thrust of our 4T is internal to the USA and other countries.

It will be up to the peoples of the region now to resist or accept this new theocratic terrorist state. But I don't think we can stand by and not help those who resist these monsters, and not expect them to continue to oppress, wreak havoc, expand, and produce even more offspring (just the way not helping the Free Syrians opened the way for the IS, or not helping the Spanish rebels in 1936 helped open the way for the fascists). It is a question of the right balance in foreign policy. Obama has done that in this case, I think now; although not in other cases one way or the other.

If we make the same mistake now as the free world made in the 1930s, we can expect the Islamic state(s) might become almost as horrendous a threat as the Nazis and their allies were by the early 1940s. I say this knowing quite well that our mistake at Munich became the basis and the excuse for over-reach and unnecessary, costly, deadly interventions in the years following WWII. A balance between isolation and intervention is needed. So, Obama's policy now on this issue seems a step in the right direction.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#238 at 10-15-2014 12:49 PM by radind [at Alabama joined Sep 2009 #posts 1,595]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
I guess if you include Israel too, you could call it ISISIL



It seems to be pretty unclear just where their ambitions stop.

But a new Taliban (or worse) is dangerous, no matter how much territory they actually conquer in their latter-day 7th century campaign. At the very least it creates a need, already great because of another monster in Syria, of where to settle all the refugees from another such genocidal regime. At worst it is a base for ramping up of terrorist attacks in the region and against The West. Since we are at an identical point in our 4T as when the Nazis appeared and started to expand in the previous one, it's plausible to expect that the battle against the Islamic militants will continue to be a major part of our Fourth Turning, and lead to some sort of climactic war in the mid-to-late 2020s that is reminiscent of D-Day. This is true even though the main thrust of our 4T is internal to the USA and other countries.

It will be up to the peoples of the region now to resist or accept this new theocratic terrorist state. But I don't think we can stand by and not help those who resist these monsters, and not expect them to continue to oppress, wreak havoc, expand, and produce even more offspring (just the way not helping the Free Syrians opened the way for the IS, or not helping the Spanish rebels in 1936 helped open the way for the fascists). It is a question of the right balance in foreign policy. Obama has done that in this case, I think now; although not in other cases one way or the other.

If we make the same mistake now as the free world made in the 1930s, we can expect the Islamic state(s) might become almost as horrendous a threat as the Nazis and their allies were by the early 1940s. I say this knowing quite well that our mistake at Munich became the basis and the excuse for over-reach and unnecessary, costly, deadly interventions in the years following WWII. A balance between isolation and intervention is needed. So, Obama's policy now on this issue seems a step in the right direction.
I would only add that more aggressive support of the Kurds is needed immediately to supply military equipment.







Post#239 at 10-15-2014 12:51 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by radind View Post
This is a murky situation. I may have it wrong, but I would still like to support the Kurds as the only ones who seem willing to fight ISIL. We could just do nothing and wait, but I would prefer to arm the Kurds now and take my chance on the outcome.
Me too. And Turkey would do well to fight the IS too, and thereby unify with their Kurds. That in my opinion would help unify their country against a common enemy. And Assad is a common enemy too. The Turks have been helping the Free Syrians, and the Free Syrians have already been fighting the IS. It should be clear that the price for getting the Free Syrians to step up their campaign against the IS militants, is also to help them overturn their primary enemy Assad. That is a price well worth paying.

It will take time, but there's a chance that the Iraqi army, the Kurds, the Turks, the Free Syrians, the Sunni tribes and maybe Jordan could get it together and roll back the IS, with help and support from the USA, Europe and Arab/Moslem allies. And then to turn on Assad and finish him off too.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#240 at 10-15-2014 12:54 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by radind View Post
This is a murky situation. I my have it wrong, but I would still like to support the Kurds as the only ones who seem willing to fight ISIL. We could just do nothing and wait, but I would prefer to arm the Kurds now and take my chance on the outcome.
Yes -- arm the Kurds. They are the only ones fighting ISIS that we can now trust completely. Recognize Kurdish national independence if necessary even at the expense of Iraqi authority (they are cut off from such allies in Iraq as they have) and especially Syrian authority. They have done nothing to offend Islamic sensibilities. They have rescued non-Muslims in accordance with the ancient rules of Islamic warfare.

The alternative is to wait until the one really-strong military power in the Middle East -- the "Zionist Entity", as known in much of the Islamic world, is forced into an engagement with ISIS. Do we really know whether Israel has a nuke? Do we want to find out?

The world other than ISIS has nothing to lose from a Kurdish victory.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#241 at 10-15-2014 01:10 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Turkey has finally acted ... against the Kurds.

Look here is the problem in a nutshell.

1. The Kurds want to carve a state out of portions of Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
2. Arab Shia fundamentalists would like a Shia theocracy in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
3. ISIS wants to establish a Sunni theocracy in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
#2 is being played out in Iran's support for a Shia Iraqi state, but also their support for the Shia Alowite Assad regime and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

So you have three groups all desiring to form overlapping states in the same general region. It is impossible for all three to get what they want, and since two of the belligerents are ideological fundamentalists there can be no willing compromise. So there is war. And yes lots of people will die before it gets worked out, because that is what war is about: people being killed, usually horribly.

And because Iran is itself a Shia theocracy, and Turkey is on the menu, both of these countries have very strong interests in playing a role. And since a lot of Saudis are rich men with nothing to do but mess around with fundamentalist politics they are going to want to mix it up too. Buried in the midst of this is Assad, who is fighting for his life, so he will never surrender.

This will get played out regardless of whether we got involved. But it is likely to be very ugly and the US will get blamed by the whole world for this ugliness because now we are part of it.
Inevitably. Don't forget the 4th contender though, the movements of the Arab Spring. This was the catalyst for this current situation. The Saudis and other Arab monarchies as well as the Turks seem to be supporting #4, represented by the Free Syrian Army, which is the only chance for a favorable and peaceful outcome in the region, and the only chance for the USA to be viewed favorably. Meanwhile Assad can be grouped with #2, because Iran is his means of support.

As for the various things that have been proposed. One is to provide air cover to the Kurds. Sounds reasonable, but what happens if because of our intervention, the Kurds win? We know Turkey and Iran would find this unacceptable as it might spark civil war in their countries. Besides, what happened the last time the US helped create a new state in this region (i.e. Israel). Do we really want to go there again?
We don't know if the Kurds will take this opportunity to attempt to carve out a new state from the 4 other nations. Right now the Iraqi Kurds are happy with a portion of Iraq. If the Turks are wise, they will shift their policy and support their own Kurds against the IS attacks, and be a full ally in the fights against both the IS and Assad. Right now the Kurds of Turkey and Syria as well as Iraq are fighting IS, and if the Turks are wise (which seems a stretch now, admittedly), they will realize that opposing their own Kurds in their defense against the IS will only convince the Kurds that they must separate from Turkey as well as the other 3 states.

I note as well that the Kurds of Iraq are not going to roll back the IS; just defend their territory in Iraq; unless they have allies.
Last edited by Eric the Green; 10-15-2014 at 01:14 PM.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#242 at 10-15-2014 02:20 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
Ah, argument #3a. Good.

I'm reminded of that devastating political ad back in the 80's of an actor portraying Tip O'Neal in the car scoffing at warnings of a low gas tank; he goes berserk once the car runs out of gas.

Alright then, let's first get you down on record. Where do you draw the line that would indicate ISIL acceptance as the Caliph by enough 'trouble makers' to be of concern to you? What countries; what groups?

You do know that in every country (or major region of a country, e.g., China's Xinjiang, Russia's Caucasus) with a Muslim majority there are internationally-recognized Islamic fundamentalist terrorist cells. What makes you so certain they won't (if they haven't already), pledge to the new ISIL Caliph? And with ISIL making $1M/day (at least up until we started taking out the well fields and refining), why do see such a roadblock to signing on? You do know that the Taliban are real fashion slaves and just had to be the first non-ME group to get those bitch'n black uniforms. More will want to join just out of shear fashion envy! And let's not forget those free subscriptions to Dabiq Magazine - all you need to do is pledge a son or daughter to a suicide bomber club!
You seem bent on missing my point here. None of these countries have engaged, yet they have skin in the game. We have none, or so little that its trivial in comparison. If anything, some of these countries may be stirring the pot, Russia and China being prime candidates. Since we have recent experience with doing just what you suggest, and none too successfully, then I have to ask what we might accomplish by doing it again?

Quote Originally Posted by PW ...
I do. Since I see the inevitability of confronting them, I'd rather we do it from 30K feet up than have my Marine son do it house-to-house in Baghdad, Beirut or Riyadh.
If we're smart enough to demand, with real conviction, that others more directly involved go first and be the boots-on-the-ground, then we might have a reason to "assist". I have no indication that this is happening or will happen in the future.

FWIW, I would assist the Kurds, and even tell the Turks that they now have a state in northern Iraq, like it or not.
Last edited by Marx & Lennon; 10-15-2014 at 03:00 PM.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#243 at 10-15-2014 02:29 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
You are specifically constructing strawman arguments here.
I am actually just trying to capture the essence of yours, M&L, and others' arguments here to more efficiently respond. I do that because I respect your opinions and attempting to show that I am listening.

If I've mis-characterized, then please correct. I don't mind a drawn-out explanation, but if you could boil it down to a single statement that would be helpful
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#244 at 10-15-2014 02:50 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Turkey has finally acted ... against the Kurds.

Look here is the problem in a nutshell.

1. The Kurds want to carve a state out of portions of Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
2. Arab Shia fundamentalists would like a Shia theocracy in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
3. ISIS wants to establish a Sunni theocracy in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

So you have three groups all desiring to form overlapping states in the same general region. It is impossible for all three to get what they want, and since two of the belligerents are ideological fundamentalists there can be no willing compromise. So there is war. And yes lots of people will die before it gets worked out, because that is what war is about: people being killed, usually horribly.

And because Iran is itself a Shia theocracy, and Turkey is on the menu, both of these countries have very strong interests in playing a role. And since a lot of Saudis are rich men with nothing to do but mess around with fundamentalist politics they are going to want to mix it up too. Buried in the midst of this is Assad, who is fighting for his life, so he will never surrender.

This will get played out regardless of whether we got involved. But it is likely to be very ugly and the US will get blamed* by the whole world for this ugliness because now we are part of it.

I don't buy Playwrite's Count Floyd act. I think it is as ridiculous as the original, but not as funny.

As for the various things that have been proposed. One is to provide air cover to the Kurds. Sounds reasonable, but what happens if because of our intervention, the Kurds win? We know Turkey and Iran would find this unacceptable as it might spark civil war in their countries. Besides, what happened the last time the US helped create a new state in this region (i.e. Israel). Do we really want to go there again?

M&L suggests we should destroy the US arms ISIS got from Iraq. Since they are using this weaponry to take Kobani in the face of our air strikes, I don't think we can do this, or at least we are not doing it.

*This blame is key. When I say US involvement benefits ISIS I mean that the US will get the blame for ISIS brutality, allowing ISIS to be brutal with impunity.
It's one thing to talk about those three groups and several others making the situation complicated, it is a whole other (and silly) thing to lump them together in a common pot so as to claim they're all crazy, throw up your hands and say fuck this shit.

You or I walking the streets of Erbil would be excused to feel like, other than the language and dress, we were in a fairly modern European city. We probable wouldn't walk the streets of the Shia neighborhoods of Baghdad without some local natives showing us the way but generally we would be okay. However, try that in Raqqa, or now in Mosul and our heads would be detached from our shoulders before the sun sets.

Also the Kurdish issue has been a long simmering independence one based on culture rather than religion, and with no aims beyond lands of Kurdish majorities. The Shia of Lebanon are nothing like those in Iraq or Iran, believe me. They each may have designs for dominance in their own nation and influence on each other but their is no pan-Shia movement intended, particularly between Arabs and Persians. That all stands in stark contrast to ISIL's desire for essentially world domination based on violent religious beliefs from the 12th Century.

You seemed to have had some sort of emotional catharsis that has derived a non-interventionist stance but your more typical modus operandi of careful thought processing is forcing you to try to come up with some sort of logical rational. Its not working. I suggest just going with the fuck-this-shit-I'm tired-of-it and be done with it.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#245 at 10-15-2014 03:02 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Obviously yes. He already declared himself Caliph; it wasn't conferred upon him by all the Muslims in the world. However, he MAY be interpreting "Muslim nation" to mean the true Muslims (i.e. his brand of Sunni Islam) in the Islamic State, that is, ISIS. And he IS the emir of the Islamic State, and he claims to have the other requirements to be the true Caliph, and so he makes this claim.
Maybe I was being too cute in posing the thought as a question. My point is that al-Bad-daddy (TM pending!) fully intends to have all Muslims confer the Caliph upon him. Those that don't are apostolates that he will order up having their heads removed from their shoulders.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
As for his march to Rome, sounds like Dean's march to the White House. Not gonna happen.
Of course it won't, but it will not be for his lack of trying; it will be because we won't let him. It's a question of where best to constrain him.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
I note there is no mention of Mecca
Oh, sure, he just wants to re-establish the Moor's empire into Spain and just forget about that insignificant little town called Mecca. That sounds reasonable.
Last edited by playwrite; 10-15-2014 at 04:31 PM.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#246 at 10-15-2014 03:23 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
You seem bent on missing my point here.
I was responding to this -

Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
This make my point. We have a few Taliban leaders pledging support, but certainly not the government of Pakistan. At that, I don't see the Taliban getting widespread support either. Other tha the Pashtun tribal regions, support looks thin to non-existent.
That sure does seem like a #3a argument, but if you want to move onto a #3b one -

Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
None of these countries have engaged, yet they have skin in the game.
- its okay by me.

However, your real argument appears to be actually this -

Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
We have none, or so little that its trivial in comparison.
which basically is a #2 argument that these guys won't get pass owning eastern Syria and Western Iraq; or, all of Syria/Iraq/Lebanon; or, threatening Turkey, Jordan, the Arab Kingdoms; or, sparking an Arab/Persian conflagration; or terrorist attacks in Europe and eventually the US; or, fill in the blank - so why bother with them.

I believe that without our intervention (regardless, fair or not, of our having combat partners), they will - so I think we need to bother them a whole lot.

Bothering with the piss-ants has to obviously be done smartly and with care (do we really want to force Turkey and the Saudis into their own civil wars?), and I'm much less anxious about that with Obama in charge. Still pretty fricken anxious, but who said life was fair and stress free???
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#247 at 10-15-2014 04:49 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
I was responding to this -

That sure does seem like a #3a argument, but if you want to move onto a #3b one -

- its okay by me.

However, your real argument appears to be actually this -

which basically is a #2 argument that these guys won't get pass owning eastern Syria and Western Iraq; or, all of Syria/Iraq/Lebanon; or, threatening Turkey, Jordan, the Arab Kingdoms; or, sparking an Arab/Persian conflagration; or terrorist attacks in Europe and eventually the US; or, fill in the blank - so why bother with them.

I believe that without our intervention (regardless, fair or not, of our having combat partners), they will - so I think we need to bother them a whole lot.

Bothering with the piss-ants has to obviously be done smartly and with care (do we really want to force Turkey and the Saudis into their own civil wars?), and I'm much less anxious about that with Obama in charge. Still pretty fricken anxious, but who said life was fair and stress free???
Your accounting list notwithstanding, my argument for staying disengaged is simple: we have the least to gain (virtually nothing at this point) and the most to lose by taking the lead on this. We can only stop being the world's rent-a-cop by not doing it. We need something like the Monroe or even the Nixon Doctrine, that lays out in clear language when we will engage, and why. Arguing that we should commit to this fight now let's all the locals off the hook, except to kvetch, which they certainly will. In close proximity to this bunch of yahoos are Iran, Turkey and Israel. Anyone of them could handle them easily. Let them. If they choose not to do anything, well, it is their neighborhood.

The only exception to this is the Kurds, who have been stand-up guys from the beginning. Iraq is coming apart. It's too far gone to put it together again - Biden had that one right from the beginning. Let's accept the fact and recognize a Kurdish state inside the boundaries of the now defunct Iraq. At the very least, we should let the Turks and Iraqis know that this is the next step for us. That may be an adequate prod to get one or both moving on this.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#248 at 10-15-2014 05:20 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
Your accounting list notwithstanding, my argument for staying disengaged is simple: we have the least to gain (virtually nothing at this point) and the most to lose by taking the lead on this.
I agree that is the primary issue.

It's just that we are in complete disagreement on that issue, and everything else flows from that -

- if our interest aligns with those who want us to be the cop, that's obviously helpful but doesn't add/subtract from our own strategic self interest

- the Monroe/Nixon constraints are only useful to the extent they constrain threads against us. In this case, they don't or wouldn't

- trying to not have the locals as free-riders is tactical issue; it doesn't change our strategic issues of protecting our own self interest


I am, however, okay with your Kurd vis-a-vis Turkey and Iraq strategy. Supply logistics would be a nightmare, however. That's already constraining the air campaign (or, at least that's the excuse being used).
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#249 at 10-16-2014 08:35 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
It's one thing to talk about those three groups and several others making the situation complicated, it is a whole other (and silly) thing to lump them together in a common pot so as to claim they're all crazy, throw up your hands and say fuck this shit. I suggest just going with the fuck-this-shit-I'm tired-of-it and be done with it
Again with the straw men! What is it with you?

You or I walking the streets of Erbil would be excused to feel like, other than the language and dress, we were in a fairly modern European city. We probable wouldn't walk the streets of the Shia neighborhoods of Baghdad without some local natives showing us the way but generally we would be okay. However, try that in Raqqa, or now in Mosul and our heads would be detached from our shoulders before the sun sets.
This is irrelevant. None of it addresses any of my points.

Also the Kurdish issue has been a long simmering independence one based on culture rather than religion, and with no aims beyond lands of Kurdish majorities.
Yeah, in Turkey and Iran as well as Syria and Iraq. If they try to achieve these aims that means Turkey and Iran get drawn into a war against Kurdistan and its American ally. I don't want to go there, do you?

The Shia of Lebanon are nothing like those in Iraq or Iran, believe me. They each may have designs for dominance in their own nation and influence on each other but their is no pan-Shia movement intended, particularly between Arabs and Persians.
Yes, that is why they are called Lebanese Hezbollah. But in the beginning they were part of a wider Shia Islamic movement:
In the Mideast and Muslim world, particularly in its early years, it triggered enormous enthusiasm and redoubled opposition to western intervention and influence. Islamist insurgents rose in Saudi Arabia (1979), Egypt (1981), Syria (1982), and Lebanon (1983).Although ultimately only the Lebanese Islamists succeeded, other activities have had more long-term impact. The Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 fatwa calling for the killing of Indian-born British citizen Salman Rushdie had international impact. The Islamic revolutionary government itself is credited with helping establish Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
This is the movement that Reagan declined to fight. Their efforts at spreading jihad only succeeded in Lebanon where they were greatly aided by Israel:
...in 2006 Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister, stated, "When we entered Lebanon ... there was no Hezbollah. We were accepted with perfumed rice and flowers by the Shia in the south. It was our presence there that created Hezbollah"
But NOT by America. And what began of Islamic Jihad, the violent arm of Hezbollah who had carried out the terrorist attacks on America?
The last recorded attack claimed by the IJO as an independent group took place outside the Middle East in March 1992, when the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was blown up in retaliation for the death of Hezbollah's secretary-general Abbas al-Musawi. This organization is no longer active.
After the US invaded Iraq in 2003, the Islamic revolution spread to Iraq. The Iraqi government we helped put into place consists of parties derived from the Iranian-sponsored Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. After aiding the Sunnis against the Communists and Shia Iran in the 1990's, we started persecuting them in the 1990's and invading their countries in the 2000's. So now we have a Sunni version of the earlier Shia Islamic Jihad on steroids. Your approach? MORE steroids!

My approach, don't feed the bears; it only encourages them. We should not give ISIS an excuse for their incompetence at providing the minimum requirements for a state (stability within the states borders). Since it is impossible for them to fight American terror from the air; they are excused as long as we keep it up, and so maintain their legitimacy. We made the same mistake with Iraq in the 1990's. The embargo allowed Saddam to fail at providing the sort of world his top supporters wanted without creating a loss of legitimacy in their eyes. In the same way the US Iranian embargo allows the Iranian leaders to fail at providing what their supporters want without losing their support.

If we back off, we force them to reform or lose legitimacy in the eyes of their supporters. Why do you think we have a liberal democracy here in this country when we as a people are seemingly incapable of keeping one, much less actually forming one? How did we get this?

That all stands in stark contrast to ISIL's desire for essentially world domination based on violent religious beliefs from the 12th Century.
And Dick Cheney said we must fight a war against ultimate bad guy Saddam, who threatened America with nukes and may have been behind 911. Did you take Dick Cheney's bloviations seriously? If not, then why are taking al Baghdadi serious? Really, the guy sounds like a more murderous version of Baghdad Bob.

A lot of what you say about the "threat" ISIS poses is very reminiscent to what Republicans said about Saddam Hussein.

You seemed to have had some sort of emotional catharsis that has derived a non-interventionist stance but your more typical modus operandi of careful thought processing is forcing you to try to come up with some sort of logical rational. Its not working.
You don't address my points, instead you construct straw men and attack them. That's a sign you have no good responses.

Why are you so insistent on insisting that Baghdad-Al here has the same fetish about Saudi Arabia as OBL? All the early proclamations of OBL were always burbling about "the land of the two holy shrines". Baghdad-Al doesn't talk about Saudi Arabia. Just because YOU think that because Mecca is the pilgrimage city, he MUST be including Saudi Arabia in his Islamic state doesn't mean he does. I don't think SA factors at all into his plans, nor do attacks on the West. But I think making threats does.

Put yourself in his shoes. Where are his recruits coming from? Here are figures for the nearby countries expresses as recruits per million Muslims:
Jordan 318, Saudi Arabia 110, Palestine 28, Turkey 13, and Eqypt 4.

Here are yields from major Western countries: UK 260, France 200, US 115, Spain 100, Germany 60, Italy 30

Now where would you focus your recruitment efforts? The nearby countries are all Muslim majority countries and, except for Turkey, Arabic. ISIS is probably already reaching most of those who will resonate with his message in these countries. Apparently his message simply does not resonate with young disaffected Turks or Egyptians. But look at the yields from Western countries. Two of them exceed that from Saudi Arabia and the yield from the US is about the same.

So al Baghdadi talks about how Europe is a key part of his plans, invoking Rome (the capitol of Western Christendom; the Eastern capitol having already been conquered in 1453) and Spain, the location of the only Arab-Islamic intrusion into Europe; halted by Charles Martel in 732. Remember this guy is a Ph. D. With this and the new US war, maybe he thinks he can bump up Western recruitment considerably. It won't yield too many bodies: Muslim population in the West is only two-thirds that of Saudi Arabia. So far, total recruits from the West have been about the same as those from Saudi Arabia. I don't think he has a problem getting Syrian or Iraqi recruits. I think he wants Westerners for propaganda purposes (note that the head chopper is a Brit) and maybe some for media skills.
Last edited by Mikebert; 10-16-2014 at 10:40 AM.







Post#250 at 10-17-2014 01:10 AM by '58 Flat [at Hardhat From Central Jersey joined Jul 2001 #posts 3,300]
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Had we listened to Joe Biden (!), we would have the Kurds eating out of our hands right now.

Joe Biden The Foreign Policy Expert and Bashar Assad The Moderate Muslim are the two grimly ironic figures in The ISIS Crisis.
But maybe if the putative Robin Hoods stopped trying to take from law-abiding citizens and give to criminals, take from men and give to women, take from believers and give to anti-believers, take from citizens and give to "undocumented" immigrants, and take from heterosexuals and give to homosexuals, they might have a lot more success in taking from the rich and giving to everyone else.

Don't blame me - I'm a Baby Buster!
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