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Author Topic: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)  (Read 4173 times)

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Offline Neysha

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #75 on: August 23, 2014, 07:28:31 AM »
Yes and the Islamic State essentially has a safe haven in Syria as well, because (probably rightly) the United States and Allied forces likely won't launch airstrikes into Syria or engage in other similar operations unless it's an extraordinary situation like when the US launched an unsuccessful special forces raid on an Islamic State compound which allegedly held hostages.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 07:38:40 AM by Neysha »

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #76 on: August 23, 2014, 09:34:31 AM »
        I know I keep touting Guardian articles cause I find them quite readable and (if I may say) and often sounding a tad more critical in spots than some of the familiar big US choices I used to follow...  Anyway, their reports are picking up on ISIS quickly.  There is some foreboding discussion of how the hardware captured in Iraq is being turned to good effect in the Syria campaign. 

It's kind of funny how they quote some unnamed diplomat at incredible length, in direct quotes, for that article (excerpted immediately below).  That sort of unattributed and apparently formal quotation isn't all so common in the Guardian actually.  The language of the extended quotation sounds rather more like a prepared statement, or perhaps a pretty verbose email.

Quote
A revitalised Isis threatens to change that dynamic. Using armoured vehicles supplied by the US to the vanquished Iraqi army, Isis has taken 12 villages in the Aleppo countryside in the past fortnight and is threatening to turn its guns on the opposition at the same time as it tries to engage the Syrian regime.

"For Isis, it is crucial to control such a long stretch of border with Turkey, because it wants to continue the influx of foreign fighters," the western diplomat said. "Aleppo is the key to all of northern Syria.

         There is a piece on the background of Isis.  Including this below.

Quote
Principally, Isis is the product of a genocide that continued unabated as the world stood back and watched. It is the illegitimate child born of pure hate and pure fear – the result of 200,000 murdered Syrians and of millions more displaced and divorced from their hopes and dreams. Isis's rise is also a reminder of how Bashar al-Assad's Machiavellian embrace of al-Qaida would come back to haunt him.

Facing Assad's army and intelligence services, Lebanon's Hezbollah, Iraq's Shia Islamist militias and their grand patron, Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Syria's initially peaceful protesters quickly became disenchanted, disillusioned and disenfranchised – and then radicalised and violently militant.

The Shia Islamist axis used chemical weapons, artillery and barrel bombs to preserve its crescent of influence. Syria's Sunni Arab revolutionaries in turn sought international assistance, and when the world refused, they embraced a pact with the devil, al-Qaida.

......

Ironically, al-Qaida's wholesale introduction into Iraq came at the hands of Assad's regime. From 2005 until the end of the American occupation of Iraq, Assad's military intelligence services and their Iranian backers sought to defeat the US forces by training, financing and arming al-Qaida operatives inside Syria and dispatching them across the border to foment chaos and destruction.

General David Petraeus and other senior American officials warned Assad that he was igniting a fire that would eventually burn his house down, but Damascus did nothing to stop the flow of fighters, culminating in a crippling blow to Maliki's government the day Iraq's foreign and finance ministries were bombed. Maliki publicly condemned his future ally in Damascus for the attack.

And so, Syria's unravelling spilled into Iraq, and vice versa. Powerful regional tribes such as the Shammar and Anezah, faced with countless dead and persecuted members in both countries, banded together with former Iraqi and Syrian military officers, embracing Isis jihadis as their frontline shock troops. Cash poured in from sympathetic donors around the region.

         What surprises me lately about the Western response (though it's nothing really new), is how Foley's murder and even the plight of the Christian minority in Iraq have been played up.  Even the idea that the US should conduct a campaign with nearing a hundred airstrikes (I think it was up there now?), nominally in defense of "our personnel" in the region is a particularly exceptional idea.  Not that this is the only time such a rationale has been used in US foreign policy history, I suspect -- there's an aspect of it in treaties forced upon Japan or the conquest of Hawaii, just to name a couple... 

         But aside from utter raw exceptionalism ("We will naturally, always go anywhere in the world to save one of our people or any Christian village" Oh really??)...  I think there ought to be a better excuse -- erm, explanation.  Are these particular couple hundred embassy employees particularly close with oh say, the Iraqi Oil Ministry or is this simply abstract code for "And this is a base we will not give up, we mean it so whatever else it takes in the region..."  ?  To me, the optics if you will are rather silly when the rhetoric is so much on a few people (or a single reporter, even) who don't clearly have much to do with the US government or obvious "hard" security outcomes. 

          And just as another aside, it is also pretty ironic that Obama is here using the criticism of Benghazi matters against those who might otherwise wish to damn him whether he does or doesn't, too.  Now about the worst they can do is damn him for not doing more --- at the risk of sounding like they want another full-on ground war.  And maybe there's something to be said for wanting that, I'm not sure, but if so I don't hear of the stage being prepped well for that case by many in Congress yet.

           Libya?  Yes, but the US had a history of more or less openly opposing that regime.  And has yet to invade North Korea, either...  It isn't especially surprising that in some places "R2P" rhetoric would accompany a hard-nosed choice, and in others with more defenses there would be no such hard-nosed choice.  It doesn't necessarily mean the "Protect" ideal is a complete falsehood if it isn't attempted everywhere it might logically be invoked (there would be a whole lot of those then, too -- and sometimes there may be some of both plain military campaign and aid, though Somalia made many believe it is often ridiculous to attempt that).  Sure though, it's true that regimes like those in North Korea (and Syria) may reasonably draw the conclusion that arming up is their best chance of escaping the cut.

            Another thought:  ISIS is reportedly preparing to fight perhaps both Assad and other rebel groups in the way, more or less simultaneously -- yet ISIS barely has the numbers of a few US combat divisions [oh or was that only in Iraq? but we can look for numbers], and they are propping up this strategy now with captured US-supplied equipment.  So if they actually can present a serious threat to the Syrian government based upon that and geographic position (proximity to Turkey), then how would they -- or even they plus Assad (assuming the US would not support either) -- fare if actually faced with US ground forces coming from Turkey?  I could be wrong, but I don't think they'd do very well at least conventionally.  Not saying anyone has the will to do it, knowing it would probably involve casualties and risk leaving yet another vaccuum behind afterward. 

           But I don't think there's a great reason for anyone to ally seriously with Assad.  His people might know where the SAMs are, but a serious campaign would start whittling those away and control its own space going in.  Beyond that, his reputation was beyond hellish before and now he seems to have a weakened hand on the ground too.  There are other factions the US has supported at some level, and while they might not control the whole area...  I just don't see reinstating Assad as a viable choice. 

            The humanitarian situation is certainly tragic and I did wish there had been a serious intervention in the past, even a ground intervention.  But I have to admit it's feeling very difficult by now to imagine a long-term stability in that part of the world.  While I don't think the particular talk of "red lines" regarding chemical weapons played out very well, I also think blaming Obama as a leader or his administration simply for not going in might be a little much.  I'm not satisfied with everything they did, but I'm not sure I could spell out a neat alternative either. 

          Maybe there should have been a more public debate about Syria and what would be expected of any other moves the US might make, and what the American public would support.  It might be the right thing from a humanitarian standpoint to save what you can, make an effort, lose some troops, and who knows maybe even to get impeached for trying it if there was a huge public backlash against another serious Mideast war just then.  But leaving alone the obvious political risk, that might not bode well for other attempts to "do the right thing" and try to save more people or carve out a peace (is it perhaps, Bosnia-style??) down the road -- even in more favorable circumstances.
 
« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 09:43:22 AM by kylie »

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #77 on: August 23, 2014, 03:04:57 PM »
In all the discussions and debates on ISIS / IS I often read how this is the fault of the West and/or the U.S., how we did the wrong thing here, failed to do the right thing there, and so on. I guess everyone here knows the general direction of those arguments and has heard them.  I'd like to share my take on this. (Please imagine quotation marks around the words us, we, and they wherever you like):

They hate us. It's as simple as that.

Why do they hate us?

> Because we live in societies that allow women to drive cars, vote, and get a suntan clad in nothing more than a few square centimeters of fabric (if that much).

> Because in western societies two people in love can walk down the street holding hands and kiss in public without fearing for their lives.

> Because we can use the name of God in vein without being stoned to death for it.

> Because we are free to drink alcohol and are free to eat the meat of animals they consider unclean.

> Because we think it is wrong to chop someone's hands off for stealing a few bucks.

The list goes on and on, but just one or two of the above items are enough to mark us as infidels who should either be converted or sent to hell without further ado.

These guys try to understand the world using an instruction manual that is a) somewhat dated, and b) allows for no diverging points of view (at least not according to how they read it), and that would still be true if Iraq hadn't been invaded, or if some border or the other hadn't been drawn the way it was a hundred years ago.

Would there be fewer of those murderous maniacs if some things had happened differently? Maybe. But sometimes people get funny ideas into their heads and decide to act on them. Just look at all the people from western countries who have decided to join ISIS. No one bombed their hometown lately, and no one drew any artificial borders through their home countries, and they have not seen any of the hardships living in the third world entails, but they still decide that it would be a swell idea to go chop some people's heads off because they are infidels who deserve nothing better. And it's not just ISIS. The guy in the U.S. who grabs a gun and starts shooting kids in their school. Some crazies who think it would be a great idea to use sarin in the Tokyo metro. Some guy in Europe who sets fire to a building full of people because their skin color doesn't match the average of the population.

Sometimes people get ideas into their heads and act on those ideas. We may look long and hard for reasons, might try to understand the "why" behind it, might look for logical explanations to what may strike us as anything from odd to crazy to unbelievable, but sometimes people just are like that. Sometimes we just have to accept that there are people out there who do what they do, no matter what.

All that said, do I think that the West couldn't have handled a few things in the past better, should have handled some things differently? Yes. I do. But I also think that all the debates of what the West did wrong clouds the fact that people like ISIS have always been around, probably will be around till the sun burns out, and do what they do for reasons that are their own.

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #78 on: August 23, 2014, 05:30:57 PM »
          I've generally been a little skeptical on the "They hate us for our freedoms" line. 

          I suppose it has a certain degree of match with some people, particularly at a rather confused or unconscious level I'm inclined to say.  Often people get really angry about others having options they haven't been given and appearing to more or less make them functional.  Maybe not all options play out so well under all circumstances -- try the US social model in Latin America in the 1970's-80's for instance, there are arguments about the "need" for authoritarian government in Chile, maybe Peru? etc. floating around though in the end Pinochet did get caught with a lot of corruption also.

          On the other hand, if you look into the longer history of the groups that morphed into Al Qaeda...  And with our oh so involved American history programs teaching us so much as a matter of course about this subject (that is totally scoffing if you didn't notice)...  I'm no widely read Mideast area studies person but...  I will make some effort at the jump and refer you for some sort of start, to a video "The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear." (Hmm, used to have a full link on Youtube if still there and I can find it again...)  Ugh, I think Youtube may have pulled it for copyright, but here is production info and you might be able to see it in sections here. It's a critique of rightists on both sides of the world acting very similar as well as a documentary history, but at least it is something relatively more involved than quick neoliberal political slogans about "freedom" for now.  And you're naturally free to double check the analysis or dig up another.

          Basically, the point I wanted to add is that some of the early activists who developed what Al Qaeda later claims as part of its philosophical rationale, were often concerned with corruption of Mideast governments (particularly Egypt) and exploitation of their people by (particularly but not solely Western) business and military interests.  Granted some of them also adopted a very austere and restrictive interpretation of Islam either before or during that thought.  But there is also a serious thread of opposition to the more neocolonial aspects of the modern international system, and also a dose of nationalism (though you might call it "virulent" I suppose if you like, I'm not sure precisely how to draw that line here). 

         So, different people in such an outfit can have different amounts and versions of each of these broad agendas in play.  But making it all about jealousy isn't so comprehensive an explanation...  Unless you think say, 'most everyone' gets jealous when they can't be the ones rigging the world to the advantage of some tiny elite, and to a much lesser extent to more interesting circuses and cultural diversions for their people (not that such diversions aren't fulfilling and even potentially explosive, but all the same).  And I do allow that it's possible to argue, well that sort of jealousy is also just how the world often works too.  In that case:  Just don't tell me it's obviously envy of only, always "good" things across the ocean.   
« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 05:49:17 PM by kylie »

Offline consortium11

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #79 on: August 24, 2014, 09:27:40 AM »
I've generally been a little skeptical on the "They hate us for our freedoms" line.

Considering how ISIS are treating civilians in Iraq and Syria who have different religious beliefs and how strictly they're enforcing Sharia law I'm not sure what there is to be skeptical about.

If they were attacking Iraq as a US puppet state and not demolishing Churches and Mosques, imprisoning and caning those who use alcohol, crucifying and massacring people then you could argue that they're merely reacting to Western interference. But they're not... they're invading specifically to form a new Caliphate under their strict interpretation of religion and executing those who don't abide by their view.

Offline Aiden


Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #81 on: August 24, 2014, 05:20:48 PM »
They Id's Foley's killer, this dude is FUCKED.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/rapper-identified-as-james-foleys-executioner-reports-20140824-107w1i.html

If he's lucky.. the bullet that kills him won't be heard for a second or two after the impact. If he's unlucky.. well the SAS will catch him, bag him, tag him and render him to someplace dark, dank and totally lawyer empty.

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #82 on: August 24, 2014, 07:11:11 PM »
Considering how ISIS are treating civilians in Iraq and Syria who have different religious beliefs and how strictly they're enforcing Sharia law I'm not sure what there is to be skeptical about.

If they were attacking Iraq as a US puppet state and not demolishing Churches and Mosques, imprisoning and caning those who use alcohol, crucifying and massacring people then you could argue that they're merely reacting to Western interference. But they're not... they're invading specifically to form a new Caliphate under their strict interpretation of religion and executing those who don't abide by their view.
         If I'm not mistaken, they are both attacking the Syrian state at least, and doing all those other things.  Who's to say there has to be only one goal, or only one type of person or group represented inside ISIS.  I dunno how easy it is to take Baghdad (what with it being both the major center, and add in Iran getting ready to pounce just on the other side), or if they are really interested in that strategically anyway.

         If group psychology was all as simple as you suggest, then we could also say obviously most people in the US want to keep most Black and Native American people in abject poverty...  And maybe we just all hate them.  Because that is what our combined social actions and choice of institutions we continue to let our leadership maintain, have ended up doing.  Look at how blatantly transparent we are.  Oh yes, and perhaps we also all totally want Israel to kill hundreds and thousands of Palestinian civilians, because gee America funds that military too...

         You can't judge what everyone wants or feels or thinks simply by outcomes the group seems to be pursuing or even rules it seems to be installing at the moment.  In a group that operates so much on force and intimidation, you might even have to assume that some people are repeating party line because they're afraid of the consequences of not doing so --- and things may feel like an avalanche more than a chosen project.  There are incentives to act like it's all about proving yourself to be the most radical (and maybe even, the most paranoid) thing around, and sometimes dangers if you don't. 

          It may be a more or less direct reflection of what some people would choose from the get-go, and probably not all of them.

.....  But I don't think life in groups and amidst violence is all that simple as you suggest.   

          You can also look at the Iraqi Sunnis, who I believe are giving ISIS the green light to advance through territory and providing personnel to fight among ISIS (at least in Iraq) --- but I imagine their own communities do not follow the whole social program being set up where ISIS happens to make camp.  Until recently, they were the privileged crowd in one relatively secular government. 

 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 07:23:05 PM by kylie »

Offline consortium11

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #83 on: August 24, 2014, 08:30:48 PM »
         If I'm not mistaken, they are both attacking the Syrian state at least, and doing all those other things.  Who's to say there has to be only one goal, or only one type of person or group represented inside ISIS.  I dunno how easy it is to take Baghdad (what with it being both the major center, and add in Iran getting ready to pounce just on the other side), or if they are really interested in that strategically anyway.

The Islamic State just stoned a man to death in Iraq after convicting him of adultery in one of their courts.

Exactly what geo-political pressures or influence from the West were the reasons behind that?

They blew up Jonah's Tomb fairly recently.

Exactly what geo-political pressures or influence from the West were the reasons behind that?

I'm not going to link to the videos (although they're easily available with a quick google search) but the Islamic State are cutting the hands off of reported thieves and beheading Christians.

Exactly what geo-political pressures or influence from the West were the reasons behind that?

The comparison with the US is disingenuous. I'm not saying that all those who are within the land the Islamic State controls or under its authority "hate us for our freedoms". I'm saying those who make up the Islamic State do. These are the people who stone people to death for adultery, cane people for drinking alcohol, demolish the holy sites of other religions (or different sects of the same religion), crucify and behead their victims while enforcing strict, fundamentalist Sharia law on those who fall under their control.

Considering they're doing that to Shiite Muslims in Iraq and Syria I'm not sure how one can say they're doing it because of the West. Considering that they've openly said their primary interest is in killing "the hypocrites, because they are much more dangerous than those who are fundamentally heretics" (i.e. fellow Muslims who don't follow their strict faith rather than those from different religions) I'm not sure how one can argue this is due to Western interference. Considering they've expressly said they have no intention of currently confronting Israel (the normal lighting rod for criticism of the West's policy and impact on the Middle East), preferring instead to continue killing Shiites, I'm no sure how one can argue that it's due to Western interference.

We're not talking about the Iraqi insurgency here, men (and women) who had seen their country invaded, their infrastructure destroyed, their institutions gutted and a vindictive, short-sighted despot put in control. We're not talking about the various Palestinian groups who see themselves as facing an occupier who constantly keeps them ground down with the support of the West. We're not talking about Hezbollah, formed through a combination of Iranian and Lebanese influence, money and power to oppose an Israeli (backed by the West) invasion.

We're talking about roughly 25,000 hardcore fundamentalists who right now are more interested in purging Muslims then fighting the West. They don't care about the neo-colonial aspects... they want the same themselves eventually. They don't care about nationalism... nationalism is a rather vague subject at best in the Middle East and the Islamic State are based around the idea of a Caliphate that ignores pretty much all borders. They're not even particularly bothered about corruption... everything they've said and done has been about the lack of faith others have shown.

It's a cop out to point at any insurgency or terrorist group in the Middle East and say "well, they're doing it because of the West". In some cases it may well be true; I've already listed a couple. But some simply follow a fundamentalist strain of Islam untouched by the equivalent of a renaissance which is extremely harsh and extremely expansionist. The Wests actions in disposing Hussein (a strong man who held fundamentalist groups in check) and weakening Assad (likewise) may have provided the conditions for the Islamic State to rise but their motivations and reasoning are not directly related to the West or the West's impact on the Middle East.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #84 on: August 25, 2014, 06:18:25 PM »
Today, while on the way to work, I heard about an suicide bomber in a Iraq mosque. Someone wore a bomb vest into a crowd of Shite worshipers. That wasn't anything about the west. That was about a cultural/religious clash that dates back centuries.  These men are using the image/backstory of the most enlightened part of their culture and perverting it.

As for Assad/Sadam holding them back, I don't think they were. They were paying off these men for years. Playing them against rivals in the region. It's a regional thing, half the rich idiots in Qatar, Saudi and the UAE have been doing this for DECADES to play their games. I have said before that Syria was a decade away from having the various forces they had sponsored for years in Israel, Lebanon and other regions. The Assad regime has been linked directly to assassinations in several of their neighbors. Saddam did the same with folks throughout the Gulf region.

ISIS/ISIL is the logical evolution of feeding these mad dogs then not feeding them.

They slipped their leash, found capital of their own, and are in a prime spot where they are able to control events. The indecisive nature of the West in Syria, and the reluctance of the political establishment to build a coordinated front of resistance in Iraq have only continued to build ISIS/ISIL into a bandit kingdom that couldn't form any other way.

If the coordination of the rival forces in Iraq, backing of moderate elements in Syria by the west, or a lack of planning on ISIS/ISIL and we wouldn't be looking at the birth of the Islamic Caliphate.

It is going to take a decisive plan of action, the changing of the rules of engagement to cover the 'dancing' over the Syrian/Iraq border and a MULTI-National task force to put these mad dogs down.

And THEN when it's done.. a long term commitment by this multi-nation group in rebuilding/developing the region.

And that last step.. will never happen. At best we're going to delay regional destabilization a generation or so.

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #85 on: August 26, 2014, 06:17:32 AM »
               Consortium, sorry but you're going all over for me.  You started out on "They hate the West for its freedoms," which in the US is a famous neocon political slogan dating back to 9/11.  Washington has used that kind of rhetoric to imply that well obviously American civil society is much preferable in every way and obviously fundamentalists cannot be understood any other way at all, only fought because look, it's all basically blind jealousy and (neat reason-less sounding language here) "hate."  And none of them surely are thinking about anything else, and all of them must be pretty interested in attacking the US directly and no matter if it's in the region or in North America.  Or so we are kind of led to believe as that slogan has been used.

                I'm not saying the outfit hasn't done draconian stuff.  And presumably some of their leadership has some interest in fundamentalist management strategy or possibly the amorphous notion of some international "caliphate" dream (though be careful, it's another thing US Central Command loves to cite in memos but various fundamentalists love to disagree about if you look for coordinated details).  And some might be interested in attacking specifically American stuff or going abroad.  I wouldn't assume you find half the outfit all having the same opinion on the details of all those things you mention.  I rather suspect, particularly in Iraq, that most are interested in some parts more than others.

                  Your "25,000 hardcore" figure seems like a rather hyped media term to me.  Googling, I see some papers saying "25,000 hardcore fighters" and others saying "25,000 Wahabis" but I can't see how they all get to be obviously equally conservative on all the same issues by default.  That would also seem to be hinting half the force now in Iraq are nothing at all but fundamentalist zombies, as it were?  By that number I think they mean basically, everyone who came out of Syria -- and then the other half are most of the Iraqis, I suppose?  Even if it somehow were anywhere near correct to say that and all Syrian Isis in Iraq are totally on the same page, then you end up with a near 50/50 split between 'known hardcore" (as if they were all the same) and everyone else (who I've read reported more in detail, in Iraq, are clearly not all from the same situation but then Iraq was generally tribal or secular). 

           It's kind of like every other Western unit that does non-conventional operations getting labeled "commandos."  It makes the situation sound dramatic, paints one big faceless force to be reckoned with as a fiery image to follow, but tells you very little about where they are coming from or when and why particular groups do what they do. 
 
            But more to the original point, when even you say some groups are more interested in "purging Muslims" than interacting with the West at all?  That just doesn't square with your original claim:  "They hate us for our freedoms."  If they are mainly concerned about Muslims, then they don't have to be thinking about the West much at all.  They might be incidentally or as a matter of vague propaganda, but the one doesn't require the other.  Certainly not of the rank and file, though I bet the US cares much less about many of those than the volume of the press releases would suggest.

            ...  Whereas those who are working with one eye more immediately against the West, are not all railing solely against things that can be neatly reduced to that Western feel-good word "freedoms."  Scan through comments pages in some widely read foreign papers (still thinking of the Guardian myself), and see how often aggrieved people from Russia or China say both things like, the US is decadent and gaudy and soulless AND it's a big corrupt bully or maybe an abuser of labor all over the place. I could think of some more claims they may toss, which are not all entirely false by certain objective measures.  So whether it's out of reading on many issues or a desire to rachet up verbal bowling points, people with one or two concerns have often learned or been encouraged to shotgun.  I would expect some considerable fraction of Isis can do this, too. 

           There are also some released regular prisoners who may not have much of a fundamentalist concern per se...  And now hundreds of Western fighters are reportedly starting to join Isis; I could be wrong but I think you'll have a harder time establishing they're all faceless Wahabist fanatics of all the exact same mold and motivations, either.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 06:20:36 AM by kylie »

Offline consortium11

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #86 on: August 26, 2014, 05:27:46 PM »
               Consortium, sorry but you're going all over for me.  You started out on "They hate the West for its freedoms," which in the US is a famous neocon political slogan dating back to 9/11.  Washington has used that kind of rhetoric to imply that well obviously American civil society is much preferable in every way and obviously fundamentalists cannot be understood any other way at all, only fought because look, it's all basically blind jealousy and (neat reason-less sounding language here) "hate."  And none of them surely are thinking about anything else, and all of them must be pretty interested in attacking the US directly and no matter if it's in the region or in North America.  Or so we are kind of led to believe as that slogan has been used.

If you're going to quote the statement it may be worth putting in the context of the whole speech... which includes:

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But its goal [with regards to Al-Quida]  is not making money, its goal is remaking the world and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.

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They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed.

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They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

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They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Now, for fairly obvious reasons, the speech was primarily about America... it was an address by the US President to the US congress in the wake of 9/11. But similar sentiments were produced across the world in the wake of the attack and since then the "they hate us for our freedoms" meme has been appropriated to cover (frequently mockingly) the view that certain individuals or organisations hate others because of more liberal (used in the non-political sense) rights and freedoms they enjoy, normally contrasted with the "blowback" theory that views such acts as being a reaction to the influence and impact the West has had on other countries.

I'm running on the (I think fairly safe) assumption that your post with regards to your skepticism about "they hate us for our freedoms" was in response to Cassandra LeMay's post that some of them do hate us (and I use "us" in the most encompassing way... everyone who isn't the Islamic State and/or doesn't share their fundamentalist world view) for our freedoms; the freedom to not follow Shariah Law, the freedom to worship a different religion (or even a different interpretation of the same religion), the freedom to drink alcohol, the freedom for women to not have to cover themselves in public and be in the presence of a family member etc etc.

And every action by the Islamic State indicates that the above is exactly why they're fighting.

If there was another reason for their aggression and hatred, especially if it was the blow back reasoning, you'd expect their efforts to be based on attacking Western interests and opposing Israel. But they're not (at least yet...). They're about setting up their strict Caliphate, "punishing the infidels", destroying religious sites and imposing their fundamentalist views (often at the point of a sword) to anyone unfortunate enough to fall under their power. They're about removing the very freedoms that are noted in the "hate us for our freedoms" speech.

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And presumably some of their leadership has some interest in fundamentalist management strategy or possibly the amorphous notion of some international "caliphate" dream (though be careful, it's another thing US Central Command loves to cite in memos but various fundamentalists love to disagree about if you look for coordinated details).

Thankfully we don't have to cite memos, we can actually look at what ISIS/the Islamic State has said and done... such as actually declaring an international Caliphate

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Your "25,000 hardcore" figure seems like a rather hyped media term to me.

It's actually at the low-end of estimates, with recent ones more frequently putting it in the 50,000 to 100,000 range.

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But more to the original point, when even you say some groups are more interested in "purging Muslims" than interacting with the West at all?  That just doesn't square with your original claim:  "They hate us for our freedoms."  If they are mainly concerned about Muslims, then they don't have to be thinking about the West much at all.  They might be incidentally or as a matter of vague propaganda, but the one doesn't require the other.  Certainly not of the rank and file, though I bet the US cares much less about many of those than the volume of the press releases would suggest.

As mentioned previously, the "us" in "they hate us for our freedoms" has never been the preserve of Americans, Europeans or even Westerners in general. It's everyone who's not them... in the speech where the term first appeared the Islamist attacks in Africa and Asia were specifically mentioned. They hate "fellow" Muslims for their freedom to worship a different branch of Islam or not follow Shariah law. That's a freedom... and it's one the Islamic State is intent on taking away.

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  ...  Whereas those who are working with one eye more immediately against the West, are not all railing solely against things that can be neatly reduced to that Western feel-good word "freedoms."  Scan through comments pages in some widely read foreign papers (still thinking of the Guardian myself), and see how often aggrieved people from Russia or China say both things like, the US is decadent and gaudy and soulless AND it's a big corrupt bully or maybe an abuser of labor all over the place. I could think of some more claims they may toss, which are not all entirely false by certain objective measures.  So whether it's out of reading on many issues or a desire to rachet up verbal bowling points, people with one or two concerns have often learned or been encouraged to shotgun.  I would expect some considerable fraction of Isis can do this, too.

           There are also some released regular prisoners who may not have much of a fundamentalist concern per se...

I've written for the Guardian... I'm well aware of the trend of the comments there (although I'd note that the vast majority come from people within the UK or USA).

But we don't have to rely on comments on the Guardian from people who are highly unlikely to be members of the Islamic State generally complaining about the US and West in general. We can look at the masses of video and reporting coming out of the Islamic State where the militants (be they Syrian, Iraqi, from elsewhere in the Middle East, from further afield or from the West) talk about what brought them to fight... and pretty much universally it's to spread their fundamentalist "word of Allah" and kill non-believers. Somewhat surprisingly considering their origins Vice News has arguably had the best coverage of this; they have a lot of videos from inside the Islamic State.

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And now hundreds of Western fighters are reportedly starting to join Isis; I could be wrong but I think you'll have a harder time establishing they're all faceless Wahabist fanatics of all the exact same mold and motivations, either.

There's actually a pretty simple way.

As you've pointed out, there are a lot of people who dislike how the West acts in general and in the Middle East in particular, often vehemently. People deplored the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq even more and detest the West's support for Israel. Yet more hate what they see as the corruption of the West, the absolute power of the "1%" etc etc. These people come from virtually all countries, political persuasions, religions, philosophies etc etc.

Yet how many of those who have gone to fight for the Islamic State haven't been fundamentalist Muslims of a specific branch of a specific branch?

When volunteers went to fight in the Spanish Civil War even those on the nominal same side had radical differences and few similarities; the nationalists could call upon Nazi's, fascists, small "c" conservatives, Catholic fundamentalists, anti-imperialists, anti-communists and yet more groups. The opposition could call upon idealist liberals (in the classical sense), socialists, communists and others.

There is no such coalition in ISIS. It's Islamic fundamentalists. If the reasons why people fought for ISIS weren't predicated on that fundamentalist take on a religion you'd expect people with differing faiths to have joined... yet they haven't.

Offline Formless

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #87 on: August 26, 2014, 05:56:39 PM »
Aside from the fact that the ISIS's fight is nothing but a predicted ' power struggle'. Its actually a misunderstanding to think they are ' hating ' the west for its freedoms.

I hate to be the one who says this , but for the sake of argument let it be said. They hate USA. If you wish to take it on a politically correct realm , then we agree that they do hate USA for its freedoms and for harnessing other religions besides Islam.

But from a logical view? It seems the ISIS are just going after what they can to earn some sort of political influence. Because the European countries have as much freedom as the US , yet you don't see the ISIS showing any interest in going against them?

Its actually funny how the ISIS says they will liberate Saudi Arabia ( The heart of the Islamic Nation ). I mean what is there to liberate since we enforce the religion in its sternest ways? So going about the true reasons of this group of barbarians? Its nothing but a way for them to gain some political and military backup.

As a final note , I'll add this historical saying about the land of Iraq. ' Iraq is where Sedition blossoms and dies. '

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #88 on: August 26, 2014, 06:10:30 PM »

Its actually funny how the ISIS says they will liberate Saudi Arabia ( The heart of the Islamic Nation ). I mean what is there to liberate since we enforce the religion in its sternest ways? So going about the true reasons of this group of barbarians? Its nothing but a way for them to gain some political and military backup.

As a final note , I'll add this historical saying about the land of Iraq. ' Iraq is where Sedition blossoms and dies. '


Nods, it's like them telling the Saudi Arabian regime and their imams: "You're not tough enough, guys". Which is also basically what bin-Laden did for much of his career as a Jihadist leader.

Offline consortium11

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #89 on: August 26, 2014, 06:33:10 PM »
Because the European countries have as much freedom as the US , yet you don't see the ISIS showing any interest in going against them?

They've basically taken as much interest in Europe as the US at this point; they've occasionally talked about how they're the devil but not seemingly put any effort into attacking their interests directly. Because of the relatively high number of UK jihadis who have traveled to fight for them the UK tends to pop up fairly frequently as a target of derision in their PR releases.

I'd note that from what we know the Islamic State seemingly actually prioritises capturing certain European citizens more than they do US ones; while the US and UK pretty much refuses to pay ransoms other countries allegedly do (unfortunately living up to the stereotype France are generally considered one of the most frequent at doing this) and as such the Islamic State can help fund itself by targeting their citizens.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #90 on: August 26, 2014, 08:23:45 PM »

But from a logical view? It seems the ISIS are just going after what they can to earn some sort of political influence. Because the European countries have as much freedom as the US , yet you don't see the ISIS showing any interest in going against them?

What, you mean besides threatening them as well? And laying loose claim to most of the Med adjacent EU countries? Because they haven't implicitly laid the sword at the steps of all the European Governments doesn't mean that those same governments aren't on the list as well.

I will confess to be surprised that given the anti-islmanic attitudes in some parts of western europe that there hasn't been threats made loudly. They are coming though. Don't forget it is a LOT easier to get at most European venues than US ones. I imagine once the folks in ISIL/ISIS are done blowing up their own local holy sites and religious rivals they will go back to blowing up European citizens along with US ones.

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #91 on: August 28, 2014, 02:46:26 AM »
If you're going to quote the statement it may be worth putting in the context of the whole speech... which includes:

Now, for fairly obvious reasons, the speech was primarily about America... it was an address by the US President to the US congress in the wake of 9/11.
          Yes, and you're obviously rather well read on it.  You're bringing up plenty of stuff that I wasn't thinking of at all.  So forgive me if I stick more with what I actually had in mind.

          The broader context I recall now, is how very much it's been used in domestic political culture as a rather simplistic shortcut to excuse among conservatives in the US generally:  The whole string of endless war, rushing through of the Patriot Act largely unread, rendition of captives on to torturing regimes, bombing by everything from dumb Superfortress to hopefully smarter lasers and drones, and even extension of the initially "anti-terror" campaign on into Iraq where it arguably didn't belong (or not so much at that time).  Whatever among all this one supports, one doesn't have to talk much about who does what over where and why they say they do it, or the timing with which they do it, or the whole region of people and factions they are often talking to as opposed to (or at least, usually in addition to) America.  One simply repeats, "Well they hate us for our freedoms.  That's all you ever need to know."  And I have heard it repeated in crass, common folk talk long after that speech you are picking over high-brow responses to. 

          If anything, I'm less concerned with how you would seek to quantify such words that are all fire and brimstone in themselves...  Than the fact that most people won't think to ever question it.  It is not any empirical claim in itself that has a definite target or consistent evidence.  You yourself end up saying, "Oh but I'm not talking about" this or that and have to slice and dice it to make sense out of it.  But what it does do is scream "hate" and "freedom" rah rah let's bomb the ragheads cause they're obviously oh so impenetrably evil and different.  Even Hitler often received more useful analysis than this.

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But similar sentiments were produced across the world in the wake of the attack and since then the "they hate us for our freedoms" meme has been appropriated to cover (frequently mockingly) the view that certain individuals or organisations hate others because of more liberal (used in the non-political sense) rights and freedoms they enjoy, normally contrasted with the "blowback" theory that views such acts as being a reaction to the influence and impact the West has had on other countries.
         Again, I'm not entirely convinced that the pursuit or interest in one, obviates pursuit or interest in the other.  Not everyone has the scope or interest to just hop across the world.  Nor the rush to conduct suicide missions against say, Navy bases in the Gulf.  It doesn't mean none of them care (though some of them probably don't).  And not everyone has the fundamentalist interest in sharia law, but that doesn't mean they can always restrain those influential leaders or comrades who do.

         I do think the displacement of communities and imposition of restrictive cultural rules is sickening.  I just don't like a slogan that feeds on that imagery to create a mindless, single-minded, self-righteousness in response.  And you may recall that in fact the Bush administration which used this slogan, actually invested very little to help the same women in Afghanistan who it so loved to hold up as the prime examples of how awful the regimes it opposed was. 

        So at least pick some hard-headed reasons when going to war for me to decide on (real ones, tell me about those oil lines and btw probable sweet Halliburton contracts you want --- and not the faked WMD evidence).  Or don't toss me humanitarian scraps you don't mean to actually deal with anytime soon.  Anything else, and such a slogan lets the people have a feelgood war about issues that post-occupation, we often aren't very able or willing to devote resources to anyway.  How many years after the fall of Baghdad did we hear, oh we can't secure educational facilities yet, we can barely keep the power on half the day. 

         I might still support a ground war against Isis.  But I would prefer not to do it by repeating a slogan that works like that.  You may be willing to pick and choose and find a good case here, exception there.  I have run into enough hotheads who are not.  And it flies around encouraging them not to.

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I'm running on the (I think fairly safe) assumption that your post with regards to your skepticism about "they hate us for our freedoms" was in response to Cassandra LeMay's post
        Shrugs.  Wasn't even thinking of it.  Haven't read it, or not that I recall.  Is she the only one of any note who's ever had a problem with the slogan?  Though it may or may not be consistent.  Is it really necessary that I precisely follow the particular logic of some opinion leader you happen to feel encapsulates the spirit of a whole swath somewhere you think you already have the neat response for, to have my thoughts on the matter considered?  If you want or need to use her to make some point, you could start on that point already and see if that is even what I had in mind.  Or maybe even, ask rather than assume I'm obviously completely in line with whoever you like to pick.

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... that some of them do hate us (and I use "us" in the most encompassing way... everyone who isn't the Islamic State and/or doesn't share their fundamentalist world view) for our freedoms; the freedom to not follow Shariah Law, the freedom to worship a different religion (or even a different interpretation of the same religion), the freedom to drink alcohol, the freedom for women to not have to cover themselves in public and be in the presence of a family member etc etc.

        Again, I suggest you look into the whole "Caliphate" idea closely.  My understanding is it's been overplayed by Central Command, but that's based on reading a few reports more from the Iraq era.  I don't care so much about a press release from some faction or handful so much as what I think the mass actually lives like and can sustain.  And there, when you start chopping of a different 25,000 here or there (fine let's not talk about Iraq then), it just suggests to me that that movement you are harping about as the only thing to pay attention to -- maybe it's not all that uniform on the inside.

        I'd also be skeptical that an organization that claims to be taking over a chunk of Al Qaeda's following, would (at least formally) be able to entirely dispense with its originating, historical claims about Western interference and corruption in Arab governments and other neo-colonial influences.

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And every action by the Islamic State indicates that the above is exactly why they're fighting.

         Again trying to come up to date a little though...  My understanding is this organization, and in particular those 25,000 who you at one point tried to limit more to Syria ("I'm not talking about in Iraq," wasn't it??) ...  They were mainly involved with fighting the Syrian regime until they had setbacks, after which they suddenly found it more convenient to move into the lightly defended North of Iraq.  But oh, I suppose they simply hated the Syrian regime for its freedoms too?  After all, everything they do must be singularly focused as you say...  So wouldn't you suppose?  I don't see it lining up.

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Thankfully we don't have to cite memos, we can actually look at what ISIS/the Islamic State has said and done... such as actually declaring an international Caliphate

         We're gonna just zing by each other here.  You're looking at "news" events in the direction of 'the big waves' form which only care about easily found 'shocking' outcomes, and then trying (I think) to convert it into some kind of common psychological claim that encompasses all how many, is it a hundred thou you're up to now?  I'm talking about the slogan that says we know what they want and generalizing it to abstract levels like "hate."  Perhaps on your own terms you're right, if all you care about is can enough people be dragged in one direction and keep the mess going a while.  Seems that is what got the US into Iraq, too.  Not everyone believed everything they were told, not everyone wanted the same thing precisely -- but there was enough overlap to create a disaster.  I just don't want to go bandying about a slogan that focuses thought in the same way.  That's all.

            And again I agree they're doing some shocking stuff and (if you think so) it wouldn't be a bad idea to put more effort into stopping it -- Though I'm not sure how that would work out neatly.  I'm rather concerned it just won't work out soon.  So it would take something of a whole new paradigm to stay engaged and sit on the matter, and at what cost.  That isn't such a new conversation after Bosnia or the previous Iraq conflict.  Not sure the US has the will or means to pull it off though...  Or perhaps, the perspective to predict where it would lead next in the region.  The track record isn't so great, thus far.

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Yet how many of those who have gone to fight for the Islamic State haven't been fundamentalist Muslims of a specific branch of a specific branch?

When volunteers went to fight in the Spanish Civil War even those on the nominal same side had radical differences and few similarities; the nationalists could call upon Nazi's, fascists, small "c" conservatives, Catholic fundamentalists, anti-imperialists, anti-communists and yet more groups. The opposition could call upon idealist liberals (in the classical sense), socialists, communists and others.

There is no such coalition in ISIS. It's Islamic fundamentalists. If the reasons why people fought for ISIS weren't predicated on that fundamentalist take on a religion you'd expect people with differing faiths to have joined... yet they haven't.
         This is all kind of minor I think to the larger discussion.  But the fourth point gets more at what nags me.

         First, they haven't been in the news all that long.  I'd say it's only this invasion of Iraq that has made them look like a military success story that many people in the West are that familiar with.

         Second, you have more speculation based on history of much earlier wars --- but do you have numbers?  You could be right this time, but just saying.  Maybe the situation of the media and global capital, and circles critical of all that, isn't quite what it was in the 1930's.

         Third, some have joined.   I can't find it at the drop of a hat, but there were articles in the Guardian a couple weeks ago about Brits who became, if I recall, suicide bombers but they were believed to be far from socially conservative.  Perhaps motivated by something very different than a concern for purging the Muslim world of certain minorities or certain dress customs.  I think it was suggested to be more, a concern that the Syrian government was being atrocious as also shown in some Isis media?  So perhaps back to the first two points.  I don't know how many it takes to impress you or whether they're in a grand spot to all be interviewed.  But too early to tell on the macro level, I might wager. 

         Fourth, it still sounds like making "fundamentalism" out to be one singular mold.  And there I return to my assertions that the group can do all sorts of unsavory stuff and not all seem immediately intent on anything critical or noble in a liberal Western mold....  But then, most of these people don't live in an environment where they have the means or luxury of dealing in that mold to begin with.  And that is not entirely their own fault...  Some of it may be the regime's, hell by extension of global economics some is probably even ours.  And what if they have enough shred of consciousness of society and history to "hate" as you like to put it so vaguely, some of that?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 09:35:18 PM by kylie »

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #92 on: August 28, 2014, 10:36:33 PM »
Point of fact Kylie, if you're willing to follow the evolution of the ISIL leadership and personalities involved some of them have been involved in Jihadi (and mercenary) activities in the Gulf region as far back as 1994 or so. Look up ISIL on Wikipedia for some of the names.  Some of the leadership had even been hired by Saddam to suppress Kurdish indepence while giving Saddam the ability to not be associated with the suppression

Like I said before, these groups have stooged around the Middle East for decades working for pretty much anyone who could pay them to shot, bomb or stab someone else. This current group started forming from similar groups like Al-queada in Iraq while the US was moving out of the region

The ISIL movement really gained cohesion and focus with the on set of the Syrian Civil war and the recent failure of Iraq to maintain a properly balanced government. (The old leadership was too busy consolidating power among his ow people)

With the failure of groups like the Assad regime and Saddam Hussein's death, their sponsors have stoped paying them. So they are building their own little badit caliphate. With the limp waisted actions of the White House and the EU in building a proper alliance of moderate forces in Turkey, these men were able to pulled it off

Like I said before, this will take a commitment of more than air strikes and withy washy waffling on the West's behalf. One thing is required the intestinal fortitude to realiZe any commitment we make will require 2 to possibly 3 generations of active on the ground involvement in the region to help the more moderate elements build countries will last.

Problem is..ISIL is shooting the moderates while we waffle and dick around.

Additionally, a lot of the regional issues date back to the arbitrary formation of nations at the end of the First World War. There a LOT of issues that go back a century or so that have never been resolved beyond whoever was in charge shooting anyone who complained about the status quo since then. 
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 10:58:53 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #93 on: August 29, 2014, 07:37:26 PM »

Like I said before, this will take a commitment of more than air strikes and withy washy waffling on the West's behalf. One thing is required the intestinal fortitude to realiZe any commitment we make will require 2 to possibly 3 generations of active on the ground involvement in the region to help the more moderate elements build countries will last.


The U.S. struggles to maintain a commitment for more than 8 years at a time, let alone 2 generations. With the degree to which politics has become polarized, I can't imagine that fortitude being possible for a long time from now - even if both parties magically recognized what needed to be done, the 2nd one in power would end it immediately to avoid being seen as supporting their predecessor's policies.

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #94 on: August 29, 2014, 09:57:23 PM »
Point of fact Kylie, if you're willing to follow the evolution of the ISIL leadership and personalities involved some of them have been involved in Jihadi (and mercenary) activities in the Gulf region as far back as 1994 or so.
         Yes, yes.  Some, some, some.  I'm not trying to argue they aren't doing atrocious stuff.  Sure go after the operational leadership that is doing that.  I'm not saying they are all angels, for heaven's sake. 

          I'm just not in favor of tossing around "hate" and "freedom" and then watching as we go in and do little to nothing, to help many of the people actually suffering most from that same social mess that was used to motivate support for the action. 

       And sometimes one has to ask:  Is this military, particularly knowing the other sorts of things it does tend to protect in that particular region (pipelines, hardened Green Zone buildings, corrupt and often oppressive regimes, maybe select favorite local guerrilla units of the day), a tool that is going to deal with the kind of "hate" one claims to be concerned with?  Don't gimme the 'they're so evil' style slogan.  Tell me exactly what is going to be policed and what is not.  And try not to let the last part become something nearly as outrageous as what we have now.  But we've seen this show before, haven't we? 

         Unless everyone wants to make a deal.  I'll adopt that neat little slogan if we can agree it's also proper to say:  American culture "hates" Blacks to some considerable extent, too.  A different kind of hate, perhaps, but it does little to help them and  much to harm them on a daily basis, no matter what individual factions or leaders say they are trying to achieve.  But I doubt you'd all be comfortable with that.  It might be something too close to truth and parity.

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Like I said before, this will take a commitment of more than air strikes and withy washy waffling on the West's behalf. One thing is required the intestinal fortitude to realiZe any commitment we make will require 2 to possibly 3 generations of active on the ground involvement in the region to help the more moderate elements build countries will last.
          As I said, another paradigm.  The US would have to actually invest in things like education (not leaving it to half unprotected, scantly funded NGO's in many areas), women's rights at the township level at least, and perhaps even cultural stuff (what if museums and religious monuments are useful for inspiring some policy choices later?)...  But then...  We have swaths of the US where investments in these things are scarce or directed in very questionable and biased ways.  Do we even have the political will and means to do this well in a large foreign country?  Particularly now.  We aren't riding so high as we were with the occupation of Japan.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 10:05:50 PM by kylie »

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #95 on: August 30, 2014, 12:50:33 PM »
       
          As I said, another paradigm.  The US would have to actually invest in things like education (not leaving it to half unprotected, scantly funded NGO's in many areas), women's rights at the township level at least, and perhaps even cultural stuff (what if museums and religious monuments are useful for inspiring some policy choices later?)...  But then...  We have swaths of the US where investments in these things are scarce or directed in very questionable and biased ways.  Do we even have the political will and means to do this well in a large foreign country?  Particularly now.  We aren't riding so high as we were with the occupation of Japan.

Exactly.. we need to BUILD the country.. not the government. Unfortunately, both you and Glyph are right. We're so polarized and ruled by this week's opinion polls that this will not happen short of a MASSIVE polarizing event. Something that I cannot predict or so. We need a leader of MASSIVE appeal across all venues, a true statesman.

Unfortunately they are all dead.

So, we're (in my opinion) doomed to a slow erratic progression over the next two to three generations. Our Grandchildren will be reaping the 'rewards' of our fathers (and ourselves) hubris and foolishness.

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #96 on: September 26, 2014, 08:23:37 PM »
         Just curious...  What is going on with the estimates of Isis numbers? 

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Estimates of Islamic State strength range from 7,000 to 30,000.

         Is this simply a mistake?  Are they not counting Iraqi units originating from other communities that may have been pressed in, however under duress or temporarily for the sake of logistics...  Or did a lot of people leave after the US started bombing, or otherwise get pulled away recently?  Or were the numbers before just inflated?

         None of which shows that anyone else is moving them away.  But it's still rather odd, isn't it?


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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #97 on: September 28, 2014, 02:41:54 PM »
Over here (UK) the name seems to have changed to just IS/Islamic State.  Is that reflected elsewhere?

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #98 on: September 29, 2014, 09:02:12 AM »
It's mostly ISIS here in Sweden, but IS is getting used too.

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #99 on: September 29, 2014, 10:16:53 AM »
       Yeah, there's been a lot of back and forth about the name and however to refer to the outfit. 

Some Mideast/ Muslim factions are apparently furious that they've even taken up the term "Islamic" to begin with...  Though it would seem all sorts of movements in the region have.

        And, with perhaps a little more focus from the West now...  It's all still going!

Quote
In an excellent piece on the militants last week, the Guardian’s Middle East editor, Ian Black, wrote: “Opponents of the term Islamic State say it is neither Islamic nor a state: thus the suggestion of a group of British imams to [David] Cameron that he use the expression ‘Un-Islamic State’. In a similar legitimacy-undermining vein, Egypt’s leading Islamic authority, Dar al-Ifta, urged the media to use the rather heavy-handed QSIS: ‘Al-Qaida Separatists in Iraq and Syria’. Daesh, now officially adopted by the French government, is the Arabic acronym for Al Dawla al-Islamyia fil Iraq wa’al Sham.”