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The Middle Eastern question
#21
(05-11-2016, 01:23 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: Kinser: Iran hates ISIS as much or more than we do.  Of course this means we might have to let them have South Western Iraq...but those people are ethnic Persians anyway so why not.

Mike: South Western Iraq?  Are you referring to Sumer?  If so why do you think these people are Persians?
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#22
I am also an isolationist, started to become one around 2004, although not absolute until a bit later.

The Syrian thing shows that the idea that one can avoid stupid interventions by electing the right leader is pure wishful thinking. Obama did not want to get involved in Syria.  Even when Syria stepped over his red line he managed to find a way to avoid attacking Syria by getting the Republican congress to act to stop him.  And when ISIS showed up he dismissed them.  But when they cut off the heads of Americans the political cost for not intervening became too great. 

And so it will always be.  We intervene because we can.  As long as we can we will.  If Donald Trump is elected we will be at war on half a dozen fronts.  It does not matter a whit what Trump wants to do.  He will be goaded into inteventions by challenges to his masculinity, his image of toughness, or by insulting him, whatever works.  Everying I have seen about Trump suggests he is easily goaded into over-the-top responses. 

If Clinton is elected she will engage in war far less often than Trump.  She cannot be goaded in war by being seen as effeminate.  Americans do not want a President who comes across as a Lesbian.  After 25 years of shit being thrown at her, she as developed the thick skin that Trump lacks.  She is the epitome of calculating and cannot be goaded by insults that would work on Trump.  She will be goaded into war by political concerns, as Obama was with ISIS and Libya, and since she tends to listen to more hawkish counsel than Obama she is more prone to intervention than Obama was.

The only way for interventions to decline is for a true non-interventionist to be nominated by the Republican party.  Republicans had the chance to do this with Ron Paul and again with Rand Paul.  They did not.  And until they do it will be permanent war.
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#23
(05-15-2016, 03:52 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(05-11-2016, 01:23 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: Kinser: Iran hates ISIS as much or more than we do.  Of course this means we might have to let them have South Western Iraq...but those people are ethnic Persians anyway so why not.

Mike: South Western Iraq?  Are you referring to Sumer?  If so why do you think these people are Persians?

They aren't Arab Sunnis and Identify themselves with Iran. Generally speaking that would indicate that they are part of that nation.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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#24
(05-15-2016, 04:23 PM)Mikebert Wrote: I am also an isolationist, started to become one around 2004, although not absolute until a bit later.

The Syrian thing shows that the idea that one can avoid stupid interventions by electing the right leader is pure wishful thinking. Obama did not want to get involved in Syria.  Even when Syria stepped over his red line he managed to find a way to avoid attacking Syria by getting the Republican congress to act to stop him.  And when ISIS showed up he dismissed them.  But when they cut off the heads of Americans the political cost for not intervening became too great. 

And so it will always be.  We intervene because we can.  As long as we can we will.  If Donald Trump is elected we will be at war on half a dozen fronts.  It does not matter a whit what Trump wants to do.  He will be goaded into inteventions by challenges to his masculinity, his image of toughness, or by insulting him, whatever works.  Everying I have seen about Trump suggests he is easily goaded into over-the-top responses. 

If Clinton is elected she will engage in war far less often than Trump.  She cannot be goaded in war by being seen as effeminate.  Americans do not want a President who comes across as a Lesbian.  After 25 years of shit being thrown at her, she as developed the thick skin that Trump lacks.  She is the epitome of calculating and cannot be goaded by insults that would work on Trump.  She will be goaded into war by political concerns, as Obama was with ISIS and Libya, and since she tends to listen to more hawkish counsel than Obama she is more prone to intervention than Obama was.

The only way for interventions to decline is for a true non-interventionist to be nominated by the Republican party.  Republicans had the chance to do this with Ron Paul and again with Rand Paul.  They did not.  And until they do it will be permanent war.

Lots of rhetoric no substance. Their records are clear. Trump opposed both wars in Iraq, HRC supported them. Trump opposed messing around in Lybia, HRC supported messing around. The list goes on. It is clear that if one elects a neo-con we'll get the actions of neo-cons.

That being said if someone wants to make themselves our problem even James Madison would strike back. The difference is one looks for trouble and finds it, the other doesn't trouble just finds them on occasion.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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#25
For a very informative and stimulating discussion of US foreign policy in the mideast, Obama's approach, some of Hillary's tendencies, and other views, check out the Jeffrey Goldberg article in the Atlantic last month and then this month an extensive "Letters to the Editor" response to that article.

Leaves me quite blown away by the variety of perspectives. Not at all like the bumper sticker talking point bullshit that's usually all anyone gets either on the cesspool of misinformation that is the internet or the msm.
[fon‌t=Arial Black]... a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition.[/font]
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#26
(05-15-2016, 04:23 PM)Mikebert Wrote: I am also an isolationist, started to become one around 2004, although not absolute until a bit later.

The Syrian thing shows that the idea that one can avoid stupid interventions by electing the right leader is pure wishful thinking. Obama did not want to get involved in Syria.  Even when Syria stepped over his red line he managed to find a way to avoid attacking Syria by getting the Republican congress to act to stop him.  And when ISIS showed up he dismissed them.  But when they cut off the heads of Americans the political cost for not intervening became too great. 

And so it will always be.  We intervene because we can.  As long as we can we will.  If Donald Trump is elected we will be at war on half a dozen fronts.  It does not matter a whit what Trump wants to do.  He will be goaded into inteventions by challenges to his masculinity, his image of toughness, or by insulting him, whatever works.  Everything I have seen about Trump suggests he is easily goaded into over-the-top responses. 

If Clinton is elected she will engage in war far less often than Trump.  She cannot be goaded in war by being seen as effeminate.  Americans do not want a President who comes across as a Lesbian.  After 25 years of shit being thrown at her, she as developed the thick skin that Trump lacks.  She is the epitome of calculating and cannot be goaded by insults that would work on Trump.  She will be goaded into war by political concerns, as Obama was with ISIS and Libya, and since she tends to listen to more hawkish counsel than Obama she is more prone to intervention than Obama was.

The only way for interventions to decline is for a true non-interventionist to be nominated by the Republican party.  Republicans had the chance to do this with Ron Paul and again with Rand Paul.  They did not.  And until they do it will be permanent war.

Your analysis about Trump and Hillary C is spot on. But I think a non-interventionist is more likely to be nominated by a Democrat. They have already nominated McGovern, and since then Democrats have been less interventionist. Sanders is basically a non-interventionist. So are the Pauls. But the right and left share that element in the Libertarian platform, and it's also in the Green platform.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#27
(05-10-2016, 11:54 PM)MillsT_98 Wrote: In Who are you voting in 2016, Kinser and I were talking about the situation in the Middle East, and I decided to post it to this thread so it doesn't completely go off-topic. How will we solve the situation with Syria and ISIS? If we fight the Assad regime in Syria and ally with the rebels (for lack of a better word), then ISIS might take over, and might be a threat to the US and the rest of the Middle East. However, if we fight ISIS instead, then Syrian government might win, leaving us between a rock and a hard place. What would the best course of action be? How would any of this play out militarily? And would any of this lead to World War III?

Hillary has it about right, I think. There can be no peace in Syria until Assad is toppled in one way or another. The Islamic State can be defeated in Iraq gradually, but in Syria they are likely to retain a foothold as long as Assad is in power, because until he goes civil war and anarchy continues.

The IS can't take over if Assad falls. The rebels are not the IS. The rebels would be stronger against the IS if they came to power, than Assad is now, because they would have the backing of the people and their allies in The West and The Gulf. Assad is propped up solely by Russia and Iran. If they can be convinced to let him go, he falls. He has no internal support to amount to anything. Only the rebels can create a Syrian state that can unite and drive out the Islamic State.

The USA is not at present "fighting" Assad directly, and has no plans to do so; nor would Hillary. It's a question of support, and putting diplomatic pressure on the Russians, and the pressures on the Russians themselves who don't want to stay in a quagmire.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#28
The cops have a decidedly politically incorrect term that covers the Middle East from an American(ist) perspective all to well: NHI - stands for "No Humans Involved."

If we move against ISIS, we help Iran. If we move against Iran and its interests, especially in Syria, we help ISIS.

So I say let the Russians handle this; and I strongly suspect that Donald Trump feels the same way - all the more reason to support Trump.
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
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#29
not sure where to post this, but this seems as good as anywhere ...

For those interested, an article from the weekend's new york times on a Syrian refugee family that came to Canada last year ... especially interesting for me as they live a few hundred yards from where I do (I recognize them from the neighbourhood).

Wonder and Worry as a Syrian Child Transforms
"But there's a difference between error and dishonesty, and it's not a trivial difference." - Ben Greenman
"Relax, it'll be all right, and by that I mean it will first get worse."
"How was I supposed to know that there'd be consequences for my actions?" - Gina Linetti
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#30
(05-23-2016, 08:38 AM)Anthony Wrote: The cops have a decidedly politically incorrect term that covers the Middle East from an American(ist) perspective all to well: NHI - stands for "No Humans Involved."

If we move against ISIS, we help Iran.  If we move against Iran and its interests, especially in Syria, we help ISIS.

So I say let the Russians handle this; and I strongly suspect that Donald Trump feels the same way - all the more reason to support Trump.

ISIS does genocide. Any American acquiescence  in genocide is an abomination.

Iran is not the pure evil that it ihas been said to be in the past. The Iranian Navy and the US Navy have co-operated in patrols in the Indian Ocean against pirates. I would have no problem if ISIS leaders made wrong turns in escapes from Mosul, wandered into Iranian territory, and ended up dying while dangling after having been convicted of crimes against (Shia) Islam.

I see Donald Trump as a likely bumbler -- or even worse, a useful idiot.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#31
(12-20-2016, 12:27 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(05-23-2016, 08:38 AM)Anthony Wrote: The cops have a decidedly politically incorrect term that covers the Middle East from an American(ist) perspective all to well: NHI - stands for "No Humans Involved."

If we move against ISIS, we help Iran.  If we move against Iran and its interests, especially in Syria, we help ISIS.

So I say let the Russians handle this; and I strongly suspect that Donald Trump feels the same way - all the more reason to support Trump.

ISIS does genocide. Any American acquiescence  in genocide is an abomination.

Iran is not the pure evil that it ihas been said to be in the past. The Iranian Navy and the US Navy have co-operated in patrols in the Indian Ocean against pirates. I would have no problem if ISIS leaders made wrong turns in escapes from Mosul, wandered into Iranian territory, and ended up dying while dangling after having been convicted of crimes against (Shia) Islam.

I see Donald Trump as a likely bumbler -- or even worse, a useful idiot.

Anthony was off base there. Yes, acquiescence in genocide is an abomination. We did not acquiesce in the case of the IS; we did acquiesce in the case of Assad/Syria.

Trump counsels even more acquiescence regarding Syria. The result is that the worst tyrant of our time gets away with mass murder of his own people and massive war crimes.

That is not a good precedent; how much more will he feel empowered to do? How much will Israel feel the green light to do to Palestine under Trump?

The IS and Iran are enemies, but almost everyone is an enemy of the IS.

Trump is a bumbler and has no concept of global alliances. He is for Russia and against Iran; that doesn't mix too well.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#32
ISIS was a good reason for President Obama warming up to Iran. "The enemy of my enemy..."
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#33
(12-23-2016, 02:57 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: ISIS was a good reason for President Obama warming up to Iran. "The enemy of my enemy..."

So far Russia seems to be more effective at eradicating ISIS.  Not really surprising given their history with Muslims.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#34
(12-23-2016, 03:52 AM)Galen Wrote:
(12-23-2016, 02:57 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: ISIS was a good reason for President Obama warming up to Iran. "The enemy of my enemy..."

So far Russia seems to be more effective at eradicating ISIS.  Not really surprising given their history with Muslims.

No -- Vladimir Putin has connived with Butcher Assad to annihilate the non-ISIS resistance to the gangster regime in Syria. Contrast the aid that President Obama has given the more principled government in Iraq.

Death to fascism!
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#35
I'm interested in seeing how the latest cease fire attempt goes.  Russia has been supporting Assad, perhaps as his has been supporting the Russian basing rights in Syria.  The dominant tribes in Turkey's government also exist in Syria, and Turkey has been supporting these tribes in attempting to overthrow Assad.  Meanwhile, the United States seems more interested in stopping terror attacks in the West than in what is best for the Syrians.  Iran is backing different groups than Turkey, but their perspective hasn't gotten far from supporting those with similar religious and tribal connections.

My gut feel is that Assad is hated enough that there will be rebellions until he is gone, but as long as Russia backs him he will be there.  If Assad and Russia are granting a right to exist to the tribal groups with kin across the border in Turkey, that part of Syria might go quiet for a time.  Alas, the over / under time for cease fires seems to be measured in days rather than weeks.  I don't anticipate US policy changing much until Trump gets sworn in.  After that, who knows?
That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
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#36
(12-23-2016, 10:37 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(12-23-2016, 03:52 AM)Galen Wrote: [quote pid='15875' dateline='1482479868']
So far Russia seems to be more effective at eradicating ISIS.  Not really surprising given their history with Muslims.

[/quote]

How so?  Aleppo wasn't ISIS held. So what exactly has Russia done to eradicate ISIS?
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#37
(12-23-2016, 10:37 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(12-23-2016, 03:52 AM)Galen Wrote:
(12-23-2016, 02:57 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: ISIS was a good reason for President Obama warming up to Iran. "The enemy of my enemy..."

So far Russia seems to be more effective at eradicating ISIS.  Not really surprising given their history with Muslims.

No -- Vladimir Putin has connived with Butcher Assad to annihilate the non-ISIS resistance to the gangster regime in Syria. Contrast the aid that President Obama has given the more principled government in Iraq.

You mean the more principled centrist government that won the 2010 election?  The one that the Obama administration acquiesced in cutting out of power in favor of the Iranian puppet regime that had just lost the election?

Obama has been on Iran's side as much as Putin has been, here.  He has just been acting through a different Iranian puppet.
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#38
(12-30-2016, 05:53 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(12-23-2016, 10:37 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(12-23-2016, 03:52 AM)Galen Wrote: [quote pid='15875' dateline='1482479868']
So far Russia seems to be more effective at eradicating ISIS.  Not really surprising given their history with Muslims.

How so?  Aleppo wasn't ISIS held. So what exactly has Russia done to eradicate ISIS?
[/quote]

As I recall it was held by Al Nusra which split off from ISIS.  I doubt they were really much better than ISIS or that they had really separated from them.  What ever you might say about Assad he did protect many religious minorities such as Christians from the Muslim majority.  Until the war his body count was actually very low.

Its a bit like Saddam Hussein, bad as he was the alternative turned out to be worse.  This would seem to be the case with Assad.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#39
(12-30-2016, 02:33 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: I'm interested in seeing how the latest cease fire attempt goes.  Russia has been supporting Assad, perhaps as his has been supporting the Russian basing rights in Syria.  The dominant tribes in Turkey's government also exist in Syria, and Turkey has been supporting these tribes in attempting to overthrow Assad.  Meanwhile, the United States seems more interested in stopping terror attacks in the West than in what is best for the Syrians.  Iran is backing different groups than Turkey, but their perspective hasn't gotten far from supporting those with similar religious and tribal connections.

My gut feel is that Assad is hated enough that there will be rebellions until he is gone, but as long as Russia backs him he will be there.  If Assad and Russia are granting a right to exist to the tribal groups with kin across the border in Turkey, that part of Syria might go quiet for a time.  Alas, the over / under time for cease fires seems to be measured in days rather than weeks.  I don't anticipate US policy changing much until Trump gets sworn in.  After that, who knows?

Trump makes unpredictability a point of honor and a strength he holds over adversaries.  It may or may not work in commercial venues, but foreign affairs is not the place to play guessing games.  It's too easy to guess wrong, and wrong can be catastrophic.  I'm still not sure whether Trump cares if it does.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#40
(12-31-2016, 03:51 AM)Galen Wrote:
(12-30-2016, 05:53 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(12-23-2016, 10:37 AM)Galen Wrote: So far Russia seems to be more effective at eradicating ISIS.  Not really surprising given their history with Muslims.

How so?  Aleppo wasn't ISIS held. So what exactly has Russia done to eradicate ISIS?

As I recall it was held by Al Nusra which split off from ISIS.  I doubt they were really much better than ISIS or that they had really separated from them.  What ever you might say about Assad he did protect many religious minorities such as Christians from the Muslim majority.  Until the war his body count was actually very low.

Its a bit like Saddam Hussein, bad as he was the alternative turned out to be worse.  This would seem to be the case with Assad.

So by your measure, Syria is no-win. What would you propose?  Other than the Kurds, we have no real friends in the area -- including the current regime in Turkey. 

Fish or cut bait?
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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