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ethan's Musing on the Near East - Page 29

post #421 of 2695
very good points, alan, except a couple things i'm not sure i agree with:
Quote:
Originally Posted by alan View Post

Having oil resources + radical ideology + millions as an audience is a dangerous mixture, and you could have longterm a radical superpower.
the ideology is by its very nature not sustainable. you can have an infinite regression of takfir, leading to a single person left standing because of the very undemocratic way it is determined (many will even argue that the method by which they carry this out is in contradiction to islamic teaching)
Quote:
Originally Posted by alan View Post

The testament to the stupidity of arabs and the West's cunning is that they have not allowed arabs to become a strong entity, and arabs have managed to remain tribes stuck in neverending conflicts. Can you imagine what a united arab entity with all this oil could have done?
true, which is ironic considering قومیه is supposed to be second to the deen, if at all existing ...
Quote:
About Iran, it is a regional threat to current US and allies interests, but its hardly a threat to the US or Europe. Its at odds with all of its Sunni neighbours, shiites are outnumbered and non existent in Africa, etc.... Hell even Hamas turned its back on Iran despite all the help it used to get.
this is true except there are shi'i in Africa, to a certain extent, but perhaps not mobilized as some political/military entity.
Quote:
Iran, whether or not negotiations will lead to anything, imposed itself by its effectiveness. And it did so by ealing with the reality of each country and population. Houthis in yemen were never Irans allies before. They used to get financed by Qatar actually. And their cause predates Iranian influence. Hezballah in Lebanon is a product of the shiite population in the South and Israeli occupation.
are you sure about this ? yemen has a been a proxy battle zone for saudi/iran for quite some time now.
Quote:
I am much more comfortable with Iran being strong than with it being weak. Even if we were to suppose it was hellbent on destruction (and so far they have displayed more pragmatism and shrewdness than most), its potential is limited by demography and geography. radical sunnis, however, are not.
agreed, support at home for the regime is dwindling near all-time lows. It's safe to assume that the base consists of mostly sepah and their families, and perhaps other financial beneficiaries who get gov't contracts for work.
post #422 of 2695
Thread Starter 

For the West, Iran is the biggest threat to our strategic interests in the region. ISIS would be but since there is such a consensus from all sides that ISIS needs to go they don't really count. AQ is the biggest threat in terms of terrorism. The great irony of all of this is that if Iran's revolution happened at the same time as Ibn Saud's we might be allies with them today. 

 

This is probably the most fucked up the region has been in a long long time and it seems to just be the beginning. 

post #423 of 2695
Thread Starter 

Iran deal struck. Get ready for the neocon response it should be interesting. 

post #424 of 2695
I'm desperately waiting to hear what the Israel lobby thinks about our foreign policy decisions.
post #425 of 2695
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

I'm desperately waiting to hear what the Israel lobby thinks about our foreign policy decisions.

April 2, 2015


Surprise, surprise.
post #426 of 2695
So are the reports that Iran is only limited for ten or fifteen years true or false?
post #427 of 2695
Thread Starter 

I have read that it is tiered and the longest parameters are for 25 years. There will be tidy summaries out within the next couple hours probably. 

post #428 of 2695
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanm View Post

For the West, Iran is the biggest threat to our strategic interests in the region. ISIS would be but since there is such a consensus from all sides that ISIS needs to go they don't really count. AQ is the biggest threat in terms of terrorism. The great irony of all of this is that if Iran's revolution happened at the same time as Ibn Saud's we might be allies with them today. 

This is probably the most fucked up the region has been in a long long time and it seems to just be the beginning. 

That what happens when you remove Assads/Saddams/Mubaracks from office, shit flows to the surface. Best overall for the people are always peaceful changes. Like fall of communism in Eastern Europe. If you make forcefull changes situation goes to worse, like Iraq is now a complete shit hole, at least during Saddams rule it resembled a country now it's a war zone. That's why I wrote that it would be best overall to keep dicators in office at least from POV of most(not all) people living in those countries.

Ofc from the POV of Isreal and Saudi governments it would be best if Syria and Iran were bombed and had multiple factions of dirty peasants fighting each other(like in IRaq).
post #429 of 2695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wojt View Post


That what happens when you remove Assads/Saddams/Mubaracks from office, shit flows to the surface. Best overall for the people are always peaceful changes. Like fall of communism in Eastern Europe. If you make forcefull changes situation goes to worse, like Iraq is now a complete shit hole, at least during Saddams rule it resembled a country now it's a war zone. That's why I wrote that it would be best overall to keep dicators in office at least from POV of most(not all) people living in those countries.

Ofc from the POV of Isreal and Saudi governments it would be best if Syria and Iran were bombed and had multiple factions of dirty peasants fighting each other(like in IRaq).

 

No fucking no goddamnit no. It's not even worth it to explain why you're wrong. 

post #430 of 2695
Thread Starter 

Meanwhile in Tikrit... they are who we thought they were...

 

Iraqi volunteer fighters with the Hashed al-Sha3bi started widespread looting, and destruction of homes and property since yesterday

Yesterday, I spoke with Tikritis who were elated that their city had been liberated. Today the mood has soured considerably. #pt

post #431 of 2695
Quote:
Originally Posted by the shah View Post

very good points, alan, except a couple things i'm not sure i agree with:
the ideology is by its very nature not sustainable. you can have an infinite regression of takfir, leading to a single person left standing because of the very undemocratic way it is determined (many will even argue that the method by which they carry this out is in contradiction to islamic teaching)

Yes but if single family monarchs are able to control a country for decades here, itll be far easier for an islamist group. Lack of education and poverty dont make the most aware populations.

Quote:
true, which is ironic considering قومیه is supposed to be second to the deen, if at all existing ...

As a lebanese christian i used to be allergic to any mention of arab nationalism, but i now see it was the only hope for this region. Too bad it was spearheaded by incompetent people with good intentions or shrewd ones with bad intentions.
Quote:
this is true except there are shi'i in Africa, to a certain extent, but perhaps not mobilized as some political/military entity.

Yes not in any significant position of power nor any potential to be.
Quote:
are you sure about this ? yemen has a been a proxy battle zone for saudi/iran for quite some time now.

Pretty sure that the houthi-iran involvement is very recent. Houthis are a product of complicated yemeni relations and saudi arabias and its proxies mistreatment of yemen.
It was known that at times Qatar would fund Houthis in its competition with SA.

Quote:
For the West, Iran is the biggest threat to our strategic interests in the region. ISIS would be but since there is such a consensus from all sides that ISIS needs to go they don't really count. AQ is the biggest threat in terms of terrorism.

This is where we disagree. There is (was) no such consensus, and most of all there were no tools to enforce it even if it exists.

I still maintain that its a crystal clear fact that ISIS, Nusra, etc.... Are a product of Turkey, Qatar, and SA support (in the case of SA its other groups).

Anyway, who was going to enforce such a consensus? Saudi Arabia doesnt have the manpower to do so. Turkey could i guess but why would it. Egypt is in a transition phase and has enough problems at home. ISIS was growing exponentially and the sunni regimes werent immune. Iran is the one that produced results, in Syria with Assad, in Lebanon with Hezballah, in Iraq now.


Longterm, you cant have Iran policing the arab states, but i think it growing in force could and should be used to draw a large scale settlement in the region. Saudi Arabia and Israel are still pushing in the other direction and this could still end up in a huge explosion, or it could lead to some kind of settlement.
post #432 of 2695
If the FM of a sunni arab state is saying this much, you can be sure that the reality is 100000x worse. ISIS and Nusra militant leaders here in Lebanon make regular trips to Turkey and receive open Qatari and Turkish support.

You can find similar egyptian statements (before the recent yemen thing where Saudi Arabia is trying to kiss and make up Egypt and Qatar)


Tunis (AFP) - Tunisia on Thursday accused Turkey of facilitating the transit of fighters bound for neighboring Syria and Iraq, where thousands of its citizens have joined the ranks of jihadist groups.

The accusation by Foreign Minister Taieb Baccouche comes just two weeks after the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on tourists at the Bardo National Museum.

Tunisia says 3,000 of its citizens are fighting alongside jihadist groups in Syria, Iraq and Libya, and that 500 battle-hardened veterans have returned to the country where they are considered a security threat.

"We have asked our ambassador in Turkey to draw the attention of the Turkish authorities to the fact that we do not want a Muslim nation such as Turkey to help directly or indirectly terrorism in Libya by facilitating the movements of terrorists," Baccouche said.

He said Turkey was a "passage point" for fighters who go to Syria or for those who travel to Libya and then infiltrate across the porous border into Tunisia.

Tunisia has said that the two gunmen who had killed 22 foreign tourists and a policeman at the Bardo on March 18 had trained on the use of weapons in Libya, where IS has gained a foothold in recent months.

The two assailants were themselves gunned down, and on Sunday Tunisia said it had killed the alleged leader of the jihadists behind the massacre, Algerian Lokmane Abou Sakhr.

Turkey has been repeatedly criticised by its Western allies for not doing enough to halt the flow across Turkish territory of European nationals seeking to join IS jihadists in Syria.

Ankara has reported a number of arrests in recent months and insists it is doing all it can to control the border.
post #433 of 2695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alan View Post


As a lebanese christian i used to be allergic to any mention of arab nationalism, but i now see it was the only hope for this region. Too bad it was spearheaded by incompetent people with good intentions or shrewd ones with bad intentions.

 

Do you ever wonder what the ME would be like if Nasser wasn't such a dickhead? 

post #434 of 2695
Thread Starter 

Abu 'Azrael visits his mother with his finger on the trigger and his weapon on fire. C'mon, man.

 

post #435 of 2695
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanm View Post

Do you ever wonder what the ME would be like if Nasser wasn't such a dickhead? 

Nasser had it right on a lot of things he'd say (i love his speeches on Saudi Arabia and radical Islam) but it was just too much of an uncalculated mess and failures.

I do wonder now. Not particularly about Abd el Nasser, but i think the Al Nahda movement of the start of the century should've produced a political movement. I do blame the Ottoman and later French and English scheming partly. Keep in mind arabs had been under occupation by ottomans for four centuries, who had fueled divisions and carved them up, then the europeans ensured those would remain. And the stupidity of arabs does the rest now.

I now understand how so many maronite christians figure prominently within the Nahda movement.


The cultural richness and bright minds of the Levant + the resources of the gulf, one can always daydream.
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