Author Topic: What's with this ISIS buisness?  (Read 7580 times)

Offline ka9q

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2015, 07:15:24 AM »
No, allowing ourselves to be baited is what helps them. Without an enemy they have nothing to put on their recruiting posters.

Don't forget who created the environment for them to flourish in the first place. Countless people warned that invading Iraq and toppling Saddam would create a highly unstable vacuum into which all sorts of groups would rush to grab control, none of whom we'd like.

Even Dick Cheney, though he quickly changed his tune once he got control of the government and all that power burned a hole in his pocket. And the predictions have been completely realized.

Offline Peter B

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2015, 08:10:11 AM »
No, allowing ourselves to be baited is what helps them. Without an enemy they have nothing to put on their recruiting posters.

Don't forget who created the environment for them to flourish in the first place. Countless people warned that invading Iraq and toppling Saddam would create a highly unstable vacuum into which all sorts of groups would rush to grab control, none of whom we'd like.

Even Dick Cheney, though he quickly changed his tune once he got control of the government and all that power burned a hole in his pocket. And the predictions have been completely realized.

With respect I have to disagree here.

There was more than one step from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 to the rise of ISIS. The fact that more than 10 years passed between the invasion and the rise of ISIS is evidence of this.

For one thing, at one point I understand the US government paid a relatively modest amount of money to form Sunni militias loyal to the Iraqi government, attracting a lot of members from Al Qaeda In Iraq who were perfectly happy to accept American money rather than AQ money. My understanding is that the (Shiite-based) Iraqi government discontinued the payments, and so the now-unemployed militia members drifted to the next well-paying organisation - ISIS.

There was also the issue of the poor quality of the Iraqi army, with accusations of corruption among the officers and low morale among the soldiers. Had the Iraqi army been managed better I suspect they might have put up a better fight against ISIS.

As for the issue of baiting Westerners, the West only got involved because of what ISIS was doing to Iraqis and Syrians in the territory they controlled (that is, Christians, Yazidis, Shias and Sunni Kurds). In other words, even if the West hadn't got involved ISIS still has plenty of "enemies" in their own territory.

And this is a point that I think a lot of Westerners seem to miss - Muslims seem to have a great capacity for wanting to fight each other, seemingly sometimes more than their capacity for wanting to fight the West.

Offline ka9q

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2015, 09:54:24 AM »
I don't think we disagree quite so much. Yes, it took time for ISIS to appear on the scene because even the US needed a lot of time and effort to screw things up so badly as to make them possible. But it was all perfectly predictable from the biggest screwup of them all: Bush invading Iraq.

And no, he can't blame it on the CIA. Richard Clarke, the counter-terrorism 'czar' at the time, told us that within hours of the 9/11 attacks, Bush, Cheney et al dismissed his opinion out of hand that it had all the hallmarks of al Qaeda, and to go away and come back with "proof" that Saddam did it. When Clarke and the CIA couldn't do that, Bush et al told them to come back with "proof" of Saddam's WMD. One way or another, Bush and Cheney were going to invade Iraq and they weren't going to let mere facts stand in their way. We all know how that went. And now we're living with the results.

Saddam was far, far from being a saint, but he ran one of the few secular governments in the region. He'd be the last to tolerate Muslim terrorists (Sunni or Shiite) on his turf, or cooperate with them anywhere (which was why the accusations of his supporting al Qaeda were so ludicrous). Remember he attacked Iran not long after their theocratic revolution, and that instantly made him our best buddy even though we knew perfectly well he was using chemical weapons. There's a famous picture of him shaking hands with Donald Rumsfeld. He didn't fall out of our good graces until he invaded Kuwait and threatened to monopolize the oil supply. That would have been an intolerable assault on freedom and democracy.

Having already stomped every last dinner plate and drinking glass in that particular china shop into dust, we now seem to think that if we just send a few more bulls over there, they'll eventually stomp it all back into fine dinnerware. Experience (and some critical rather than wishful thinking) would seem to indicate otherwise.



Offline Echnaton

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2015, 10:35:33 AM »
I am currently listing to a podcast on the history of Byzantium.  Among the interesting and relevant parts are recent episodes that chronicle the rise of the Arab state and the swift conquering of Syria and Egypt from the Romans.  Areas the Empire had held for centuries and whose loss led inexorably to the fall of Constantinople. 

Among the topics covered are:
A discussion of what made for power in the region, it was whoever had the standing army in the field. 
The tribalism and religious fractures that disaffected people from there governors, whose presence offered stability, and made them welcome new rulers despite the uncertain terms of the new rule.
The co-opting of the then still vague Mohamedian religion into medieval Islam by building a back story designed to legitimize and bless the military regime that wound up in control decades later. 


History repeats itself because people, in aggregate are the same as we have always been. 
It is enlightening to see how the same trends are playing out with ISIS. 
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. —Samuel Beckett

Offline Luke Pemberton

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2015, 01:40:54 AM »
I don't think we disagree quite so much. Yes, it took time for ISIS to appear on the scene because even the US needed a lot of time and effort to screw things up so badly as to make them possible. But it was all perfectly predictable from the biggest screwup of them all: Bush invading Iraq.

And no, he can't blame it on the CIA. Richard Clarke, the counter-terrorism 'czar' at the time, told us that within hours of the 9/11 attacks, Bush, Cheney et al dismissed his opinion out of hand that it had all the hallmarks of al Qaeda, and to go away and come back with "proof" that Saddam did it. When Clarke and the CIA couldn't do that, Bush et al told them to come back with "proof" of Saddam's WMD. One way or another, Bush and Cheney were going to invade Iraq and they weren't going to let mere facts stand in their way. We all know how that went. And now we're living with the results.

Saddam was far, far from being a saint, but he ran one of the few secular governments in the region. He'd be the last to tolerate Muslim terrorists (Sunni or Shiite) on his turf, or cooperate with them anywhere (which was why the accusations of his supporting al Qaeda were so ludicrous). Remember he attacked Iran not long after their theocratic revolution, and that instantly made him our best buddy even though we knew perfectly well he was using chemical weapons. There's a famous picture of him shaking hands with Donald Rumsfeld. He didn't fall out of our good graces until he invaded Kuwait and threatened to monopolize the oil supply. That would have been an intolerable assault on freedom and democracy.

Having already stomped every last dinner plate and drinking glass in that particular china shop into dust, we now seem to think that if we just send a few more bulls over there, they'll eventually stomp it all back into fine dinnerware. Experience (and some critical rather than wishful thinking) would seem to indicate otherwise.

All of the above. I couldn't have written this more eloquently. There are times when ka9q and I have disagreed about approaches towards CTs, but his analysis on this subject chimes with me very clearly.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former - Albert Einstein.

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people – Sir Isaac Newton.

Offline Luther

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2015, 01:49:27 AM »
I didn't use to hear about people from the west, in hundreds, to be fond of such terrorist organizations to the extent of putting their lives in danger to support them.

Many westerners have the convenient option of supporting terrorism without ever leaving home, so I think it is a phenomenon which cannot simply be explained by fondness for terrorism.

I, being a westerner, have not felt anything throughout the rest of my life which approaches the disillusionment I now have with a western country that was my home for decades.  That country has been transformed, in a profoundly negative way, by an incident which caused its murder rate to be slightly higher than it usually is in one particular year out of the last few decades.  The reaction to that incident has gotten more people from that country killed than the original incident itself.  If you count people from other countries (and I assure you, the residents of the particular country to which I refer, do not), the number of people killed in the original incident is a tiny tiny fraction of the number of people killed by the reaction.

I don't plan on joining ISIS or any such organisation, but perhaps the westerners who do, feel the same type of disillusionment I feel.  Just more keenly.

Offline ka9q

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2015, 02:00:42 AM »
the number of people killed in the original incident is a tiny tiny fraction of the number of people killed by the reaction.
Indeed. The US response to 9/11 is the biggest case of anaphylactic shock in human history.

Are you translating for Obama?  :)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 02:06:04 AM by ka9q »

Offline Luther

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2015, 03:35:28 AM »
Are you translating for Obama?  :)

I think there might be some joke here that I'm not quite getting, but if so, you can enlighten my slow-witted brain at such time as may be convenient for you.

But, I do not translate for Obama, my words and thoughts are my own.  I would certainly not wish to translate, or provide any other service, which might bring my existence to the attention of someone (even if that someone has a Nobel Peace Prize) who claims the right (and regularly acts on that claim) to murder anyone he likes any time he feels like it, based solely on his suspicion of what his victim might have done in the future, had s/he not been murdered.

Offline LionKing

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2015, 03:36:30 AM »
I am currently listing to a podcast on the history of Byzantium.  Among the interesting and relevant parts are recent episodes that chronicle the rise of the Arab state and the swift conquering of Syria and Egypt from the Romans.  Areas the Empire had held for centuries and whose loss led inexorably to the fall of Constantinople. 

Among the topics covered are:
A discussion of what made for power in the region, it was whoever had the standing army in the field. 
The tribalism and religious fractures that disaffected people from there governors, whose presence offered stability, and made them welcome new rulers despite the uncertain terms of the new rule.
The co-opting of the then still vague Mohamedian religion into medieval Islam by building a back story designed to legitimize and bless the military regime that wound up in control decades later. 


History repeats itself because people, in aggregate are the same as we have always been. 
It is enlightening to see how the same trends are playing out with ISIS.

The problem is that the state in Islam is very important. the history  starts with year after Hijra, when the Islamic state was created. Such fundemantal groups want a state, but they can't do this without being supported an financed, and here were dirty politics from outside countries interfere to achieve certain political benefits or to pressure certain states.

by the way what do you all think about the new map for the middle east that was brought about?http://mtv.com.lb/en/News/257940
"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself"― Pythagoras

Offline Luther

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2015, 03:44:56 AM »
by the way what do you all think about the new map for the middle east that was brought about?http://mtv.com.lb/en/News/257940

Maybe it will work out just as well as the last time foreigners drew a new map of the middle east!

Offline ka9q

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2015, 04:23:50 AM »
I think there might be some joke here that I'm not quite getting, but if so, you can enlighten my slow-witted brain at such time as may be convenient for you.
Yes, it was. Sorry about that, since I don't even know what country you're in, but I had to try.

I'm referring to a recurring character named Luther played by the comedian Keegan-Michael Key on the Key & Peele sketch comedy show on the Comedy Central channel. Key's partner, Jordan Peele, does a deadly Obama impersonation, and they have a routine going where "Obama" delivers some dry "fireside television chat" to the nation and Luther, his "anger translator" repeats it for the audience as Obama would really like to say it but can't because he's President. Luther screams, jumps, runs around the set and practically melts down by the end of each sketch. "Obama" just sits there passively, only occasionally roping Luther back in when he gets too far out of hand.

It can be hysterically funny, and the bit got a big boost when the real Obama appeared on a talk show and said he liked it.

I believe this is the first time they did this sketch. Hopefully you can watch it wherever you are. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qv7k2_lc0M

 

Offline Luther

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2015, 04:37:04 AM »
I think there might be some joke here that I'm not quite getting, but if so, you can enlighten my slow-witted brain at such time as may be convenient for you.
Yes, it was. Sorry about that, since I don't even know what country you're in, but I had to try.

I'm referring to a recurring character named Luther played by the comedian Keegan-Michael Key on the Key & Peele sketch comedy show on the Comedy Central channel. Key's partner, Jordan Peele, does a deadly Obama impersonation, and they have a routine going where "Obama" delivers some dry "fireside television chat" to the nation and Luther, his "anger translator" repeats it for the audience as Obama would really like to say it but can't because he's President. Luther screams, jumps, runs around the set and practically melts down by the end of each sketch. "Obama" just sits there passively, only occasionally roping Luther back in when he gets too far out of hand.

It can be hysterically funny, and the bit got a big boost when the real Obama appeared on a talk show and said he liked it.

I believe this is the first time they did this sketch. Hopefully you can watch it wherever you are. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qv7k2_lc0M

Ah, I see.  I have seen Key & Peele, I'm not sure where.  I don't think I've seen in it where I am right now (South Africa), but maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places.

But, I'm pretty sure Obama would not like some of my "translations" of what he says!
 

Offline ka9q

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2015, 04:38:23 AM »
And in this short sketch, Obama teaches his daughter to drive. It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen on television:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naUFIUZ2Ryc

These guys are pure genius.

Offline Luther

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #43 on: February 25, 2015, 04:44:33 AM »
And in this short sketch, Obama teaches his daughter to drive. It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen on television:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naUFIUZ2Ryc

These guys are pure genius.

I can see both the videos.  Not bad for a country that didn't have television until 1976.

Offline ka9q

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Re: What's with this ISIS buisness?
« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2015, 04:48:12 AM »
Good. Youtube (like a lot of commercial sites) often try to restrict their stuff to specific countries. Of course, anybody who knows how to use a proxy can always get around it.