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The Middle East...where Are Events Taking Us?


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  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France
  • Weather Preferences: Continental type climate with lots of sunshine with occasional storm
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France

    Lets just say every country currently bombing Syria had never started, so there was no military action taking place. Effectively IS was left to its own devices, how would this turn out?

     

    It seems IMO that theres a certain let someone else do the dirty work attitude going on. So I'd ask those anti-bombing would you be happy if there was no action being taken at all? If you're anti military action by the UK then by extension you're effectively saying leave IS to it.

     

    Its very easy for people to be against the UK going into Syria when others are there already. Personally I think the situation needs ground troops as its clear by the successes of the Kurdish Peshmerga that this approach has worked. People have to move on from Iraq, you can't view everything with that lurking in the background.

     

    Although I was completely against both Iraq and Afghanistan my views on Syria are different, I do feel though that the west won 't succeed unless they accept that some ground forces would be needed.

    My position is Nick, I am not a great fan of air strikes, there has been too much collateral damage in the past, which if anything goes more to aid IS through attracting recruits and the propaganda value when occasionally they can report that a wedding party has been wiped out. Having said that I would not kick them into touch altogether, there is a place for them but when used we should make pretty damn sure that the targets are the bad guys and as much as it is possible in a war situation don't take out any innocent people.

     

    It also seems that air strikes especially by the French and now it seems by Messrs David, Obama, François and perhaps even Vladimir are an easier method

     

    Until now the French President has been badly lacking in popular support and the others anxious to retain public approval.

     

    The air strikes are perhaps the easier way of turning their fortunes round with their  respective electorates, so in part these air strikes are political.

     

    I also wonder about how this would help win hearts and minds. To complete a bombing sortie there is comparatively little risk to the aircrew, though this is not without risk altogether and in the minds of the people on the ground, the ordinary people whose hearts and minds we would like to win, would regard the western powers of taking the easy option and by so doing so not gain the necessary respect as fighting people by the normal populace, which in my view would be essential in gaining such hearts and minds and get the locals on side.

     

    The history of the Vietnam conflict is not lost on me. Here, the Viet Cong with vastly fewer resources were able to keep the might of the USA at bay and not only that went on eventually to win. As it was in Vietnam so it was in Afghanistan at the time of the Soviet Afghani war. I believe there it is much that could be learned from these.

     

    It seems to me that we could do a lot better by the employment of special forces in 'hit and run raids' - this would give an opportunity for a better selection of targets, reduce collateral damage and I dare say it would increase the respect of the ordinary people making them more likely to work with us.

     

    At the same use some boots on the ground as a conventional fighting force.

     

    The professional and highly skilled nature of the special forces would keep the armies, who for the most part have comparatively little training, would enable them to more successfully cut off the heads of the hydra headed snakes and ultimately without leaders the armies of the IS would be in disarray. 

     

    By its very nature it would be long and drawn out but to be quite honest I am not expecting any quick solution to this anyway but as ground is recovered this could be followed with a normalisation process taking into account what the people living there want.

     

    I dare say that the majority would want nothing more than the opportunity to work, keep a roof over their heads and bring up their families in peace with all their children having the opportunity for a decent education and these are the people we could work with.

    Edited by mike Meehan
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    There is no other description for what is happening other than war crime and genocide.   Israel is technically the occupying force on Gaza and as such is duty bound to protect civilians.   Complet

    The scenes in Gaza look like the aftermath of a nuclear bomb, utter devastation. The Israelis telling people to go back to their homes in northern Gaza as its "safe", what are they supposed to go back

    Reported on the BBC too... An air strike on an army camp has killed three soldiers, the Syrian government says, blaming the US-led coalition for the attack. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-

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    Posted
  • Location: Devizes Wiltshire
  • Location: Devizes Wiltshire

    President Putin says Turkey shot down Russian plane to protect its oil trade with Islamic State group http://bbc.in/1NYxTan 


     


    RT â€@RT_com  5m



    BREAKING: Russia has received more proof #ISIS oil routed through Turkish territory – Putin http://on.rt.com/6y19 


     


    RT â€@RT_com  5m



    Intel confirming ISIS oil goes through Turkey on industrial scale, Su-24 was downed to secure deliveries - Putin


     


    ​Nato needs to abandon this terrorist state and let what ever comes to them happen but its ok the EU just gave them 2,1 billion pounds and their 76.6 million population visa free travel to the schengen zone


    Edited by lfcdude
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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Is there anyone who is completely anti-intervention though?

     

    I'm not against if there was a clear, sensible, UN coordinated plan for how remove ISIS and stabilise the region.

     

    This doesn't exist and major military figures are saying bombing will be a complete failure. Anyone with even the most basic understanding of war knows that ISIS will not be removed by bombs, especially from the 'HQ' city of Raqqa which has a huge civilian population trapped there. And it's not even ISIS doing most of the killing, but Assad.

     

    Dave mainly seems just to want vengeance / to satisfy the blood-lust of a section of the right-wing vote and to maintain the UK's diminishing reputation as a big boy on the world stage. Jeez, apparently we don't have have the Tornadoes required to even run a decent operation if we go for it.

     

    I'm not willing to put the lives of our soldiers and more civilians on the ground at risk for the UK's / Dave's ego.

     

    --

     

    And note the Kurdish Peshmerga are the enemies of our NATO ally Turkey; Turkey regularly bombing them.

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Devizes Wiltshire
  • Location: Devizes Wiltshire

    Is there anyone who is completely anti-intervention though?

     

    I'm not against if there was a clear, sensible, UN coordinated plan for how remove ISIS and stabilise the region.

     

    This doesn't exist and major military figures are saying bombing will be a complete failure. Anyone with even the most basic understanding of war knows that ISIS will not be removed by bombs, especially from the 'HQ' city of Raqqa which has a huge civilian population trapped there. And it's not even ISIS doing most of the killing, but Assad.

     

    Dave mainly seems just to want vengeance / to satisfy the blood-lust of a section of the right-wing vote and to maintain the UK's diminishing reputation as a big boy on the world stage. Jeez, apparently we don't have have the Tornadoes required to even run a decent operation if we go for it.

     

    I'm not willing to put the lives of our soldiers and more civilians on the ground at risk for the UK's / Dave's ego.

     

    --

     

    And note the Kurdish Peshmerga are the enemies of our NATO ally Turkey; Turkey regularly bombing them.

     

     

    Bombing will not solve nothing, For once we do agree with somthing we have both said the same thing its a cluster f... i am sure now assad wishes he put that oil pipe in, Since then its just been probably one of the biggest proxy wars in history... for 2 years now.. USA has bombed.. Where has it got no where.. Their have tunnels u hear a plane u scarper.. Then all the other rebel factions supplied with arms from what ever Arab r west country,, Turkey bombing everyone but Isis 

     

    But France has issued a clause in the EU we must do all we can, So we must bomb Syria,, As we are not now...  Corbyn should just say what is true in what EU law France enacted  

     

     

    http://www.euronews.com/2015/11/17/france-ask-for-eu-help-after-paris-attacks/

     

    France has used EU law to seek help with military missions from fellow member states.

    The French government on Tuesday invoked a previously unused mutual defence clause in EU treaties.

    “France has requested aid and assistance in accordance with article 42-7. It’s an article that has never been used before in the history of our union,†said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

    All the remaining 27 countries backed the request.

    The EU’s mutual defence clause calls on member states to provide aid and assistance to a country that is victim of an armed aggression.

    French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the move was a “political act of great significanceâ€.

    Hence the sudden rush 

    Edited by lfcdude
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  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Great when the EU says we got to war we have to go to war.

    No leader actually bothering to get a proper plan together probably because there's only one solution which they don't like which is going against the cold war ideology fed by the US and backing a leader no one likes.

    Can't they say we got it wrong and then come up with adeal which allows Assad to stand down and a new government is formed. After ISIS you still have the alq backed rebels to deal with the ones that we call moderates.

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    Posted
  • Location: St rads Dover
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, T Storms.
  • Location: St rads Dover

    Lets just say every country currently bombing Syria had never started, so there was no military action taking place. Effectively IS was left to its own devices, how would this turn out?

     

    It seems IMO that theres a certain let someone else do the dirty work attitude going on. So I'd ask those anti-bombing would you be happy if there was no action being taken at all? If you're anti military action by the UK then by extension you're effectively saying leave IS to it.

     

    Its very easy for people to be against the UK going into Syria when others are there already. Personally I think the situation needs ground troops as its clear by the successes of the Kurdish Peshmerga that this approach has worked. People have to move on from Iraq, you can't view everything with that lurking in the background.

     

    Although I was completely against both Iraq and Afghanistan my views on Syria are different, I do feel though that the west won 't succeed unless they accept that some ground forces would be needed.

    If no one had interfered I would wager that the civil war may not have even happened, or not to the extent that is has done, which would have left Assad perfectly capable of sorting it out, if they even bothered to cross the border from Iraq in the first place.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
    29 minutes ago, lfcdude said:

    Because of the EU LAW FRANCE enacted Germany is going to war aswell

    Is that really the case? If it was, then surely all EU countries would be off to war, from Malta to Bulgaria?

    Also, the UK Union could well drag Scotland into another war. Right now, the SNP are opposed to the current UK Union government plan (well, complete lack of one, hence opposition), as is Scotland's Labour MP. So, only 2 of Scotland's 59 MPs are likely to back Dave's motion, yet Scotland will be forced to go to war in Syria.

    In that sense, if such an EU rule is to be criticised, then the UK must be criticised too for doing exactly the same thing.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Jeez, you can tell there is serious disquiet about Dave's bombing plans when even Mail columnists are concerned.

     

    Quote

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/

    Here We Are Again on the Way to War - and All Anyone Can Talk About is the Labour Whip

    Often in the past few days, BBC listeners and viewers, and readers of the unpopular newspapers, might have had the impression that Britain is discussing the pros and cons of an intervention in the Labour Party, rather than of an intervention in Syria...

    ---

    This isn't a just war - it's 'recreational bombing' by our Churchill wannabe

    Once again, as a patriotic Englishman from a Naval family, I stand amazed to find myself so lonely in my doubts about a foolish war.

    I am no pacifist. I supported the retaking of the Falklands, national territory illegally seized by foreign invaders. I was thrilled to see that the Royal Navy could still do the hard tasks for which it is paid too little. Could it now?

    Yet, on the basis of an emotional spasm and a speech that was illogical and factually weak, we are rushing towards yet another swamp, from which we will struggle to extract ourselves and where we can do no conceivable good...

     

    Edited by scottish skier
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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    1 hour ago, scottish skier said:

    Jeez, you can tell there is serious disquiet about Dave's bombing plans when even Mail columnists are concerned.

     

     

    Everybody should be concerned...Yet another example of politicians and armchair generals preparing to send other people to do their dirty work. And, what'll it all achieve? Bugger all?:wallbash:

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    Posted
  • Location: Lochgelly - Highest town in Fife at 150m ASL.
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and cold. Enjoy all extremes though.
  • Location: Lochgelly - Highest town in Fife at 150m ASL.
    10 minutes ago, Ed Stone said:

    Everybody should be concerned...Yet another example of politicians and armchair generals preparing to send other people to do their dirty work. And, what'll it all achieve? Bugger all?:wallbash:

    Oh I don't know Ed........We don't really know what their true agenda is?   Top of their list I suspect, along with other members of the coalition(?)  is Regime change.   Worries me though that I can't figure if Putin is in or out of this game.   Will he be prepared to let Assad fall?

    Cameron has fought to get in this since his  knock back 2 years ago.   Looks as if he will get what he wants this time.   Once in, I'm thinking the goal posts will change considerably

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    It's odd that most ME countries ignore the most abundant clean energy source and are turning to nuclear. Egypt signed a deal with Russia on November 19th to build its first nuclear plant in Dabaa, on the northern coast.

    Nuclear power has gone out of fashion in much of the world. The share of electricity from nuclear reactors has fallen to 10.8%, from a peak of 17.6% in 1996. But China, Russia and India are all expanding their nuclear programmes. And several countries in the Middle East are pursuing nuclear power, creating what some have unfortunately called a “boom” in the region.

    Some fear where this may lead—a nuclear-arms race pitting Sunni states against Shia Iran in pursuit of the bomb. The nuclear deal between Iran and the West has somewhat allayed those worries. Nuclear fuel in the region is mostly controlled by international suppliers. Moreover, there are legitimate reasons for the countries of the Middle East to seek alternative power sources. Demand for electricity is rising, along with pressure to lower carbon emissions; nuclear plants tick both boxes. Diversification away from fossil fuels must come sooner or later, say experts.

    Short of oil and gas of their own, Egypt and Jordan want nuclear power to shore up the security of their energy supplies. They face big obstacles. The site chosen by Jordan for two planned reactors, also to be built by Russia, lacks water (necessary for cooling) and local tribesmen object to it. Previous plans in Egypt have come to naught because of political upheaval and safety fears. Financing is also a challenge for these cash-strapped countries, though Egypt says it will pay for its deal with the savings from cheaper electricity.

    The nuclear plans of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are more plausible. Both countries hope to free up oil and natural gas, now used to generate electricity, for export. To that end, Saudi Arabia has reached agreements with five countries, including Russia, to build 16 reactors by 2032. The UAE is already working with its partner South Korea on four planned reactors, which should begin supplying power in 2017. When the project is completed three years later, a quarter of the country’s electricity needs are expected to be met by nuclear energy.

     

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  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Just seen an interview with Corbyn the interviewer failed to nail him though.

    Would have loved too see him asked the question "Would he support military action to support Assad as long Assad agreed to stand down once a new Government and leader is elected"

    And a killer question "Would he negotiate with ISIS"

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    Posted
  • Location: Clayton-Le-Woods, Chorley 59m asl.
  • Weather Preferences: very cold frosty days, blizzards, very hot weather, floods, storms
  • Location: Clayton-Le-Woods, Chorley 59m asl.
    Posted
  • Location: Burton-on-Trent
  • Location: Burton-on-Trent

    "Labour shadow minister Louise Haigh - who opposes air strikes in Syria - has claimed on Twitter that a national security adviser told MPs that of the 70,000 Syrian fighters David Cameron says exist and could take the ground fight to IS, 40,000 are moderate and the other 30,000 are "radical Islamists"."

     

    Looks like regardless of whether IS are defeated or not, radical Islamism will be rampant in Syria. This strategy will not work, how can we support bombing.

    Edited by Snowy L
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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Dave's knows best though right?

     

    Quote

    http://www.itv.com/news/update/2015-12-01/foreign-affairs-select-committee-votes-against-syria-bombing/

    Foreign Affairs Select Committee does not support Syria airstrikes

    The Foreign Affairs Select Committee has decided by a majority vote that they do not support the Prime Minister on proposed airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State in Syria, ITV News understands.

     

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    IMO, to bomb 'unspecified combatants' (might just as well be civilians in English?) is a recipe for disaster. And who's going to suffer the consequences? Future UK victims of Islamist nutjobs, that's who!:fool:

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl


    Jee whizz.

    Cameron now calling his own Foreign Affairs Select Committee 'a bunch of terrorist sympathisers'.

    He's losing it. 

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34980061

    The increasingly bad economic and public services poll ratings the Tories are getting seem to be having an effect. He's looking for a Thatcher type war deflection it appears.

    Labour may be all over the place and in a worse state, but that doesn't mean a thumbs up to the Tories.

    ---

    This (Syria) isn't going to end well. It's becoming knee jerk and political, not the sensible pragmatism needed if we have any hope of finding a solution.

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Again Cameron hasn't considered the end game lessons of Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq not learnt.

    We are going into a long protracted war with no long term plan and a further increased threat of terrorism at home.

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    I have made my position on the bombing of Syria perfectly clear but I would like to add one comment. Many who are against have raised the emotive argument that the collateral damage will include the killing of many innocent civilians including women and children. A perfectly valid point and one to which I subscribe when there is no strategic ground plan in place that involves all of the combatants.

    But what many who argue this seem to conveniently to forget is that Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies have the blood of 250,000 thousand innocents on their hands, not counting twelve million others forced to flee their homes and country.

    Whatever the strategic plan is if and when one is drawn up, it cannot include the mass murderer and his ruling elite.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    While more people support air strikes than are against, support has been tumbling.

    Suggests as people are having to think about real implications, they're getting cold feet.

    airStrikes.png

    One thing to note is that the general rule of thumb for war polling is that support is always higher before it starts, then drops as the bodies pile up.

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    Posted
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL
  • Location: Carryduff, County Down 420ft ASL

    I would support bombing if I felt it would make a difference it won't. Indeed I believe it will make it even harder to identify and destroy ISIS. 

    ISIS are basically a guerrilla force now as bombing forces them to move in small numbers and at night. This in effect makes them harder to target.

    They will only be destroyed by ground troops. 

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  • Location: Tullynessle/Inverurie
  • Weather Preferences: Cold and snowy or warm and dry
  • Location: Tullynessle/Inverurie
    3 hours ago, knocker said:

    But what many who argue this seem to conveniently to forget is that Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies have the blood of 250,000 thousand innocents on their hands, not counting twelve million others forced to flee their homes and country.

    Whatever the strategic plan is if and when one is drawn up, it cannot include the mass murderer and his ruling elite.

    I wouldn't necessarily disagree with the last sentence, however I have little faith in there ever being a coherent 'strategic plan'.

    As for the first sentence, I've always been curious as to why people like Assad or Saddam are seen as 'evil' yet others such as Bush or Blair are not? It can't simply be down to number of deaths, because I'm sure if you analyzed it the actions of the latter have killed far more people than those of the former. Is it purely because the deaths caused by Assad or Saddam are seen as deliberate and the deaths caused by Bush or Blair are largely seen as 'collateral damage'?

    On a slightly different note. How do people think the poll ratings for 'going to war' would be if we actually saw the full ramifications of bombing etc shown on the TV news, not the highly sanitized versions we see at the moment? Of course for balance the same level of detail would need to be shown for deaths caused by terrorists. We're far, far too detached from the full realities of what is being done, or being proposed to be done, in our names.

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  • Location: Burton-on-Trent
  • Location: Burton-on-Trent

    Conservatives think the very real concern that half of Dave's rebel fighters could be jihadists is "nit-picking". What a disgrace.

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