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


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Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Are the two compatable?

    I believe so.

    If an unelected government is attacking its citizens then in my opinion it loses it's right to govern.

    I also believe that the UNSC has a role in providing security to all citizens and thus has a right to free the people of oppressed nations.

    Being a police state is one thing but when a government orders it's army to attack its citizens it crosses a line which cannot be uncrossed.

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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: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    I'm not too sure why we can think we can impose western style democracy on Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East for that matter when there is so much of an internecine conflict. This is not new in Syria. Like father like son. Let's not forget Hama.

    The Hama massacre occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian army, under the orders of the country's president, Hafez al-Assad, conducted a scorched earth operation against the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Sunni Muslim community against the regime of al-Assad The Hama massacre, carried out by the Syrian Army under commanding General Rifaat al-Assad, President Assad's younger brother, effectively ended the campaign begun in 1976 by Sunni Islamic groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, against Assad's regime, whose leaders were disproportionately from president Assad's own Alawite sect.

    Diplomatic reports from western countries stated that about 1,000 were killed. The Syrian Government characterized the claims as lies and accused countries of "flagrant interference in Syria's domestic affairs."

    Based on its sources, Amnesty International estimated that between between 5,000 to 25,000 were killed in the fighting on all sides.

    According to Syrian media, anti-government rebels initiated the fighting, who "pounced on our comrades while sleeping in their homes and killed whomever they could kill of women and children, mutilating the bodies of the martyrs in the streets, driven, like mad dogs, by their black hatred." Security forces then "rose to confront these crimes" and "taught the murderers a lesson that has snuffed out their breath"

    Ring a few bells. Where were the UN then or even when the US were dropping napalm on innocent Vietnamese.

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

    Rather Alarming how the ME is getting more and more unstable. Looks like Egypt will end up a extremist country we've know idea how Libya is swinging and Syria could also go to extremist Islam as well. Funny how the population demands better conditions then end up going for the option which will give them much less and even more corruption.

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    Posted
  • Location: Bramley, Hampshire, 70m asl
  • Location: Bramley, Hampshire, 70m asl

    Rather Alarming how the ME is getting more and more unstable. Looks like Egypt will end up a extremist country we've know idea how Libya is swinging and Syria could also go to extremist Islam as well. Funny how the population demands better conditions then end up going for the option which will give them much less and even more corruption.

    Yes I agree with you Pit - it seems more and more unstable every day. Almost makes you yearn for the good old days.

    The Syria situation is particularly worrying and imo could develop into a major regional sunni-shia war with the likes of Saudi Arabia and Turkey facing off against Iran and Syria. That's scary! Saudi Arabia and Turkey are already supporting the Free Syrian Army with weapons etc and apparently the Gulf Cooperation Council ( Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman and Yemen ) are about to recognise the Free Syrian Army as the "sole and legitimate representative of the Syrian people"

    http://www.brookings...ia_pollack.aspx

    Then you've got Turkey who are already talking in terms of a sunni-shia cold war underway in the region....the cold war looks to be getting hotter by the day.

    On a brighter note....what could go wrong when the guys on the "other side" are rational, level headed people?

    post-1808-0-17240200-1328880415_thumb.jp

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

    What ever happened to Binnie Boys dream of a united Muslim world? Never will happen if they're not fighting us they're fighting each other.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Romford Essex.
  • Location: Near Romford Essex.

    What ever happened to Binnie Boys dream of a united Muslim world? Never will happen if they're not fighting us they're fighting each other.

    That post could have been made 800 years ago!!!!! ,via camel that is.

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

    That post could have been made 800 years ago!!!!! ,via camel that is.

    Well some are slow learners. :) Still in some parts of the world there's still a catholic v protestant problem isn't there.

    Edited by The PIT
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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Religion - and people wonder why i hate the concept.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    That post could have been made 800 years ago!!!!! ,via camel that is.

    I'm not sure that is quite true. from 750-1200 AD, the world of Islam was probably the leading scientific and intellectual power on earth. Literature, science, medicine, and other fields of intellectual endeavor flowered in centers of learning like Baghdad, Merv, Bukhara, Cairo, and Grenada. Despite the stereotypes about Islam held by many today, there was a time when the Islamic world was the leader in science and scholarship. After the 14th century it was downhill all the way. And as they say, the rest is history.

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    Posted
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City

    I'm not sure that is quite true. from 750-1200 AD, the world of Islam was probably the leading scientific and intellectual power on earth. Literature, science, medicine, and other fields of intellectual endeavor flowered in centers of learning like Baghdad, Merv, Bukhara, Cairo, and Grenada. Despite the stereotypes about Islam held by many today, there was a time when the Islamic world was the leader in science and scholarship. After the 14th century it was downhill all the way. And as they say, the rest is history.

    True dat.

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

    I'm not sure that is quite true. from 750-1200 AD, the world of Islam was probably the leading scientific and intellectual power on earth. Literature, science, medicine, and other fields of intellectual endeavor flowered in centers of learning like Baghdad, Merv, Bukhara, Cairo, and Grenada. Despite the stereotypes about Islam held by many today, there was a time when the Islamic world was the leader in science and scholarship. After the 14th century it was downhill all the way. And as they say, the rest is history.

    Strange considering these days science is viewed with deep suspicion by the religious leaders. As ever it always wrong unless it suits them. I wonder what started the decline? An the increase in Christianity which was seen as a threat and created more extreme views and corruption or was the increase in Christianity was caused by the more extreme views?

    Either way you got a lot of people dying in a society which regards who rights in a rather poor light.

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    Posted
  • Location: Dorset
  • Location: Dorset

    I'm not sure that is quite true. from 750-1200 AD, the world of Islam was probably the leading scientific and intellectual power on earth. Literature, science, medicine, and other fields of intellectual endeavor flowered in centers of learning like Baghdad, Merv, Bukhara, Cairo, and Grenada. Despite the stereotypes about Islam held by many today, there was a time when the Islamic world was the leader in science and scholarship. After the 14th century it was downhill all the way. And as they say, the rest is history.

    totally an aside but i thought china was ?.
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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Strange considering these days science is viewed with deep suspicion by the religious leaders. As ever it always wrong unless it suits them. I wonder what started the decline? An the increase in Christianity which was seen as a threat and created more extreme views and corruption or was the increase in Christianity was caused by the more extreme views?

    Either way you got a lot of people dying in a society which regards who rights in a rather poor light.

    Extremely complex subject and way outside my area of expertise but there is quite good paper on the subject.

    FACTORS BEHIND THE DECLINE OF ISLAMIC SCIENCE

    AFTER THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY

    http://www.history-science-technology.com/Articles/articles%208.htm

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    totally an aside but i thought china was ?.

    China was undoubtably a great civilisation but probably at it's height prior to this period and perhaps also it didn't have the same world influence that Islam had. At one time around 10, 000 The Islamic civilisation stretched from Spain to Kabul. I'm afraid it's a few years since I read The Majesty that was Islam by professor Watt and I don't think I'll re-read it again today. :). The thread seems to have reversed.

    Edited by weather ship
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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    While i have no objection to people believing in a deity, my objection is to the need to worship such things as it allows a means of control over the masses and allows for fanatical views or for priests to get away with sodominising children in the name of the lord.

    Sadly i believe that religion is now holding some people back (cloning for example), it has no place outside the home and should have it's influence over the state removed.

    I was forced to go to church every week however at the age of 12 i decided i did not believe in 'god' and am yet to see any reason why i should worship somebody else over myself (now 23).

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    I was forced to go to church every week however at the age of 12 i decided i did not believe in 'god' and am yet to see any reason why i should worship somebody else over myself (now 23).

    Is there any particular reason why you worship yourself?

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Is there any particular reason why you worship yourself?

    Worship is perhaps a strong word.

    What i meant was that i am yet to view anybody as superior to me in every way and as such i have as as much right to be worshiped as a 'god' which has not been proven to exist although i do see most people as peoples (excludes criminals who have committed violent crimes).

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Romford Essex.
  • Location: Near Romford Essex.

    I'm not sure that is quite true. from 750-1200 AD, the world of Islam was probably the leading scientific and intellectual power on earth. Literature, science, medicine, and other fields of intellectual endeavor flowered in centers of learning like Baghdad, Merv, Bukhara, Cairo, and Grenada. Despite the stereotypes about Islam held by many today, there was a time when the Islamic world was the leader in science and scholarship. After the 14th century it was downhill all the way. And as they say, the rest is history.

    http://cdn.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.png Perhaps i should of said 600 years ago then.

    ;)

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    Posted
  • Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne (Spital Tongues)
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne (Spital Tongues)

    Not strictly middle east, but there have been a series of attacks and attempted attacks against Israeli embassies in a few countries.

    http://hosted.ap.org...EMPLATE=DEFAULT

    NEW DELHI (AP) -- An explosion tore through an Israeli diplomat's car on the streets of New Delhi on Monday, injuring one person, Israeli officials said. They did not identify the person.

    http://www.haaretz.c...mbassy-1.412661

    Suspected attack comes with 2 other reports suspected attacks in Amsterdam, Georgian capital of Tbilisi; both incidents come one day after 4-year anniversary of Hezbollah's deputy leader's assassination...

    ...An Israeli diplomat was wounded following the explosion of a bomb in his car in the Indian capital of New Delhi

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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.

    Israel Accuses Iran of killing diplomats in India and Georgia. 1 incident just got blew up and injured 3 people in Delhi and

    another incident took place in Tsblisi in Georgia but defused.

    But I doubt Iran declare war over this because theres other attempts in the past before. Including attempting

    assinate the saudi abbassoder in washington.

    The West will probs just raise sanctions against Iran.

    Edited by pip21
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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    JERUSALEM — Israel's Defense Ministry announced Thursday the last-minute cancellation of a $140 million contract with Turkey over fears that a sophisticated aerial surveillance system could end up in Iran’s hands.

    The Israeli electronic defense firms Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries had contracted three years ago to provide the multimillion-dollar surveillance system to Turkey, which has cooled relations with the Jewish state and has warmed to Iran — Israel’s existential enemy.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/23/israel-cancels-defense-deal-over-turkeys-ties-to-i/

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Ahmadinejad Promises Nuclear Surprise

    Iranian President promises that Tehran will soon unveil “big new†achievements in its controversial nuclear program.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday that Tehran will soon unveil “big new†nuclear achievements, The Associated Press reported.

    Speaking at a rally in Tehran marking the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that toppled the pro-Western monarchy and brought Islamic clerics to power, Ahmadinejad did not elaborate on the upcoming announcement but insisted Iran would never give up its uranium enrichment.

    “Within the next few days the world will witness the inauguration of several big new achievements in the nuclear field,†Ahmadinejad told the crowd in Tehran’s famous Azadi, or Freedom, square.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/152647#.TzlBMlFRfvZ

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    An interesting article by Amir Taheri in the Times today that gives one food for thought. © The Times.

    The spiritual leader plans to ditch the president and rule himself – then go on to destroy the Western world

    For two decades as “Supreme Guide†of the Islamic Republic, Ali Khamenei kept a low profile. Months would pass without him hitting the headlines, an absence that won him the sobriquet “the shy mullahâ€. Rumours suggested that he was terminally ill and, at one point, that he had actually died.

    More recently, however, Khamenei is all over the place, criss-crossing the country to deliver sermons and inspect military units. The state-owned media are beginning to call him “Imamâ€, a promotion from mere Ayatollah.

    There are two reasons for this sudden outburst of energy. The first is that, after 23 years, Khamenei has asserted himself as the ultimate decision-maker. He is preparing to abolish the presidency, turning the Islamic Republic into an imamate.

    The second reason is that Khamenei believes that he is about to score “a great victory†in the arena that has mattered most in Iranian politics since the 19th century. That arena is not the economy — plunged into crisis by a toxic cocktail of mismanagement, corruption and sanctions. Inflation has returned to double-digit levels and is rising. The national currency, the rial, has lost almost half its value in the past six months. According to the Ministry of Labour more than 3,000 people are losing their jobs each day. A rush for gold has drained saving accounts in state-owned banks.

    Nor does Khamenei expect victory in the domestic political arena. He is nervous about a parliamentary election next month. A poll published by the daily Kayhan on Tuesday showed that voter turnout in Tehran could fall below 20 per cent. The threat of a velvet revolution remains a central concern.

    But the area in which Khamenei does expect to score is foreign policy. From 1800, when Russia started its push to the south, annexing Iranian provinces in the Caucasus, to 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran with Arab and Western support, Iranian political elites have specialised in international affairs, with the aim of preventing Iran from becoming a colony or a protectorate of Western imperial powers. Tempted by a modern world that they had no part in creating, Iranians have been frightened of joining it. In response, some tried to find a compromise for Iran to join on its terms. Others advocated a “return to self†philosophy that rejected the West without declaring war on it.

    Khamenei represents a third strand: challenging the Western “world order†in the hope of one day destroying it. In a recent speech in Tabriz, northwest Iran, Khamenei claimed that “the day of victory†was near. “Like the joyful springtime, our message has reached North Africa, the Arab countries and the world of Islam,†Khamenei claimed. “In this historic movement, Islam has reached a decisive moment. The new generation will witness events that would fundamentally alter the world and wipe out arrogant materialist powers.â€

    Some officials less affected by hubris offer a more moderate analysis. Ali-Akbar Salehi, the Foreign Minister, for example, says that, with the US on the way out of power, Iran could share global leadership with China and Russia, forging a “new world orderâ€.

    What would Khamenei’s victory look like? First, the self-styled “imam†would have to win the battle over Iran’s nuclear programme. That requires saying “no†to any compromise over the project to enrich uranium close to levels required for nuclear warheads. Tehran believes it could see off any attempts by the international community to stop it.

    This is why, just days before the arrival of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran inaugurated a new generation of centrifuges to enrich uranium up to 20 per cent, compared with 3.2 per cent previously. It also unveiled its first home-made nuclear fuel rod and pushed the start button on 3,000 machines capable of speeding up enrichment threefold. If such rates are maintained, Iran would have enough material to build a bomb by 2015.

    The second element in Khamenei’s promised victory concerns sanctions imposed by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union. Here, too, Tehran has decided that attack is the best defence. It has announced a ban on oil exports to six European countries, accompanied by threats to close the Strait of Hormuz and stop the flow of oil from the Gulf.

    Victory in a limited war with the United States would provide the third element in Khamenei’s promised victory. Tehran’s analysis is simple: the US is too tired, too divided and too concerned about the global economy to launch a full-scale war against Iran. The perception that Barack Obama is a master of the art of running away reinforces Tehran’s analysis.

    With political moves and economic sanctions manifestly having no effect, the US and its allies are running out of options. Soon they would find themselves with the last of the famous “all options on the tableâ€: military action.

    The way Khamenei sees it, such action would be limited to bombing raids on Iran’s most vulnerable nuclear sites, such as the enrichment facility at Natanz. That would be no big deal as Tehran has transferred most of its enrichment activities to a new and air-attack-proof facility in the Fordo mountains. The Americans may also destroy some Islamic Revolutionary Guard bases. However, once all that is done, Khamenei could claim to have fought the “Great Satan†and survived while the US and allies would have nothing more to throw at Iran.

    Comparing himself to the Prophet Muhammad, Khamenei claims that he is about to repeat the great victories of the founder of Islam at Kheybar and Badr. Khamenei’s message is: either surrender or fight. That position is based on the Shia concept of “relief after hardship†under which believers welcome suffering, even martyrdom, in the certainty that their sacrifice leads to comfort or even paradise. Rather than waiting for the worst to happen, the believer should provoke it. In fact, under Shia theology, waiting is worse than death.

    Sanctions are already hurting the people; war, even a limited one, is sure to cause more suffering. However, none of that would alter Khamenei’s behaviour. He would compromise only if the survival of his regime is at stake. A limited bombing war would play into his hands. This is why he is trying to trigger it by a series of provocative acts over the nuclear issue and plots to kill Israeli, American and Saudi diplomats in several countries.

    Amir Taheri is the author of The Persian Night: Iran under the Khomeinist Revolution

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