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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

    The failure of the West in Iraq looks to be gathering pace. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-2778922

    The Extremists are advancing gradually and there are questions whether the Government could stop them. Blairs and Bushes blunders are coming home to roost and more proof that simply flying around trying to enforce Western Democracy doesn't work unless you're have the proper political will and are prepared to lose a lot of lives doing it.

     

    It was still the right thing to do i believe. Saddam was a man who had used chemical weapons multiple times and in my view was a traitor to his species.

     

    You're right, you can't impose democracy, it's the ultimate oxymoron. It's not a good sign that ISIS are widely described as extremist al-Q!

     

    Completely disagree here. We were very successful in imposing democracy. The lesson from Iraq and Afghanistan is not that we can't "win" so to speak, it's that you need to deal with neighbors as well. It's useless making Iraq a democracy if you just open the border to Shiite terrorists from Iran.

     

    I wouldn't have said gradually. This is what I was posting about yesterday and now it's too late and Syria will be the next stronghold, if not the whole country, I suspect iran and Russia will make sure that doesn't happen, but a large chunk. The future in the ME looks bleak and certainly will put the kibosh on any possibility of any Palestinian/Israeli deal. I think impose democracy is a rather bad description. They got rid of a mass murderer so that the Iraquis could establish their own form of government. Of course that was a pipe dream given the the internecine strife within Islam.

     

    The whole Israel/Palestine issue is not quite as big as western media would have you believe in my opinion. Israel is economically and militarily so much more powerful than Palestine (and has a strategic alliance with Turkey) that bar the occasional border attack there's not much to worry about inside Israel. Indeed, Tel Aviv is supposed to be a beautiful holiday destination and quite safe.

     

    The big problem is the Sunni-Shia civil war in the Middle East and the lack of rule of law in North Africa which has given Al Queda the upper hand in northern Nigeria and Mali for example (also proof that people who think they'll leave you alone if you don't get involved are wrong).

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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 think  the situation in the ME is more dangerous now than it has been for many years. Although Isis purports to support the Sunnis in iraq it quite obviously has a much bigger agenda.

     

    For the past six weeks, it has been engaged in a massive offensive aimed at creating a seamless swathe of territory under its control from eastern Syria to western Iraq. From Raqaa, it has advanced along the northeast bank of the Euphrates river, driving back rival Islamists to take control of much of the key oil-producing province of Deir al-Zor. Its fiefdom now extends 200 miles along Syria’s border with Iraq, beginning close to its northern frontier with Turkey all the way to Busayra in the south.

     

    It aims to extend its control to Abu Kamal, the last Syrian town on the Euphrates, across the border from Anbar province, where Isis fighters remain in control of key parts of the Sunni cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, creating a de facto statelet spanning international borders.

     

    The chance to help to establish a latter-day caliphate, a key tenet of global jihadist ideology, has drawn thousands of radicalised youths from across the Muslim and Western world.

     

    It's also clear it's not short of money as it has the best weaponry and pays good wages. Where the finance originates is somewhat obscure.

     

    Almost unnoticed whilst all this is going on is that Reuved Rivlin is the new president of Israel. More hawkish you couldn't get. Plus there is power struggle going on in Iran within the key constitutional body, the assembly of experts.

     

    All in all things don't look good and in the meantime the humanitarian tragedy that is Syria continues apace with another looming in Iraq.

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    Posted
  • Location: inter drumlin South Tyrone Blackwater river valley surrounded by the last last ice age...
  • Weather Preferences: jack frost
  • Location: inter drumlin South Tyrone Blackwater river valley surrounded by the last last ice age...

    I think  the situation in the ME is more dangerous now than it has been for many years. Although Isis purports to support the Sunnis in iraq it quite obviously has a much bigger agenda.

     

    For the past six weeks, it has been engaged in a massive offensive aimed at creating a seamless swathe of territory under its control from eastern Syria to western Iraq. From Raqaa, it has advanced along the northeast bank of the Euphrates river, driving back rival Islamists to take control of much of the key oil-producing province of Deir al-Zor. Its fiefdom now extends 200 miles along Syria’s border with Iraq, beginning close to its northern frontier with Turkey all the way to Busayra in the south.

     

    It aims to extend its control to Abu Kamal, the last Syrian town on the Euphrates, across the border from Anbar province, where Isis fighters remain in control of key parts of the Sunni cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, creating a de facto statelet spanning international borders.

     

    The chance to help to establish a latter-day caliphate, a key tenet of global jihadist ideology, has drawn thousands of radicalised youths from across the Muslim and Western world.

     

    It's also clear it's not short of money as it has the best weaponry and pays good wages. Where the finance originates is somewhat obscure.

     

    Almost unnoticed whilst all this is going on is that Reuved Rivlin is the new president of Israel. More hawkish you couldn't get. Plus there is power struggle going on in Iran within the key constitutional body, the assembly of experts.

     

    All in all things don't look good and in the meantime the humanitarian tragedy that is Syria continues apace with another looming in Iraq.

     

     

    what a great job tony bliar has done !!!

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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

    The Iraqi war has vastly destabilized the region and created more extremism unpleasant people than we had before. We will be paying the price for this fool hardy venture for many years here as well as abroad. Sadly not a price worth paying.

    We now in the situation where we've created the crisis and although I disagree with interference we made the mess and need to support the Iraqi Government. If we don't well it will be an act off betrayal and this will probably turn more moderate Muslim people against western values.

    Unfortunately the forced democracy is a failure and always would have been. Again we see the solution offered by some on here is to go to war with other countries Iran Pakistan and again this wave the flag and blow em up will not work. Apart from the simple fact we haven't the resources to do it.

    The problem is how do you support the Iraqi Government. American troops are seen as army of occupation. If we hadn't disbanded the local police and the Iraqi army. Control may have been asserted much earlier and we may have avoided the birth of local war lords.

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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

    Who on here is advocating going to war? I only ask because I seem to missed that.

    Summer B has been very keen on the subject just look through the thread. You'll see I'm constantly against it while one or two others have the moral crusade as I call it.

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    Posted
  • Location: Napton on the Hill Warwickshire 500ft
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and heatwave
  • Location: Napton on the Hill Warwickshire 500ft

    I wonder what all the families of the service men who died in Iraq make of this mess.

     

    Some of these countries are 50 years or more away from 'democracy'.

     

    Egypt has now the army with a brutal clamp down and I bet you wont here USA or UK looking for that to change. They must regret the day they ever got involved in Iraq.

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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

    Summer B has been very keen on the subject just look through the thread. You'll see I'm constantly against it while one or two others have the moral crusade as I call it.

     

    In this case i'm not. We'd need to deal with Iran to solve the problem and that's not feasible. 

     

    Who on here is advocating going to war? I only ask because I seem to missed that.

     

    I'm generally quite bullish.

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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

    In this case i'm not. We'd need to deal with Iran to solve the problem and that's not feasible. 

     

     

    I'm generally quite bullish.

    So we going to blow up Iran instead which won't help either. You can talking and dangling a carrot but I can't see that getting very far either. The only way is they become more moderate and I can see us forcing that either.

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

    The U.S. “war on terror†has increased terrorism.

     

    Here are the number of terror attacks in Iraq between 1979 and 2011 courtesy of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism Global Terrorism Database (part of a joint government-university program on terrorism, is hosted at the University of Maryland):.

     

    Posted Image

     

    Al Qaeda wasn’t even in Iraq until the U.S. invaded that country. And U.S. policy in Libya is partly responsible for sending an influx of Al Qaeda terrorists – and heavy weapons – into Iraq.

     

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-takes-over-second-largest-city-in-iraq-but-al-qaeda-was-not-even-in-iraq-until-the-u-s-invaded/5386648

    Edited by PersianPaladin
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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

    So we going to blow up Iran instead which won't help either. You can talking and dangling a carrot but I can't see that getting very far either. The only way is they become more moderate and I can see us forcing that either.

     

    That's why i said it's not feasible.

     

    The riskier alternative would be that we give Iran a bye like China and essentially welcome them to the fold. Once we have them dependent on us economically (the US and EU that is) then we can push them to clamp down on security issues. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Tornado Alley, west London
  • Location: Tornado Alley, west London

    I very rarely agree with PP, but this is one occasion when he's got it spot on. All the manoeuvrings, interference (both political and military) and manipulation since 2001/2003 and back beyond that to operation Desert Storm have simply served to destabilise the region, exacerbate anti-Western feelings and promote ethnic/sectarian divisions. Whose ends is all this mess serving?

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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

    I very rarely agree with PP, but this is one occasion when he's got it spot on. All the manoeuvrings, interference (both political and military) and manipulation since 2001/2003 and back beyond that to operation Desert Storm have simply served to destabilise the region, exacerbate anti-Western feelings and promote ethnic/sectarian divisions. Whose ends is all this mess serving?

     

    Does it matter that Islamists dislike the west? Given that many north African states now infested with terrorists never allied with the west is that not evidence that this goes simply beyond 'it's the west's fault'.

     

    The sectarian divide in Iraq may have been opened by the west but in the wider middle east the Sunni/Shia war has and is still coming independent of western actions.

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    Posted
  • Location: Tornado Alley, west London
  • Location: Tornado Alley, west London

    "We hate the West" is a factor, but not everything, and certainly the West's actions have exacerbated that sentiment in the Middle East since Desert Storm.

     

    What's happening in north-east Africa is mostly tribal/religious, although doubtless there are still long-running grievances over how the borders were drawn up with a straight line on a bit of paper rather than following traditional boundaries.

    Edited by Crepuscular Ray
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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

    "We hate the West" is a factor, but not everything, and certainly the West's actions have exacerbated that sentiment in the Middle East since Desert Storm.

     

    What's happening in north-east Africa is mostly tribal/religious, although doubtless there are still long-running grievances over how the borders were drawn up with a straight line on a bit of paper rather than following .

     

    They hated the west before, always have. On a fundamental level it's Islam vs Christianity albeit the west is more soft Christian now.

     

    I certainly agree that they hate us more now for our actions, but i ask you whether we should really care about the opinions of those willing to us harm and oppose our way of life. Tyranny should be defeated wherever possible and terrorists as enemies of the state should be dealt with swiftly and severely.

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    Posted
  • Location: Chevening Kent
  • Location: Chevening Kent

    I questioned the removal of saddam hussein at the time and although it maybe controversial I still wonder if the west and Iraq itself was better off with him in charge?

    Im view Iraq needs a very tough leader to hold the country together and through all his faults he was that, and at one stage a good allie to the west.

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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

    Well it looks like we may have handed the Extreme Islamic s  dream on a plate to them. Although rapid advances in Iraq have been halted for now I wouldn't be surprised if Iraq fell in a few weeks. This will give ALQ the base is desired for so long and will be able to launch extremist ventures more easily world wide.

    Bushes and Blairs crusade in the MIddle east has now left us with one huge problem and a world a much less safe place to live in.

    Interesting SB about your view son Extremists who should be dealt with swiftly and severely. We are extremely tolerant of any extremist behavior in this country and tend to bend over to help them by looking the other way and hoping they will go away. One sense this is surprising considering extreme Islam is against other faiths Free Speech and is very homophobic. Some of the values the pC crowd are supposed to hold close to their heart.

    It will be interesting too see if Iraq does fall what effect this has on local Muslim communities here. There was certainly a change of attitude here when Binnie died. I noticed the following after binnies boys death in one strong Muslim area in Sheffield I walk through this going to work. The atmosphere came much more relaxed, a massive downturn in racial abuse, Women suddenly went from Western Dress to Islamic dress code went back to Western dress code. This of course may have reflected an less strict teaching in the local mosque as well.

    Edited by The PIT
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    Posted
  • Location: Alresford, Near Colchester, Essex
  • Weather Preferences: As long as it's not North Sea muck, I'll cope.
  • Location: Alresford, Near Colchester, Essex

    I must admit, if I saw Blair, in the street, I'd have to swear at him now. I didn't agree with the original invasion of Iraq and thought the '45 minutes' speech was a pile of bull at the time. I did, however, think that decommissioned, or hard to quickly access WMD's would be found buried in the desert. 

     

    IMO, the two biggest factors in the 2003 invasion were oil and the fact that Bush felt there was some unfinished family business. Nothing more, or less. Blair, acting like the usual British poodle, was hoping to get some reflected glory of a quick and decisive victory.

     

    I reckon Blair would have loved to have found a whole pile of chemical / nuclear and biological weapons, just to make his decision seem retrospectively better. I know Robert Harris called him a narcissist with a messiah complex, recently and it strikes me as very true. I hope he finds living in the UK very uncomfortable from now and is forced to move from these islands.

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    I questioned the removal of saddam hussein at the time and although it maybe controversial I still wonder if the west and Iraq itself was better off with him in charge?Im view Iraq needs a very tough leader to hold the country together and through all his faults he was that, and at one stage a good allie to the west.

    I never did agree with that war - Messrs Bush and Blair have a lot to answer for through rushing in where angels fear to tread, basically as a knee jerk reaction to 9/11 without having one iota of understanding of the culture o the area.

     

    Sadam Hussain was a cruel leader but at least he understood his local culture and knew how to keep the extremists in check.

     

    Now the extremists are gaining the upper hand and they will try to ensure that they continue to hold power through fear and a tight control of the population, no doubt forbidding education for girls whilst the boys will be subjected to intensive learning of their version of the Koran, effectively brainwashing and throwing the culture of the area back into 'the dark ages'.

     

    It will take generations to undo the damage caused and in the meantime provides a base for them to conduct their mischief around the rest of the world over which they have aims to achieve complete domination, making the world a more dangerous place, more so because it is more difficult to pick out the enemy from the normal well behaved Muslims with whom we do not normally have a problem.

    Edited by mike Meehan
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    Posted
  • Location: Back in Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Location: Back in Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)

    let the Chinese sort it out

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    I think rattling on about Blair and Bush a tad pointless. If we are going to take an historical perspective then perhaps we aught to start in 1948. Iraq was an artificial concept in the first place and it was always asking for trouble with three mayor players in the game. It was only the rise of the Ba'ath Party, the Arab version of the Nazis, that settled things down but not without copious amounts of blood and the death of millions.

     

    The question is what to do now, if anything. We should have intervened in Syria, Blair was one of the few voices who advocated this, and we still should step up logistic support but it's now probably too late. A bit of a mystery why the so-called well trained Iraq army which is vastly superior in numbers and weaponry to few thousand ISIS, disappeared without trace.

     

    In a nutshell I think there little the west can do in Iraq. it's probably unlikely the rebels will take Baghdad but it looks highly likely they will set up a separate Islamic state in the north including eastern Syria. A very dangerous state of affairs.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    Aye knocker - it looks as if the only things that we've 'achieved' are deaths on all sides?? But at least the arms dealers/manufacturers will have made a lot of bucks?

     

    Not that money ever had anything to do with it, of course!

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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

    At the end of the day we haven't the ability to intervene. The armed forces have been reduced in size and basically we can sneeze at countries but not a lot else. America has lost it's will and again probably has decided that intervention is too costly.

    I wouldn't rule out Baghdad falling it depends on how confident ISIS are. Apparently US still have troops in there and it would be a nice prize to capture and embarrass the infidel wouldn't it. A few troops beheaded would delight the extremists.

    Again Knocker you haven't learnt that going to war and occupying another country doesn't work. The only way it will work if you commit massive resources to it and are prepared for a lot of dead troops. Even the  you will be kicked out eventually.

    Edited by The PIT
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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Aye knocker - it looks as if the only things that we've 'achieved' are deaths on all sides?? But at least the arms dealers/manufacturers will have made a lot of bucks?

     

    Not that money ever had anything to do with it, of course!

     

    It's a bit of a mystery who is supplying ISIS with arms and money. They don;t appear to be short of either and it can't be the usual culprits.If it was just iraq one would suspect Iran and Russia but that makes no sense in syria,

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    At the end of the day we haven't the ability to intervene. The armed forces have been reduced in size and basically we can sneeze at countries but not a lot else. America has lost it's will and again probably has decided that intervention is too costly.

    I wouldn't rule out Baghdad falling it depends on how confident ISIS are. Apparently US still have troops in there and it would be a nice prize to capture and embarrass the infidel wouldn't it. A few troops beheaded would delight the extremists.

    Again Knocker you haven't learnt that going to war and occupying another country doesn't work. The only way it will work if you commit massive resources to it and are prepared for a lot of dead troops. Even the  you will be kicked out eventually.

     

    I'm sorry Pit I take exception to that. I've never advocated going to war and if you read my posts in the Afghan thread I've explained why in some detail. A quote from just one.

     

     

    Max Hastings in his brilliant new book on WW1 says, "The putative Expeditionary Force was given that designation because nobody knew where abroad it might be deployed - conceivably in India, Africa, the Middle East"

     

    He then goes on to say, "Here was a manifestation of a huge, historic British folly, repeated over many centuries including the twenty-first: the adoption of gesture strategy committing small forces as an earnest of good intentions, heedless of their gross inadequacy for the military purpose at hand".

     

    Just about sums it up.

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