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07 October 2014

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Haralambos

Refugees from the fighting are a problem that is not as "sexy" as military strategy but important as spillover from the situation. The UN is urging the EU to do more to help some of the front-line refugee receivers in the southern rim of the EU, especially Greece and Italy, deal with them: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/10/08/un-refugee-agency-urges-eu-to-overhaul-policy-on-syrian-refugees-better-help/
"U.N. officials, presenting their proposals in Athens on Wednesday, said more than 3,000 asylum seekers had died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year. They urged the EU to provide ports for reception and to process asylum applications across member states.

"Greek authorities say they expect a three-fold increase in the number of would-be immigrants and asylum seekers apprehended this year, compared with 2013, with most now coming from Syria."

This is also a problem for Kobani: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/04/turkey-troops-isis-siege-kobani-refugees-rape-and-murder

This is also a problem for Greece as one of the migrants rescued recently was a Chechen fighter on his way to the "front" and a fighter intending to head to the area was picked up last week in Belgium traveling on a forged French passport and a Greek residence permit issued a few months ago. The Greek Coast Guard has picked up three times the number of refugees that had been trafficked from Turkey or other countries this year compared to last year.

Haralambos

This is the time-stamp on the original post. I gather we are in the second part unannounced?
Per the game: "24 hours from time of posting for this sub-part will be allowed. After that time has passed Turcopolier Control will issue a consolidated situation statement based on the inputs and his judgement.

"- Based on that new situation statement the players will be asked to forceast events for the next month for all the parties portrayed in the game.

"In the second turn, Turcopolier/Control will issue a new scenario based on the results of Turn One:

"- Based on that revised scenario participants will be asked to forecast additional play for the parties to the game for two additional months."

I gather this might be part of the game, since one might need to think outside the rules. That is how war is conducted whether in military terms or in business in my limited experience in both. Who will be the first to realize that the rules change and thus are not "rules?"

turcopolier

Haralambos

"This is the time-stamp on the original post. I gather we are in the second part unannounced?" i guess you have missed that the second turn was posted several hours ago. pl

turcopolier

haralambos

In the 1b turn administrative post I reminded people not to "fight the problem." If you don't like the way I run this, don't play. pl

Haralambos

Dear Colonel Lang,
With all due respect, in regard to my last post, I did not intend to hijack the game but to point out that when the terms of the "game" change one needs to adopt the changes quickly, and they are not in the "rules of the game." The sh*t that is happening is not happening by any set of rules. It is chaos central. Correct me or tell me to cease and desist or ban me, but I did not not attempt to wreck the game.

turcopolier

Haralambos

This game is played in turns. you want me to change the scenario within a turn? On what basis? Events in the real world? the game sets up a universe controlled by me for the purpose of illustrating certain issues. If you do not accept that, leave the game. pl

alba etie

Col Lang
What happens if the remnants of the Iraqi Baathist Party cut a deal with Assad. And then turn their collective guns on al Baghdadi core elements . Assad is left in power in Syria . And al Douri has all of the Sunni populated areas of the old Iraq. I keep thinking the Nashqbandi have more in common with Assad then Daash .

different clue

Bandolero,

There's tinfoil, and then there's tinfoil. I often wear the tinfoil but I try not letting the tinfoil wear me.

Bandolero

Babak
The EU states I'ld see mostly as contested battleground, with the neocons and their allies having their strongest stronghold currently in France, while the neocons and their allies are weakest in Hungary. In Britain the neocons and their allies took a serious blow when the British parliament voted down Camerons "Bomb Syria" proposal in summer 2013. All in all, the EU is so much internal battleground, that no important impulses in neither external direction come from the EU.

Regarding Canada and Australia I agree with you: neocons and their friends seem to be dominant there.

Bandolero

Kunuri
"Cee" asked in a comment above: "Who are our real friends and foes?"

I totally agree that that is a question of utmost importance in this "war against ISIS." That's why my situation analysis centers around this simple, but seemingly complex question: who's friend and who's foe?

And, of course, I try to touch the topics of how did it come and why is it so. Regarding the geopolitical environment of this war, I tried to keep myself short. Would I have devoted a longer text to this I would have mentioned some more peripheral fronts interlinked with this murky battle against ISIS, eg: AfPak, the EU states, Japan, Caucasus, Sahara and Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia and Latin America, and also some important institutions, eg NATO, SCO, BRICS, OPEC, ASEAN and UNASUR.

As I see it, today's world is quite interlinked, it's in a phase of a serious transformation and that heavily influences today's wars.

Babak Makkinejad

The way you & others speak of Neo-cons is as though it is some sort of religion that transcends linguistic and cultural barriers.

I do not subscribe to the Neo-Con theory.

I mean, you have the example of Denmark - I again ask, why is Islamic Iran an enemy of Denmark?

Perhaps, just like Fly-over-America, Europeans hate Islam and specially hate Iran; viscerally and at a personal level.

That, in my opinion, explains things better than a cabal of "neo-cons" taking over governments of various nominally Christian states.

Now, that is acceptable; hundreds of millions of common people can hate each other on any given day - but the statesmen cannot afford to indulge in that, in my opinion.

confusedponderer

Babak,
alternative theory I: Denmark is a very protstant country, according to Wiki 91% of Danes are Protestant. When you drive into Denmark from Flensburg, cows aside, pretty much the last thing you see before you cross the border are bordellos and liquor shops.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism_by_country

Don't think neocon, instead think Genesis 12:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee."

That is to say that perhaps Danish opposition to Iran may have more to do with Protestand atitudes towards Israel than with neoconservatism.

Cee

Babak

Please address China in how all of this shakes out.

Babak Makkinejad

China: Fortune smiles at us as crazies over there are aiding us in going from strength to strength unencumbered by West.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

So at least we agree that in the single case of Denmark, they - like their Protestants counterparts, are religiously opposed to Islamic Iran.

By the way, are those bordellos staffed by East European women too?

Valissa

Cee, thanks for asking that question. I was going to do that myself, but wasn't sure what was OK to say in this post so was keeping quiet and observing.

Babak... IMO you win the award for the cleverest and most sensible analysis, and also the only one that made me chuckle. Thanks for that! Your comments have been very enlightening overall in recent weeks.

confusedponderer

Can't say. I was on my way to the beautiful Danish South Sea and didn't bother to find out. If you do ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_Denmark#Migration_and_human_trafficking

It just struck me as funny, because of the very obvious proximity to the border.

There you have them puritans, and being puritans they ban (bordellos) or nastily tax (alcohole) all of this - and the Danes just go and get what they want across the border. Alcohole Danes tend to buy in Flensburg, by the wagonload.

So to say, despite all that nominal and legal puritanism I observed, the market speaks a clear language.

Cee

Babak

Then the lunatics have taken over the asylum....in my country.

Cee

Different clue

The US is being controlled by those on the wrong side and I'm sadly tipping my tinfoil fedora after saying this for the thousandth time.

Now I have to figure out what a shot group is to prepare for the demise of US standing in the world.

Bandolero

Babak
I have no problem to give a different label to the obesessed and extremely violent crazies (I mean these guys whom General Clark spoke about in his famous "7 countries in 5 years" speech) and their allies which I called Neocons here. I find the Neocon label OK because I believe that in it's core it is a political ideology and some of the leading ideologues of that ideology labeled themselves as Neocon in the past. Another term I find quite appropriate is "the crazies". The violent ideology of the crazies transcends some religious factions, they successfully managed to co-opt some important business interests to their cause and to find a host of similar crazies around he world, but in it's core - at least I believe so - it's a political ideology what's the main matter.

Valissa

Bandolero, Babak -

As to label preferences... in my mind I substitute the word "imperialist" for "neocon." It's a good old fashioned word showing the basic power dynamic at play. The labels of neocon and R2P are simply different flavors of imperialism, different ideological/intellectual excuses for their believers to justify their imperialistic attitudes & decisions.

Just because a country supports the US doesn't mean they do so because neocons are in charge there too. Just like people will seek to be in proximity of money & power elites, so do countries seek positive relations with those more powerful than they are especially when that relationship provides tangible benefits. This happens most easily when there is shared cultural and religious beliefs such as between western Europe and the US (and Canada, Australia, NZ). All these countries see themselves as the "in crowd" and tend look down their noses at those peoples around the world who have different cultural and religious beliefs (except for certain indigenous groups whom the western elites idealize culturally or spiritually).

While underlying religiously based cultural differences are one reason for animosity between groups and I agree that there is religious prejudice as has been pointed out, there is also the other classic dynamic of the so called "civilized" peoples versus the "barbarians." I believe many view the current "conflict of civilizations" from this perspective. They support the US not because they are neocons too, but because they agree on who the barbarians are.


Babak Makkinejad

I am a Beige (non-Caucasian) Barbarian and I really do not care what Danes or others think of me.

Valissa

Babak - I'm Danish-American and I like you :)

Besides you are intelligent and well-educated and most definitely NOT a barbarian, IMO. Being a barbarian is one of those "eye of the beholder" things.

Saw this the other day, and am interested in your thoughts...

Rich kids of Iran: Group flaunts wealth, hypocrisy in cash-strapped Islamic republic http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/10/09/rich-kids-iran-group-flaunts-wealth-hypocrisy-in-cash-strapped-islamic-republic/
"The photos posted would be normal coming from any Western or secular country in the world: girls in bikinis, young men bare-chested posing poolside, groups of girls in their tightest Friday-night-best, high-end cars parked seductively in an upscale neighborhood." ...

"According to the individual who manages the group's official Instagram account, the Rich Kids of Tehran are "a group of kids in their 20s who like nice cars and own Porsches, Land Rovers, etc." whose objective in creating the Instagram account is "to show the world what they don't see on newspapers and TV... To show the world the good side of Iran-Tehran, which I think everybody should see before they judge us.""

It seems to me that these affluent Iranian young people are trying to show, in essence, that they are not barbarians. That they are as cool as any well off Westerners are.

In this case the barbarian issue seems to be more about "class" and "culture" than religion or skin color.

Babak Makkinejad

The rich kids are the same all over the world; their lives are as unreachable for most ordinary young people in the United States as would be in Iran.

The Western civilization is the dominant civilization on Earth and US her highest exponent. In a very real and deep sense this civilization has made every other tradition, in comparison, a barbaric one.

If one experiences excruciating pain in one's tooth; one has to rely on other with the tools, techniques, and procedures that have been developed by the Western people to address that pain.

If one experiences cardio-vascular disease, there is not a single surgical technique or procedure in use that has not been pioneered or invented in North America or Western Europe.

The world, I am certain, would welcome a cure for AIDS, a drug that would reverse atherosclerosis, a method to stop glaucoma.

The world, however, may have to wait for centuries to get any such things from non-Western Traditions.

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