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12 December 2015

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Nancy K

Why are the birthers not concerned that Cruz was not born in the US. They were so upset regarding their wrong belief that Obama was not born in the US yet nary a word is heard about Cruz? Another question, why are the most vehement warmongers also those that have never served in the military?
Just curious.

Valissa

Israel’s Syrian blues http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2015/12/11/israels-syrian-blues/

BabelFish

Go NAVY, Beat Army!

BabelFish

They way I see it, Canada owes us big time for taking him off their hands.

John

Considering Mark Twain's idea that history does not repeat itself, but it can sometimes rhyme, it occurs to me that Islam is undergoing a sort of unstructured reformation in a transition to modernism.
When the Christians went through a similar convulsion during the Reformation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_wars_of_religion, they enthusiastically slaughtered one another from the 1520's to 1648. Often because of religious disagreements in the moment.
US tampering in the affairs of Islamic nations seems bipolar, in that culturally it promotes a modernist lifestyle and unrealistic democratic politics that ends up ultimately empowering medieval institutions through chaos. And of course, it profits some interests that chaos is such a convenient way to make money.
We seem to be following the way of premodern physicians with sick patients, bleed the patient until they show improvement or die.
I think MENA needs a break from the US Borg's good intentions and let them sort themselves out.


SD

Maps:

Russia in Syria: http://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/RussianInSyria_v2b.png

Southern Aleppo: http://www.agathocledesyracuse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/South-Aleppo-10-Dec-20151.jpg

Latakia: http://postimg.org/image/bjf5nixex/full/

Latakia (again): https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CWCjWmSWUAMHxGL.jpg:large

Video: Latakia ANNA news Network (Showing Latakia terrain) and well equipped regime forces.

SanchoPanza

http://m.jpost.com/Middle-East/ISIS-Threat/ISIS-seizes-UNESCO-heritage-site-of-Sabratha-in-Libya-437097
How did this happen 1 hour's drive from tripoli and half a country away from the rest of IS holdings in the country? Shows the bizarre decentralized low-intensity nature of the Libyan civil war.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3357188/Eight-killed-dozens-wounded-car-bomb-Syrias-Homs.html
Around two dozen and over 100 wounded in Homs bombing, the reality of what awaits Syria for years to come in the event of Government victory: a repeat of Iraq

Chris Chuba

He who lives in a glass house should not throw rocks ..."Putin’s Outrageous Defense Spending Puts Russia Back in the USSR" http://finance.yahoo.com/news/putin-outrageous-defense-spending-puts-133000224.html

This is a gloat article about how Russia's excessive defense spending is going to destroy them a second time. Their defense / GDP spending is about 4%, our's is about 3.5%. Every Republican candidate (likely to win) has been calling for our military spending to almost double over the next several years.

Does anyone think that our GDP is going to double over that time period?

Fred

Just in time to rile folks up for the holidays:
http://freebeacon.com/issues/ohio-planned-parenthood-facilities-dispose-aborted-fetuses-landfills/

Casowary

Nancy K.
Ted Cruz qualifies as a natural born US citizen since his mother was born in The USA.
Numerous Americans are born in foreign countries and nobody seems concerned about their "creds" except in the case of Obama.

Allen Thomson


This being all open-thready, let me ask about the arms that are reported to be flowing to US-backed parties in the Iraq-Syria affair. Are they being provided by KSA and other sympathetic parties from their stocks, more or less directly from the US (via appropriate cut-outs, of course) or where?

Ghost ship

Al Hayat has published the list of militant groups that attended the conference in Saudi Arabia to organize the opposition to Assad for the transition.
http://www.alhayat.com/Edition/Print/12697971/ then right click on text and select "Translate to English".
I'd be interested to know if any of them are really moderate.

William R. Cumming

Finished reading Annie Jacobsen's new book THE PENTAGON'S BRAIN an open source history of DARPA. Learned some things. RECOMMEND IT!

Barish

Article talks of 16 dead, dozens wounded. RT spoke of 22 dead in total, likely taking into account victims in critical condition that did not make it.

I find it interesting this gets reported even in German TV news, as I saw. Perhaps pendulum finally swinging around to the fact that yes, the Syrian government actually is engaged in a fight against terrorism?
And ISIL is taking credit, too, as per Daily Mail...any reason why our governments still drag their feet doing the right thing and coordinate with Damascus in this?

Other than that, what prospect would an insurgent victory offer? Certainly not a better security situation by any means.

Babak Makkinejad

Islamic world has been trying to adjust to Western Modernity for 2 centuries, at the very least.

That grappling with Western Modernity has been aggravated by foreign political interference but was not caused by it; in my opinion.

To your last paragraph: I think NATO states must find ways, absolutely and essentially must find ways, to limit the influence of Protestant Christians and Shoah Cultists on the formulation of their foreign policies in regards to the world of Islam.


JJackson

SD thanks.
The Aviationist chart is very useful.

Mark Logan

John,

That brings to mind another Mark Twain observation: “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled”. I would embellish that with being convinced is easier than admitting having been fooled if I could.

Saving face is commonly of great important to leaders and nations, but I fear it may be held as all but life and death among the academic ladder-climbers within the Borg. "A river in Egypt" -Sam Clemens...

turcopolier

Babak

"Shoah Cultists" Very good. pl

BabelFish

Mission Accomplished!

Charles Michael

John, your comparaison with the Christian civilization reminds us also how barbaric we could (still can ?) be, specially concerning difference in religious belief; but one must had also that this era was the start of both the Ottoman Empire and the discovery and colonization of the "Indies" East and West.

About the recent Arab Spring, putting aside all influences and manipulations, I recommend the book of the anthropolgue Emmanuel Todd in collaboration with Youssef Courbage0
The title in english is A Convergence of Civilization.

on wiki you have a short explanation of the method of analysis based on the family structures and marital system.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Todd

Chris Chuba

Since this is an open thread, this is from the Iranian 1979 constitution on foreign policy ...

"Article 152: The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran IS BASED UPON THE REJECTION OF ALL FORMS OF DOMINATION, BOTH THE EXERTION OF IT AND SUBMISSION TO IT, the preservation of the independence of the country in all respects and its territorial integrity, the defence of the rights of all Muslims, NON-ALIGNMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE HEGEMONIC SUPERPOWERS, AND THE MAINTENANCE OF MUTUALLY PEACEFUL RELATIONS WITH ALL NON-BELLIGERENT STATES." [upper case added for emphasis]

I find this principle rather appealing and when I read it I couldn't help but notice how absent this type of thinking is from the overwhelming majority of our politicians, how casually we discuss what drastic changes to impose on other countries. I hear them talk about breaking other countries into separate states, change govts, use military force and the only constraining factor seems to be our willingness to do this and the price in lives and cost but our 'right' to do this is never seriously challenged.

When the Russians started their campaign in Syria one of the things that I found most off putting was the non-stop outrage as if our air space had been violated. If I just arrived from Mars and I was listening to cable news, I would think that the Russians had just landed on Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

I would like our politicians to mention national sovereignty as a value rather than constantly talk about the projection of U.S. power. It might be good to make a serious effort to see things from Iran's point of view, we don't have to agree with them on everything but we could learn from it.


rjj

Treasure trove.

http://www.gwpda.org/

http://www.gwpda.org/memoir/Storrs/zionism/zionism.pdf full title: "Lawrence of Arabia, Palestine, and Zionism"

https://archive.org/details/memoirsofsirrona001290mbp Storrs memoirs.

http://www.britishpathe.com/workspaces/page/ww1-the-definitive-collection

http://www.britishpathe.com/workspaces/Jo-Stones/Britain

Barish

Something of personal interest: as my country's government has decided to also provide military assets to the anti-ISIL coalition, I wanted to enquire about the purpose that the up to 1200 troops which are supposed to be part of this are going to serve:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-votes-to-approve-military-action-against-isis-in-syria-a6760131.html

While I hope they are supposed to merely dig in at Incirlik air base and keep a close watch on what the Turkish air force may be doing, I have seen decidedly bleaker propositions that they may serve as "human shields" for the Gulf monarchies' investments in northern Syria. Public announcements by the political leadership of my country doesn't exactly serve to put my mind at ease regarding this, what with their shilling of the Riyadh farce of a conference as a "great success", its repeated demand of the removal of the current Syrian government as a preamble to any "negotiations" included.

So which is it: German troops watching the watchers with public talk running contrary to distract, or Germany ready to go to war on behalf of Gulf kings' insurgents?

PS: Sorry if this should come as a double post, sir; via Chrome, I can only view and access comments via incognito mode, so maybe it is that. Or my damned wired mouse, left button has a tendency of clicking double of late...

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

These are matters we have discussed over the years – and I think you and I are among the oldest of the 'old lags' here on SST.

It remains my belief that you are overly simplistic in your understanding alike of Protestant Christian attitudes towards Jews, and the 'Cult of the Shoah'.

It is also my belief that it is extremely difficult for people from different cultures to understand each other, and that those who want to, and are equipped to try, are commonly regarded with decidedly mixed feelings by other members of their own cultures.

So I clearly need to try to explain myself further.

After all, you are much better equipped than most Shia Muslims to make some kind of sense of the ways in which opinion in the Christian – and, how can I put it, post-Christian but still absurdly Christian, without being able to understand it – world is evolving.

First point: In the post-war period, the effect of the Holocaust was that, in their very different ways, almost all Christian denominations – indeed, all of which I am aware – moved towards different versions of 'philosemitic' positions which had up to that point been held by some, but not others.

They did so, however, in very different ways. Among many American Evangelicals, there was a reconciliation between traditional Christian anti-Semitism and the legacy of the Holocaust.

This was achieved by interpreting the creation of Israel as a step towards the realisation of the millenarian visions of the scriptural writings which are central alike to Judaism and Christianity. In the various versions of this reconciliation, the return of the Jews to Israel is interpreted as a harbinger of the final conflict – in which, among other things, Jews will either realise that the Christians were right all along, and convert, or be consigned to eternal damnation.

In the United States, many members of the 'Israeli Lobby' find it politically expedient to ally with precisely this kind of Christian.

In Britain, a traditional political alliance was between people of Anglican, or nonconformist, culture, who in varying ways did not want to be 'tribal' and Jews who likewise did not want to be 'tribal'.

For someone who is a product of this culture, the alliance between the Israeli Lobby and the Christian Zionists in the United States is to be read as an indication of what fools we were: We did not realise that the United States was less a place where Jews came out of the ghetto, than a place where they went back into it.

A corollary of this is that it is for many of those people for whom the 'Cult of the Shoah' was most alive for whom its abuse has most killed it.
I doubt I can make any of this comprehensible to you.

However, a good starting point might be the an article in the 'Jewish Chronicle' by Lord Finkelstein – apparently an associate editor of the Murdoch 'Times' – after Sir Gerald Kaufman had the temerity to raise the question of the influence of Jewish money on the Tory Party. An excerpt:

'Gerald Kaufman's comments are outrageous and it is quite right that community leaders have demanded disciplinary action. The comments are clearly antisemitic. I think it is worth adding they are also idiotic.'

(See http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/columnists/148903/foolishness-kaufman )

As it happens, Sir Gerald Kaufman has, more than any other British Jew of whom I am aware, striven publicly to confront, and find a reconciliation of, extraordinarily difficult tensions in Jewish identity in the post-Holocaust world.

To suggest that he is in any way 'anti-Semitic' is to 'Sovietise' the 'Cult of the Shoah'.

As to Finkelstein, I suppose the time for equivocation is ended. My reaction to that article, and much else in the 'Jewish Chronicle', was the same: get back to the ghetto, where you belong.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments which, as far as I understand you, are a description of the mechanics of collusion between Protestants and Jews in the post Shoah world.

I recall also that both Professor Kiracofe (the author of Dark Crusade: Christian Zionism and US Foreign Policy) - who used to comment frequently on this forum - and yourself as well (in regards to your own surname, for example) had mentioned the historical roots of Protestantism's enamroation of all things Hebraic, going back to sometime in the 19-th century; if not earlier.

That is why it always looked to me that we were facing a religious war in Palestine with very deep historical roots in the religious orientation of Protestants and so-called Zionists (in reality, tribalistic Jews like many others such ethno-religious groups all over the world - Jains for example).

I persistently concentrated on Protestantism because I think they are - by an large - quite willing and foolish enough to indulge themselves and others in a war of religions.

Which they have now clearly have helped achieve.

In my mind, that distinguished them quite profoundly, from the Catholic Church which has not sought a religious war with Islam and, in fact, sought to accommodate Islam.

On a personal level, I know a number of Iranian Jews, my classmates form elementary school days. They were taught to think of Israel as their country, yet many lived there and then moved to US and they largely socialize with other Iranians and other Iranian Jews.

In my opinion, their country, regardless of their citizenship in US or their emotional attachment to Israel, remains Iran - it is in that culture (or a subculture of thereof) that they are truly comfortable.

In regards to my simplistic theories, by inclination and training I seek simple patterns that can explain the largest number of observations.

So, for example, I ask myself, "Why is the secular state in US involved in the project of Western Diocletian Jews in Palestine? What gives?"

My answer: "Religious belief."

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