Author Topic: Middle East Wars  (Read 2359 times)

Solon

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« on: October 17, 2016, 12:16:55 PM »
The greatest battle against the Islamic State began today. Mosul is the largest and most important city controlled by IS and its capture will mark the end of any claim to be a Caliphate. The US has worked for a couple of years to rebuild cooperation between Sunni tribes, the Kurdish pesh merga, and the Shiite government in Iraq to make this effort possible. The temporary and tenuous unity demonstrated by the offensive is symbolic of the unity needed to create a functional Iraq. It is unlikely to last beyond the capture of the city. US air strikes and special forces coordination are key elements in the offensive. It is expected to be a bloody affair. Approximately one and a half million civilians remain in the city. Retired General David Petraeus spoke yesterday about the ring of fire, underground bunkers, IEDs, and building to building city warfare faced by the coalition. IS will be defeated he said, but the coalition is facing its most difficult military challenge.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/17/world/middleeast/iraq-isis-mosul-battle.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
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cubsfanbudman

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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 01:40:19 PM »
us could go in there and wipe out isis with ease.they keep letting these cockroaches scurry into the dark. load upo the drones so you can keep the civilian count low,and bomb the bastards back to the stone age.bush played games with terrorists and obama has been doing basically the same thing. wipe them offf the face of the earth while you still can.i am convinced these terrorists are  basically idiots. they take advamtage of our gun laws and have mass killings here ocassionally,but there are ways they could really put us in danger,if i can think of them,somebody that does it for a living damn sure should. i think they bark like st bernards when it fact they are little annoying tiny dogs.
"the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it\'s limits"
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cubsfanbudman

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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 01:43:17 PM »
Quote
Retired General David Petraeus spoke yesterday about the ring of fire, underground bunkers, IEDs, and building to building city warfare faced by the coalition. IS will be defeated he said, but the coalition is facing its most difficult military challenge.    

he is a true idiot if he thinks that. load up the drones and bomb the hell out of them is all it takes to kill them.he and the rest of the us government just want to keep jerking off the american public.
"the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it\'s limits"
albert einstein

Solon

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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2016, 05:39:06 PM »
Quote from: cubsfanbudman;255
us could go in there and wipe out isis with ease..

Of course we could nuke them, or fire bomb the hell out of them, which is something that Donald Trump wants to do. The objective is to spare the lives of civilians, around one and a half million remaining in Mosul,  and create the conditions for an accommodation between the Sunni and Shia populations in Iraq. The rise of the Islamic State, like the rise of al Qaeda in Iraq before it, is a result of the civil war waged between the Shia and Sunni during the US occupation. Gen. Petraeus did not initiate the effort but led the process of winning the cooperation of Sunni tribes who found al Qaeda in Iraq to be as bloodthirsty and vile toward them as Shiites. After our departure, the Shia government in Iraq failed to continue the cooperation with Sunnis that the US developed. That enabled the Islamic State to arise, basically AQI 2.0, based on Sunni anger and frustration at its treatment by the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad. As Petraeus pointed out, and anyone who has followed the conflict since the US invasion agrees, unless cooperation between Shia and Sunni follows the fall of Mosul we can expect ISIS 3.0.

The idea that we should just murder over a million innocent victims to kill as few as 6,000 IS militants would qualify as a war crime of the most grotesque sort. At present there are approximately 30,000 forces involved in the encirclement of Mosul to prevent the escape of IS fighters. There are reports that those who have been caught trying to escape before the offensive have been executed by IS itself. A mass murder of the magnitude proposed by Trump would end any cooperation the US would ever get from governments in the Middle East. Moreover, it would make us the target around the world for massive attacks on American civilians, government personnel, soldiers, and property, not to mention the radicalization of multiples of young Muslims in the US and Canada. If we want a war with a billion Muslims that will do it. In other words, it is the most counterproductive proposal imaginable.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 07:04:41 PM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heartís desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
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superman

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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2016, 07:50:14 PM »
The Obama/Clinton JV team (ISIS) is still alive and killing innocents.

Solon

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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 11:01:52 AM »
7 Things to Know about Mosul
http://www.juancole.com/2016/10/things-about-mosul.html

[ATTACH=CONFIG]67[/ATTACH]
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heartís desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

cubsfanbudman

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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2016, 07:39:04 PM »
solon,you have to play the same game they are playing,they shoot to kill,not to hurt,but  kill.
you said nuke,i did not say that cause we do not need to nuke them.why not ask the saudis to get involved in negotating an end to this and taking in the syrian refugees?
if we want to stop them,yelling trick or treat is not gonna help much. kill them and we no longer have to worry about them,i am talking about soldiers,not innocent people.
Quote
The Obama/Clinton JV team (ISIS) is still alive and killing innocents.          

can you name 1 major war that innocent people did not get killed in? are you saying our government is in cohoots with isis? so that must mean you agreee bush 43 is the real cause of this then,right?
"the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it\'s limits"
albert einstein

Solon

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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2016, 02:11:22 PM »
Quote from: cubsfanbudman;270
solon,you have to play the same game they are playing,they shoot to kill,not to hurt,but  kill.
you said nuke,i did not say that cause we do not need to nuke them.why not ask the saudis to get involved in negotating an end to this and taking in the syrian refugees?
if we want to stop them,yelling trick or treat is not gonna help much. kill them and we no longer have to worry about them,i am talking about soldiers,not innocent people.


can you name 1 major war that innocent people did not get killed in? are you saying our government is in cohoots with isis? so that must mean you agreee bush 43 is the real cause of this then,right?

I don't know what game you are talking about. Also, the problem in city fighting is that the soldiers are mixed in with civilians, so you kill a lot of innocent people if you carpet bomb. You don't specify the means by which you can kill only soldiers in such a setting. In fact, you can't.  

Also,
1. The Saudis actually put together the team of opposition groups in Syria that attempted to negotiate with the Assad government to end the war via some kind of agreement. Assad and the Russians seem to think they can destroy eastern Aleppo and win the war. Time will tell if that is true. I tend to think it is an illusion.

2. Syrian refugees evidently prefer Europe, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey to Saudi Arabia. Frankly, who can blame them.

3. Of course innocent people die in war, but to deliberately massacre as many as a million Sunnis to end the territorial rule of ISIS would be criminal as well as stupid. As I said before, it would alienate a billion Muslims for no good reason. The Islamic State is shrinking into oblivion and has been for the last year.

4. The effort to take Mosul, which is an Iraqi city, is important for the Iraqi government. It must prove its ability to defend its territory in order to create a viable country. This campaign is about more than ISIS which will eventually lose. It is about creating a viable peace between Iraqi Shias and Iraqi Sunnis. That is ultimately the most critical part of the campaign. The failure to do that in the wake of the US war in Iraq is the reason for the rise of the Islamic State and al Qaeda in Iraq before it.

5. The enmity between Sunnis and Shias existed long before the United States existed. The particular circumstances in Iraq were unleashed as a result of the US invasion. Is the sectarian civil war all George Bush's fault? In this particular case his actions provided the occasion for it to erupt in Iraq. Some historians point to that as the trigger for the current conflict. (Fawaz Gerges, ISIS: A History is the most recent book to argue that.) At this point it doesn't matter much except as a counter to the absurd notion that Obama and Clinton created ISIS. The problem to be faced is how do we clean up this mess...and the "we" doesn't mean just the United States.

Also, the constant claim is made that Obama's withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq made possible the rise of ISIS. I think there is some truth to that in so far as the continued presence of US troops might have continued the pacification of Sunnis begun during the Petraeus era. HOWEVER, Obama offered to leave around 5,000 US troops in Iraq, but that was rejected. The Bush administration had negotiated the Status of Forces Agreement that required all US troops to leave. It wasn't Obama who did that, it was the Bush administration. Obama's offer had to be approved by the Iraqi Parliament and it refused to do so. The reason the US could not leave troops was because the Iraqi government would not allow US troops to be judged by US law rather than Iraqi law. This requirement is a part of every agreement where US forces are stationed. The whole issue became toxic in Iraq as a result of the massacre of Iraqi civilians by a private security force, Blackwater. It poisoned the waters so badly that no Iraqi Parliamentarian could expect to be elected to office if he voted to allow US troops not to be subject to Iraqi criminal law. This was especially true in 2008 when the SOFA was negotiated and signed. Its key provision required all US troops to leave Iraq by the end of 2011. Obama, like a typical politician, took credit for the departure, but he had no control over it.  

The Status of Forces Agreement signed by the Bush administration expired after three years, which is why US troops can be invited back by the Iraqi PM without the approval of Parliament. If SOFA still existed, the Islamic State would be a permanent fixture of the Iraqi countryside.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 09:26:30 PM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heartís desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Solon

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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2016, 02:16:38 PM »
Russia is being pulled into the Syrian conflict to a greater and greater degree. It was predictable. The map below shows just how far Russia had to send its fleet of one aircraft carrier to get to Syria. This is incredibly costly. NATO member Turkey controls the Straits through which Russia is unable to sail, making this expensive trip necessary. It just points out another strategic deficiency Russia faces in trying to be a world power. On the old forum I posted a thread about Putin being clever, devious, and foolish. Look at the map below and I think you will concur with the foolish part.

http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/176F/production/_92099950_russian_flotilla_map624_v4.png
(the map is too large a file to post here)

Clinton's proposal to create a no fly zone is two years outdated. That does not prevent a safe zone protected by US air power. Turkey is the key to that. The difference may appear to be merely semantics, but if the US could broker a ceasefire between Syrian Turks and Erdogan in Turkey, the Turks and Kurds could control the ground and the US provide the air cover with only a small commitment to ground forces. That seems very unlikely at present.

(Trump, of course, has no idea what this discussion is about. He is so clueless it's embarrassing to all Americans that he is the nominee of any party, much less the Republican party.)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 02:30:30 PM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heartís desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

cubsfanbudman

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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2016, 07:06:38 PM »
those countries are gonnna always fight because it is easier for them to fight than it is to get along.
"the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it\'s limits"
albert einstein

Solon

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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2016, 12:18:10 PM »
There is an excellent article today in the NY Times that provides a broader geopolitical explanation for the current chaos in the Middle East. The contest between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran was a topic of interest on the old forum, but this article provides background and brings us up to date. Basically, the message is that the US is not and has never been in a position to impose a peace in the Middle East. We are a participant in causing the political chaos, death, and destruction, but we have never been in control of the situation.  

Quote
Behind much of the Middle East’s chaos — the wars in Syria and Yemen, the political upheaval in Iraq and Lebanon and Bahrain — there is another conflict.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are waging a struggle for dominance that has turned much of the Middle East into their battlefield. Rather than fighting directly, they wield and in that way worsen the region’s direst problems: dictatorship, militia violence and religious extremism.

The history of their rivalry tracks — and helps to explain — the Middle East’s disintegration, particularly the Sunni-Shiite sectarianism both powers have found useful to cultivate. It is a story in which the United States has been a supporting but constant player, most recently by backing the Saudi war in Yemen, which kills hundreds of civilians. These dynamics, scholars warn, point toward a future of civil wars, divided societies and unstable governments.

How the Iranian-Saudi Proxy Struggle Tore Apart the Middle East
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/world/middleeast/iran-saudi-proxy-war.html?ref=world&_r=0
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 06:36:55 PM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heartís desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Solon

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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 08:57:32 AM »
The Syrian government with the backing of Russia and Iran has split the opposition forces in Aleppo and taken one third of the former rebel territory in the eastern part of the city. It would appear that Aleppo will fall sometime in the future. The refugee crisis will only grow more deadly as the million or so civilians seek safety. The Syrian army is seriously depleted as are the rebels and a negotiated peace would surely follow if the Iranians and Russians were not involved on such a significant scale.

Even if Assad is able to pacify a significant portion of the country, sectarian hatreds have been intensified between Sunni and Shia, and the Kurds have carved out a formidable regional entity. Peace in any meaningful term is not on the horizon even with the fall of Aleppo.

There is no incentive for Trump to continue any assistance to the rebels and it is likely that he will abandon the Kurds in a fight with Russian-backed Syria. His pledge to bomb IS may be a cover for joining the Russians in a reign of destruction on the resistance. IS in Syria is likely to grow in strength, at least temporarily, as Mosul in Iraq is gradually reduced to rubble. Fighters can still escape from Iraq to Syria and attempt to prevent the fall of Raqqa, the "capital" of the Caliphate.

While Americans can ignore the horrific death and destruction in the Middle East, we are not immune to its effects. There will be consequences.

Aleppo siege: Third of rebel-held Syria city taken by forces
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38128370

Aleppo Map
http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/50DA/production/_92689602_aleppo_corridors_624_211116.png
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 09:05:24 AM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heartís desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Solon

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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2016, 05:15:38 PM »
The fight for Aleppo is over. The government and opposition forces have agreed to end the fighting. Opposition forces will vacate their last remaining enclave and leave Aleppo. Civilians have the option of remaining or leaving according to the BBC report.

This is a major victory for Assad and his Iranian, Hisbullah, and Russian backers. All major population centers are now in government control and ISIS remains the most powerful opponent of the regime. The US has acquiesced in this apparent defeat for one very important reason. The opposition to Assad was dominated by radical Islamic factions, the largest and most powerful until recently affiliated with al Qaeda. The US sought to produce and support a moderate faction of fighters, but has had little success. Failing that, the US sought a peace agreement between opposing Syrian forces that would protect the civilian population, but Assad saw no point in that once Russia intervened, and the US was not prepared to send in US troops or establish a no-fly zone.

What comes next will be interesting to watch. Will Assad and his allies turn to the destruction of Kurdish fighters who have largely targeted ISIS and protected their enclave. or will they turn to face ISIS which has recaptured Palmyra during the Aleppo offensive, or will they seek to exterminate the remaining opposition, largely Sunni, that remains a military threat and still controls large swaths of Syria?

Assad and his allies have committed atrocities on a large scale. As late as today there were reports that more than 80 civilians had been gunned down as his fighters moved from house to house prior to the announcement of the opposition's agreement to leave Aleppo. These crimes will make pacification much more difficult in the long run as the Assad regime seeks to establish control over the entire nation.

The capture of Aleppo will not end this war.

Trump will have a decision to make when he takes office whether to continue to support the Kurds and some elements of the the opposition fighting Assad whom the US has aided with money and air support in attacking ISIS, or abandon them entirely and align US policy with Russia and Syria.

Quote
Military action has ended in eastern Aleppo, Russia's ambassador to the UN has said.
Vitaly Churkin said the government had re-established control over the last areas of the city held by rebels.
The announcement, if confirmed, brings to an end more than four years of vicious fighting.
Earlier Mr Churkin said an arrangement had been made for rebel fighters to leave the city. Rebels have confirmed the deal.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38308883
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 05:18:44 PM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heartís desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Bill Wyatt

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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2016, 07:03:57 AM »
I was listening to BBC World News this morning. Fighting has already resumed.
It's a happy enchilada... (John Prine)

Solon

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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2016, 12:10:57 PM »
Naturally each side blames the other, but does it seem probable that the Assad government was going to let a group of surrounded and outnumbered rebels just ride out of the city to fight again...not bloody likely.

Quote
"The clashes are violent and bombardment is very heavy... it seems as though everything (the ceasefire) is finished," Rami Abdulrahman, director of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) monitoring group, said.
The SOHR also said aircraft had resumed bombing in rebel-held areas.
Russia - Syria's ally - said the Syrian army resumed firing after the rebels broke the truce. Syrian TV reported rebel rocket fire on government-held parts of the city and said at least six people had been killed.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Syrian forces of breaking the ceasefire deal and called the situation in Aleppo "very fragile". He said civilians had to be allowed to leave.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38314291
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heartís desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken