Author Topic: Pan-Islamic civil war merged mega thread (Sunni vs Shia, and the expansion of IS(IS/IL))  (Read 295227 times)

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Offline AbdullahD

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Good points, both of you. Maybe it is the bleeding heart liberal in me showing through right now, I will concede, until and unless we get more information.
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Offline George Wallace

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One of the main commonalities found in most of these reports, is the lack of education of the bombers, in some cases the use of the mentally handicapped.  This latest article points out the lack of schooling being provided to children in these regions. 

This is not uncommon, as it was also found in other regions such as the Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) where a "Hatfield vs McCoy" atmosphere could be witnessed between the various factions.  Rumours and innuendo were used to influence uneducated members of their society.   
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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I also wonder why it went off at the home.. where they trying to take it off or disarm it?

You are all (not just you Abdullah) missing a possible "1984" scenario: The bomber child was onboard with DAESH, had denounced his family for non-Islamist deportment and as a result, was given the "honour" of taking them out on his way to "paradise".




Offline Eye In The Sky

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There is also the possibility that the device was on a timer and did exactly what it was intended to do;  go off and take some innocents with it.

There's lots of nasty crap going on, and it would not be the first time the shitheads killed people with timers on things.

Mosul is a distant 'thing' or concept to some, but there is great suffering going on and innocents are on the shitty end of the stick day after day after day. 
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 05:53:26 by Eye In The Sky »
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Offline Infanteer

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This seemed like the best place to put these (contentious) articles from someone (not military) on the ground, who published under a pseudonym.

https://warontherocks.com/2016/08/washingtons-sunni-myth-and-the-civil-wars-in-syria-and-iraq/

https://warontherocks.com/2016/08/washingtons-sunni-myth-and-the-middle-east-undone/

Interesting reads.  In summary, Shia vs Sunni is a myth as neither Shia nor Sunni blocs really exist.  Syrian government = bad, but not the worst (perhaps redeemable).  Saudi Arabia = terrible, a polished version of ISIL.

Accepting this means changing policy towards the region.
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Offline milnews.ca

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On a more tactical level, a bit of OSINT on how ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is using tanks in SYR & IRQ:
-- "How ISIS Utilizes Battle Tanks In Syria And Iraq" (southfront.org, generally pro-RUS OSINT)
-- "Etat islamique et chars d'assaut: comment les djihadistes emploient leurs blindés en Irak et en Syrie" (original source article, francesoir.fr, French online tabloid, in French)
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Offline Thucydides

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US involvement becomes fraught with the potential for miscalculations and accidents as a multitude of players move into a small area:

http://freebeacon.com/columns/the-isis-endgame/

Quote
Column: Beware mission creep in Syria 
BY:  Matthew Continetti
March 10, 2017 5:00 am

The Islamic Caliphate announced in 2014 by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, is approaching the end of its short and terrible life. Iraqi forces, supported by Americans, have reclaimed the eastern half of Mosul and are retaking the western one. Kurdish militias in Syria, also backed by the United States, are homing in on the ISIS capital of Raqqa. Word came this week that a contingent of Marines has been deployed in Syria to position heavy artillery for the fight ahead. "We expect that within a few weeks there will be a siege of the city," a militia spokesman tells Reuters.

ISIS doesn't have a chance. American air and ground forces, working with local proxies, are about to terminate its existence as a state. "Crushed," to paraphrase President Trump. A just—and popular—cause.

But that won't be the end. Recent events suggest that the military defeat of ISIS is just the beginning of a renewed American involvement in Iraq and Syria. And whether the American public and president are prepared for or willing to accept the probable costs of such involvement is unknown. That is reason for concern.

To glimpse the future, look at the city of Manbij in northeast Syria. Humvees and Strykers flying the American flag have appeared there in recent days. The mission? Not to defeat ISIS. Our proxies kicked them out last year. What we are doing in Manbij is something altogether different from a military assault: a "deterrence and reassurance" operation meant to dissuade rival factions from massacring one another. If you can't remember when President Obama or President Trump called for such an operation, that's because they never did.

And there's a twist. One of the factions we are trying to intimidate is none other than the army of Turkey, a NATO member and purported ally. Turkey moved in on Manbij not because of ISIS but because of the Kurds. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish autocrat, opposes one of our Kurdish proxies. He says the YPG is the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Worker's Party, which has conducted an insurgency against his government for decades. Yet the YPG is also the most effective indigenous anti-ISIS force on the ground. We need it to take Raqqa.

Things get even more complicated. Also in Manbij are the Russians, who are helping units of the Syrian army police a group of villages. The Kurds invited them, too, presumably as a separate hedge against Turkey. To keep score: The Americans, the Russians, the Turks, the Kurds, and the Syrians are all converging on an impoverished city in the middle of nowhere that has no strategic importance to the United States.

One needn't have read The Guns of August to fret about the risks of miscalculation and misinterpretation. Which is why, on Tuesday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Joseph Dunford, met with his Russian and Turkish counterparts. "One American official described the situation around Manbij as a potential tinderbox," reports the New York Times. As if we didn't have enough to worry about.

U.S. intervention in Syria is following a pattern that has ended in regret. Having entered the conflict to pursue the narrow aim of destroying ISIS, we are likely to assume much more abstract and open-ended responsibilities once our immediate goal has been achieved. Similar vague and unspecific policies led to Americans being killed in Lebanon in 1983 and in Somalia a decade later. Where peacekeeping has been successful, as in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the mission was clear from the beginning, authorized by all parties by treaty, and adequately resourced—tens of thousands of troops, most of them American. None of these conditions apply today.

It is one thing to maintain a presence in Iraq, a country whose fate seems to be entangled with our own. It is another to expand our involvement in Syria with little public rationale or debate. At the very least Congress deserves an opportunity to take up the issue. But don't get your hopes up. The GOP Congress resisted taking ownership of the war in Syria when the president was a Democrat. There is little reason to think it will do so now when the president is a Republican.

What happens the day after Raqqa falls? Should American troops remain in Syria once ISIS has been defeated, and if so for what purpose? Will there be clear lines of authority between CENTCOM and SOCOM? Just what is America's position on the Kurds—are we for an independent Kurdistan, and if so are we prepared to resist Turkish and Iraqi attempts to quash it? Who is making key military and diplomatic decisions: the president, the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, or the combatant commanders?

The president is charged with answering such questions. And he must be ready to defend his answers. To do otherwise risks complacency and drift. This is an unstable and murky situation. And it could end, as so often happens, in lost lives, reduced credibility, and an even wider conflict.

A contributor to The Weekly Standard likes to tell the following story: Covering the Lebanese civil war in 1983, he visited an outpost of U.S. Marines. They came under sniper fire from one militia. Then another militia started shooting. Then the Syrians joined in. At which point a lance corporal turned to him and said, "Sir, never get involved in a five-sided argument."
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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American frackers finally put a bullet in Saudi Arabia. The long term question is "now what?" So long as US production keeps oil prices low it takes resources from the hands of potential and actual enemies ranging from Gulf and Saudi supported Sunni and Wahhabi radicals, Iran and even Russia, reducing their ability to meddle or project power, but the resulting vacuum could be even worse than the Arab Spring or the implosion in Syria. Something our own politicians should keep in mind, as turmoil in the Middle East affects foreign policy, while low oil prices affect our domestic economy and policies:

https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2017/03/12/the-problem-of-success/

Quote
The Problem of Success
By Richard Fernandez March 12, 2017
 
By all accounts the Saudi economy is in decline. Low oil prices are forcing the Kingdom to live off savings, a process which can only last for so long. "The International Monetary Fund in January slashed its forecast for Saudi economic growth this year to 0.4 percent from 2 percent. ... Net foreign assets, though still above $500 billion, are shrinking as the government uses savings to plug a budget deficit that reached $79 billion last year -- $107 billion if delayed payments to contractors are included." The Saudi government has a six-point plan aimed at tightening its belt and minimizing economic unrest as it tries to shift away from oil but it may be too little, too late to sustain it in the same old style.

The Citizen’s Account is a programme meant to soften the impact of austerity measures on low and middle-income Saudis ... The government began a multiyear programme of gradual reductions to fuel, water and electricity subsidies with a surprise announcement in late 2015, sending Saudis rushing to petrol stations to fill up. ... From July, the government will charge an unprecedented monthly fee for foreign workers with dependents in the kingdom.

Although Riyadh has tried to reinvent itself as an "arsenal of Arabia" with an arms industry taking the place of oil, the Islamic Military Alliance  whose arsenal it was to have been built around a Turkish-Saudi Army based in Riyadh  has been less than impressive. Actions by the Trump administration to drive back Iran in Yemen and Syria may be aimed less at ensuring Saudi victory than a rearguard action against too swift a Russian and Iranian advance.

One person who understood the growing strategic weakness of the Saudi position was Rex Tillerson. Speaking in October 2016 as the chairman of Exxon Mobile, when a president Hillary was still universally anticipated, "Tillerson told Saudi Arabia's energy minister ... that fears of a new global oil supply crunch were exaggerated as the U.S. oil industry was adapting to the low price shock and was set to resume growth."  The Saudis had cut oil prices in the belief that it would bankrupt American producers. Instead innovation turned North America into the big swing producer.

The remarks by Tillerson ...  come as the Saudis have effectively abandoned their strategy to drive higher cost producers out of the market by ramping up cheap supplies from their own fields ... shale oil producers' resilience in cutting costs to make some wells profitable at as low as $40 a barrel means that North America has effectively become a swing producer that will be able to respond rapidly to any global supply shortage.

"I don't quite share the same view that others have that we are somehow on the edge of a precipice. I think because we have confirmed viability of very large resource base in North America ... that serves as enormous spare capacity in the system," Tillerson told the Oil & Money conference.

The twilight of Saudi oil dominance has arrived, a point underscored by the announcement of a giant onshore oil find in Alaska. "Some 1.2 billion barrels of oil have been discovered in Alaska, marking the biggest onshore discovery in the U.S. in three decades. The massive find of conventional oil on state land could bring relief to budget pains in Alaska brought on by slumping production in the state and the crash in oil prices." But the impact of that change has not yet been assimilated in public perception.

Just as the US won the Cold War not because federal government agencies outwitted the Reds but because American society out-competed the Soviets, the frackers may have bankrupted the Sunni Jihad. But in doing so, the oilmen have created a potential power vacuum even bigger than which resulted from the Arab Spring. Technology often creates new power relationships which officials only belatedly respond to. The consequences of American oil power have not yet been fully assimilated by the political system. Turmoil in the Kingdom and the Gulf might trigger a tragedy that would make events in Syria and Libya seem trivial by comparison.

The declining fortunes of the Kingdom may have led President Obama to attempt a rapprochement with its Islamic nemesis Iran. It may have tempted Erdogan to grasp at the mantle of Sunni leadership as it was up for grabs. And it may now be impelling the Trump administration to put a hand in the game before Putin sweeps up the pot. But none of these answered the basic question of how to transition whole populations from a resource-based economy into something more sustainable. If the discovery of vast oil reserves in Arabia was pivotal in giving impetus to the Sunni Jihad, the present shift will incontestably create another trajectory-changing moment.

For years, a reduced dependence on Middle Eastern oil has been a policy goal. The dog's caught the car. What now?
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Online jollyjacktar

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Come what may, I won't shed a tear to see the Saudi's begging on the street corners of the world economy.  I've often wanted to see their backs broken, returning them to nomads in the desert. 

Offline Colin P

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This seemed like the best place to put these (contentious) articles from someone (not military) on the ground, who published under a pseudonym.

https://warontherocks.com/2016/08/washingtons-sunni-myth-and-the-civil-wars-in-syria-and-iraq/

https://warontherocks.com/2016/08/washingtons-sunni-myth-and-the-middle-east-undone/

Interesting reads.  In summary, Shia vs Sunni is a myth as neither Shia nor Sunni blocs really exist.  Syrian government = bad, but not the worst (perhaps redeemable).  Saudi Arabia = terrible, a polished version of ISIL.

Accepting this means changing policy towards the region.

I don’t buy that the civil war is a myth, it’s painfully real, but it’s not the only dynamic at play. More like a multi-layered cake. The Sunni vs Shia issue is the base, historical events on top of that, regional alliances next, geographical and resource access issues next, Regional government, Tribal alliances and economic layered on that and finally Individual and family ties. The layering may varying from region to region as to which layer is on top of which.

  If you look at how the House of Saud acted when they first seized Mecca, you can see the ISIS roots run deep, sadly the Ottomans did not exterminate the lot of them back then.

Online jollyjacktar

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This lady has an interesting job.  Photos and full story at link below.

Quote
Meet the Winnipeg woman taking weapons from ISIS

Devin Morrow is working on the front lines in Iraq tracking illegal weapons

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/devin-morrow-iraq-1.4051833