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The Middle East Thread: Now Featuring a Primer in the OP

JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp.I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
This is the thread for talking about ongoing political changes in the Middle East. So far Tunisia and Egypt have ousted their long-time dictators and are in the midst of a revolution. There are demonstrations throughout the arab world and beyond. This is, historically speaking, huge. These revolutions will totally change politics throughout the region and the world. Will revolutions spread to other nations? Will protests be suppressed? Will there be war? Foreign interventions? Terrorism? We'll be talking about all of that. Share your thoughts, experiences, and wild predictions about what will happen next.


What follows is a bit of a primer I whipped up.

The Middle East
What do we mean by this? Well I stole a map from wikipedia which I think does an excellent job:

middle-east.gif
The dark green is the "traditional" Middle east. The lighter green in the North of Africa indicates nations that are mostly Arabic and Muslim; this region is called the Maghreb. Somalia is on there for its proximity to the Arabian Peninsula, and it is also Muslim. The lighter greens in Asia are not Arabic, but are all Muslim. Calling Pakistan or Kazakhstan part of the Middle East is frankly absurd, but current conflicts mean that you hear the term come up. The Caucuses (light green, the small region north of Turkey and Iran, south of Russia) is the only region that has Christian nations, though plenty of Muslims are there as well.


Fallen Regimes:

Tunisia
Spoiler:

Egypt
Spoiler:




Upcoming:
Libya
Spoiler:

Yemen
Spoiler:

Bahrain
Spoiler:

Others:
Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Algeria and more have all been seeing protests as well. We'll be keeping an eye on them. Special attention should be kept on Algeria and Syria, in my opinion.

So far Saudi Arabia has been very quiet. Keep your ear to the ground for that one.




Some assorted notes of interest:
-So far all of these uprisings have been secular. No burning of US flags, no calling for the creation of a caliphate.
-So far none of these uprisings have had leaders, nor any political ideology aside from nationalism.
-All have started peacefully, and most have remained fairly peaceful despite various levels of state violence against protesters.
-The entire region has an extremely young population, with around two thirds of the population of the region being under 30 years old.
-The uprisings have been largely organized via the internet, with heavy use of facebook, twitter, youtube, Web 2.0 in general. Internet censorship has not been sufficient to quell protests.
-The protests are campaigning largely towards foreign media, printing signs in english, talking to reporters. They want their message heard throughout the world.

Jacobkosh on
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Posts

  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Iranian warships enter Suez Canal amid Israeli concern

    Thanks Iran, your sense of timing is just lovely.

    Isn't it. No doubt Iran are just trying to shit stir. That and as pointed out in the report, Iran has full right to enter it as they please. Only in a situation of War could Egypt stop them.

  • President RexPresident Rex Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I think it'd only be a SHTF moment when North Korea decides to send a military vessel through the Suez Canal.


    ...Also, wasn't someone all excited about having a fancy new OP for the new thread?

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  • ThetherooThetheroo Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Actually, this does make a lot of sense from Iran's perspective. They're facing troubles of their own, so they send a couple of warships to where they are technically legally able to go and are expecting the inevitable Western/US backlash. They jump on this, going "Oh noes, the foreigners are keeping us down!', and are attempting to save a little face back home.

    At this point, however, I'm pretty sure that's going to do jack-shit to mollify the enraged populace.

  • CasualCasual Revolver Ocelot (Revolver Ocelot)Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I don't know why Isreal expects the world to condemn Iran for using the suez canal, it doesn't matter what your opinion of Iran is, the simple fact is they have as much right as anyone else to use it unless they're at war with Egypt.

    Besides of all the things you could pick to condemn Iran for, sending a bearly armed, battered old frigate and a supply vessel through the suez canal is a lousy choice.

    Israel is just looking for excuses to bomb the Iranians nuclear plants, the jury is still out on weather that would be a bad thing.

    Revolver Ocelot
    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • ThetherooThetheroo Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The very last thing the Middle East needs right now is any aggression from country to another, I don't even want to think about how that would end up.

  • CasualCasual Revolver Ocelot (Revolver Ocelot)Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Thetheroo wrote: »
    The very last thing the Middle East needs right now is any aggression from country to another, I don't even want to think about how that would end up.

    Whereas Iran gaining nuclear weapons would do wonders for regional stability?

    Revolver Ocelot
    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    Thetheroo wrote: »
    The very last thing the Middle East needs right now is any aggression from country to another, I don't even want to think about how that would end up.

    Whereas Iran gaining nuclear weapons would do wonders for regional stability?

    No but MAD occurs.

    Well....i'd hope MAD occurs. Sadly it's more likely madness would occur in Israel, and they'd shoot anyway.

  • Caveman PawsCaveman Paws Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    Thetheroo wrote: »
    The very last thing the Middle East needs right now is any aggression from country to another, I don't even want to think about how that would end up.

    Whereas Iran gaining nuclear weapons would do wonders for regional stability?

    I don't see how what Thetheroo said could be taken as a comment on a Nuke equipped Iran. It's pretty safe to say that with the current revolutionary fever gripping the ME, adding military vs military action wouldn't help the people there at all.

    Everything is happening so quick with so little warning (says the ignorant white guy living the sweet life in Canada) that I wouldn't put it past the leaders of the region to take this time to do something really nuts.

  • Mr RayMr Ray Sarcasm sphereRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I think it'd only be a SHTF moment when North Korea decides to send a military vessel through the Suez Canal.


    ...Also, wasn't someone all excited about having a fancy new OP for the new thread?

    One of the more tin-foil-hat suggestions I've heard about the situation in the middle east recently is that some of the mercenaries running amok in Libya are North Korean. Given that I can't find a single source backing this up, I suspect the guy in question was talking out of something other than his mouth. Still, what if guys, what if?

    Spoiler:
  • Caveman PawsCaveman Paws Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Mr Ray wrote: »
    I think it'd only be a SHTF moment when North Korea decides to send a military vessel through the Suez Canal.


    ...Also, wasn't someone all excited about having a fancy new OP for the new thread?

    One of the more tin-foil-hat suggestions I've heard about the situation in the middle east recently is that some of the mercenaries running amok in Libya are North Korean. Given that I can't find a single source backing this up, I suspect the guy in question was talking out of something other than his mouth. Still, what if guys, what if?

    I can't even what if that since it's too impractical/stupid. Why bother bringing in NK mercs when you have mercs closer to home (which I would imagine are cheaper)?

  • BogartBogart MR. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    You can only rely on MAD occuring when the bodies involved are rational actors.

  • CasualCasual Revolver Ocelot (Revolver Ocelot)Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    Thetheroo wrote: »
    The very last thing the Middle East needs right now is any aggression from country to another, I don't even want to think about how that would end up.

    Whereas Iran gaining nuclear weapons would do wonders for regional stability?

    I don't see how what Thetheroo said could be taken as a comment on a Nuke equipped Iran. It's pretty safe to say that with the current revolutionary fever gripping the ME, adding military vs military action wouldn't help the people there at all.

    Everything is happening so quick with so little warning (says the ignorant white guy living the sweet life in Canada) that I wouldn't put it past the leaders of the region to take this time to do something really nuts.

    Well simply put educated guesses put Iran ~5 years from developing nukes. Clearly they aren't going to be persuaded to just stop and the government doesn't look like it's going to change. Forcefully depriving them of the facilities to produce nukes would seem to be the only way of preventing a nuclear equipped Iran.

    If Israel wants to be the one to do it than more power to them.

    Anyway I feel like I'm in danger of being misread here. I'm not trying to say it would be a good thing if it were to happen soon what with the current state of the area. My point was that I was unsure if Israel attcking Iran was worse than allowing Iran to get nukes. Neither option is desirable but one is the lesser of two evils.

    Revolver Ocelot
    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • Caveman PawsCaveman Paws Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    LaraABCNews Lara Setrakian
    Sources on Egypt-#Libya border say that Libyan troops have retreated, only the Egyptian Army on patrol. Thousands trying to get out.

    And I should go to bed. Night all.

  • President RexPresident Rex Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The only worry I'd have with the Iranian ship is that it'd open fire on Israel in order to prompt a response from the US in order to provoke a "See the US is the reason for these revolts! You want to support them?" mentality at home to try and subdue the revolts.


    That is basically a negligible possibility, though. The plan to send the ships through the Suez formed in January and Iran has military ties with Syria so it's not like the ship is that much of an oddity. Plus that could backfire in so many ways I can't see anyone trying it other than a deranged lunatic like Kim Jong Il. Ahmadinejad may be a power-hungry, zealous demagogue but I don't think he's that crazy.

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  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    the jury is still out on weather that would be a bad thing.

    No it's not.

    You can't really postpone Iran's nuclear program by any good measure unless you strike at like 5-10 different sites around the country. That would require a bombing mission involving probably ten times the aircraft in the strike at Syria to almost ten times the distance. Iran has underground facilities, quite effective anti-aircraft weaponry and even modern S-300 SAM systems from Russia. This wouldn't be Osirak or Operation Orchard by any measure. It would be more close to a full on air war the likes not seen for a long time. A successful strike pushing back Iran's nuclear program would require a massive death and material count that no place in the world wouldn't count as an blatant act of war. That would risk an Hezbollah backlash right at Israel's doorstep and actual attacks from Iran, and they would have justification that nobody could deny. The two between them have an crappy excuse for an air force, but they could still rain fire on Israel with their ridiculously insane missile and rocket forces, especially if Syria decides to chip in too. Hell, Hezbollah alone could do it.

    I guess they could make a symbolic strike at one location, but what would that help? They would have it back running in couple of months and they would still have the same justification for an response attack.

    Iran having nukes is not a good thing but let's face it, Iran is never going to use it's nukes and Israel, the far more belligerent of the two already has nukes. Actual war is not preferable to that situation. Iran's leadership is quite sane. There is not a single time Iran has invaded or attacked it's neighbors since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, only war it has fought was in self-defense.

    Of course I'm one of those people who think that nuclear weapons are pretty much the best thing that has ever happened for world peace...

  • Caveman PawsCaveman Paws Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I think Iran is hoping someone will take a pot shot at one of their boats and give them an excuse to bitch and moan about the West, thus making whatever they want to say/do/etc acceptable.

    Or maybe it really is just a training exercise that was scheduled months ago *shrug*. But that isn't as much fun to think about 10mins to 4am.

    I'm really going to bed now.

  • Dr Mario KartDr Mario Kart Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    What about cyberwar? Didnt that one virus set back Iran's nuclear business a bit?

  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    What about cyberwar? Didnt that one virus set back Iran's nuclear business a bit?

    It was overblown out of proportion like hell. I think only place it made any sort of impact in was Natanz. Iran’s enrichment capacity actually grew during 2010.

  • CasualCasual Revolver Ocelot (Revolver Ocelot)Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    the jury is still out on weather that would be a bad thing.

    No it's not.

    You can't really postpone Iran's nuclear program by any good measure unless you strike at like 5-10 different sites around the country. That would require a bombing mission involving ten times the aircraft in the strike at Syria to almost ten times the distance. A successful strike pushing back Iran's nuclear program would require a massive death and material count that no place in the world wouldn't count as an blatant act of war. That would risk an Hezbollah backlash right at Israel's doorstep and actual attacks from Iran, and they would have justification that nobody could deny. The two between them have an crappy excuse for an air force, but they could still rain fire on Israel with their ridiculously insane missile forces, especially if Syria decides to chip in too.

    Iran having nukes is not a good thing but let's face it, Iran is never going to use it's nukes and Israel, the far more belligerent of the two already has nukes. Actual war is not preferable to that situation. Iran's leadership is quite sane. There is not a single time Iran has invaded or attacked it's neighbors since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, only war it has fought was in self-defense.

    Of course I'm one of those people who think that nuclear weapons are pretty much the best thing that has ever happened for world peace...

    I wish I was as sure about that as you are. And while I hate to take Israels side, Iran is the one that has publicly stated the destruction of the state of Israel is one of its goals. If that isn't belligerent I don't know what is.

    Besides I don't see the US being willing to tolerate a nuke equipped Iran under any circumstances. I don't blame them, proliferation on nuclear weapons is not the way to peace.

    Revolver Ocelot
    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • ElldrenElldren 3067-6294-6208Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    the jury is still out on weather that would be a bad thing.

    No it's not.

    You can't really postpone Iran's nuclear program by any good measure unless you strike at like 5-10 different sites around the country. That would require a bombing mission involving probably ten times the aircraft in the strike at Syria to almost ten times the distance. Iran has underground facilities, quite effective anti-aircraft weaponry and even modern S-300 SAM systems from Russia. This wouldn't be Osirak or Operation Orchard by any measure. It would be more close to a full on air war the likes not seen for a long time. A successful strike pushing back Iran's nuclear program would require a massive death and material count that no place in the world wouldn't count as an blatant act of war. That would risk an Hezbollah backlash right at Israel's doorstep and actual attacks from Iran, and they would have justification that nobody could deny. The two between them have an crappy excuse for an air force, but they could still rain fire on Israel with their ridiculously insane missile and rocket forces, especially if Syria decides to chip in too. Hell, Hezbollah alone could do it.

    I guess they could make a symbolic strike at one location, but what would that help? They would have it back running in couple of months and they would still have the same justification for an response attack.

    Iran having nukes is not a good thing but let's face it, Iran is never going to use it's nukes and Israel, the far more belligerent of the two already has nukes. Actual war is not preferable to that situation. Iran's leadership is quite sane. There is not a single time Iran has invaded or attacked it's neighbors since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, only war it has fought was in self-defense.

    Of course I'm one of those people who think that nuclear weapons are pretty much the best thing that has ever happened for world peace...

    I'd lime this entire post, but that would be gauche.

    The only avenue that leads to a non-nuclear Iran is diplomatic. Using air strikes to cripple a project of that scale happens only in neocons' wet dreams.

  • ElldrenElldren 3067-6294-6208Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The US will tolerate a nuclear Iran in much the same way as they tolerate a nuclear North Korea: grudgingly.

    In any case, the current revolutionary attitudes are not something the current Iranian government likes at all. Even if this is a veiled threat, the odds of it being directed at Israel aren't nearly as high as Lieberman would like you to believe.

  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    I wish I was as sure about that as you are. And while I hate to take Israels side, Iran is the one that has publicly stated the destruction of the state of Israel is one of its goals. If that isn't belligerent I don't know what is.

    No, it hasn't. Ahmadinejad is not Iran, and even he has never said anything like that. He said that the regime must be wiped off the map, not the state. It was a translation error that for some reason seems to be continued to be repeated. He's still an asshole and I'm sure in reality he wouldn't mind if Israel was erased from the map, but saying that Iran has threatened Israel with destruction isn't factual. Especially when he said all the following afterwards:
    Asked if he objected to the government of Israel or Jewish people, he said that "creating an objection against the Zionists doesn't mean that there are objections against the Jewish". He added that Jews lived in Iran and were represented in the country's parliament.

    If they [the Palestinians] want to keep the Zionists, they can stay ... Whatever the people decide, we will respect it. I mean, it's very much in correspondence with our proposal to allow Palestinian people to decide through free referendums

    Either way, Israel has made similar threats to Iran, such as threats of actual literal attacks and war if it continues it's nuclear program. They are at the least at the same page when it comes to belligerence through words.

    Israel becomes way more belligerent when you realize that it has invaded it's neighbors twice as many times as Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded it's neighbors.
    Casual wrote: »
    Besides I don't see the US being willing to tolerate a nuke equipped Iran under any circumstances. I don't blame them, proliferation on nuclear weapons is not the way to peace.

    It's already tolerating nuclear equipped North Korea. What's it's going to do, invade Iran?

  • CasualCasual Revolver Ocelot (Revolver Ocelot)Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Ok I can accept that (as I said I am not a defender of Israel at all) but all the same I still don't feel that unchecked proliferation of nukes is a path to peace. Not in the hands of Iranians or anyone else. The middle east is such an unstable region it is pretty much the last place I want to see nukes.

    Also NK and Iran are very different situations. For a start the US won't have to worry about Chinese reprisal if they invade Iran.

    Revolver Ocelot
    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I thought that was a mistranslation. I think Rachel Maddow did a thing on it.

  • ElldrenElldren 3067-6294-6208Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    Ok I can accept that (as I said I am not a defender of Israel at all) but all the same I still don't feel that unchecked proliferation of nukes is a path to peace. Not in the hands of Iranians or anyone else. The middle east is such an unstable region it is pretty much the last place I want to see nukes.

    Also NK and Iran are very different situations. For a start the US won't have to worry about Chinese reprisal if they invade Iran.

    Starting a war is a pretty poor path to peace.

    Of course I doubt the viability of global peace

  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    Ok I can accept that (as I said I am not a defender of Israel at all) but all the same I still don't feel that unchecked proliferation of nukes is a path to peace. Not in the hands of Iranians or anyone else. The middle east is such an unstable region it is pretty much the last place I want to see nukes.

    No, but I don't think it's something worth going to war over. In the end you can't stop Iran from having nukes unless you periodically carpet bomb them every six months with massive civilian casualties or invade their country and put another regime in charge.
    Casual wrote: »
    Also NK and Iran are very different situations. For a start the US won't have to worry about Chinese reprisal if they invade Iran.

    If NK attacks SK, U.S. won't have to worry about Chinese reprisal either, China won't go to war over their shitty neighbor. They will do their damnedest diplomatically to prevent war, but they won't sacrifice one soldier over Kim Jong-Il if he is dumb enough to start one. Mao isn't in charge anymore and it isn't 1950.

    And U.S. would have their hands quite full with Iran if they would invade Iran. Look at what a clusterfuck happened with countries that are not all that much compared to it. Hezbollah would still rain death on Israel out of pure spite and take Lebanon with them when IDF turns it into a parking lot, since U.S. invasion of Iran is basically their version of Ragnarok. Syria would probably do something crazy and suicidal too, since all it's allies would be picked up one by one. And the Iraq War made Iraq pretty much an ally of Iran too so it would explode once again as soon as footage of Qom on fire would appear on television...

  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    Ok I can accept that (as I said I am not a defender of Israel at all) but all the same I still don't feel that unchecked proliferation of nukes is a path to peace. Not in the hands of Iranians or anyone else. The middle east is such an unstable region it is pretty much the last place I want to see nukes.

    Also NK and Iran are very different situations. For a start the US won't have to worry about Chinese reprisal if they invade Iran.

    No, they'd have to worry about Russian reprisal. Ten times worse.

  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Either way Iran doesn't need to get involved in Israel. The way Israel is going they're on a path to absolute self destruction. I used to be reasonably pro Israel, believing that they do have the capability of resolving and moving towards the road of peace. Recently though they just seem increasingly authoritarian and fascist. To make matters worse the US, for all it tries to press for peace, refuses to be hardline against them. A case and point example of this is the US vetoing a UN resolution in relation to Israel and Palestine quite recently. It's just going to get worse and worse until eventually they'll drown in their own blood and hatred.

  • ThetherooThetheroo Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Living in the UK, I'm really interested to see how exactly the aftermath of the Libya uprising is going to pan out in regards . If there's official confirmation that the Lockerbie bomber was released in a tete-for-tete, as almost everyone does, some shit could go down over here. This article says it better than I can.

  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Holy shit.
    http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=580641&vId=
    Cleric orders Gaddafi killed

    Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi has issued a fatwa that any Libyan soldier who can shoot dead embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi should do so 'to rid Libya of him.'

    'Whoever in the Libyan army is able to shoot a bullet at Mr Gaddafi should do so,' Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric who is usually based in Qatar, told Al-Jazeera television.


    He also told Libyan soldiers 'not to obey orders to strike at your own people,' and urged Libyan ambassadors around the world to dissociate themselves from Gaddafi's regime.

    Famous in the Middle East for his at times controversial fatwas, or religious edicts, the octogenarian Qaradawi has celebrity status in the Arab world thanks to his religious broadcasts on Al-Jazeera.

    He has in the past defended 'violence carried out by certain Muslims.'

    The West accuses the cleric of supporting 'terrorism' because he sanctioned Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel. Britain and the United States have refused to grant him entry visas.

    The cleric, spiritual leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and longtime resident of Qatar, heads the International Union for Muslim Scholars.

    Nice for it to work out this way for once...?

  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited February 2011
    I'm going to be rather alarmed if the Muslim Brotherhood get a foothold in every country rioting.

  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I need to do up a Morbo macro with "Parliamentary systems do not work that way!" to post whenever someone worries about the MB having enough support to form a government in a country with a constitution and its people not really wanting to overthrow the system with the dictator.

  • ElkiElki hegemon globalSuper Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    Ok I can accept that (as I said I am not a defender of Israel at all) but all the same I still don't feel that unchecked proliferation of nukes is a path to peace. Not in the hands of Iranians or anyone else. The middle east is such an unstable region it is pretty much the last place I want to see nukes.

    So, gonna work on getting Israel to give up those bombs? Yeah?

  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Thought i'd link this. Used to use newsmap a while back. It's a fairly good way of visualising all news coming through Google. It's particularly useful for the current situation though to determine different views:

    http://newsmap.jp/#/w/uk,us/view/

  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited February 2011
    From the previous thread...
    Kipling217 wrote:
    This entire thread is giving me serious deja vu back to 89. Its like seeing something you thought was so solid crumble at a touch. The Middle east has always been a haven for dictators. The Idea that they are falling as a response to popular pressure, goes counter to every conventional wisdom on the region.

    No it doesn't. It's precisely what the neo-conservative 'conventional wisdom' was in 2001-2003 with Iraq and Afghanistan - i.e. the domino theory that one regional country gets dermocrahsee and everyone else will get jealous and want it too. Only it didn't work like they predicted then because we fucked up the way we went about making it happen.

    Quite interesting to see the theory panning out now though - not, of course, that any of the talking heads I've seen dare make the conceptual link and say "damnit, they weren't quite so wrong after all". I notice that Wolfowitz and his crowd are suddenly popular again in the media and lecture circuits though.

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm yet to see any indication that this has fuckall to do with Iraq.

    hell there's been protests in Iraq in recent days too.

    I think these protests are a natural reaction to the area's economic stagnation coupled with very young populations.

  • YallYall Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm yet to see any indication that this has fuckall to do with Iraq.

    hell there's been protests in Iraq in recent days too.

    I think these protests are a natural reaction to the area's economic stagnation coupled with very young populations.

    And social media/internety type things.

  • ThetherooThetheroo Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm yet to see any indication that this has fuckall to do with Iraq.

    hell there's been protests in Iraq in recent days too.

    I think these protests are a natural reaction to the area's economic stagnation coupled with very young populations.

    Yeah, al-Maliki has already announced that he won't run for another term. So yay progress.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    WMain00 wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    Ok I can accept that (as I said I am not a defender of Israel at all) but all the same I still don't feel that unchecked proliferation of nukes is a path to peace. Not in the hands of Iranians or anyone else. The middle east is such an unstable region it is pretty much the last place I want to see nukes.

    Also NK and Iran are very different situations. For a start the US won't have to worry about Chinese reprisal if they invade Iran.

    No, they'd have to worry about Russian reprisal. Ten times worse.

    Not particularly, though neither Russia nor China would be be particularly happy about it. Would they go to war over it? Potentially, but it's by no means a act of uncertainty. There's an enormous amount of bluffing--remember, up to 2008, from as early as the mid-90s, the United States and other NATO states guaranteed Georgia direct military assistance (i.e. boots on the ground) if Russia so much as thought of intervening in Abkhazia or southern Ossetia. Come August, Georgia pounds the areas in question with artillery, Abkhazia and Ossetia respond (unsurprisingly), following by Russia's response (also unsurprising, though not as much), and Georgia is on its own.

    There's a laundry list of options before "war", which are of limited effectiveness, sure, but cost the orchestrator literally nothing.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • gtrmpgtrmp Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    It's precisely what the neo-conservative 'conventional wisdom' was in 2001-2003 with Iraq and Afghanistan - i.e. the domino theory that one regional country gets dermocrahsee and everyone else will get jealous and want it too. Only it didn't work like they predicted then because we fucked up the way we went about making it happen.

    Quite interesting to see the theory panning out now though - not, of course, that any of the talking heads I've seen dare make the conceptual link and say "damnit, they weren't quite so wrong after all". I notice that Wolfowitz and his crowd are suddenly popular again in the media and lecture circuits though.

    The fundamental differences between the way we 'brought democracy to Iraq' versus the course of events in MENA over the past month make the invocation of neoconservative orthodoxy irrelevant. Invasion and occupation by a foreign power isn't even remotely comparable to a popular uprising sparked by domestic policy. Comparing 2011 to 2003 instead of 1989 is ludicrous; the only common factor between the regime changes in Tunisia/Egypt/Libya and Iraq is the fact that they're all in the greater Middle East.

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