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

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Posts

  • DemiurgeDemiurge Registered User regular
    Really terrible fucking video out of Syria today of a kid with his entire lower jaw and part of his leg missing. People are saying its the doing of Assad soldiers but, while I haven't watched the whole thing, it looks to me like a doctor is trying to save the kid. Could be shrapnel damage but I haven't been able to get confirmation anywhere.

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  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Don't worry about Syria; the international community has deemed al-Assad's fall "inevitable," so now it's just a waiting game.

    So chin up, Syrians!

    EDIT: Oh my god, I did not mean to make some kind of abominably morbid pun. I'm so sorry.

    Hamurabi on
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    We'll probably start off just launching a few air strikes, but then when that doesn't work we'll have to send in some special forces, which will get gradually increased as our forces in Afghanistan are drawn down. That seems to be the American military style these days.

    To be fair, we expected this in Libya and it didn't really happen.

    Iran is not Libya. They are big, strong and united. They will not fall easily, or quickly. Indeed the only way that Iran can "win" a conflict with the US is to drag it out and make it costly to the US. A straight up fight Iran loses every time.

    ragesig.jpg

  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    [Tycho?] wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    We'll probably start off just launching a few air strikes, but then when that doesn't work we'll have to send in some special forces, which will get gradually increased as our forces in Afghanistan are drawn down. That seems to be the American military style these days.

    To be fair, we expected this in Libya and it didn't really happen.

    Iran is not Libya. They are big, strong and united. They will not fall easily, or quickly. Indeed the only way that Iran can "win" a conflict with the US is to drag it out and make it costly to the US. A straight up fight Iran loses every time.

    I think you're grossly underestimating just how fucking horrific it would be for U.S. foreign policy to have invaded another Muslim country because we didn't like its rhetoric or leadership. If the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been a constant problem for U.S. troops abroad (and no less than David Petraeus has said it is), an invasion of Iran would be an absolute shitstorm. al-Qaeda would have its entire ideology vindicated, and the cherry on top would be that it was Obama, the guy who claimed he was trying to "reset relations with the Muslim world," who was responsible.

  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    Hamurabi wrote:
    [Tycho?] wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    We'll probably start off just launching a few air strikes, but then when that doesn't work we'll have to send in some special forces, which will get gradually increased as our forces in Afghanistan are drawn down. That seems to be the American military style these days.

    To be fair, we expected this in Libya and it didn't really happen.

    Iran is not Libya. They are big, strong and united. They will not fall easily, or quickly. Indeed the only way that Iran can "win" a conflict with the US is to drag it out and make it costly to the US. A straight up fight Iran loses every time.

    I think you're grossly underestimating just how fucking horrific it would be for U.S. foreign policy to have invaded another Muslim country because we didn't like its rhetoric or leadership. If the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been a constant problem for U.S. troops abroad (and no less than David Petraeus has said it is), an invasion of Iran would be an absolute shitstorm. al-Qaeda would have its entire ideology vindicated, and the cherry on top would be that it was Obama, the guy who claimed he was trying to "reset relations with the Muslim world," who was responsible.

    Is your response aimed at me? Because you and I are very much on the same page on that one. I've been warning against an attack on Iran for some months though, and previously I had dismissed it as impossible, partially because of these consequences that you cite.

    ragesig.jpg

  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    [Tycho?] wrote:
    Hamurabi wrote:
    [Tycho?] wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    We'll probably start off just launching a few air strikes, but then when that doesn't work we'll have to send in some special forces, which will get gradually increased as our forces in Afghanistan are drawn down. That seems to be the American military style these days.

    To be fair, we expected this in Libya and it didn't really happen.

    Iran is not Libya. They are big, strong and united. They will not fall easily, or quickly. Indeed the only way that Iran can "win" a conflict with the US is to drag it out and make it costly to the US. A straight up fight Iran loses every time.

    I think you're grossly underestimating just how fucking horrific it would be for U.S. foreign policy to have invaded another Muslim country because we didn't like its rhetoric or leadership. If the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been a constant problem for U.S. troops abroad (and no less than David Petraeus has said it is), an invasion of Iran would be an absolute shitstorm. al-Qaeda would have its entire ideology vindicated, and the cherry on top would be that it was Obama, the guy who claimed he was trying to "reset relations with the Muslim world," who was responsible.

    Is your response aimed at me? Because you and I are very much on the same page on that one. I've been warning against an attack on Iran for some months though, and previously I had dismissed it as impossible, partially because of these consequences that you cite.

    Ah, okay; I saw you mentioning strictly the practical concerns about going to war with Iran, as if the fighting would take place in a sealed-off battle pit while the rest of the world just sat around as if nothing were going on. :P

  • GaryOGaryO Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    We'll probably start off just launching a few air strikes, but then when that doesn't work we'll have to send in some special forces, which will get gradually increased as our forces in Afghanistan are drawn down. That seems to be the American military style these days.

    To be fair, we expected this in Libya and it didn't really happen.

    Because the Libyans had enough troops on the ground? They just needed something (airpower) to deal with Gaddafi's tanks and heavy equipment

  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    GaryO wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    We'll probably start off just launching a few air strikes, but then when that doesn't work we'll have to send in some special forces, which will get gradually increased as our forces in Afghanistan are drawn down. That seems to be the American military style these days.

    To be fair, we expected this in Libya and it didn't really happen.

    Because the Libyans had enough troops on the ground? They just needed something (airpower) to deal with Gaddafi's tanks and heavy equipment

    So we're clear, the Libyan rebels were pretty fucked until we started arming and training them (only one of which the international community has admitted to). Libya was not a "hands-off" affair for NATO.

  • GaryOGaryO Registered User regular
    Hamurabi wrote:
    GaryO wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    We'll probably start off just launching a few air strikes, but then when that doesn't work we'll have to send in some special forces, which will get gradually increased as our forces in Afghanistan are drawn down. That seems to be the American military style these days.

    To be fair, we expected this in Libya and it didn't really happen.

    Because the Libyans had enough troops on the ground? They just needed something (airpower) to deal with Gaddafi's tanks and heavy equipment

    So we're clear, the Libyan rebels were pretty fucked until we started arming and training them (only one of which the international community has admitted to). Libya was not a "hands-off" affair for NATO.

    oh I know that NATO armed and trained the rebel forces (including special forces at least SAS) but my point was the rebels had enough people willing to fight that an army wasn't needed to be sent in, just some help

  • shrykeshryke Registered User regular
    At this point, I figure Lybia's a pretty damn good example of international intervention done well.

  • finnithfinnith Registered User regular
    I haven't followed the Lybian revolution much so I may be wrong but isn't Lybia now full of militias, with the NTC trying somewhat unsuccessfully to unite and govern them? It doesn't help that armament is so easy to come by.

  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    finnith wrote:
    I haven't followed the Lybian revolution much so I may be wrong but isn't Lybia now full of militias, with the NTC trying somewhat unsuccessfully to unite and govern them? It doesn't help that armament is so easy to come by.

    Geopolitics has always been, is presently, and probably forever will be concerned exclusively with the here and now. We wanted Muammar al-Gadaffi gone, so we (because it probably wasn't just Sarkozy) armed and trained the Libyan rebels. That they could turn around and use those same arms against us or their countrymen was probably considered, but ultimately deemed less important than getting rid of Gadaffi. I'm not arguing that it was or was not the prudent decision to make at the time -- you have to bear in mind that Muammar al-Gadaffi was ready and willing to stage a massacre of his own people at least on the scale of Syria or worse -- but that it's important to remember that we (ie. the international community) consciously made this decision.

    We'll be complicit in whatever comes of it five years down the line.

  • ElkiElki hegemon globalSuper Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    It was hard not to become very emotional as I watched footage of Abbas and Meshal kiss and embrace.

  • SuperdupeSuperdupe Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Please forgive my general ignorance of the issues involved here, but what is the deal with these large-scale protests in Afghanistan following the burning of the Qurans by the U.S.? Is it a "straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back" phenomenon? My impression was that the incident was isolated, not intentionally malicious, corrected as soon as it was found out, and immediately apologized for by everyone including the President of the United States.

    Obviously many Afghans are not pleased with the U.S. still being in their country. Is this spillover from that? Because otherwise the reaction seems well out of scale with the incident. All this seems to do for bumbling outsiders like me is reinforce the idea that a non-trivial minority of Muslims are insanely sensitive regarding their religion. It's not a 1-to-1 comparison, but I see U.S. flags burned all the time and I'm sure not going to go violently riot to the point where the military is called in and people are killed. Someone please enlighten me.

    Superdupe on
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  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    is there any chance the UN can intervene in Syria, as long as China and Russia use their veto right? I have slight hopes that Turkey will react if the Syrian army gets too close to their border (my guess is that's where the refugees are heading to), but there isn't much else that can be done, is there?

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Superdupe wrote: »
    Please forgive my general ignorance of the issues involved here, but what is the deal with these large-scale protests in Afghanistan following the burning of the Qurans by the U.S.? Is it a "straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back" phenomenon? My impression was that the incident was isolated, not intentionally malicious, corrected as soon as it was found out, and immediately apologized for by everyone including the President of the United States.

    Obviously many Afghans are not pleased with the U.S. still being in their country. Is this spillover from that? Because otherwise the reaction seems well out of scale with the incident. All this seems to do for bumbling outsiders like me is reinforce the idea that a non-trivial minority of Muslims are insanely sensitive regarding their religion. It's not a 1-to-1 comparison, but I see U.S. flags burned all the time and I'm sure not going to go violently riot to the point where the military is called in and people are killed. Someone please enlighten me.

    Imagine if, in some odd happenstance of the universe, an Afghan army were to invade and occupy the US and one of their units started burning bibles. I think you'd see a similar reaction.

  • CptKemzikCptKemzik Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Superdupe wrote: »
    All this seems to do for bumbling outsiders like me is reinforce the idea that a non-trivial minority of Muslims are insanely sensitive regarding their religion. It's not a 1-to-1 comparison, but I see U.S. flags burned all the time and I'm sure not going to go violently riot to the point where the military is called in and people are killed. Someone please enlighten me.

    You really need to re-read these things here if you're confused about the Afghan reaction towards outside people burning their religious text. Also of all comparisons you choose a country's flag to, oh I dunno, another Abrahamic religious text? AManFromEarth has an apt comparison.

    And really, you're surprised that Muslims (i.e. people who submit to god and Islam) are upset at a sacrilegious act towards their faith?

    CptKemzik on
  • SuperdupeSuperdupe Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I get the gravity of burning the texts. It's supremely offensive. But this was an isolated incident which was quickly reprimanded, corrected, and apologized for. It's not as though the texts were held in front of prisoners and burned while the soldiers laughed. It was a mistake and it was apologized for, and still it provoked violent riots.

    To me the most logical explanation is that this was a tipping point in response to offenses that actually were malicious, because otherwise the response does not seem proportional.

    Also, I specifically didn't choose the Bible because I don't recall any Bible burnings provoking this response in the recent past. People seem to get more up-in-arms about the flag being burned or at least those examples are more publicized and provoke a response from the American public.

    Also, in this context AManFromEarth's comparison isn't particularly accurate because it implies multiple instances and leaves out the part about the invading force immediately putting a halt to the practice after discovering it and having President Karzai personally apologize. I don't know about you but that would generally be sufficient for me to accept the apology, or at least not get upset to the point of rioting.

    Superdupe on
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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Superdupe wrote: »
    I get the gravity of burning the texts. It's supremely offensive. But this was an isolated incident which was quickly reprimanded, corrected, and apologized for. It's not as though the texts were held in front of prisoners and burned while the soldiers laughed. It was a mistake and it was apologized for, and still it provoked violent riots.

    To me the most logical explanation is that this was a tipping point in response to offenses that actually were malicious, because otherwise the response does not seem proportional.

    Also, I specifically didn't choose the Bible because I don't recall any Bible burnings provoking this response in the recent past. People seem to get more up-in-arms about the flag being burned because those examples are more publicized.

    Well there haven't been many christian dominated nations invaded by muslims who then have an election where four of the main contenders trade position at the top of the "Muslims is the Devil" pyramid while the current president has to combat insinuations that he's a secret christian.

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    CptKemzik wrote: »
    Superdupe wrote: »
    All this seems to do for bumbling outsiders like me is reinforce the idea that a non-trivial minority of Muslims are insanely sensitive regarding their religion. It's not a 1-to-1 comparison, but I see U.S. flags burned all the time and I'm sure not going to go violently riot to the point where the military is called in and people are killed. Someone please enlighten me.

    You really need to re-read these things here if you're confused about the Afghan reaction towards outside people burning their religious text. Also of all comparisons you choose a country's flag to, oh I dunno, another Abrahamic religious text? AManFromEarth has an apt comparison.

    And really, you're surprised that Muslims (i.e. people who submit to god and Islam) are upset at a sacrilegious act towards their faith?

    Pot meet kettle. Maybe the reason he chose to say the flag, is that he personally wouldn't give 2 shits if someone burned a bunch of bibles.

    And he is correct that there is substantial cultural difference here. As we saw the same violent over-reaction to the great Cartoon Crisis of 09(or whenever), which wasn't limited to occupied Iraq/Afghanistan(and didn't involve the US at all). There's a huge gulf between being upset and riots ending in multiple people killed.

    tinwhiskers on
  • SuperdupeSuperdupe Registered User regular
    Superdupe wrote: »
    I get the gravity of burning the texts. It's supremely offensive. But this was an isolated incident which was quickly reprimanded, corrected, and apologized for. It's not as though the texts were held in front of prisoners and burned while the soldiers laughed. It was a mistake and it was apologized for, and still it provoked violent riots.

    To me the most logical explanation is that this was a tipping point in response to offenses that actually were malicious, because otherwise the response does not seem proportional.

    Also, I specifically didn't choose the Bible because I don't recall any Bible burnings provoking this response in the recent past. People seem to get more up-in-arms about the flag being burned because those examples are more publicized.

    Well there haven't been many christian dominated nations invaded by muslims who then have an election where four of the main contenders trade position at the top of the "Muslims is the Devil" pyramid while the current president has to combat insinuations that he's a secret christian.

    I'm trying to follow your analogy but I don't know what you're referring to with the election with 4 contenders at the top of the Muslims is the Devil pyramid. Was there an election in Afghanistan where everyone was running on a "Christians are the Devil" platform? And if so how does that effect the U.S.'s actions in this particular case?

    steam_sig.png
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    is there any chance the UN can intervene in Syria, as long as China and Russia use their veto right? I have slight hopes that Turkey will react if the Syrian army gets too close to their border (my guess is that's where the refugees are heading to), but there isn't much else that can be done, is there?

    No, Russia and China will always veto.

    Will other countries, the US, France, UK, Turkey, do something on their own? I really doubt it. Russia has a naval base there that vastly complicates matters. There is no unified opposition to support (even though I think the UK is going to recognize some group as the rightful rulers of the country). Airstrikes alone would be ineffective. Combat troops would have unpredictable consequences.

    Mostly though, in my mind, the US wont do anything because it would tie them down. They need a free hand to act against Iran. They don't want to be fighting Syria and Iran at the same time. On the other hand, if the US does attack Iran, then conflict with Syria gets to be more likely because they're close allies.

    Regional war ftw. Its inching closer and closer.

    ragesig.jpg

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Superdupe wrote: »
    Superdupe wrote: »
    I get the gravity of burning the texts. It's supremely offensive. But this was an isolated incident which was quickly reprimanded, corrected, and apologized for. It's not as though the texts were held in front of prisoners and burned while the soldiers laughed. It was a mistake and it was apologized for, and still it provoked violent riots.

    To me the most logical explanation is that this was a tipping point in response to offenses that actually were malicious, because otherwise the response does not seem proportional.

    Also, I specifically didn't choose the Bible because I don't recall any Bible burnings provoking this response in the recent past. People seem to get more up-in-arms about the flag being burned because those examples are more publicized.

    Well there haven't been many christian dominated nations invaded by muslims who then have an election where four of the main contenders trade position at the top of the "Muslims is the Devil" pyramid while the current president has to combat insinuations that he's a secret christian.

    I'm trying to follow your analogy but I don't know what you're referring to with the election with 4 contenders at the top of the Muslims is the Devil pyramid. Was there an election in Afghanistan where everyone was running on a "Christians are the Devil" platform? And if so how does that effect the U.S.'s actions in this particular case?

    Sorry, let me clean it up a little.

    My point was that Americans currently have a leading party who trumpets that Muslims are bad full stop and attack the President for "Islamic" tendencies. That, combined with the fact that we've been in their country for ten years and that, yes, Muslim communities are generally more vitriolic about perceived or real slights to their religion is what caused this reaction. Sorry about the analogy, it's not as clear as I hoped now that I look over it.

  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited February 2012
    Superdupe wrote: »
    Please forgive my general ignorance of the issues involved here, but what is the deal with these large-scale protests in Afghanistan following the burning of the Qurans by the U.S.? Is it a "straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back" phenomenon? My impression was that the incident was isolated, not intentionally malicious, corrected as soon as it was found out, and immediately apologized for by everyone including the President of the United States.

    Obviously many Afghans are not pleased with the U.S. still being in their country. Is this spillover from that? Because otherwise the reaction seems well out of scale with the incident. All this seems to do for bumbling outsiders like me is reinforce the idea that a non-trivial minority of Muslims are insanely sensitive regarding their religion. It's not a 1-to-1 comparison, but I see U.S. flags burned all the time and I'm sure not going to go violently riot to the point where the military is called in and people are killed. Someone please enlighten me.


    The Middle East was on fire because some Danish newspaper printed a caricature of Mohammed. A 23-old could be facing death penalty in Saudi Arabia because he wrote a couple of tweets saying that he doesn't love/pray to the prophet. Medieval theocratic societies meet modern world.

    The average Afghan is, by Western standards, uneducated and completely oblivious of what's going on in the world. They're are also easily manipulated by their religious and political leaders, believe the most ridicules rumors about the Western 'occupation forces', and nearly everything we do there will spark public outrage.

    Alfred J. Kwak on
  • SuperdupeSuperdupe Registered User regular
    Superdupe wrote: »
    Superdupe wrote: »
    I get the gravity of burning the texts. It's supremely offensive. But this was an isolated incident which was quickly reprimanded, corrected, and apologized for. It's not as though the texts were held in front of prisoners and burned while the soldiers laughed. It was a mistake and it was apologized for, and still it provoked violent riots.

    To me the most logical explanation is that this was a tipping point in response to offenses that actually were malicious, because otherwise the response does not seem proportional.

    Also, I specifically didn't choose the Bible because I don't recall any Bible burnings provoking this response in the recent past. People seem to get more up-in-arms about the flag being burned because those examples are more publicized.

    Well there haven't been many christian dominated nations invaded by muslims who then have an election where four of the main contenders trade position at the top of the "Muslims is the Devil" pyramid while the current president has to combat insinuations that he's a secret christian.

    I'm trying to follow your analogy but I don't know what you're referring to with the election with 4 contenders at the top of the Muslims is the Devil pyramid. Was there an election in Afghanistan where everyone was running on a "Christians are the Devil" platform? And if so how does that effect the U.S.'s actions in this particular case?

    Sorry, let me clean it up a little.

    My point was that Americans currently have a leading party who trumpets that Muslims are bad full stop and attack the President for "Islamic" tendencies. That, combined with the fact that we've been in their country for ten years and that, yes, Muslim communities are generally more vitriolic about perceived or real slights to their religion is what caused this reaction. Sorry about the analogy, it's not as clear as I hoped now that I look over it.

    Ok. This makes sense to me.

    steam_sig.png
  • CptKemzikCptKemzik Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    nevermind.

    CptKemzik on
  • ElkiElki hegemon globalSuper Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Superdupe wrote: »
    I get the gravity of burning the texts. It's supremely offensive. But this was an isolated incident which was quickly reprimanded, corrected, and apologized for. It's not as though the texts were held in front of prisoners and burned while the soldiers laughed. It was a mistake and it was apologized for, and still it provoked violent riots.

    To me the most logical explanation is that this was a tipping point in response to offenses that actually were malicious, because otherwise the response does not seem proportional.

    Also, I specifically didn't choose the Bible because I don't recall any Bible burnings provoking this response in the recent past. People seem to get more up-in-arms about the flag being burned or at least those examples are more publicized and provoke a response from the American public.

    Also, in this context AManFromEarth's comparison isn't particularly accurate because it implies multiple instances and leaves out the part about the invading force immediately putting a halt to the practice after discovering it and having President Karzai personally apologize. I don't know about you but that would generally be sufficient for me to accept the apology, or at least not get upset to the point of rioting.

    When the Abu Ghraib story broke, the basic facts of the story were mostly the same, but it was reported in the US as "shocking revelation of abuses done by some US troops" and in the middle east it played as "photographic evidence of what we knew American troops have been doing." That made the story a smaller one in Iraq and neighboring states, but it's very easy for that to swing the other way under the right circumstances.

    You are missing a tremendously negative view of American soldiers, and taking it for granted that they aren't viewed (from a starting baseline) as bastards and assholes and killers.

  • SerukoSeruko Ferocious Kitten of The Farthest NorthRegistered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Superdupe wrote: »
    I get the gravity of burning the texts. It's supremely offensive. But this was an isolated incident which was quickly reprimanded, corrected, and apologized for. It's not as though the texts were held in front of prisoners and burned while the soldiers laughed. It was a mistake and it was apologized for, and still it provoked violent riots.

    To me the most logical explanation is that this was a tipping point in response to offenses that actually were malicious, because otherwise the response does not seem proportional.

    Also, I specifically didn't choose the Bible because I don't recall any Bible burnings provoking this response in the recent past. People seem to get more up-in-arms about the flag being burned or at least those examples are more publicized and provoke a response from the American public.

    Also, in this context AManFromEarth's comparison isn't particularly accurate because it implies multiple instances and leaves out the part about the invading force immediately putting a halt to the practice after discovering it and having President Karzai personally apologize. I don't know about you but that would generally be sufficient for me to accept the apology, or at least not get upset to the point of rioting.

    Perhaps you'll recall the 10 years of winning the hearts and winds that we've been doing, by dropping bombs on weddings, torturing people to death in baghram for being cab drivers, kidnapping people in the middle of the night, enshrining heroine warlords as "Democratically Elected Leaders," and taking a government that was at least functional and replacing it with nothing for reasons the average afgahni probably doesn't get. But we gave them the democracy of getting to vote for whom ever the local heroine warlords has decided they will vote, and the prosepect of having their throat slit in the middle of the night for aiding and abetting the enemy (the US) by the Taliban. So you know progress is on the march, future looks bright, etc.

    Seruko on
  • FencingsaxFencingsax Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Seruko wrote: »
    Superdupe wrote: »
    I get the gravity of burning the texts. It's supremely offensive. But this was an isolated incident which was quickly reprimanded, corrected, and apologized for. It's not as though the texts were held in front of prisoners and burned while the soldiers laughed. It was a mistake and it was apologized for, and still it provoked violent riots.

    To me the most logical explanation is that this was a tipping point in response to offenses that actually were malicious, because otherwise the response does not seem proportional.

    Also, I specifically didn't choose the Bible because I don't recall any Bible burnings provoking this response in the recent past. People seem to get more up-in-arms about the flag being burned or at least those examples are more publicized and provoke a response from the American public.

    Also, in this context AManFromEarth's comparison isn't particularly accurate because it implies multiple instances and leaves out the part about the invading force immediately putting a halt to the practice after discovering it and having President Karzai personally apologize. I don't know about you but that would generally be sufficient for me to accept the apology, or at least not get upset to the point of rioting.

    Perhaps you'll recall the 10 years of winning the hearts and winds that we've been doing, by dropping bombs on weddings, torturing people to death in baghram for being cab drivers, kidnapping people in the middle of the night, enshrining heroine warlords as "Democratically Elected Leaders," and taking a government that was at least functional and replacing it with nothing for reasons the average afgahni probably doesn't get. But we gave them the democracy of getting to vote for whom ever the local heroine warlords has decided they will vote, and the prosepect of having their throat slit in the middle of the night for aiding and abetting the enemy (the US) by the Taliban. So you know progress is on the march, future looks bright, etc.

    Also in the running as to why Americans are not popular is shit like the urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters, and the CIA accidentally killing the civilian while evacuating one of its agents. Basically, someone (obviously many someones) over there has at best no idea what they're doing.

    Fencingsax on
  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited February 2012
    there was also this and this

    these are exceptions and not the rule, but the public there doesn't differentiate

    Alfred J. Kwak on
  • edited February 2012
    Superdupe wrote: »
    I get the gravity of burning the texts. It's supremely offensive. But this was an isolated incident which was quickly reprimanded, corrected, and apologized for. It's not as though the texts were held in front of prisoners and burned while the soldiers laughed. It was a mistake and it was apologized for, and still it provoked violent riots.

    To me the most logical explanation is that this was a tipping point in response to offenses that actually were malicious, because otherwise the response does not seem proportional.

    Also, I specifically didn't choose the Bible because I don't recall any Bible burnings provoking this response in the recent past. People seem to get more up-in-arms about the flag being burned or at least those examples are more publicized and provoke a response from the American public.

    Also, in this context AManFromEarth's comparison isn't particularly accurate because it implies multiple instances and leaves out the part about the invading force immediately putting a halt to the practice after discovering it and having President Karzai personally apologize. I don't know about you but that would generally be sufficient for me to accept the apology, or at least not get upset to the point of rioting.

    When Qu'ran burning/asswiping, civilian killings (accidental as they may be), rapes, torture, and other incidents of the sort happen almost every month, often a few times per month, for the past decade, it soon stops being called "an isolated incident" and starts being known as "tuesday" to the local population, if you get what I mean.

    starlime on
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    Seruko wrote: »
    Superdupe wrote: »
    I get the gravity of burning the texts. It's supremely offensive. But this was an isolated incident which was quickly reprimanded, corrected, and apologized for. It's not as though the texts were held in front of prisoners and burned while the soldiers laughed. It was a mistake and it was apologized for, and still it provoked violent riots.

    To me the most logical explanation is that this was a tipping point in response to offenses that actually were malicious, because otherwise the response does not seem proportional.

    Also, I specifically didn't choose the Bible because I don't recall any Bible burnings provoking this response in the recent past. People seem to get more up-in-arms about the flag being burned or at least those examples are more publicized and provoke a response from the American public.

    Also, in this context AManFromEarth's comparison isn't particularly accurate because it implies multiple instances and leaves out the part about the invading force immediately putting a halt to the practice after discovering it and having President Karzai personally apologize. I don't know about you but that would generally be sufficient for me to accept the apology, or at least not get upset to the point of rioting.

    Perhaps you'll recall the 10 years of winning the hearts and winds that we've been doing, by dropping bombs on weddings, torturing people to death in baghram for being cab drivers, kidnapping people in the middle of the night, enshrining heroine warlords as "Democratically Elected Leaders," and taking a government that was at least functional and replacing it with nothing for reasons the average afgahni probably doesn't get. But we gave them the democracy of getting to vote for whom ever the local heroine warlords has decided they will vote, and the prosepect of having their throat slit in the middle of the night for aiding and abetting the enemy (the US) by the Taliban. So you know progress is on the march, future looks bright, etc.

    And before the US arrived there was 10 years or so of civil war, and 10 years before that the Soviets were occupying the place, and saying exactly the same things and making exactly the same mistakes.

    ragesig.jpg

  • lu tzelu tze Registered User
    edited February 2012
    Superdupe wrote: »
    I get the gravity of burning the texts. It's supremely offensive. But this was an isolated incident which was quickly reprimanded, corrected, and apologized for. It's not as though the texts were held in front of prisoners and burned while the soldiers laughed. It was a mistake and it was apologized for, and still it provoked violent riots.
    It's not isolated at all.

    There have been incidences of evangelical army chaplains importing bibles and proselyting to the populace. No it might not be sanctioned from on high (Obama, not God), but that doesn't change the fact that it's going on... So maybe, just maybe, the Afghans see the occupation as some sort of religious crusade already, and burning Korans was probably not the best idea under those circumstances.

    You can only say sorry so many times before it starts to look just a tad insincere.

    lu tze on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    there was also this and this

    these are exceptions and not the rule, but the public there doesn't differentiate

    There is a tendency to overlook that we're occupying these countries, and assumed that somehow, whereas pretty much every military occupation in history has resulted in the occupier being hated, they should be grateful for the trouble. The public as a whole assumes that the Afghans should be grateful that their taxes and young men are being poured into their country. As oppose to angry that their taxes and men are over there, periodically murdering people for amusement in an often directionless counterinsurgency attempt. Talk about a communications gap, it's a chasm.

    Even if you could get the public to acknowledge these murders, they'd say something to the effect of, "So what about a few bad apples, do you know how much we're doing for their country?" I can imagine that the Afghans would say, "You have blown the shit out of our country with missiles and bombs, and are murdering people, what the hell do we care for your wonderful plans?!"

    This is old territory. Immediately after the Second World War, the Poles were hardly pleased about the occupying Red Army (except for West Belarus, which had been annexed by Poland a few decades earlier, but the Polish settlers had gotten kicked out by that time), and in recent years, we've realized that the Japanese were not very happy at the beginning of the US occupation. The Little Mouse that Roared aside, being occupied by the United States is not somehow a joyous experience compared to any other military occupation, just because the United States has a lot of money to throw around.

    Synthesis on
  • ACSISACSIS Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    The real issue ist the US cold war strategy, wich involved backing Iran to fight the commies, wich backfired as the regime was overthrown (and at that time the west didn't care about human rights in Iran at all). So the US backed Irak to attack Iran, wich also backfired badly as some of you may still be able to recall. No wonder the Russians are vetoing. What do you expect, after all THAT?

    I can perfectly understand Iran's current stance.
    With all the holocaust during WW2 i also can understand Israel's stance.

    They are both right - thats how wars start. Its all very sad and i still hope war can be avoided, but the time is ticking away and the chance for real progress any time soom seems increasingly slim.

    Iran wants to play on time to finish its nuclear program, Israel considers a preemptive strike to protect itself if said program is nearing completion (word is time will run out around may).

    ACSIS on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Ann Arbor, MichiganRegistered User regular
    Two former Senators (intelligence committee members, both) say they suspect the Saudi government played a role in 9/11. So... that's exciting.

  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    I think "played a role in 9/11" is still within the realm of Things We Will Tolerate From Saudi Arabia Because, Hey, Oil™.

  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    Huh, you don't often hear criticism of the Saudis. I wonder if this is in response to something we don't know about, or if this is a mechanism to apply pressure on the Saudi's in some way. Its quite the accusation to be made in a vacuum.

    ragesig.jpg

  • [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Huh, you don't often hear criticism of the Saudis. I wonder if this is in response to something we don't know about, or if this is a mechanism to apply pressure on the Saudi's in some way. Its quite the accusation to be made in a vacuum.

    As common citizens we are not privy to what happens in high-level diplomatic talks (as Wikileaks has abundantly demonstrated) So maybe your government has very good reasons to not criticize the Saudis. I'd say learning the truth about 9/11 is not worth losing an ally in the middle east, since it would endanger even more lives.

This discussion has been closed.