The Middle East - bOUTeflika

1858687888991»

Posts

  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    edited December 2019
    I think every one knows Afghanistan was and is a shitshow but boy oh boy there's a new leak of interviews of people involved and it is somehow 1) not very surprising and 2) very surprising how much of a fuck up it was and is.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/us-officials-lied-about-afghan-war-failures-documents-reveal-2019-12?r=US&IR=T
    • US officials have been “constantly” misleading the American people about the war in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing confidential documents revealing true assessments of the conflict.
    • The Post obtained 2,000 pages of notes from interviews with more than 400 people directly involved in the war.
    • The documents reveal that the US and its allies and partners have struggled to define their mission, that the US does not have a sufficient understanding of Afghanistan, and that the US has wasted massive amounts of money trying to stabilise the still-unstable country.

    The Washington Post has the full document available for those subscribed to them.

    This is the part where I would quote bits and pieces but I'm having a hard time choosing which.

    But the overall gist is:
    1: no goal, at all
    2: an emphasis on spending money for the sake of spending money, with no goal to measure success spending more money was seen as a sign of progress. This, put together with no goal meant money was being thrown at anything and everything for no reason and no results.
    3: more money, more corruption, but I'd hardly call it corruption when the money wasn't going to anything in the first place?
    4: the weird thing is that all the previous mentioned stuff was on such a scale that the killings of civilians and friendly fire barely gets a mention.

    Again, hardly anything surprising, but it is something to have it all laid out in the words of people who were there and (supposedly) in charge of decision making.

    Gvzbgul on
    TicaldfjamIncenjucar
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    Speaking of Afghanistan and shitshows, the latest election was one of those, and continues to be. As in the disastrous 2014 election, it centers on disputed results and a power struggle between Ashraf Ghani (the current president) and Abdullah Abdullah, who various warlords and other factions have rallied around as the leader of their opposition. Last time, the US forged some confusing power sharing arrangement between the two, where Ghani won the presidency but a new position ("Chief Executive") was created for Abdullah - though as the article points out, Ghani seems to have had much more power than his rival in the resulting administration. This time, the US appears unwilling or unable to broker such a settlement.
    General Dostum has been camped out in his northern stronghold in support of Mr. Abdullah, warning of a blood bath if soldiers use force against protesters. At closed-door meetings of Mr. Abdullah’s political circle, another bullish northern commander repeatedly offered to take over a couple of provinces, kicking out the governors and police chiefs to send a message.

    It's so weird to read about Rashid Dostum warning of blood baths in 2019. This guy shows up throughout Afghan history as far back as the USSR occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s! I didn't even know he was back in the country; last I checked he had fled to Turkey after being accused of raping a political opponent. Additionally, the fact that northern warlords are threatening to oust the Afghan government's officials and directly rule over provinces is not a great sign.

    The biometric identification system they instituted (I haven't read enough to really understand how that works) doesn't seem to have prevented fraud allegations:
    At the heart of the dispute is 300,000 questionable votes that Mr.23111 Abdullah’s supporters say the election authorities have counted without transparency, which could favor Mr. Ghani. The ballot verification system has indicated that about 100,000 of those votes were cast outside voting hours — in some cases, by months.

    The election commission attributes that to human error in setting the time on devices that collect voters’ biometric data and register the time of their votes. Mr. Abdullah’s team accuses election officials of trying to belatedly alter the rules in Mr. Ghani’s favor.

    Abdullah is portrayed as holding back the commanders who support him from revolting against the state, and John Kerry described the 2014 agreement as having prevented a civil war. In the context of the ongoing war against the Taliban, I think there's a limit to how much of this sort of instability the Afghan state can handle; hopefully the US's lack of interest this time around doesn't mean that some sort of deal is off the table. You'd think that a sense of self-preservation would be a strong enough motivator to prevent open conflict between anti-Taliban factions, but who knows.

    GiantGeek2020
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Israel passed the deadline for forming a government, so they will have another election in March 2020: https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/11/middleeast/israel-third-election-netanyahu-intl/index.html

    How does constant failure mean the same person stays in power?

    Not unusual for a parliament to retain the same executive until a new government it formed. It taking this long is highly unusual though

    GvzbgulZibblsnrt
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Some more news has leaked out about the mass protests in Iran: the Ayatollah ordered a crackdown, the bloodiest since the Islamic Revolution.

    His apparent orders were, "Do whatever it takes to end it. You have my order."

    Current estimates are that his forces killed 1500 people over two weeks, though of course Iran is officially denying it.

  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    In Libya, Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army is again trying to conquer the capital, Tripoli, which is currently under the control of factions aligned with the UN-recognized Government of National Accord. They made a similar attempt last spring, but were beaten back. The LNA has developed a small but functional air force, and are bombing GNA-allied fighters. The GNA lacks air power, aside from Turkish-supplied drones. The UAE and Egypt back Haftar, and some reports say their air forces have been launching air strikes in support of the LNA offensive (they've bombed Haftar's foes in the past, notably the Mujahidin Shura Council in Derna). Russian mercenaries are reportedly aiding Haftar's troops too. The GNA has requested help from Turkey - a consistent supporter - and Erdogan has pledged assistance, although it's unclear to what degree. Turkey's parliament is voting on a deployment sometime within the next few days, but the details will be left up to the executive. It could range from a small advisory force to a larger ground contingent, naval patrols, and no-fly zone over GNA territory. Turkey has the power to stop Haftar if they want to, but Egypt is very opposed to increased Turkish involvement.

    Turkish troops also remain in northwest Syria's Idlib Province, the last bastion of the rebellion. However, Syrian forces, backed by Russian airstrikes, are again launching an offensive on rebel held territory. They've made notable gains this time around, after having gradually chipped away at the rebels over the last year. Tens or possibly hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled under the Russian and Syrian bombardment and ground assault. Turkish military observation posts are threatened and in some areas surrounded - Erdogan insists that there will be no withdrawal without a political settlement, but Assad seems as uninterested in a lasting settlement as at any time in the civil war, and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is not an easy negotiating partner. Additionally, Damascus seems to retain Moscow's support in its assault, which puts Turkey in a pretty untenable position.

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular

    Assad is a sociopathic monster, but he’s played this amazingly well. He knows he’s going to lose a bit of syria to Turkey, so he’s expelling all the more problematic rebel groups and minorities to that area. Meanwhile the proportion of his direct supporters (Alewites, Shia, Christians) goes up, and the Kurds have Kurdistan split by a Sunni arab strip and a Turkish army right across the border to keep them in line.

    ArbitraryDescriptorTicaldfjam
  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Total Goober Registered User regular
    I honestly dont know if Turkey can hold Syria, especially if Russia pressures them.

    Turkey had made enemies of their traditional allies in NATO, Israel. They are opposed to the Saudi lead Arab faction in the South. Without Russia they would risk being very much and international pariah.

    I think what Turkey really wants is for Syria to put leash on the Syrian Kurds.

  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    In news that will obviously make everything everywhere less tense, a supposedly-unknown party just killed the commander of Iran's Quds Force and another senior official in an airstrike in Baghdad today.

    Commander ZoomTicaldfjam
  • GiantGeek2020GiantGeek2020 Registered User regular
    edited January 3
    GiantGeek2020 on
    Biscuits 3:16 "food Jesus is dead and you killed him"
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular

    Inside Iraq, not Iran.

    That's one of the most powerful people in Iran they just offed; a straight up act of war. Shit's going to hit the fan over this in a big way.

    mvaYcgc.jpg
    shrykeTicaldfjamCommander ZoomGiantGeek2020SealElldrenStabbity StyleBullheada5ehrenBlackDragon480
  • GiantGeek2020GiantGeek2020 Registered User regular
    [Tycho?] wrote: »

    Inside Iraq, not Iran.

    That's one of the most powerful people in Iran they just offed; a straight up act of war. Shit's going to hit the fan over this in a big way.

    You are right. I edited it.

    Yep. This is going to be a clusterfuck. Lucky if it doesn't spiral into war.

    Biscuits 3:16 "food Jesus is dead and you killed him"
  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    I'm seeing conflicting reports of both katyusha rockets and an airstrike. Considering the attack actually hit its target with some accuracy and assassinated a powerful Iranian official rumored to be involved with the militia that the US bombed and the storming of the US embassy, it definitely doesn't look like random unguided rockets.

  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    The WaPo article mentioned the Katyushas as being part of some separate debacle going on, I think.

    Of course, the WaPo article tried to imply that they're some kind of trademark Iranian weapon as opposed to something only slightly less common than rifles in some parts of the world, so...

  • yossarian_livesyossarian_lives Registered User regular
    Other outlets reporting the airstrike was 100% a US attack. Did Trump just start a war via public assassination?

    "I see everything twice!"


  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Other outlets reporting the airstrike was 100% a US attack. Did Trump just start a war via public assassination?

    Pentagon said it was us. It was us.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
    Commander ZoomStabbity StyleKarozMayabirda5ehrenBlackDragon480SleepGiantGeek2020Ticaldfjam
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Needless to say, this puts the Iranian government in a tricky position. They can't do nothing or else they're probably finished at home, but they also can't escalate because they have no hope of stopping an eventual US invasion. I have no idea what their play is here.

    Yall
  • MillMill Registered User regular
    I'd say the Iranian position is even trickier than that. It's not just a US invasion they'd want to avoid, if Iran is like most other modern countries. There is probably little appetite among those that serve in the Iranian military and their families, to have their boys die over Iran sticking it's nose into Iraq to such an extent; especially, with all the other issues. It's one o the reasons, why Putin's bullshit in Ukraine has been slow rolling because oddly enough people get pissy when their family or friends are killed in a bullshit foreign war because your leaders need to flex their dick.

    I think the thing that is going to piss me off the most, is that regardless of what Iran's response is, it's not goin to have a negative consequence for Putin. Putin's shit ass should share some of the blame because even if that fucker's fuckery in the 2016 elections didn't get Trump the win. Putin has been pretty much egging Trump on to do a ton of stupid shit. I have to wonder if this will be the incident that gets a ton of small states allied with Putin, to realize that Putin is a shit ally because he doesn't view them as equals and is A-OK with them being fucked over as long as he gets his wins.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Needless to say, this puts the Iranian government in a tricky position. They can't do nothing or else they're probably finished at home, but they also can't escalate because they have no hope of stopping an eventual US invasion. I have no idea what their play is here.

    Use the insurgent groups this guy was previously helping direct to make the US's life much more annoying.

    If you really wanna get ballsy, you attack Trump businesses overseas.

  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    Iraqi Parliament have called for the removal of all US military presence from the country. That would leave a vacuum that would almost certainly be filled by Iran or Russia or worse.

    KarozTicaldfjam
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    edited January 3
    Smurph wrote: »
    Iraqi Parliament have called for the removal of all US military presence from the country. That would leave a vacuum that would almost certainly be filled by Iran or Russia or worse.

    Given that the US is sending a bunch of soldiers there right now, the US ain't leaving unless is on coffins. So proxy war with Iran is a go!

    TryCatcher on
    KarozKayne Red RobeExtreaminatusDonnictonShadowfire
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    I think we actually face the very real possibility of a war with iraq and iran simultaneously here. Iraq is... turned off to US cooperation to say the least, but a war with Iran would be difficult without Iraqi bases or just passing through Iraq in general.

    Karoz
  • honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    Iranian state TV is reporting a mass panic during the funeral of Soleimani with dozens of dead people.

    Stabbity Style
  • TaramoorTaramoor Storyteller Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Needless to say, this puts the Iranian government in a tricky position. They can't do nothing or else they're probably finished at home, but they also can't escalate because they have no hope of stopping an eventual US invasion. I have no idea what their play is here.

    Use the insurgent groups this guy was previously helping direct to make the US's life much more annoying.

    If you really wanna get ballsy, you attack Trump businesses overseas.

    Some Iranian officials have been posting lists of Trump properties throughout the world as part of the call for vengeance.

    Depending on how well they understand the American people and how well they read Trump himself that may be the smartest play.

    Nobody is going to support going to war just because something happened to a hotel in Turkey, but Trump will probably try to order a nuclear strike if they Bomb a building with his name on it.

    Hell, it’s Iran. The government should just buy up all of the loans and mortgages that are attached to Trump properties and foreclose on them.

    SmrtnikArbitraryDescriptor
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    It would be fittingly shambolic if Iran's initial retaliation was to send agents into every Trump property to pull the fire alarm at 2:00 AM.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    Elki wrote: »
    It’s always interesting to find the final straw that causes mass protests, and in Lebanon it turned out to be the WhatsApp tax. Also, holy shit this is scary. This is the education minister and his bodyguards as they’re confronted by a group of protesters; easily could’ve ended disastrously.



    That guy is from Sky News, but it’s not his video.

    The scariest part is the bodyguards who clearly weren't prepared to actually shoot anyone nearly getting their gun taken by a mob
    Taramoor wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Needless to say, this puts the Iranian government in a tricky position. They can't do nothing or else they're probably finished at home, but they also can't escalate because they have no hope of stopping an eventual US invasion. I have no idea what their play is here.

    Use the insurgent groups this guy was previously helping direct to make the US's life much more annoying.

    If you really wanna get ballsy, you attack Trump businesses overseas.

    Some Iranian officials have been posting lists of Trump properties throughout the world as part of the call for vengeance.

    Depending on how well they understand the American people and how well they read Trump himself that may be the smartest play.

    Nobody is going to support going to war just because something happened to a hotel in Turkey, but Trump will probably try to order a nuclear strike if they Bomb a building with his name on it.

    Hell, it’s Iran. The government should just buy up all of the loans and mortgages that are attached to Trump properties and foreclose on them.

    If they can hold out a month or two, the Senate will have tacitly endorsed bribery, and I would be honestly shocked if they couldn't open a back channel to Trump directly and make a deal to pay off his debts.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    I think every country we are talking about is too smart to actually pay his debts.

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
    Karoz
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    For someone who has gotten used to Scapegoating and asscovering the response from Irans military (when it became obvious that there was no hiding it) has kind of surprised me.
    Iran guards commander accepts responsibility for downed ukrainian plane

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden


  • Robert Evans is a journalist of some note. Evoking Gadaffi's roadside bayonet sodomy lynching is, uh, strong

    ZibblsnrtGiantGeek2020SkeithTicaldfjamRedTide
  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    Iran’s only female Olympic medalist she has permanently left the country. Kimia Alizadeh won the bronze for Taekwondo in 2016. There had been rumors she left the country last week, which was confirmed on her Instagram account yesterday.

    No one has invited me to Europe and I haven't been given a tempting offer. But I accept the pain and hardship of homesickness because I didn't want to be part of the hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery,

    It is believed that she has gone to the Netherlands.

    And per the BBC, one Iranian politician had this classy response:
    Iranian politician Abdolkarim Hosseinzadeh accused "incompetent officials" of allowing Iran's "human capital to flee".

    Because clearly the problem isn’t that she found reason to flee, but that it was able to do so.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited January 13
    I honestly dont know if Turkey can hold Syria, especially if Russia pressures them.

    Turkey had made enemies of their traditional allies in NATO, Israel. They are opposed to the Saudi lead Arab faction in the South. Without Russia they would risk being very much and international pariah.

    I think what Turkey really wants is for Syria to put leash on the Syrian Kurds.

    Russia isn't stopping them from being international pariahs. Aside from Russia not really stopping anyone from being international pariahs (see: Iran and Syria, and plenty would argue themselves), Russia's years-long policy has been "Keep everyone talking for as long as possible," and Turkey is taking advantage of a Russian addiction to stalling tactics.

    Turkey's importance in NATO--before and, quite frankly, after the Syrian Civil War, are doing that (or at least doing better at that), among other things. As much as I hate the metaphor, Operation Olive Branch forced a sort of "good cop, bad cop" play from the defenders: Syria, frankly, has been more open about opposing invasion disguised as a rebel intervention from one of NATO's most significant powers (while the rest of NATO has been pretty okay periodically bombing them to shit) short of forcing a total confrontation. They have sent militia and irregular forces to respond to Turkey's own irregulars (i.e. the F.S.A.), because even the Americans can't balk too harshly at that, and they have opened their territory up for Kurdish fighters to to mobilize in response (which was already happening without their consent in many regions). They have put the onus on the Russians to keep up the talks, rather than taking the lead themselves. Sort of granting Ocalan another two decades of political asylum, that's about as big a "fuck you" to Turkey as Syria can risk without going to "suicidally opening up a new warpath."

    Russia, by contrast, has the softer fist. The 2015 shoot down brought Moscow onto as much of a "brink" of war with a member of NATO in recent memory. It's not that Turkey didn't get the shit scared out of them, it's just that they weren't alone. In the middle of a semi-successful, semi-failed road map to end the civil war, there are so many arguments for deescalation (with Turkish concessions if necessary) and pretty much only one against it. But Russia is hardly doing them any favors. Turkey would have to sit down at the negotiating table even if they hadn't backed a large intervention into the north. Turkey has certainly overplayed their hands--though, depending on the severity of the refugee crisis within their own border, and the efficacy of their rebel Syrian Army in the long run (I'm loath to rule anyone "out" for good, at least this decade), they might think it was worth their risk. Military casualties on their side were worse than expected, but they still control territory. And they're still able to negotiate.

    What I'm wondering is if we'll see another attempt at reconciliation with Tehran. This was something that seemed like on a natural course since the failed coup and even before, but really crashed with "Olive Branch", contrary to the "Well, really, Syria [and by extensions the Russians and Iranians] invited them in," narrative. But at least I didn't predict a showdown like this, even an apparently de-escalated one (I also expected tighter national unity on the Iranian side). Turkey might be in a position to pick and choose if Iran takes their on the spotlight.

    EDIT: Also Turkey's perceived value a a counterweight to the KSA and its allies. Ankara played the international community's exhaustion of patience with Riyadh very well a year ago, and on top of that countries like Russia and Syria were already fed up with Saudi Arabia as it was. Presenting itself as an alternate senior partner in security compacts and trade deals has helped than more than a little (one would think that would carry more weight with the Trump White House and its bouts of absurd transactionalism and "deal making".) That too.

    Synthesis on
    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.
    GiantGeek2020BlackDragon480
  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    NYT has a new video of flight 752 being shot down. A security camera caught images of two separate missiles being fired and striking the plane about 30 seconds apart, then the plane turning around and catching fire as it descended. This also explains why someone was out, filming with their cell phone to make the original video of f the shoot down (which only caught the second strike).

    In related news, per the BBC, Iranian new is reporting that the Revolutionary Guards have arrested the guy who posted that original video of the shoot down. According to an Iranian journalist in Britain, they arrested the wrong guy, and his source on the video is not in custody.

  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 16
    Some people don’t need orders to go on a rampage.
    Shooting broke out on Tuesday in the capital Khartoum and the city's airport was briefly closed amid the clashes.

    The violence was sparked by a row over severance pay for officers in a much-feared intelligence agency that is being overhauled.
    Two soldiers were killed and four were injured in the worst unrest since Bashir was overthrown last April.

    Officials say 40 of the mutineers surrendered and intelligence chief Abu Bakr Mustafa handed in his resignation after he was blamed for failing to collect weapons from the pro-Bashir forces.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-51112518

    One of the things the interim government is doing is vastly reducing the size of the National Intelligence Security Service (the main internal enforcement arm of the Bashir government). I believe by about 9,000. A first severance payment of a total of $25 million arriving earlier this week was less than the expected $45 million, so a bunch of them took up their guns which they still had.

    Elki on
    smCQ5WE.jpg
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited January 24
    The EU (or rather, its paramount members, since no one gives a shit about the smaller members naturally), move to trigger the JCPOA's resolution solution mechanism. Iran is unsurprisingly very displeased with this as this editorial argues it has every right to be. Namely, the "tough guy act" is plainly obvious complicity with the Trump government's destruction of the deal and "maximum pressure" approach.

    Synthesis on
    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.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    The EU is getting leaned on by the US to fall in line.

    Commander ZoomGiantGeek2020
Sign In or Register to comment.