News Iraqi unrest, Syrian unrest, and ISIS/ISIL/Daesh

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Astronuc

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Why ISIS Sees an Elderly Priest as a Threat to the Caliphate
http://observer.com/2016/07/why-isis-sees-an-elderly-priest-as-a-threat-to-the-caliphate/
Their targeting of Jews is as clear as it is for any other terror group from Hamas to al-Qaeda to the mullahs in Tehran: they want to wipe Israel off the map and seize Al-Aqsa for Muslims. ISIS’ war in the Sinai, infiltration in Gaza and its goal of carving “pathways” through Jordan and Lebanon are critical cogs in their strategy to be the ones to “liberate” Jerusalem. According to an ISIS e-book, “Black Flags from Palestine,” they think the final confrontation with the antichrist will be at Ben Gurion International Airport.

When noting ISIS’ broader attacks against Christians, recent events have grimly underscored the group’s special targeting of Catholics.

The sacking of Rome and the Holy See, after all, is essential to their apocalyptic game plan.
Daesh and their affiliates achieve new lows in depravity.
 

mheslep

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Reading through old posts in thread ...
Maybe the best solution would be to split Iraq in three. One piece for Kurds, one piece for Sunnis, and one piece for the Shi'ite people. Of course I think it should happen at an international negotiation table with the involvement of: Kurds, Sunni Iraqis, Shi'ite Iraqis, Iran, Syria, USA, Russia and China.

It worked in India, but it was very, very bloody...

Yes, bloody. One could just as well say the partition of India "is", but that it did not "work".

Estimates of the dead vary from 200,000 (the contemporary British figure) to two million (a later Indian estimate) but that somewhere around a million people died is now widely accepted.
https://www.nytimes.com/books/first/b/butalia-silence.html
 

nsaspook

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Astronuc

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What Life is Like for the Children of War-Torn Aleppo
https://www.yahoo.com/news/life-children-war-torn-aleppo-113321765.html
The bloodied, dust-covered face of Omran Daqneesh, the five-year-old Syrian boy recovered from the rubble left by an airstrike this week, has shocked the world.

Omran has become a symbol of the ongoing civil war in Syria, but he is just one of an estimated 75,000 children fighting to survive in eastern Aleppo, the divided and once-great city at the heart of the struggle between the regime of Bashar Assad and the rebels attempting to oust him.
Pro-government forces aided by Russian air support, make life even more difficult for the 300,000 Syrians still living there.

http://time.com/4457417/aleppo-boy-ambulance-omran-syria/
 

Bystander

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http://www.wral.com/us-says-it-may-have-struck-syrian-troops-while-targeting-is/16022599/ [Broken]" ... unintentionally ... ?"
 
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nsaspook

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The 'ceasefire' is over.
Syrian and Russian warplanes have reportedly mounted the heaviest air strikes in months against rebel-held districts of the city of Aleppo overnight, defying U.S. calls for a halt to flights in order to salvage an all but buried ceasefire. Mana Rabiee reports.
 
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Astronuc

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The 'ceasefire' is over.
A ceasefire that never was. 'Cease fire' means ceasing fire, not a reduction in rate of firing.

A now the Russians (and perhaps Assad's pilots) are apparently using 'bunker busters' or more deeply penetrating bombs to go after residents sheltering in basements. The Syrian regime (and possibly Russian aircraft) have targeted hospitals and ambulances.
 

nsaspook

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http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/01/politics/kerry-audio-recording-syria/index.html
He later added, "A lot of Americans don't believe that we should be fighting and sending young Americans over to die in another country."
If the reason is to replace Assad with another despot then I totally agree.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37507207
But Russia's military role ensured that the Assad leadership was not going to be removed from the chessboard.

This made Washington revise its own approach and pursue what has largely proved an illusory effort, to develop some kind of partnership with Russia.

The United States was compelled not just to deal with Russia as a diplomatic equal but also to shift its own stance towards the Assad government to one - that for all the obfuscation - falls well short of its long-time insistence that President Assad had to go, as the essential pre-condition for any negotiated settlement.

The indiscriminate nature of the Russian and Syrian air campaigns - exemplified by the current struggle over Aleppo - has certainly not won Russia many friends in the West.

Russia has been accused by several governments of barbarity and potentially committing war crimes.

According to the UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, almost 4,000 civilians have been killed in one year of Russian strikes.

But Western public opinion seems largely unmoved by the struggle; perhaps to an extent a reflection of war weariness in the wake of the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.
 
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jim hardy

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mheslep

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Some media outlets have been recently noting a history written by former Kennedy School professor Samantha Power. Power won recognition with her 2001 article, Bystanders to Genocide, published in the Atlantic regarding the 1994 genocide in Rwanda which killed an estimated 800,000 people in three months. Power's article cites the relevant history of the Clinton administration and Kofi Annan's UN at the time, and describes a damning story of willful avoidance in the US diplomatic community, the US military, and the White House. Power developed the history into a book which won the Pulitzer prize. The recognition won Power a position in the 2008 Obama campaign.

Power resigned from the Obama campaign after calling the then Senator Clinton a "monster". Now of course Power is United States Ambassador to the United Nations, and there is another mass slaughter underway. The UN as of Feb 2016 estimated 470,000 dead in Syria from the war there, and since then has stopped providing public estimates.
 
Russia has clearly committed to Assad. Exactly what end games are we looking at? Either we go to war against Russia or we abandon Syria. It's fairly clear we will abandon Syria because it's less risky than engaging Russia. The strategy of proxy war is lost unless the rebels suddenly get anti air units. Is there another way?
 

mheslep

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... It's fairly clear we will abandon Syria because it's less risky than engaging Russia. ...
Plenty of other ways to apply pressure on Russia. But why single out Syria to be abandoned? A real line as to where Russia cant go should be established. Does this apply to Ukraine, eastern Europe? Russia goes into Iraq, or proxies into Israel? Russia attacks a US Navy vessel in the Black Sea?

It's also important to think back about what early intervention could have done in Syria. The US/NATO could have destroyed all of Assad's air power at the beginning of the civil war, air power with which he bombed civilians, well before the Russians were involved. Maintaining a US force in neighboring IRAQ with air assets would have helped. The excuse of no Status of Forces Agreement is now clearly seen as nonsense with 5K troops back in Iraq.
 
Plenty of other ways to apply pressure on Russia. But why single out Syria to be abandoned? A real line as to where Russia cant go should be established.
Because this thread is about Syria :) Russia won't leave Syria. Assad is unlikely to lose as long as Russia is there.
 

russ_watters

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Still not sure what your question is.
Based on what I implied in my first Syria threads 3 and 5 years ago, I'm going to guess he means that in order to abandon someone you first have to have some sort of control or influence that you can then give up.

I'm not sure the characterization is completely accurate, since we of course did assert some level of influence....we just knew for years that it was only enough to prolong the war, not to help get the outcome we were looking for.
 
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mheslep

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Because this thread is about Syria :) Russia won't leave Syria. Assad is unlikely to lose as long as Russia is there.
Yes. I was addressing the open ended part your comment that engagement of Russia is too risky for the US. Surely this assertion is not meant to be universal and has limits, somewhere before the Russia flag is flown over the US Capital due to risk avoidance.

If there are to be declarations about what is too risky for the US abroad, I think it's also a good idea to declare what the US will defend despite risk, else others will endeavor to make the decision for us.
 

jim hardy

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Still not sure what your question is. Nothing seems to work as long as Russia is actively supporting Assad.

Abandon i first took as negative, throw them to the sharks.
Then it dawned on me there's more than one sense to the verb and i wasn't sure what was your intended meaning . So i looked it up and that's Webster's #3
Having watched Assad interviewed twice on TV i'm of the opinion 1a is a healthy choice. "Arming moderate rebels" was throwing Syria to the sharks.

I've said it before , we should be helping Putin help Assad kick Isis's butt out of his country.
 

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jim hardy

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at the least, stop the "show" of PC interference.

The righteous indignation over hacked emails while we overthrow governments all over mideast seems to me incongruous..
 

Bystander

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Anything else?
Egypt? Libya? (that's stretching the geographic definition, yes ... but, the spirit of "the Arab spring" is maintained)
 

mheslep

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The question was about who or what "overthrow" governments "all over" the ME.. How many US divisions invaded Egypt and Libya?

There are now half a million dead in the Syrian civil war. Can the hand waiving nonsense proceed to the sidelines?
 

jim hardy

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Examples please? You have the 2003 Iraq war, thirteen years ago. Anything else?
Egypt, Libyia, Ukraine, attempts in Syria and Turkey just since i recently started paying attention .
 

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