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Thread: Middle East Sectarian War

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Middle East Sectarian War

    So, I posted a thread some years ago now on the Arab Spring. And here we are, with Baghdad being threatened by Islamists. Pretty rapid events. Discuss.

    One interesting aspect I would mention is relating to civil war in general. The paper seeks to construct a model of civil wars and the circumstances under which they emerge.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
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    Limber Member floid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makers!* View Post
    The not so invisible hand that moves the markets.

    One can't help but wonder if there might not be fewer wars if there weren't so much money to be made off them.

    The first name that comes to everyone’s mind here is Halliburton. According to MSN Money, Halliburton’s KBR, Inc. division bilked government agencies to the tune of $17.2 billion in Iraq war-related revenue from 2003-2006 alone. This is estimated to comprise a whopping one-fifth of KBR’s total revenue for the 2006 fiscal year. The massive payoff is said to have financed the construction and maintenance of military bases, oil field repairs, and various infrastructure rebuilding projects across the war-torn nation. This is just the latest in a long string of military/KBR wartime partnerships, thanks in no small part to Dick Cheney’s former role with the parent company.
    We seemed fairly indifferent to letting Rwandans "settle" their differences on their own by whatever means they chose.
    Think there's a correlation?
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    gryffindor Hermione's Avatar
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    11 facts that explain the escalating crisis in Iraq:

    The difference between the two largest Muslim groups originated with a controversy over who got to take power after the Prophet Muhammed's death, which you can read all about here. But Iraq's sectarian problems aren't about relitigating 7th century disputes; they're about modern political power and grievances.

    A majority of Iraqis are Shias, but Sunnis ran the show when Saddam Hussein, himself Sunni, ruled Iraq. The civil war after the American invasion had a brutally sectarian cast to it, and the pseudo-democracy that emerged afterwards empowered the Shia majority (with some heavy-handed help from Washington). The point is that the two groups don't trust each other, and so far have competed in a zero-sum game for control over Iraqi political institutions.

    So long as Shias control the government, and Sunnis don't feel like they're fairly represented, ISIS has an audience for its radical Sunni message. That's why ISIS is gaining in the heavily Sunni northwest
    .

    http://www.vox.com/2014/6/13/5803712...aq-crisis-isis

    But, how can it be 'civil war' when there wasn't ever one unified government, country, citizenry to begin with? Weren't they always warring factions, the sunnis and the shia?? And they just happened to not have an issue because under Saddam everyone had to run for their lives? Idk. It's very very old, very very long, very very messy. Do most civil wars begin over more sudden occurrences or long simmering 'issues' or does it even matter really? Help me out here, Fe.

    6. Iraq has another major ethno-religious group, the Kurds, who could matter in this fight
    So if ISIS takes Mosul then do the Kurds come into it, even if unwillingly? damn. It's not going to end. It never was going to and far too many of us knew that, too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermione View Post
    .

    http://www.vox.com/2014/6/13/5803712...aq-crisis-isis

    But, how can it be 'civil war' when there wasn't ever one unified government, country, citizenry to begin with? Weren't they always warring factions, the sunnis and the shia?? And they just happened to not have an issue because under Saddam everyone had to run for their lives? Idk. It's very very old, very very long, very very messy. Do most civil wars begin over more sudden occurrences or long simmering 'issues' or does it even matter really? Help me out here, Fe.



    So if ISIS takes Mosul then do the Kurds come into it, even if unwillingly? damn. It's not going to end. It never was going to and far too many of us knew that, too.
    My understanding of the situation is that Iraq under Saddam was analogous to Yugoslavia under Tito. The Ba'ath party was really only a thing among the Sunni minority, it seems. The Shia minority, and especially the Kurds, were brutally repressed.

    It looks like the Kurds might even try and use the situation to make a push for independence. Honestly, it looks like they are stronger than the Iraqi government.
    Last edited by msg_v2; 06-13-2014 at 10:11 PM.

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    gryffindor Hermione's Avatar
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    Thanks. But, the more you learn and the more you look at the Geography of the whole area, the factions involved, the uglier and more ominous the whole picture gets. Jeeeeezus. Fuck. There is my entire political opinion on this. I have a lot more to learn about it, but still.

    We got Iran who is already frothing at the mouth, champing at the bit, the Kurds who don't want what they have to get taken away, then Turkey is over there going wtf, again? Idk. It is not good.
    All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage. Mycroft Holmes

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    This is a repost from the "news articles" thread:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...iraq-us-troops

    Among those who took control of Tikrit were large numbers of former Ba'ath party members. Ba'athists were the cornerstone of Saddam Hussein's regime and have been persecuted ever since. Residents of Tikrit said some insurgents were wearing the drab green military fatigues worn by Saddam's army. "There are no Isis flags in town," said one local woman. "They are playing Saddam and Ba'ath party songs."
    Curioser and curioser.

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    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
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    Seems this has turned into another issue the right's trying to pin on the current admistration. Talk about shedding responsibility and spreading misinformation in the name of politics.

    Iraq not Obama called time on the us troop presence

    From Time magazine:

    In one of his final acts in office, President Bush in December of 2008 had signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government that set the clock ticking on ending the war he’d launched in March of 2003. The SOFA provided a legal basis for the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq after the United Nations Security Council mandate for the occupation mission expired at the end of 2008. But it required that all U.S. forces be gone from Iraq by January 1, 2012,
    Edit: I need a George W. stress doll I can wring the shit out of.

    Last edited by Makers; 06-14-2014 at 03:47 AM.
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    Member Aurast's Avatar
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    Quite inspiring, what such a small, ill-equipped force can accomplish propelled only by their determination and fearlessness!

    If the Iraqi army runs away from a few thousand guerrillas, airstrikes won't help. Airstrikes alone don't win wars. We need to either stay out entirely and commit entirely. Preferably the former. If we just drop some bombs around, ISIS will win anyway and just be madder at us (by the way, if you asked me to come up with a list of cool names for terrorist factions, ISIS would be right up there).

    This is looking a little bit like Vietnam in that the army is supposed to prop up a foreign-funded government that no one in the country appreciates. They are going to fail eventually. We may be seeing that now, or just a prototype of the eventuality. From what I've read it sounds like the militants do not have the manpower or popularity to hold what they currently have, let alone the rest of the country. But these things can change like the wind. Whatever does happen, it is not our place to intervene, we remain the outsiders with no understanding of the consequences of such intervention.

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    Member Aurast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slab_Bulkhead View Post
    My understanding of the situation is that Iraq under Saddam was analogous to Yugoslavia under Tito. The Ba'ath party was really only a thing among the Sunni minority, it seems. The Shia minority, and especially the Kurds, were brutally repressed.

    It looks like the Kurds might even try and use the situation to make a push for independence. Honestly, it looks like they are stronger than the Iraqi government.
    Kurds are like Spartans, they are always ready when this kind of thing happens. It is sort of amazing that a stateless people can whip together such an effective force.

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