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Thread: Iraq: Out of the desert into Mosul (closed)

  1. #681
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    I think Western liberals are in denial about what they are up against. There the "Mecca verses of the Quran" (respectful of Christianity) and the "Medina verses" (which look like a go ahead to destroy Christians and Jews) - whatever is chosen is up to the individual Muslim.
    To say that interpretation is up to individuals isn’t to say that a document doesn’t have a core meaning. Almost everyone in the United States has an opinion on and an interpretation of our Constitution. Most of them know f@#k all about it and its history. I, for one, am not willing to say that the U.S. Constitution means whatever anyone thinks it means.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    You can’t get around a layer of expenses, though. Payment is going to go towards the maintenance of a Colonial Office or to the House of Saud. It’s a trade-off.
    The important point is the use of the money, civil servant pensions or Wahibism? Who is more likely to cut your throat?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Default Similarities between Boko Haram & ISIS

    Boko Haram warned Christians to flee Northern Nigeria in January 2012. Nobody can tell my that the similarity between this an ISIS behaviour is mere happenstance. This is a face of Islam, that many of us are too "politically correct" to confront.

    (CNN) -- The militant Islamist group Boko Haram has issued an ultimatum giving Christians living in northern Nigeria three days to leave the area amid a rising tide of violence there.
    A Boko Haram spokesman, Abul Qaqa, also said late Sunday that Boko Haram fighters are ready to confront soldiers sent to the area under a state of emergency declared in parts of four states by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday.
    "We will confront them squarely to protect our brothers," Abul Qaqa said during a telephone call with local media. He also called on Muslims living in southern Nigeria to "come back to the north because we have evidence they will be attacked."
    Recent weeks have seen an escalation in clashes between Boko Haram and security forces in the north-eastern states of Borno and Yobe, as well as attacks on churches and assassinations. Nearly 30 people were killed on Christmas Day at a Catholic church near the federal capital, Abuja -- a sign that Boko Haram is prepared to strike beyond its heartland.
    Human rights activist Shehu Sani told CNN that the latest Boko Haram threat is credible, but many Christians born and raised in the north have nowhere else to go.
    "The killings will continue," he said, and Boko Haram may respond to the state of emergency by taking its campaign of violence to areas not yet affected.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/02/wo...ons/index.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    The important point is the use of the money, civil servant pensions or Wahibism? Who is more likely to cut your throat?
    Neither is sustainable. Nor completely safe, as de Gaulle discovered.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    Boko Haram warned Christians to flee Northern Nigeria in January 2012. Nobody can tell my that the similarity between this an ISIS behaviour is mere happenstance. This is a face of Islam, that many of us are too "politically correct" to confront.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/02/wo...ons/index.html
    It’s a face, and I have no trouble acknowledging that. But it’s not the whole. People were waking to burning crosses in front of their yards within the living memory of the part of the U.S. where I grew up. That movement was made up of Christians with a certain take on Christianity. Only a Richard Dawkins type would say it is representative of all Christians or that it is an inevitable outcome of the religion.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    The important point is the use of the money, civil servant pensions or Wahibism? Who is more likely to cut your throat?
    I don't think the Saudis are unresponsive to U.S. diplomatic pressure. The House of Saud has close relationships many U.S. business interests and political families (most notably, the Bush family). But the Saudis are also deeply insecure about their governorship of the country, given the intense reactionary sentiment of the religious establishment. If it comes between appeasing Washington or appeasing the religious base, the Saudis will choose the religious base without fail. Of course, it doesn't help that the U.S. abandons its emphasis on democratic reform at the slightest hint of instability in the Gulf.

    My point is that there are few pressures for moderation and reform within Saudi Arabia (though it does exist at a grassroots level to a small extent) - that pressure needs to come from the West, particularly the U.S. Conflict produces cycles of escalation and radicalization, and we are seeing that culminate with ISIS after 13 years of the War on Terrorism. But even militarily defeating ISIS in Iraq (assuming it's possible) doesn't remove the more fundamental structural problems at the foundation of conflict in the Middle East. And I think foremost among those is democratic revolution in Saudi Arabia.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    It’s a face, and I have no trouble acknowledging that. But it’s not the whole. People were waking to burning crosses in front of their yards within the living memory of the part of the U.S. where I grew up. That movement was made up of Christians with a certain take on Christianity. Only a Richard Dawkins type would say it is representative of all Christians or that it is an inevitable outcome of the religion.
    It is growing at an alarming rate - just like those cross burners were an issue in the 1920s & 30s - these folks are an issue today.

    And they're a lot more dangerous than cross burners.

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    It has had nothing to do with Wahhabism or the KSA---it has been all about the Shia Sunni split and the drive between Iran since Khomeini to expand Shia influence inside the Muslim world which clashes with that of the KSA and their defense of the Sunni global community and then in turn the regional hegemony clash between both Iran and the KSA.

    The use of Wahhabism was the KSA attempt to control that Sunni global community and at the same time encircle the Shia global community with what they viewed a purer form of Sunni Islam.

    Actually the KSA has been over the last ten years backing off (have actually cut back their funding and training enters) of the deep Wahhabism global drive but in the end has been supporting the AQI in Syria due to the Shia Sunni conflict.

    Right now there is an estimated 3K Saudi's (many former military trained types) fighting with the IS and the KSA has broken up a large IS cell recently inside the KSA.

    The IS has been actually threatening the destruction of the twin holy sites in the last week as they now view the KSA as not being radical enough--actually they do not view the KSA to be Takfiri enough for them. There is some indications in informal polling that the young generation inside the KSA are now more and more identifying with the IS and their messaging. By the way Wahhabism is not the same thing as Takfirism inside Sunni Islam.

    Check the IS Caliphates' map they released when they called out the Caliphate---they are taking Islam back to the golden age of the expanded influence they had in Spain, North Africa and the Arabian peninsular and that appeals to the young Muslim of today.

    IS has now become a direct threat to the KSA as well as a direct threat to Iran due to their deep Salafist hate of the Shia and any other religion that is not Salafist.

    This is not a Christian Islam thing ---it is a pure Sunni power politics debate for the heart and soul of the Sunni global community.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 08-09-2014 at 08:09 PM.

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    Slap the question is how we have reached this point in history.

    It was the West's failure to act in Syria - led by current US Administration - which set the scene for the current state of affairs in Iraq where it is all happening.

    Now when it is time to act and act decisively the Whitehouse dithers and places all kinds of self imposed limitations upon its response. Quite pathetic.

    It is American weakness that has opened the door for radical Islam to exploit. Tony Blair warned the world of the threat of radical Islam and the smart guys - we have a number around here - laughed him and his warning off. Its time to pay the price for the dithering and cowardice of western leadership now.

    It should never have got to this.


    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    That is an excellent analysis. The experts are approaching this all wrong. This is a Religious War and you must destroy the counter value targets first! Then go to counter force targets. That is part of the reason I keep pounding on some of the points I have made regardless of how controversial they may seem.

    ISIS is demonstrating that their God is more powerful than our God. If you want to defeat them you must destroy "THEIR" symbols of Religious authority and legitimacy, otherwise they are continuing to demonstrate that their God is better than every one else's, which gives them a tremendous psychological and recruiting advantage.

    The American military must admit that their old analysis and warfare techniques are not going to work and somehow face the fact that they must change their thinking and face the fact that this is not an Insurgency but is a Religious struggle for world domination.

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    Default Stay calm and carry on

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    The second phrase is or else.

    SWC seeks to promote dialogue on 'small wars' and related subjects. We have RoE and are not a political board. Accordingly I have acted to edit out a few phrases where the language is OTT and damaging to SWC. We pride ourselves on being a place to come to, read, maybe engage and above all value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    The U.S. is not fighting a religious war and neither are most Muslims.
    Yes, the US currently is very confused about what is going on in the world right now.

    Screwed up Libya, dithered on Syria until it boiled over, presided over a bad ending in Iraq, impotent with respct to Ukraine and Gaza and we await the anticipated collapse in Afghanistan.

    I put it to you that the US does not know what the hell is going on in the world around it.

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    Posted by JMA

    It was the West's failure to act in Syria - led by current US Administration - which set the scene for the current state of affairs in Iraq where it is all happening.
    As for Syria leading to the situation in Iraq, it certainly didn't help it (nor could we have changed that dynamic), but it would have happened anyway. Read about AQ's strategy in Iraq, they were making significant progress independent of anything happening in Syria. See the link I provided above on the Rise of the ISI. It actually provides great insight into their campaign plan, and what we can anticipate in the future.

    Key excerpts:

    That campaign was absolutely crucial in allowing the Islamic State to start its second 12-month campaign, which was “Soldier’s Harvest.” That has essentially seen the Islamic State launch a really concerted, high-level and brutal campaign of multiple bombings, large and small, and a concerted campaign of assassinations. Essentially, it sought to spark the perceptions of sectarian conflict within Iraqi dynamics and to transfer what were existing sectarian tensions within the political system, for example, back into the tribal thinking, back into societal thinking. That, in effect, created a vacuum which the Islamic State felt it would be able to step into, and in many respects that is what it has managed to do just in the last couple of months.
    This nests perfectly with AQ's Management of Savagery strategy that is available via a Google search.

    The bombings not only influenced that element of sectarian conflict in Iraq, but additionally, it also enforced a serious level of intimidation on the security forces – to the extent to which it was possible on a very local level for Islamic State commanders to essentially force the local army commanders to surrender without a fight. And certainly from what it’s been possible to see from Mosul in early June, that seems to have been what happened when the city fell. A lot of that was the result of this expansive intelligence and intimidation campaign, in addition to military attacks which had been taking place across Sunni areas of Iraq for at least the last two or three years.
    Interesting comment

    There will come a point at which the Islamic State will feel that if it continues the kind of gains that it’s making at the moment, it will reach a point at which it feels like it doesn’t anymore need these relationships with some of these groups. It will be at that point – where [the Islamic State] begins to assert itself more unilaterally – that you could start to see these relationships crumble.
    Goes on to say that

    Having said that, the Islamic State has proven its ability to pragmatically withdraw from territory where it feels like it can’t win – and then to later go back and recapture it. That’s what it’s doing in Syria at the moment.
    Indicates they have a plan and can adapt to changes on the ground. I be the lone voice in this discussion, but I think the President is right that regarding military operations only having a minimal effect until the Iraqi government cleans up its act. Once there is a government worth fighting for, it will be easier (not easy) to clean ISI out of the key areas, especially if they continue to fight as a semi-conventional force. We can do that now, but to what end if we can't consolidate the victory with viable political control to hold the ground?

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Thanks to fracking maybe we can finally admit what they are up to and do something about it.
    The impact of fracking is much overrated. Whether or not the US actually buys Saudi oil, we still need Saudi production to continue unabated, because any serious interruption to Saudi production would send the world oil price through the roof, producing economic chaos... and our domestically produced oil is sold at prevailing market price: the difference between WTI, Brent, and Dubai prices is generally negligible.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    There is something else about the Saudis that I comment upon but never get a response to. They are using Western benignity to destroy us. What I mean by that is this. If the Western culture was now as it was in the 17th or 18th century, we wouldn't be worrying about what the Saudis do because they would have no money to do it with. We would have just taken the oil and that would be that. But our values advanced beyond that and we now pay them for the oil found there, oil that we extract because they can't do it themselves.. They in turn can be viewed as using that money to promote and subsidize an ideology that seeks to destroy us. That does not seem wise to me. We should tell them to stop or else.
    Or else what?
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Yes, the US currently is very confused about what is going on in the world right now.

    Screwed up Libya, dithered on Syria until it boiled over, presided over a bad ending in Iraq, impotent with respct to Ukraine and Gaza and we await the anticipated collapse in Afghanistan.

    I put it to you that the US does not know what the hell is going on in the world around it.
    The US did screw up in Iraq and Afghanistan, but at the beginning, not at the end. The screwup lay in the arrogance and hubris implicit in the belief that American intervention could solve the problems in those countries, and that it would be possible to "install democracy" and make it work.

    The US does seem to have learned a bit from those mistakes, and they appear to be a bit more restrained about trying to solve other people's problems.

    Criticisms of policy in places like Syria, Libya, and Gaza would be more credible if accompanied by some suggestion of what might have been a better policy... ideally a serious suggestion, not a facetious claim that three cruise missiles would have solved the problem, or something similar.

    Knowing what is going on is one issue, having a viable plan for doing something about it is another.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    It has had nothing to do with Wahhabism or the KSA---
    Nonsense. It has everything to do with Wahhabism and KSA.

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    it has been all about the Shia Sunni split and the drive between Iran since Khomeini to expand Shia influence inside the Muslim world which clashes with that of the KSA and their defense of the Sunni global community and then in turn the regional hegemony clash between both Iran and the KSA.
    Again more non-sense. The competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia is about power, not religion. They are the competing regional hegemons in the Gulf, and Iran is inherently the stronger state by size, population, and resources. KSA's response has been to increase relations with the U.S., export terrorism, and build its alliance of Gulf kingdoms. At the same time, it has been desperate to shore up its religious legitimacy lest it face a revolt at home from the religious base.

    Actually the KSA has been over the last ten years backing off (have actually cut back their funding and training enters) of the deep Wahhabism global drive but in the end has been supporting the AQI in Syria due to the Shia Sunni conflict.
    The Saudis care less that the Syrian leadership is not Sunni than they care that Syria, since its independence, has been one of the leading voices of Arab nationalism and a competitor for regional hegemony; first through control of the opposition to Israel. KSA joined the Syrian civil war to destroy the ally of its main adversary, Iran, not because they're concerned about which prayers the Assad family uses.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    I don't think anyone is listening - not Boko Haram in my native Nigeria, not ISIS Iraq nor a not so insignificant number of Muslims.

    I think Western liberals are in denial about what they are up against. There the "Mecca verses of the Quran" (respectful of Christianity) and the "Medina verses" (which look like a go ahead to destroy Christians and Jews) - whatever is chosen us up to the individual Muslim.

    Ustaz Mahmood Taha (Republican Brothers) advocated a return to the "Mecca verses" - he was hanged in the 1980's in Sudan. A more tolerant version of Islam (West African Sufism) is under threat by Salafism promoted by America's ally (Saudi Arabia).

    Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of Western liberals. I'm a Nigerian Christian. I know a face of Islam that Western academics, liberals, journalists, diplomats, policy makers and analysts pretend doesn't exist.

    I cannot afford to be "politically correct".
    God Bless you, perhaps one day my country will have the courage that you do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Boy Slap, are people mad at you. But you are on to something which people are loath to admit. This is about religion. And you and American Pride are both onto something when you guys point at Saudi Arabia. I don't advocate flattening Mecca and Medina, that would be foolish, but something has to be done about Saudi Arabia. For whatever reason they have been heavily subsidizing officially and unofficially Wahabism throughout the world for decades. Wahabi is not synonymous with peaceful tolerance and they spend billions and billions pushing it everywhere they can. Thanks to fracking maybe we can finally admit what they are up to and do something about it.

    There is something else about the Saudis that I comment upon but never get a response to. They are using Western benignity to destroy us. What I mean by that is this. If the Western culture was now as it was in the 17th or 18th century, we wouldn't be worrying about what the Saudis do because they would have no money to do it with. We would have just taken the oil and that would be that. But our values advanced beyond that and we now pay them for the oil found there, oil that we extract because they can't do it themselves.. They in turn can be viewed as using that money to promote and subsidize an ideology that seeks to destroy us. That does not seem wise to me. We should tell them to stop or else.
    Hi carl,
    Yea I know there are hit squads out looking for me

    You may find this of some interest even if nobody else does. Israel and what they are doing is a perfect example of what I am talking about. It is called "Equivalent Retaliation" ###-for-Tat is the slang term. It literally means if you attack me I will attack you back in the same way, if you stop I will stop, if you continue I will continue. "Counter Value" means if you strike civilian targets I will hit back at civilian targets. If you attack my church I will attack your mosque,etc. And is not illegal or a war crime as it is often believed to be. The Prime Minister of Israel ended up having to explain this to the President of the UN recently.

    Wilf published an excellent article recently on Strategy (over at his journal) and how brutal Strategy may have to be in order to be effective. It is not very Politically correct so I want post a link but you know where it is. He even sighted a TV program I watch and recommend to people it is called "Sons Of Anarchy" new season is about to start as a way to learn effective Strategy. Later

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Nonsense. It has everything to do with Wahhabism and KSA.



    Again more non-sense. The competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia is about power, not religion. They are the competing regional hegemons in the Gulf, and Iran is inherently the stronger state by size, population, and resources. KSA's response has been to increase relations with the U.S., export terrorism, and build its alliance of Gulf kingdoms. At the same time, it has been desperate to shore up its religious legitimacy lest it face a revolt at home from the religious base.



    The Saudis care less that the Syrian leadership is not Sunni than they care that Syria, since its independence, has been one of the leading voices of Arab nationalism and a competitor for regional hegemony; first through control of the opposition to Israel. KSA joined the Syrian civil war to destroy the ally of its main adversary, Iran, not because they're concerned about which prayers the Assad family uses.
    AP I don't understand why Westerners at this point in time deny that much of this conflict is certainly about religion. The Sunni and Shia divide was certainly over interpretation of religion, as was the jihad that established the original caliphate which extended into Spain. There is always politics involved, but I think it is a mistake to believe we will solve the current conflict between Shias and Sunnis through a combination of political and economic structural changes. There are clearly two major sets of actors in this conflict, states and non-state. State actors leverage religion to pursue political ends, while non-state actors leverage states to pursue religious ends.

    The politics is always local argument tends to fall apart when you see Islamists (and others) coming from around the world to support their particular religious sect (or extremist group based on religion). Politics are ultimately about identity groups, and if the identity group is based on religion and transcends state borders, and the goals of those identity groups (in some cases) are get everyone to submit to their particular religious view then how can we rationally deny it is a religious war? Are other factors, important factors involved? Most certainly, but we can't erase the religious aspect just to make it conform to our theory about conflicts and war.

    King Jaja makes important points, as do other religious groups who are being targeted by the Islamists. We can ignore them and look at the world differently, but that doesn't change the underlying reality of why people are fighting. A theory is only good as long as it works, our political theories of conflict don't explain what is happening today. I disagree with Outlaw that this conflict has nothing to do with Christians, they're certainly being targeted throughout much of the Muslim world by Islamists. That leads to formally normal citizens like Slapout, embracing extremist ideas of their own and the character of the conflict evolves/changes over time. King Jaja may be able to spread light on this, but even 20 years ago various international Christian groups were smuggling arms into Nigeria to help the Christians battle/defend themselves against the Muslims. This wasn't sponsored by any state, but by religious groups. It is a multi-dimensional problem of which religion plays a significant role.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    AP I don't understand why Westerners at this point in time deny that much of this conflict is certainly about religion. The Sunni and Shia divide was certainly over interpretation of religion, as was the jihad that established the original caliphate which extended into Spain. There is always politics involved, but I think it is a mistake to believe we will solve the current conflict between Shias and Sunnis through a combination of political and economic structural changes. There are clearly two major sets of actors in this conflict, states and non-state. State actors leverage religion to pursue political ends, while non-state actors leverage states to pursue religious ends.

    The politics is always local argument tends to fall apart when you see Islamists (and others) coming from around the world to support their particular religious sect (or extremist group based on religion). Politics are ultimately about identity groups, and if the identity group is based on religion and transcends state borders, and the goals of those identity groups (in some cases) are get everyone to submit to their particular religious view then how can we rationally deny it is a religious war? Are other factors, important factors involved? Most certainly, but we can't erase the religious aspect just to make it conform to our theory about conflicts and war.

    King Jaja makes important points, as do other religious groups who are being targeted by the Islamists. We can ignore them and look at the world differently, but that doesn't change the underlying reality of why people are fighting. A theory is only good as long as it works, our political theories of conflict don't explain what is happening today. I disagree with Outlaw that this conflict has nothing to do with Christians, they're certainly being targeted throughout much of the Muslim world by Islamists. That leads to formally normal citizens like Slapout, embracing extremist ideas of their own and the character of the conflict evolves/changes over time. King Jaja may be able to spread light on this, but even 20 years ago various international Christian groups were smuggling arms into Nigeria to help the Christians battle/defend themselves against the Muslims. This wasn't sponsored by any state, but by religious groups. It is a multi-dimensional problem of which religion plays a significant role.
    I don't know about Christian groups smuggling arms to local Christians in Nigeria, but we've had a low intensity religious war between Muslims and Christians going on in Northern Nigeria for close to 20 years - the roots of this conflict even go further in the past.

    If you listen carefully to Boko Haram, they tap into the grievances of Muslims - there have been massacres in Yelwa, Kaduna, Dogo na Hawa - pitting each side against the other.

    About 10 - 30,000 people killed last decade - this was before Boko Haram

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    Let me also add that I'm not sure the US fully understands what's going on here - it is focused on "terrorism" with a minor focus on "social justice", but one thing that escapes the attention of many US analysts is this: the post-colonial order in Afrika and the Middle-east is being challenged.

    There is state failure and yes, there is state formation. Somalia is a failed state, it gave rise to terrorism, but it also gave raise to Somaliland - a de facto, not de jure state under international law. In the 20 odd years in which the rest of Somalia failed, Somaliland has done remarkably well in building its own institutions.

    Just like US prefers to maintain the fiction that Congo is a "state", it persisted in maintaining the fiction that a united Iraq can exist without a brutal, unifying dictator. ISIS has triggered what was always going to happen - a partition of Iraq & has also created new facts on the ground.

    US has spent the past 50 years maintaining French, British & Portuguese spheres of influence in the developing World without asking deep questions about the "hows" and the "whys" of "state formation" in these parts of the globe.

    US is invested in the Sahel, ostensibly to check the "spread of terrorism" - but has anyone asked about the roots of the Toureg rebellions of 1962 -64, 1990 - 95 and 2012 in Mali?

    US intervenes, then it looks like Iraq again - a lot of the underlying issues were kept hidden by the French, then US discovers a lot of stuff it should have known going in.

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