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

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Bill:

    The IS goes beyond a dispute among Muslims. Way beyond. This is an ideology that has designs on the world. We underestimate them at our peril. I keep bringing up the Bolsheviks from 100 years ago as a parallel. If that is right, we will regret not taking action, at least to the extent of shipping money and weapons to the Kurds. We won't even do that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Bill:

    The IS goes beyond a dispute among Muslims. Way beyond. This is an ideology that has designs on the world. We underestimate them at our peril. I keep bringing up the Bolsheviks from 100 years ago as a parallel.
    The Bolsheviks were a mix of a lot of thugs, some thinkers, and some sadists. IS appears to be made up of some thugs and lots of sadists.

    I get the impression that they’re as vicious as the Khmer Rouge and not as smart. YMMV, but I don’t see how that mix could bode well for their long term fortunes.
    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
    Bill:

    The IS goes beyond a dispute among Muslims. Way beyond. This is an ideology that has designs on the world. We underestimate them at our peril. I keep bringing up the Bolsheviks from 100 years ago as a parallel. If that is right, we will regret not taking action, at least to the extent of shipping money and weapons to the Kurds. We won't even do that.
    Carl,

    I have written similar comments and still agree with myself , but that still doesn't mean the best way to fight them is to get in the middle of them fighting each other. In my opinion you're damn right they're a global threat, and most importantly to us they're a threat to our nation and our interests. There is no daylight between us on that aspect.

    Where we tend to diverge is how to deal with the threat, do we gain strategic advantage by getting bogged down in a quagmire in Syria? I don't think we do, and since there are already many countries providing support to the various separatist groups and Assad we won't bring much to the table to begin with, and we sure as heck IMO don't want to own the Syrian problem if Assad does fall. That plays into the AQ strategy of weakening our economy through prolonged asymmetric warfare. I also suspect we're providing covert support, and covert means you shouldn't be aware of it, but we can still suspect it. Again comments that we're not doing anything may not be accurate. This is one reason low visibility and covert operations are a difficult policy tool for democracies, since voters want to see action, or politicians risk getting tossed out. In many cases, again IMO, covert action would be the most intelligent approach, but political pressure often denies the President that option. The commis on Fox News beat the drums that it all the President's fault, while the commis on CNN want to have a hug fest with Hamas and wonder why Israel actually needs to kill people to defend themselves, but I digress.

    For Iraq, I think the situation is presenting us with an opportunity to strike AQ while maintain legitimacy. The President may prove to be right in his decision to postpone striking to let the situation evolve and put pressure on the Iraqi government to reform or die, and also to remind the people just how bad AQ is, so they'll be willing to rise up against them when the time is right. As a nation we don't have strategic patience, but these would seem good approaches to me to decisively defeat them in Iraq. I don't know what his calculus is, so while frustrated like most, I'm not passing judgment on his strategy until I understand it.

    The best thing that can happen in this fight is that the Iraqi people rise up (with supporting fires from the U.S. and others) and crush ISIS. That would be both a physical and psychological victory that could compel other entities to do the same.

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    Bill:

    Very well argued, especially your point about covert action. The problem is too big for just covert action perhaps. From what I read, the Kurds need ammo and heavy weapons. There aren't many ways to provide the quantities needed on the sly. Masses of weapons are masses of weapons.

    The other problem is with waiting so people can see how bad IS really is. At best that is an extremely tricky matter of timing, you get it wrong and a lot of people die. The Yazidis are finding that out now. You get it wrong and too, the IS gets that much stronger through the process of terrifying people into inaction or acquiesence (sic). Once their morale is broken through terror it takes a whole lot to get it back to the point where they will act. Watching your son get his head cut off tends to induce inaction I think. By our waiting that terror induced catatonia grows deeper.

    The other thing I think is rising up against IS is going to be far, far harder now than it was in 2006 and 2007 because the strongest tribe, the US military, isn't there anymore. They couldn't have done it then without the strongest tribe to back them up. And the longer we wait, the harder it will get.

    I do not however advocate sending ground troops back in. Lots of money, weapons, guys like you to guide things, aircraft like the old Air Commandos, AC-130s, the 160th maybe, but only if we do it such a way as to not become the Shia air force. In any event back the Kurds and any Sunni tribes who want to fight. We should have plenty of guys like you who still know the sheiks by first name who can coordinate things.

    Anyway, you argue your position well and I think we mostly disagree on timing. I think it is of the essence.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    The Bolsheviks were a mix of a lot of thugs, some thinkers, and some sadists. IS appears to be made up of some thugs and lots of sadists.

    I get the impression that they’re as vicious as the Khmer Rouge and not as smart. YMMV, but I don’t see how that mix could bode well for their long term fortunes.
    Perhaps. But I figure we have to judge by accomplishments which have been pretty impressive so far. I think we may be reluctant to say the devil incarnate is devilishly intelligent, but if they are we had better recognize it.

    Zenpundit comments that one of the aspects of their genius is despite their horrific cruelty, they are still hanging on to a sort of moral high ground in the Muslim world, witness all those young foreign men flocking to their banner. He compares it to the sort of moral high ground the Commies held for decades amongst so many people in the West despite their murdering tens of millions.

    These guys are damn smart. It hurts to say that about people so bad but I think it is true.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Perhaps. But I figure we have to judge by accomplishments which have been pretty impressive so far. I think we may be reluctant to say the devil incarnate is devilishly intelligent, but if they are we had better recognize it.

    Zenpundit comments that one of the aspects of their genius is despite their horrific cruelty, they are still hanging on to a sort of moral high ground in the Muslim world, witness all those young foreign men flocking to their banner. He compares it to the sort of moral high ground the Commies held for decades amongst so many people in the West despite their murdering tens of millions.

    These guys are damn smart. It hurts to say that about people so bad but I think it is true.
    Yes, and can you believe our fearless commander and chief is still going on vacation with his 1% banker buddies at Martha Vineyard. We are a completely leaderless country and the Muzzelims know it. Those folks that have been warning us for years that he is a secret Muslim don't look so crazy now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Zenpundit comments that one of the aspects of their genius is despite their horrific cruelty, they are still hanging on to a sort of moral high ground in the Muslim world, witness all those young foreign men flocking to their banner. He compares it to the sort of moral high ground the Commies held for decades amongst so many people in the West despite their murdering tens of millions.
    There was a certain kind of Western support for the Soviet project in its earliest years. There was even an analogous emigration to the Soviet Union. There was a very different, at-a-distance support after Stalin Gulag-ed and purged those emigrants. It’s way too soon to see if things will play out the same way with the IS. But AQ in Iraq had decent popular support at one point, too, but they couldn’t help overplaying their hand. And this crew has been rejected by AQ in Iraq for being too hardcore!

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    These guys are damn smart. It hurts to say that about people so bad but I think it is true.
    They’ve done a good job of seeing the opportunity in a crisis, there’s no denying that.

    It’s apples and oranges in the end, but after your comparison to the Bolsheviks had sat with me for a couple of hours it occurred to me that as extremist leftist movements go, the IS reminds me more of the Shining Path. They’re completely uncompromising and own up to the violence they perpetrate. They can keep the members of a civilian populace and a government apparatus in states of terror, but they don’t really have much of a plan for maintaining a society. There are societies that have been run on pure fear for decades, but the showrunners came to power singing a different tune. The initial years of Kim-il Sung and Gaddafi had something of a mandate, and those two leveraged their mandates into strangleholds on civil society. There’s really not any indication that the IS has anything like a mandate, is there?

    Anyway, just thinking out loud. I certainly don’t think “out of sight, out of mind” is the way to treat the IS, if that isn’t clear.
    Last edited by ganulv; 08-09-2014 at 06:01 AM.
    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 OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Jwing---was working through some research on Shia and Sunni historical development and stumbled across the former al Baghdadi history and shifted from him into the Caliph concept historically represented in the various Islamic historical writings.

    If you noticed outside of the first outbursts from leading Sunni thinkers about the Caliph being wrong---it has gone silent.

    If my readings are correct--- because the historical writings and the use of the name of the former al Baghdadi seems and again Islamic historical writings are always open to interpretation---seems that the IS made a shrewd move on their part and in fact the IS might have the right interpretation of the historical writings.

    In the Sunni Islamic stream of faith there are currently three Salafist groups moving at the same time and parallel to each other; 1) the purists who are not political and are fully into Islam and it's meanings, 2) the political types who are throwing out the terms down with US control of the ME/against globalization as it effects the ME etc and where a small number then drift into 3) the jihadists side.

    There is an old German saying here in Berlin not all Salafists are terrorists, but all terrorists are Salafists.

    If you look at al Baghdadi's statements since he has taken over and the IS actions they are in fact riding all three streams of the Salafist movement and appeal to all factions even al Duri's faction as the Sufi have been the "spreaders" of the faith for a really long time.

    IMO al Baghdadi and the IS have hit the middle point of the Salafist movement that the AQ mothership failed in reaching even under UBL. The AQ mothership needs to be forewarned as al Baghdadi is not going away any time soon nor as it appears the IS is either.
    IS moved fast in taking and holding ground. The terrorist troops are well trained. Why? Because they have technical knowledge as to how to operate tanks and AFV's. This suggests that the [Sunni]fighters of IS are former [Saddam Era] Iraqi Army officers, Republican Guard, and Fedayeen. It is interesting to me that in the media you see these "experts" commenting on the BRUTALITY of IS, but none has raised the point that IS atrocities and the public display of those atrocities in the social media and otherwise are making full use of PSYOPS. IS defeats its opposition psychologically before it ever encounters them in the field. It reminds me somewhat of what Sun Tzu said about the optimum in warfare is having the ability to defeat your enemy without firing a shot. I don't see men of absolutely no military experience having the mental disposition to wage war like the IS terrorists do. The approach is too professional even if it is reprehensible under the Rules of Land Warfare.

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    novelist,

    The IS has former members of Saddam's army, but probably more relevant they have former members of the Syrian Army. Additionally the different terrorist groups have members from various militaries to include Pakistan and even some western armies. Finding folks with the expertise to teach someone to use the various pieces of ground equipment, or simply looking that up online, shouldn't be too hard. Gaining expertise (practice) is another thing, and then using all that equipment together in a combined arms fashion is another thing altogether. Reports indicate they're employing a combined arms approach, so to me that indicates that some rather senior former military leaders are instrumental in this movement. Maybe not, but it looks like, and smells like that is the case.

    For everyone else if you haven't seen the PBS special it worth the 90 minutes to watch it.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...ampaignId=1000

    Losing Iraq


    Also worth reading:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...ampaignId=1000

    Inside the Rise of ISIS

    According to the author this situation would have happened regardless of whether the uprising in Syria happened or not.

    That process, as far as I’m concerned, actually began as early as mid-to-late 2009. It was at that point that the Islamic State was in some ways forced to devolve into a typical terrorist organization. At that point it relocated much of its central leadership to Mosul [Iraq], which was a relative safe zone, and it was at that point that it essentially began its period of recovery.
    The “Soldier’s Harvest” campaign has been the second of two 12-month campaigns. The first one was the campaign known as “Breaking the Walls.”

    One of the primary objectives of that operation was to re-establish sources of leverage against security forces. A lot of that was done through a very significant campaign of intimidation — including collecting local intelligence on the addresses and family details of local security forces across the country.

    A secondary objective of that initial campaign was the breaking out of prison of not only ordinary Islamic State foot soldiers, but most importantly, senior leading commanders, who’d been in prison for the final year or so of the U.S.-led surge in Iraq.

  10. #670
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    Default Profiling Beats Strategy !!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by novelist View Post
    IS moved fast in taking and holding ground. The terrorist troops are well trained. Why? Because they have technical knowledge as to how to operate tanks and AFV's. This suggests that the [Sunni]fighters of IS are former [Saddam Era] Iraqi Army officers, Republican Guard, and Fedayeen. It is interesting to me that in the media you see these "experts" commenting on the BRUTALITY of IS, but none has raised the point that IS atrocities and the public display of those atrocities in the social media and otherwise are making full use of PSYOPS. IS defeats its opposition psychologically before it ever encounters them in the field. It reminds me somewhat of what Sun Tzu said about the optimum in warfare is having the ability to defeat your enemy without firing a shot. I don't see men of absolutely no military experience having the mental disposition to wage war like the IS terrorists do. The approach is too professional even if it is reprehensible under the Rules of Land Warfare.

    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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    Yes, ISIS is waging a religious war, but what percent of the global Muslim population does ISIS represent? Worse case would be 10% (that is certainly high). You want to blow up religious symbols which will generate even more support for them. You accuse the President of being a secret Muslim, even if he was so what? Yet you're the one promoting a strategy that would support ISIS. Think about the 2d and 3d order effects of what you're promoting.

    Destroying religious symbols is little more than an emotional approach that would accomplish nothing militarily, and only serve to set us back politically. ISIS is waging a religious war, we are NOT waging a religious war just because one of our adversaries are. We are waging a war against AQAA. The religious aspect is critical, but that doesn't mean we need to engage in religious war, we just need to understand our adversary is and what that means.

    Consider reversing your proposal, if someone blew up your church would you roll over and quit? Or would you mobilize and resist harder? History indicates most will pursue the second option.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 08-09-2014 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Too harsh

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    Default What the Prophet and the Quran really say

    A timely article from Time: 'ISIS Is Ignoring Islam’s Teachings on Yazidis and Christians':https://time.com/3093732/isis-iraq-y...nd-christians/

    Here's what the Prophet and the Quran really say about how to treat the two faith groups

    (Ends with) To the ISIS or anyone who sympathizes with them, know that Islam believes in a God of mercy, a scripture of mercy, and a Prophet who sent as a mercy to all the worlds. It is time to abandon persecution and violence, murder and mayhem. The enemy you seek to fight is within you. The pursuit of power is the problem. The pursuit of peace and social justice is what God really calls us to. Put down your arms. And, raise up your hands to the sky seeking God’s forgiveness for unconscionable sins.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    That is right. It is time we face the reality that we are fighting a Religious War and there is know Strategy. But there can and should be justice. The Islamic barbarians are killing Christian women and children in the most horrific ways! They have destroyed church upon church some that date back to the 8th century and beyond and they burned holy Christian documents that can never be replaced.
    The U.S. is not fighting a religious war and neither are most Muslims. Several militant organizations that identity as Muslim claim to be fighting a religious war, but that does not mean the U.S., in response, should combat the one billion Muslims living today.

    So it is time to face the fact that we are not fighting a religion of peace we are fighting a Satanic cult and traditional laws and rules used by normal human beings will not work against the ***** animals we are facing.... everything they value should be wiped off the face of the earth.
    Genocide much?

    And Saudi Arabia should be made to pay for it all since they are the ones that started this crap to start with.
    That's true to an extent. Unfortunately for the Saudis (and their neighbors and the U.S.), the royal family is always balancing its material security with its religious legitimacy. That's the consequence of making an alliance with the religious establishment many decades ago. It wasn't until 1979 with the seizure of the Grand Mosque, the Iranian Revolution, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that militant Islam took root. And that's not because the Saudis are hell-bent on conquering the world, but for the sake of the kingdom's political survival. The solution is not to enrage the whole Muslim faith by destroying their religious sites but to reform the Saudi state.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 08-09-2014 at 05:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    If you're going to continue to promote genocide, hatred, and attacking religious symbols you would be better off posting somewhere else other than SWJ. I don't think our community wants to be associated with the tripe that be found on extremist websites. This has nothing to do with being politically correct, your proposals are contrary to sound strategy period.
    +1

    That kind of garbage should be taken elsewhere.
    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 novelist View Post
    IS moved fast in taking and holding ground. The terrorist troops are well trained. Why? Because they have technical knowledge as to how to operate tanks and AFV's. This suggests that the [Sunni]fighters of IS are former [Saddam Era] Iraqi Army officers, Republican Guard, and Fedayeen. It is interesting to me that in the media you see these "experts" commenting on the BRUTALITY of IS, but none has raised the point that IS atrocities and the public display of those atrocities in the social media and otherwise are making full use of PSYOPS. IS defeats its opposition psychologically before it ever encounters them in the field. It reminds me somewhat of what Sun Tzu said about the optimum in warfare is having the ability to defeat your enemy without firing a shot. I don't see men of absolutely no military experience having the mental disposition to wage war like the IS terrorists do. The approach is too professional even if it is reprehensible under the Rules of Land Warfare.
    If one looks at the make up of the Sunni coalition ie the former IAI, ASA, 1920 and the JM many of their fighters were former officers and NCOs and were good enough from 2003 to 2010 to take on the US Army in a multitude of different ways.

    Couple that with experience gained in fighting daily Assad---and the use of swarming attacks which the Sunni insurgency got good at in Iraq---why does it "surprise" us when they are on a roll?

    Guess what-- they have not even committed their reserves that are even better at it---it is currently estimated that only 3-4K has been carrying the fight forward and they have even dented badly the Peshmerga myth as great fighters.

    This is going to get far more interesting in the coming weeks if their drive into Erbil is not stopped.

    But it goes to something I wrote recently---this is the standard whip lash tactic so well used against us from 2003 to 2010----fighting here awhile then quiet then somewhere else then quiet and on and on---it is a war of moment nothing else and to forces others to keep up with them.

    The main question I have is where are the IS units that have moved into position south of Baghdad and now are on the East and West sides of Baghdad as well---totally quiet from them as they watch what is going on in the north---again an example of the war of movement.

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    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.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Outlaw 09:

    Zenpundit mention in a recent post that the IS took Sinjar using a combination of snipers and artillery. Do know about that or have any details about it?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    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.
    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.
    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 davidbfpo View Post
    A timely article from Time: 'ISIS Is Ignoring Islam’s Teachings on Yazidis and Christians':https://time.com/3093732/isis-iraq-y...nd-christians/
    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".

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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.
    Religion is often the expression of unresolved economic, political, or social contradictions. The wave of militant Islam did not emerge in a vacuum - it grew out of the conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s that simultaneously de-legitimized 'traditional' structures of power (Arab nationalism, colonialism, etc) and radicalized new ideologies of resistance. It's not a coincidence that all of the major militant Islamist organizations, with the exception of the Muslim Brotherhood, emerged after this period. And they've been gaining strength because those same unresolved problems inherited from the early post-Cold War period are still largely present. Discontent is what keeps movements like ISIS, Hamas, and Hezbollah active.

    Cast over Saudi policy is the long shadow of remaining religiously legitimate in the context of Wahhabism - and that means rejecting to a large extent Western values. Hard to maintain that legitimacy while flowing the wealth earned from selling oil to the West in vast quantities; hence the schizophrenic nature of Saudi behavior. The seizure of the Grand Mosque pushed the Saudi elites to the right - and so has the Arab Spring but to a more limited extent. Until this central problem is resolved at the core of the Saudi state, I expect the issue of Saudi sponsored terrorism to persist.
    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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