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Syria
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Titus wrote:
Who do you think the "rebels" are in Syria? Better yet, where do you draw a bright red line between ISIS, the Syrian "rebels" and Al-Qaeda? They don't draw one. IF you give a gun to any one of the three the other two have access to it.


That's really not true. Al Qaeda is pretty irrelevant in Syria. AQ tried to control ISIS, couldn't, kicked them out of the family and ISIS more or less shrugged it off. The Syrian rebels fight amongst themselves almost as much as they fight Assad. AQ is just a boogey man that hangs out on the Pakistan/Afghan border and makes videos and magazines.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
AQ tried to control ISIS, couldn't, kicked them out of the family and ISIS more or less shrugged it off.


B/c they were too violent. ISIS then went about commandeering the weapons the idiot Americans gave to the Syrian terrorists, and some that the Americans gave the Iraqi army, and is now advancing on Baghdad, where they'll face Iranian and Iraqi military possibly with Yankee air support in a 90% Shia city.

There is no bright line between the three. These are Sunni terrorist groups. The men will go from Iraq to Libya to Syria and back to Iraq, changing affiliation as needed. America is either giving them guns and money or trying to kill them, depending on what side of the bed it woke up on.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Titus wrote:
Quote:
AQ tried to control ISIS, couldn't, kicked them out of the family and ISIS more or less shrugged it off.


B/c they were too violent. ISIS then went about commandeering the weapons the idiot Americans gave to the Syrian terrorists, and some that the Americans gave the Iraqi army, and is now advancing on Baghdad, where they'll face Iranian and Iraqi military possibly with Yankee air support in a 90% Shia city.

There is no bright line between the three. These are Sunni terrorist groups. The men will go from Iraq to Libya to Syria and back to Iraq, changing affiliation as needed. America is either giving them guns and money or trying to kill them, depending on what side of the bed it woke up on.


There truly is a bright red line, at least amongst the people at the top of the organization. I understand what you're saying and don't totally disagree, but AQ has become irrelevant in Syria. I dislike when people use them as kind of a meaningless catch all. ISIS is much more dangerous and ruthless than AQ, they are bad enough on their own no need to throw around the AQ name.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're giving the Iraqi government, excuse me, selling them Apache helicpoters and F-16 jets. I wonder if that's going to still happen now that the country is falling apart and jihad has been declared by Sistani. If innocent people weren't going to get f-d up even more now, I would be laughing at all this.

I wonder if those in the US government really didn't see the collapse of Iraq coming. If they didn't, they're idiots and/or delusional. And what was it that Robert Gates said in his book? Joe Biden has been wrong about everything related to foreign policy? Hmm, I'm not sure about that one Bob...

What a f-ing mess. USA! USA! USA!
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leon wrote:
Titus wrote:
Quote:
AQ tried to control ISIS, couldn't, kicked them out of the family and ISIS more or less shrugged it off.


B/c they were too violent. ISIS then went about commandeering the weapons the idiot Americans gave to the Syrian terrorists, and some that the Americans gave the Iraqi army, and is now advancing on Baghdad, where they'll face Iranian and Iraqi military possibly with Yankee air support in a 90% Shia city.

There is no bright line between the three. These are Sunni terrorist groups. The men will go from Iraq to Libya to Syria and back to Iraq, changing affiliation as needed. America is either giving them guns and money or trying to kill them, depending on what side of the bed it woke up on.


There truly is a bright red line, at least amongst the people at the top of the organization. I understand what you're saying and don't totally disagree, but AQ has become irrelevant in Syria. I dislike when people use them as kind of a meaningless catch all. ISIS is much more dangerous and ruthless than AQ, they are bad enough on their own no need to throw around the AQ name.


So what's your point? Fine, throw out the AQ name and just call them Sunni fundamentalists focused on regime change. Does that really change the situation and discussion here on this board? If so- how?
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Men who claim affiliation with AQ are fighting in Syria, and doing so with American money and arms. These are often the same men who fought the Americans in Iraq, and are now going back to Iraq with ISIS.


I do not see why we would try and distinguish, other than to diminish the likelihood that people like me will point out that America is supporting the men who killed Americans in Iraq. From a practical standpoint, support for the one is support for the other. When ISIS is brought to heel, many men will break away and form a different group. They'll take their arms with them.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bucheon bum wrote:
We're giving the Iraqi government, excuse me, selling them Apache helicpoters and F-16 jets. I wonder if that's going to still happen now that the country is falling apart and jihad has been declared by Sistani. If innocent people weren't going to get f-d up even more now, I would be laughing at all this.


As I've become more interested in Russia I've noted that there is a major difference between Russian and American foreign policy. Russia employs career area experts. These people speak the language, know the ethnic groups and have a major, significant impact on Russian foreign policy. America may have these experts but they obviously have no impact.

The Americans have interest groups. Who is managing foreign policy depends on who donated money. How many ambassadors are "bundlers"? This is absurd. The reason that America keeps fucking up over there is that it does not understand the region because it is not a serious country.

Lavrov has been the Russian foreign minister since 2003. In that time the USA has had: Powell, Rice, Burns, Clinton (haha) and Kerry. Basically two failed POTUS rejects, a solid guy who didn't have the balls to call bullshit and a black neo-con Russian expert during a Middle East crisis.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bucheon bum wrote:
Leon wrote:
Titus wrote:
Quote:
AQ tried to control ISIS, couldn't, kicked them out of the family and ISIS more or less shrugged it off.


B/c they were too violent. ISIS then went about commandeering the weapons the idiot Americans gave to the Syrian terrorists, and some that the Americans gave the Iraqi army, and is now advancing on Baghdad, where they'll face Iranian and Iraqi military possibly with Yankee air support in a 90% Shia city.

There is no bright line between the three. These are Sunni terrorist groups. The men will go from Iraq to Libya to Syria and back to Iraq, changing affiliation as needed. America is either giving them guns and money or trying to kill them, depending on what side of the bed it woke up on.


There truly is a bright red line, at least amongst the people at the top of the organization. I understand what you're saying and don't totally disagree, but AQ has become irrelevant in Syria. I dislike when people use them as kind of a meaningless catch all. ISIS is much more dangerous and ruthless than AQ, they are bad enough on their own no need to throw around the AQ name.


So what's your point? Fine, throw out the AQ name and just call them Sunni fundamentalists focused on regime change. Does that really change the situation and discussion here on this board? If so- how?


It does change it because AQ and ISIS are different, operate differently, and have different goals. Also, ISIS isn't interested in regime change as much as it is in carving out its own state. As of now, ISIS hasn't really shown interest in attacking outside of the region, which is very different than AQ. Also, to lump all the Syrian rebels in the same group, when those rebels are killing each other isn't accurate.

You can make the same case for Russia and others supplying Assad, and those weapons also finding their way to Hizbollah among others.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Titus wrote:
bucheon bum wrote:
We're giving the Iraqi government, excuse me, selling them Apache helicpoters and F-16 jets. I wonder if that's going to still happen now that the country is falling apart and jihad has been declared by Sistani. If innocent people weren't going to get f-d up even more now, I would be laughing at all this.


As I've become more interested in Russia I've noted that there is a major difference between Russian and American foreign policy. Russia employs career area experts. These people speak the language, know the ethnic groups and have a major, significant impact on Russian foreign policy. America may have these experts but they obviously have no impact.

The Americans have interest groups. Who is managing foreign policy depends on who donated money. How many ambassadors are "bundlers"? This is absurd. The reason that America keeps fucking up over there is that it does not understand the region because it is not a serious country.

Lavrov has been the Russian foreign minister since 2003. In that time the USA has had: Powell, Rice, Burns, Clinton (haha) and Kerry. Basically two failed POTUS rejects, a solid guy who didn't have the balls to call bullshit and a black neo-con Russian expert during a Middle East crisis.


Yeah. I am aware why our foreign policy sucks ass. My friend works in the Dept. of State doing econ policy in the Near Eastern department. Pretty important right? Who is his supervisor? A political apointee who used to be in the entertainment biz. Ain't that great?? Meanwhile, another friend that works in USAID is getting the f out of dodge after his current posting (in Beirut) because he's sick of dealing with dipshit managers who dump all their work on him (which is handling/managing contractors, who do the "real work"). I know one dude who served in the PC in China, is fluent in the language, and is now in the foreign service- in Latin America. Yeah, that's some genius thinking there. Another chinese speaking one is currently in Tanzania. At least there is a big Chinese presence there I guess.

This has been going on for decades (well, minus the contractor part, which is a more recent development). The Ugly American is still sadly relevant and applicable today as it was when it was published decades ago. Our foreign service still doesn't have its shit together.

Leon- do you know why we move around our foreign service officers so much (2 years, then onto the next post)?
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leon wrote:
bucheon bum wrote:
Leon wrote:
Titus wrote:
Quote:
AQ tried to control ISIS, couldn't, kicked them out of the family and ISIS more or less shrugged it off.


B/c they were too violent. ISIS then went about commandeering the weapons the idiot Americans gave to the Syrian terrorists, and some that the Americans gave the Iraqi army, and is now advancing on Baghdad, where they'll face Iranian and Iraqi military possibly with Yankee air support in a 90% Shia city.

There is no bright line between the three. These are Sunni terrorist groups. The men will go from Iraq to Libya to Syria and back to Iraq, changing affiliation as needed. America is either giving them guns and money or trying to kill them, depending on what side of the bed it woke up on.


There truly is a bright red line, at least amongst the people at the top of the organization. I understand what you're saying and don't totally disagree, but AQ has become irrelevant in Syria. I dislike when people use them as kind of a meaningless catch all. ISIS is much more dangerous and ruthless than AQ, they are bad enough on their own no need to throw around the AQ name.


So what's your point? Fine, throw out the AQ name and just call them Sunni fundamentalists focused on regime change. Does that really change the situation and discussion here on this board? If so- how?


It does change it because AQ and ISIS are different, operate differently, and have different goals. Also, ISIS isn't interested in regime change as much as it is in carving out its own state. As of now, ISIS hasn't really shown interest in attacking outside of the region, which is very different than AQ. Also, to lump all the Syrian rebels in the same group, when those rebels are killing each other isn't accurate.

You can make the same case for Russia and others supplying Assad, and those weapons also finding their way to Hizbollah among others.


Except Russia hasn't declared Hizbollah a terrorist organization or view it as a threat to its strategic interests. It KNOWS that weapons going to Assad--> Hizbollah. Both Assad and Hizbollah are on the same side.

Honestly, I'm not upset that weapons we and our "allies" have given to Syrian groups are ending up in Iraq being used against a government we armed. As you said yourself, ISIS is focused on the immediate region and not beyond. I find it a tragic comedy more than anything else. Like I said, if not for the enormous human cost, I'd laugh. Unfortunately it is just incredibly depressing and disgusting.


Last edited by bucheon bum on Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bucheon bum wrote:

Leon- do you know why we move around our foreign service officers so much (2 years, then onto the next post)?


Not sure. I think it is stupid, and is among the reasons why I am not considering State. My vague understanding is that it is at least partially out of a fear that they will go native. The political appointee thing is ridiculous, and the interagency process of making foreign policy is a tragedy. U.S. foreign policy is reactive in many ways instead of proactive, and not good at looking at the long view, but part of the problem is that as the only superpower everyone expects America to be involved in everything. Certain things we do relatively well, like keeping sea lanes open and maintaining a rough balance of power in East Asia, tend to get overlooked.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bucheon bum wrote:

Except Russia hasn't declared Hizbollah a terrorist organization or view it as a threat to its strategic interests. It KNOWS that weapons going to Assad--> Hizbollah. Both Assad and Hizbollah are on the same side.

Honestly, I'm not upset that weapons we and our "allies" have given to Syrian groups are ending up in Iraq being used against a government we armed. As you said yourself, ISIS is focused on the immediate region and not beyond. I find it a tragic comedy more than anything else. Like I said, if not for the enormous human cost, I'd laugh. Unfortunately it is just incredibly depressing and disgusting.


Russia might be a bit stupid in that regard. That's their backyard much more than ours. Time will tell, but I don't see them as the foreign policy savants as Titus does. This situation will be playing itself out for a long time, and it might even have some positive outcomes for groups like the Kurds who relatively speaking are more stable and less extreme. Some people would argue that these groups need to settle this stuff amongst themselves for any stability can come, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/55210/edward-n-luttwak/give-war-a-chance,

I agree strongly with your last sentence. I truly do think though that if you do talk about this stuff and you start lumping all these groups together than you will end up misreading a lot of what's going on and why.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Time will tell, but I don't see them as the foreign policy savants as Titus does.


No, I did not say that.

The Russians pursue their national interests. Stability is Syria and Iran is good for energy deliveries and the like.

America pursues the national interests of Israel (who wants to be surrounded by nations in civil war), pushes the flaky agenda of NGO's and asbergery activists (ie democracy promotion and such) and a few gigantic corporations.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Titus wrote:
Quote:
Time will tell, but I don't see them as the foreign policy savants as Titus does.


No, I did not say that.

The Russians pursue their national interests. Stability is Syria and Iran is good for energy deliveries and the like.

America pursues the national interests of Israel (who wants to be surrounded by nations in civil war), pushes the flaky agenda of NGO's and asbergery activists (ie democracy promotion and such) and a few gigantic corporations.


It sounded implied, sorry if it wasn't. I think they are good. I have a chance to take a joint class with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and it is tempting to join it just to work with the Russian students to get their perspective. It seems like it must be easier to be a regional power than a world power.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The American media, the policy foundations/organizations, the government, the wonks, the experts, the regime loyalists, the whole lot of them, have been wrong about everything. Maybe Mearsheimer is an exception.

Any time spent reading what American/British/etc establishment types have to say is wasted.

This is all going to get worse, as incredible as that sounds, when HRC is POTUS. She is going to be worse than Bush. I already miss the disinterested incompetence of Obama.
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