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Thread: Beyond Iraq

  1. #11
    Bob Kellogg
    Guest

    Huh?

    I don't dispute what you said, Glen, I don't think. I just didn't get your point. But it's verging on politics --geopolitics, I suppose-- and Hamish won't approve.

    But saying this isn't about oil...sheesh. It's just a coincidence that the one dictator we're going to unseat is a rogue oil producer with no verifiable link to the international terrorists?

    One thing all the honchos in the Bush administration understand intimately is the ohl binness.

    Bob K.



  2. #12
    Glen T. Brock
    Guest

    Re: History lesson

    Bob,

    Starting with the career of general H.H. Kitchner, general of the British Expeditionary army you can trace the evolution of modern Islamic politics and the fall of the Ottoman Empire in world war one. In 1921, after placing the family of Huessein on the throne, the British established Trans Jordan. With the Balfour declaration the British ceded Palestine to Arab control. But, with the blessing of the League of Nations, the Balfour declaration declared Palestine to be a mandated state, under the politcal control of the British government, establishing a Zionist homeland and allowing European Jews to immigrate into Palestine. This was rough on the Palestinians, who had not the backing of the British, the jews, or the Arabs. They became the orphans of the mid east.

    You will notice that not one drop of oil has been pumped out of the desert at that time.

    So who are the villians and who are the victims in this melodrama? The Palestinians are dispossed. The Jews are conned and misled. The Arabs, who always have been very regionalised, are angry at nonIslamic interference. I suppose the only villians could possibly be the Turks, who had the misfortune to lose their empire, established by Sulleiman in the 1100th century, at the beginning of the 20th century and the discovery of that precious juice beneath the sands--oil.

    When Turkey fell it created a political vacume. Great Britain, being technically the victor of this great upheavel, did the best it could under the circumstances. But the fragmented nature of mid east politics could not be settled by lines on a map.

    The impotence of everyone's inability to solve the Palestinian question has made for a bloody legacy. Only the Egyptians have succeeded in overcoming the rampant xenophobia against the jews (much to the economic benefit of both Egypt and Israel). The jews have the economic and social stability the Arabs need for success. If they could put their swords away and think, for just a while, about the benefits of mutual cooperation, they could make the middleeast into a garden of Eden. As Faissell begged the tribes to stop thinking of themselves as tribesman and become Arabs, it is time for someone to come forward, welcoming the Israilies into the family of nations that reside in that rich but bloodied region.

    Glen T. Brock

  3. #13
    Pamela Taylor
    Guest

    Re: History lesson

    Whew, Glen, I am glad you posted that second post, because I was really shocked at the first one, which sounded pretty rampantly racist.

    Gary, if Jeff is talking about an invasion, why egypt or turkey? Supporting Turkey's entrance into NATO, supporting liberalizing, democratic processes in Egypt makes sense, but invasion?

    Pamela

  4. #14
    Glen T. Brock
    Guest

    Re: History lesson

    Pamela,

    I must make a confession. My first post was deliberatly racist. I was attempting to portray the Arab point of view. Without the first post the second wouldn't have been read. The Arab point of view is a carryover from their earlier days of tribalism. Islam suffered a disaster five hundred years ago that left them culturally stagnant. Before then the Islamic culture was perhaps the most sophisticated and advanced in the world. Remember, Islam gave us the zero, which changed mathmatics, astrology, airconditioning, and some of the most beautiful script in the world. Islamic illuminated manuscripts are drop dead gorgeous.

    Frank Herbert saw the beauty and contradiction of Islam and used it metaphorically in his novels in the DUNE series.

    It is my personal belief that humanity is a great tapestry. Each culture has it's own magic. Each civilisation has it's own charm. Everyone should take the time to investigate the art and aesthetic of every culture. Everyone has something to contribute to the teeming masses that inhabit this world. No one knows where the next great contribution will come from.


    Glen T. Brock

  5. #15
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: History lesson

    Pamela:

    Ah, but the point is that Jeff's initial posting did not say "invasion." That word never was used--just seemed to be assumed by subsequent posters. Jeff might have meant "invasion" but what he actually posted was "theater against." A "theater" is an area of operation, not necessarily an invasion target, and a whole range of "operation" options is available beyond armed invasion(unfortunately this point may be a bit too subtle for the current U.S. administration to grasp--and seemed to have been lost in this discussion string as well).

    This discussion is now in my area of primary expertise--international relations--or is at least until Hamish asks what the relationship between where this discussion has gone and writing is. (It did arguably start off as a discussion of something to write about.)

    There's nothing subtle or palatable in the Mideast region for all of the options being reduced to sending in U.S./UK bombs. I do think the most reasonable next step is to bolster those governments in the region that the U.S./UK count on the most for support--and, importantly, are willing to be bolstered in this way. That's why I offered what I did as the most reasonable next step. Egypt and Turkey (and Jordan) actually want less Islamic fundamentalist influence in their systems, and the U.S./UK need these countries as in-region allies, so, what's illogical about making these stronger against internal Islamic fundamentalist influence the most reasonable next step? True, that isn't as glitzy and satisfying in a Rambo sort of way as just dropping a laser bomb on something from a near-invisible bomber, but . . .

    So, bringing this back to writing, if I were to write about where the U.S./UK should concentrate efforts against Islamic fundamentalism next--it would be on Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan, which need it internally and are willing to work with the U.S./UK on it; to a lesser extent Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, Somalia, and others, which need it but are less willing to work with the U.S./UK on it; and then Saudi Arabia, which needs it, but is duplicitous about what it needs and who it's willing to work with--and all the while working independently on activities being generated out of places like Iran and Syria.

  6. #16
    Bob Kellogg
    Guest

    Re: History lesson

    Thanks, Glen and Gary, for articulating your views so well. Reasonable people acknowledge the complexity of the situation.

    It's getting dicier for the Administration. In the Gulf War there was a fait accompli, the invasion of Kuwait, that made it much more strightforward and easier to round up allies. They seem to be bailing out, now that Bush seems to brushing off the inspectors.

    Enough of this. Nothing will be decided.

    I hope you gleaned something from this thread, Jeff.

    Bob K.

  7. #17
    Cath Ferguson
    Guest

    Re: History lesson

    Judging by Rumsfeld, it could well be France

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