RANGER AGAINST WAR: Symbolic Targets <

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Symbolic Targets


Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering,
and it's all over too soon
--Woody Allen
_____________________

[Note:  Ranger will be returning to his military roots this week. While Lisa had a lot of presence in posts over the past several years, she will now pull back to the role of copy editor. Readers may note the lack of gussying up. (But if you liked Rangerette's frilly-Kevlar style, you will still see it in her posts.) The writer will always be identified in the vanishingly-light tagline at the article's end. -- the editrix.]

The key point of terrorist activity is that their targets are soft and symbolic. That is why the craven activity of running down pedestrians with a van should not be surprising.

This clearly indicates that terrorism is NOT warfare because softness and symbolism does not designate legitimate military targets. When applying a military yardstick to terrorism we lull ourselves into a false sense of security, i.e., we will be protected by a powerful military that knows how to fight it.

Simple logic dispels that notion. Ask yourself: "How many al Qaeda No. 2's has the United States killed since starting its Non-War of Terror? Did any of those drone kills produce security here in the States?

If we think symbolic targets are not cricket for the use of terrorists, then why does the U.S. use them? Assassinating Osama bin Laden in his bedroom is a good example.

If OBL had been killed at the Battle of Tora Bora, that would have been legitimate as he would not have been a symbolic target, just another hostile on the battlefield. However, escaping death he moved on to sanctuary in Pakistan. (Good jihadists don't really get 72 virgins, but rather safe haven in Pakistan, the original "Sanctuary City" state.)

In his safe house, the aging OBL was no longer a military threat (if he ever was), but just a man in his jammies. He was a non-combatant symbolic target.

In fact, OBL was largely beyond symbolism at the point of his murder, and the action looked like a paltry act of vengeance. (However, the much-lauded operation sure provided Academy grist for a military film-makin' woman in EOE Hollywood.)

We seem to not know that vengeance is not military. It is Old Testament dogma which does not have any place in liberal humanistic thought.

This is why we will not defeat terrorism. First, it cannot be approached by classic military action. Every time a terrorist is killed, his replacement is close behind. In celebrating that which has failed, we have become emotional and betray the essential logic of war-fighting.

We choose for military myths over our legal codes and traditions.

A War on Terror will not be won by killing people in their bedrooms. If symbolic targets are not legitimate for terrorists, then how can they be legitimate for the U.S.?

Is this what warriors and war-fighting have become?


ed. coda:

Terrorists strike soft targets, unsuspecting and in an inferior posture. When the U.S. military "takes out" soft targets like OBL -- a man well-past his "use-by" date -- it has joined in their project.

The huzzahs which followed his 2011 death were anticlimactic, the cheers sounding like a 45 record being played on 33 1/3. The "hunt" for OBL kept a war project going for a decade, but the resulting mayhem has so far surpassed the man that the outlay of accomplishing his demise has little justification.

Most cultures create a military mythos in the form of an iconography to buoy cultural spirits over an essentially death-dealing project. The new Instamatic or Super 8 is a Smartphone aided and abetted by Facebook or YouTube. It is easy, like taking holiday beach pictures -- anyone can do it.

For Hitler, Leni Reifenstahl filmed it. For Islamic State, the graphic du jour is 9th century beheadings in the desert on Instagram, victims in orange, executioner in black (orange is the new black?)

An eager, desperate, salacious and obedient press gloms on and feeds it back to us in a bright-shiny package. Just like Capt. Renault, we are all shocked.

For the U.S., it is plucky West Virginian Jessica Lynch who went down shooting (not), being sent back from the checkpoint to the hospital to allow for the filming of her heroic four-service rescue. Football hero Pat Tillman was to be interred as the casualty of enemy fire, until his family questioned the plot line.

In a time when we have lost our way, we must make meaning and justification by any means necessary.

Where are we now vis-à-vis Islamic terror?

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28 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,
An observation and a question;

Observation = humans are symbolic creatures. So I sometimes cut a little slack when something is done for symbolic reasons *as long as the symbolism is culturally healthy*

Question = what in the hell do terrorist think they are going to achieve via terrorism? I have never grasped that. Or is it just more symbolism; i.e. look at us. We are bad asses and you can be one too. We kill those you hate. Is that it? But what is the long game? Are they delusional and think that if they are scary enough they'll be able to raise an actual army of scary dudes that will then conduct actual warfare?

avedis

Monday, July 10, 2017 at 11:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Avedis,
i sent a reply to your comments , and poof it disappeared.
here goes again.
i can't answer your question.
in every dod school that i attended we were always told that we must think like terrorists.
well good luck with that.where's our success?
the fact is that we could ask a dog to meow. it can't be done, even if Cesar Milan gave it a shot.
surely career government tit suckers can't do so.

maybe u and i habitate alternate realities BUT didn't isis raise an actual army?
don't they have as legitimate a right to exist as does the militia heavy iraqi army?
don't they conduct actual warfare?

isis is all kind of evil, wicked , mean and nasty,but so too is the shia iraqi conglomeration.what makes 1 a force of good and the other 'BAD GUYS'??
i believe that all the players do not hate the US. istm that they hate themselves.
thanks for ur comments.
jim

Monday, July 10, 2017 at 12:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,
Exactly. When I try to think like a T my usual tactical/strategic rationality goes right out of my head no matter how I try to join up the two mentalities. Just ain't happening.

Where I do end up is a dark hateful place that I don't want to stay in very long. I feel like I need a shower after completing the exercise.

Yes, ISIS raised an army and became real combatants...well sort of. They had a lot of help from the US, Israel and the Saudis/Gulfies because those sponsors are scared of an Assad Syria, the Shia crescent and hizbullah. Why the US is scared of any of that is beyond me, other than Israel paying our elected leaders to act scared. IMO, ISIS is a mishmash of hate filled maniacs, Sunnis trying to not get stepped on by Iraqi Shia after we handed the country, such that it is, to them and dead end gomers looking for a meaningful identity in life and making a bad choice; the latter kind of like world wrestling federation fans. So I would say it's a quasi-army; a proxy for someone else. Does that still count as an army?

I still say we should either shit or get off the pot. Kill them all and go home - or just go home and stay there. Or better yet, stay home and the Ruskies kill them all or do whatever they will do.

I continue to believe that the country that simultaneously defeated Japan and Germany (with Ruskie help once again) could flatten ISIS and, indeed the entire MENA, if it wanted to. That's the USA by the way. Instead we have chosen to play grab ass for decades.

Bottom line, just don't let them come here. If the Euros and canucks want to be invaded by ultra-conservative 11th century madmen, let them do themselves in. In the game of hockey, there are certain dirty players known as "head hunters". Maybe the Islamists would make good hockey players and thus become assimilated to the high point of Canadian culture. The Euros seem to be just plain screwed. If the Ruskies want to fight the bastards over there, let them. We should seal our borders and stay out of it. Maintain effective law enforcement operations to ensure that the Ts cannot pull off an op in this country.

avedis

Monday, July 10, 2017 at 4:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

In 2004, then-Senator and Presidential candidate John Kerry said fighting terrorism should be primarily an intel and LE undertaking. Of course, his tragically namby-pamby public life spent climbing the greasy pole of the politico didn't allow his message to stick:

“I will use our military when necessary, but it [fighting terrorism] is not primarily a military operation. It’s an intelligence-gathering, law-enforcement, public-diplomacy effort,” he said. “And we’re putting far more money into the war on the battlefield than we are into the war of ideas. We need to get it straight.”

...of course, I'm not sure what these "warring ideas" are, and if a detente may be reached.

Monday, July 10, 2017 at 5:12:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Avedis,
were the units engaged in the spanish civil war actual armies?
what about the 1917 arab revolt ?
were the bay of pigs cubans an army?
heres an interesting thought-has the iraqi gov't signed into the geneva conventions? my point=they ain't a nation state army anymore than is isis.
i challenge anyone to produce an epw picture of captured isis soldiers.
jim

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 11:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis -- On U.S. conventional power versus ISIS, obviously it's irrelevant. I imagine most of the countries in NATO could "flatten" ISIS, even Canada, singlehandedly, if it was that important to them. Obviously it isn't that important to them.

If Syria was that important I would say go in and do the job properly, but like you I cannot see why it is any of our business, frankly.

As the war grinds on, it's obvious the Syrian state will never recover from this. It's done, beyond saving. All we and the Russians and everyone else is doing now is trying to pick which rival band "wins."

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 4:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Jim -- On your point about raising armies I guess it comes down to the fact that nobody recognized the Islamic State as, you know, a state, and therefore it can't have a legitimate military arm, but that's probably just semantics.

Iraq is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions. I suppose a state that signs then openly violates the Geneva Conventions is better than a militia that doesn't sign them at all, in the eyes of international lawyers.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 4:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,

Actually Jim raises an interesting point, as he is wont to do. What constitutes a legitimate army. I would have thought I'd be able to answer that with no problem. Seems like a no-brainer. But it isn't now that I think about it.

Back in the Indian war days (you call them "first nations") I'm pretty sure all of the officers were ring knockers of some flavor or had some form of organized OCS (but maybe not always), but a man could enlist/enter service just about anywhere, with little, or even no, training. A guy on the frontier could walk (or ride his horse) up to an army encampment or fort, request to enlist, raise his right hand, and pretty much immediately be "in" - including issue of rank, uniform and individual weapon - and ride out on the next campaign to fight. Maybe there was a little drill in camp, but that's it. No boot camp, no school of infantry or school for some other MOS. I don't even know if the concept of MOS existed back then (aside from artillery and cavalry). Desertion was common (as was getting hung or shot for it). Pretty loose standards. Was that an Army? I guess it was. It was called an army back then and is still referred to as such today. Still it bears a lot of resemblance to ISIS. Was the Indian force that fought Custer an Army?

The Rough Riders of San Juan Hill fame were volunteers that were a lot like the Indian wars types.

The Arab Revolt, IMO, was classic special forces working with indigenous peoples types warfare. Guerilla fighters and not an army, IMO.

I guess we judge whether or not a group of armed people fighting - or ready to fight - another group of people as being/not being an army based on our own biases.

It's much easier to determine what a navy is. You have to actually have some war ships that float with guns that go "BOOM". That really helps separate the wheat from the chaff.

avedis






Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 5:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
I think you're onto to something there. You can't be an army if you are not first members of a legitimate state. I can't steal and overhaul the old Sherman tank from the national guard armory down the road, park it in front of my farm, get some of my buddies to come over with their rifles and declare our little gathering to be an army. The govt would say we were criminals and seek to arrest us. The govt would be correct, IMO.

That's basically what ISIS did; albeit on a larger scale.

That's where I'll hang my hat for now regarding the question.

avedis

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 5:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

The Daeshi (ISIS) caliphate will soon be destroyed. In its current form anyway, But it will live on in the the southern Philippines, northern Nigeria, and a dozen or so other places. The problem for the Iraqis and the Syrians is going to be a way forward in developing competent local governance so as not to repeat the Maliki neglect that led to much of Daesh acceptance early on. The central governments of both Iraq and Syria are perceived as corrupt, sectarian and aligned with Iran. If those root causes that led to the rise of the Daeshis are not addressed, then another Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will emerge with followers.

Lisa - We would have been a lot better off with Kerry's "intel-and-LE" methods. A shame it did not happen.

Jim - My understanding is that in Iraq, captured Daeshis are being treated as criminals not as POWs. They will face time in court before a judge. Probably a kangaroo court in the case of the many foreigners. But I understand PM Abadi is saying the right words about Iraqi citizens who collaborated with Daeshis but do not have blood on their hands. Most of the foreigners fought to the death, but some surrendered:
http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/news/iraq/363029

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 10:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

TO all,
what is a army?
was the ira a army or a T organization?
were the columbia guerrillas an army?
we can do this all day. what is the definition?
usu we think that it is a nation state entity, but this is squishy.
it has a mil chain of command.squishy too.
they atk and fight legit targets.squishy.
they carry arms openly.
they have a recognizable uniform.the vc used black jammies,but so did the population.again a bit squishy.
have a military purpose/achievable goals.Squishy?
Did garibaldi hv an army?
sam houston?
pancho villa,spartacus?the mau mau?
what constitutes a battlefield?didn't we send rangers into mogadishu and shoot up the place?didn't we make it a battlefield?
imo we have severe disconnects, especially in the age of T.
last night on pbs they talked of capturing T's in paris.
well police do not capture ,they arrest.
we can't decide what constitutes T , let alone what is warfare.
jim

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 1:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,
Not to mention that fight "wars' without a formal declaration of war (as per the C), further confusing the matter. Korea was a "police action" (?!!!?).

Words are symbols. When words lose their meaning, symbols lose their meaning. When symbols lose their meaning, society breaks down as does all meaningful conversation.

One methodology of the psychopath when working to get a victim under his thumb is to use words in a way in which the meaning is lost to the listener and totally the whim of the psychopath. Our representatives too often borrow from the psychopaths field manual.

avedis

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 2:26:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

Jim - Dictionary definitions are useless in answering your question, too squishy.

I would opine that common usage would call an 'army':
- a fighting force that fights primarily on land
- established under statute by a legislative body,
- with standardized doctrines, uniforms, organizations, etc.

'Warfare' = the activities and characteristics of war, which is defined as the state of armed conflict between societies. Note that war is between societies and not between nation states.

'Terrorism' = the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence primarily against civilians or non-combatants as a means to create terror or fear, in order to achieve a political, religious or ideological aim.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 2:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis, you're far too pessimistic. Breaking down our language is very useful, as long as you're the ones in power while you're doing it! Orwell realized this. Postmodernists in the universities seem to love it, except of course when they're on the losing side of it.

On the international law side I'll stand by my initial comment. Armies are possessed by states. To be a state, you have to be recognized by other states. The Islamic State was, despite the name, not a state. States can also commit terrorist attacks. The Iraqi regime is a state because it's recognized by other states as the successor to the Saddam regime's claims and obligations. Until other countries recognize it as a state, Islamic State is an armed non-state group, on the same level as, say, would-be Kurdistan.

But that's a political question. If you actually want to talk about strategies for combating a group like ISIS, then to seems to me you have to go with the way Jim does it. Now we're outside my area of expertise but I assume from a military perspective you'd want to understand your enemy as they actually exist and not as international law says they should. Islamic State is behaving as a state with an army and a territory. Assuming you want to confront both, it obviously has to be confronted differently than an Al Qaeda which doesn't try to operate like a state.

And even that's maybe getting a little off track, because the root problem here is that Iraq and Syria are failed states. If they weren't failed states, ISIS as we know it would have never existed. And while I am sure there are actually a number of states around the world that could defeat ISIS militarily, I don't know of any states that know how to put back together a state as broken as Iraq and Syria are.

Containment seems like a better policy than wading into a 20-sided ethnic, religious, and civil war like the one that now obviously exists. I bet most people in the West couldn't even tell you what side we're on in Syria, maybe even including the people at the top of government.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 2:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...Syria are failed states"

Syria is no more a failed state than the USA was 1860 - 1865.

If foreign powers would stop attacking it's govt, Syria + Russia could wipe out the jihadist groups and stabilize the country.

I would say that despite all the US/Saudi/Israeli sponsored jihadists running amok in Syria, the Syrian govt has actually done a pretty good job of maintaining power and maintaining civilization. The Syrian govt is greatly supported by the Syrian people, despite what the lying propaganda (aka MSM) says about that.

avedis

Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 2:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Mad Celt said...

SSgt. Dale C. Massey reporting for duty. The Mad Celt has returned to cyberspace.

Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 1:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Dale,
we're glad to hear from you.
jim

Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 2:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Mike,
are you saying that warriors are ok and T's are an abomination?
haven't warriors of nation states proven themselves to be more prolific killers than have T's?

David,
wasn't the confederate army a legit army?
nobody recognised them as a state that i'm aware of.

doesn't the gc's recognise insurgents as legit combatants?
jim

Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 3:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

Jim -

I'm not saying anything like that or even close. But I do not use the term 'warrior'. It may be a good term for caste-based or clan-based cultures. But I don't believe it has any value in 21st century America.

And yes to your second question, so far anyway.

Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 9:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis,

If you can point me to the stage in the civil war when there was a many-sided conflict as complex as the one in Syria, I'll concede you have a point. As to your solution, you're cheating a bit there. Yes, obviously, if only one side has major external backing, it's going to have a substantial advantage over any of the others. Even so, I'm not really sure what sort of regime there would be at the end of that. Who would help them rebuild? The Russians?


Jim,

That's a history question. Most of the current international law hadn't even been written yet, then.

Modern international law protects sovereign states from redrawing their boundaries by force. Nothing in there about a group like ISIS having the right to do so. International law sides with existing states against insurgents.

GC only applies to international conflicts although combatants taken prisoner are deemed legitimate POWs until proven otherwise in court.

Of course if we claim to be at war with ISIS then we are implying they are a state, that their soldiers are therefore an army, and that the GC therefore applies to them.

Technically I suppose we are at war with Syria, though, not ISIS. It's Syria's territory we're conducting military operations on without their permission.

Friday, July 14, 2017 at 12:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
"If you can point me to the stage in the civil war when there was a many-sided conflict as complex as the one in Syria, I'll concede you have a point"

I disagree with the fundamentals of your question. You're framing it in a way that begs your desired answer.

The Syrian conflict would be quite simple if not for foreign interference. You would have some crazy head choppers and some Saddam era Os and NCOs causing trouble along the Syrian/Iraq border trying to carve out a Sunni Jihadistan. Arrayed against them would be the Syrian govt and Syrian citizens (including the Kurds). Syria was, until ceratin global players tried to smash it, a successful multi-confessional/multi-cultural state.

Enter Israel, the US and the Saudis/Gulf states and you've got your multi faceted conflict. Now it is an international effort to attack and destroy the govt of Syria. The US media - which is really propaganda for the globalist trouble makers - likes to portray the Kurds as if they are somehow separate from the Syrian govt. It likes to paint a picture of a giant mess involving a war of everyone against everyone. However, that is just so much garbage.You are buying into it, though.

So Assad gets attacked by all these external forces via their head chopper proxies AND YOU BLAME ASSAD FOR IT. This would as if during the US Civil War, Canada entered the conflict, Mexico stirred up the various injun tribes to fight amongst themselves and against either the feds or confeds, etc, etc.

Actually, the US was MORE of a failed state during the Civil War than Syria is. Syria is trying to fight off foreign invaders (even if some of the foreign forces are invading by proxy). The US was actually split in two.

avedis

Friday, July 14, 2017 at 10:33:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David,
heres a little thought problem.
what happens when isis is defeated and the kurds and turkey start fighting?
will the turks invoke art.5 participation by nato?
who will the us back?
jim

Friday, July 14, 2017 at 2:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,
That US foreign policy in the MENA is 100% FUBAR is obvious. I can't speak to US FP in other regions b/c I do not have an understanding of those regions or the FP.

We hate Iran (for what reason I am not sure), yet we depose Saddam so that the Iraqi Shia population can take over and align with their Iranian Shia brethren.

We supposedly hate ISIS, yet we depose Kaddafi so ISIS can take over Libya.

We supposedly hate Al Qaeda (as well we should), yet we support Al Qaeda affiliated groups so they can fight ISIS and depose the Syrian govt.

We hate Russia (another hatred I do not comprehend), yet we force Russia to intervene in Syria by trying to depose the Assad govt.

All of this is incomprehensible; utterly incomprehensible. That the outcomes would be as they are does not take an intelligence community insider to predict. Avg Joes like you and me can, and have, consistently and publicly recorded accurate predictions well in advance of the actual result. This ain't rocket science.

Incomprehensible, that is...until see you the architects of this "strategy" being interviewed. I'm talking about foaming at the mouth rabid psychopaths in the policy formation "think tanks" like Max Boot. The guy is clearly unhinged. This also goes for various active and retired US Generals. They're barking mad. Red in face when questioned. Spittle literally flying from their mouths at the suggestion that they're screwing up, that the US should take a different course....that Russia is a powerful country with its own legitimate interests and it's no longer the Soviet Union. That jihadists will never be our friends when they are done using us. That the US doesn't the societal order of the MENA and that we shouldn't rock the boat. These people are clearly sick and any rational adult can understand that after hearing them interviewed for a few minutes. I'm not just talking about their ideas being incredibly and demonstrably wrong. I mean they are defective personalities. Yet they inform the policy and they viciously attack anyone opposing them.

And these people have no honor or integrity. When Turkey attacks the Kurds (or vice versa) they will sell out the Kurds in a heart beat. As they have done before. And round and round we go.

And the psychopaths will manage perceptions back at home by going out on the MSM and telling a bunch of lies. And the craven MSM will repeat the lies over and over. Dissenting voices will be silenced or simply denied air time. And even intelligent people will start believing the lies because they are so big and numerous that they must be at least somewhat true. Except that there is no truth in any of it.



Army of one (whatever the hell that is even supposed to mean)? How about an Army of none. Let Max Boot and his pals go fight their own wars. Maybe bring along some limp wristed CNN news girlies.


avedis

Friday, July 14, 2017 at 3:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Howdy to SSgt. Dale C. Massey!

I'm so glad to see you back, Dale. I hope life is treating you very well.

L.

Friday, July 14, 2017 at 3:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Jim,

Turkey can't very well invoke article 5 against the Kurds when its own NATO allies are arming, training, and bombing targets on behalf of those same Kurds.

Avedis,

On the origins of the conflict and the responsibility for things getting as bad as they presently are, I don't disagree with you that Western intervention is mostly responsible. The destabilizing of occupied Iraq gave ISIS a place to get started and then the destabilization of Syria gave it a place to expand.

I also agree with you that we should cut our losses now and leave the conflict. It isn't our fight, never was, so all we're doing is killing people, essentially.

Maybe you're more optimistic than me that if that happened the Syrian state could somehow reestablish order. I think whatever ties were holding that society together have been too ruined now, but perhaps I'm wrong. It's not that I want to see someone else's country collapse. It's just like I feel that's what it's now come to.

Friday, July 14, 2017 at 6:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
Assad has tremendous support (a great majority) in the coastal regions, which are the richest regions as well as some of the larger cities in the interior. Remember, as I said above, Syria was a successful multi-confessional state in the MENA. The Christians, Druze, Alawis and Shia want nothing to do with Sunni extremism. Who can blame them? There are also a lot of Sunnis on the coast and in the big cities that are of a moderate flavor. Quite Westernized. Night clubs where alcohol is consumed, women in Western dress (no rags on their heads) and make up as news anchors, etc. They do not want the Sunni Arab influence either.

Granted, there could be resistance in the outlying areas in the SW of the country. The Kurds will be thinking they could have their own country, but I imagine they could be made to see that they need the Syrian govt to protect them from the Turks and they could be given ample representation in govt to sweeten the agreement to be incorporated under Assad. There will also be some disaffected Sunnis in the SW who are left out of the Iraqi Shia milieu, but they are dead enders. They lose. Period. If they make too much trouble, they can be offered the ultimatum to get with the program or be killed off. Everything else is just Western imperialist propaganda that does not reflect the situation on the ground, IMO.

avedis

Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 12:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pardon me. I should have said SE of the country, not SW.

avedis

Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 12:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

The Kurds already were thinking that. The Syrians have contained them for decades as have the Turks. Bad luck that they didn't attend the right garden parties at Versailles I suppose.

You make a good point about controlling wealthy coastal areas versus controlling isolated nomads' land. I hope you're right. We're better off with a stable government there.

Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 7:11:00 AM GMT-5  

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