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ISIS Problem is a serious mess

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    Schmidt Wrote: There are two trends that I follow globally...inequality and climate change. Inequality is something that we talk about with respect to USA politics, but its effects are global. Inequality leads to social unrest, revolution and often civil war. The Middle East with their strong armed rulers have not done enough to promote the economic well being of their people, and especially the young people who cannot find jobs despite having an education. The Great Recession made their situation even worse.

    The effects of climate change are having devastating effects on the local populations of peoples worldwide, and the Middle East is no exception. Combine the effects of inequality with climate change and you have what is described as a "threat multiplier". The effects on Climate Change are discussed in the following article:

    Center for American Progress: The Arab Spring and Climate Change

    Troy Sternberg of Oxford University investigated the connections between climate events in other parts of the world and social unrest in the Arab world. More specifically, he looks at drought conditions in China, subsequent global wheat shortages, and how those shortages may have influenced the Egyptian uprisings. In his own words, he paints a picture of “how a localized hazard became globalized.”

    Sarah Johnstone and Jeffrey Mazo of the International Institute for Strategic Studies investigate the vulnerability of the Middle East and North Africa region to fluctuations of food supply and prices both globally and locally, and how current and projected climatic changes interact with those phenomena. They conclude that, “The Arab Spring would likely have come one way or another, but the context in which it did is not inconsequential. Global warming may not have caused the Arab Spring, but it may have made it come earlier.”

    As Johnstone and Mazo argued as early as April–May 2011, in an article written just at the outset of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, it was already possible to see that climate change played a role in the complex causality of the revolts spreading across the region. They called it a “threat multiplier.” It significantly increased the interactive effects—and hence the overall impact—of political, economic, religious, demographic, and ethnic forces.

    This concept of a “threat multiplier” is a helpful way to think about climate change and security more broadly. In Syria, for instance, as Femia and Werrell tell us, a combination of “social, economic, environmental and climatic changes … eroded the social contract between citizen and government in the country, strengthened the case for the opposition movement, and irreparably damaged the legitimacy of the Assad regime.”


    In citing these references, I am not dismissing the role of America and Europeans in meddling in their affairs. Dutch is right to say that we do not care about the Muslim well being...it's only about the oil mainly, but in the case of Iraq, a secondary reason was Israel's security. Saddam Hussein was considered a threat to Israel.

    But it's interesting that US oil companies were largely shutout of the oil deal making that followed the conclusion of the Iraq war. Royal Dutch Shell got the plum deal, the Majoon Oil field, one of the largest oil fields in the world. I wonder what it took to swing that deal.
    I think it is an exuse to use climate change; things like what is happening now would have happened anyway. I said in other threads, it is always a battle between the "have's" and have "not's"; the same applies here. The "have's" are the one's who bribe the leaders of those countries including our government because that is "owned" also by the "have's" ( Our leaders are also "bought"; just look at the election money bribes) That happens to be our culture. In respect To Royal Dutch Shell; they have the advantage by not being an American company; but they also use "money" or other privileges to get it their way, as long as you "drop" it at the correct people. The US often "drops" it all over the place but mostly have little knowledge of who to trust especially in Muslim countries because of our "island" culture; just ask someone on the street where Helsinki is.
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    "Schmidt" suggest strongly that you view the series "Loosing Iraq" on PBS it shows exactly what I wrote before. One big corrupt Bush government bunch and beastly behavior of our armed forces in a country they had/have no bussiness in being there.
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    Dutch -- I am not arguing those points. As you know, I have been an outspsoken critic of the Iraq war and America's support for Israel. A lot of the bad that that is happening can indeed be attributed to our involvement. However, in following your numerous posts, EVERYTHING bad is America's fault...the "Great Satin" if you like. The corollary to that thinking is that the Middle East would be living in peaceful harmony if only America had a non-interventionist policy and kept out of their affairs. Do you really believe that? Not likely with the global competition for their oil resources and the internal battles within Islam.

    As I read your worldview, there is nothing complicated...it's black and white. All I'm saying is that several factors have contributed to the social instability of the area. The economic well being of the youth of the region is an important factor. Religion is also a major factor. Certainly our politicians have gotten it all wrong...especially the Bush era neocons. But much of the social instability was like being contained in a pressure cooker waiting for the right moment to be unleased.

    The Arab Spring was the beginning of a series of events that had less to do with the Iraq war and America, and more to do with the youth challenging the repressive regimes in dictator states as the global economic conditions worsened with drought and recession.

    I know you disagree with me, and I'll just leave it at that.
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    Schmidt Wrote: Dutch -- I am not arguing those points. As you know, I have been an outspsoken critic of the Iraq war and America's support for Israel. A lot of the bad that that is happening can indeed be attributed to our involvement. However, in following your numerous posts, EVERYTHING bad is America's fault...the "Great Satin" if you like. The corollary to that thinking is that the Middle East would be living in peaceful harmony if only America had a non-interventionist policy and kept out of their affairs. Do you really believe that? Not likely with the global competition for their oil resources and the internal battles within Islam.

    As I read your worldview, there is nothing complicated...it's black and white. All I'm saying is that several factors have contributed to the social instability of the area. The economic well being of the youth of the region is an important factor. Religion is also a major factor. Certainly our politicians have gotten it all wrong...especially the Bush era neocons. But much of the social instability was like being contained in a pressure cooker waiting for the right moment to be unleased.

    The Arab Spring was the beginning of a series of events that had less to do with the Iraq war and America, and more to do with the youth challenging the repressive regimes in dictator states as the global economic conditions worsened with drought and recession.

    I know you disagree with me, and I'll just leave it at that.
    "Schmidt" This is a discussion site; sure we have a lot in common, but on this issue you have to look a bit farther. I of course agree with what you wrote; however my point is that most of the turmoil originates because of us (western capitalistic world). May be you've noticed that since the "media" means have expanded rapidly in the western world especially here ( Apple, Facebook etc.) In those countries there was always censorship; but our new gadgets "penetrated" that system. So again people became aware on how the rest of the world lives; that created the uprisings. Of course in the "dictorial" places; a lot of other wealthy Arabic states make sure the population has a certain wealth level; that keeps them in place.

    However we are known for trying to bribe whatever leaders; so do not underestimate what we ourselves create and have created.
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    I heard last night that ISIS/ISIL is getting a million dollars a day from private contributions. Many from Saudi Arabia. Because they don't care about Iraq and/or Syria. I think it's time for some serious debate over these conditions. Perhaps Europe, US, Canada, Australia/NZ should pull up stakes and move out. Sending the message....... It's up to you Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Saudi, UAE, Qatar..... Settle your own problems. Good luck with it all. When ISEL is climbing up your ass....... give us a call. Maybe we will be able to do something. It's time for this to not be our problem.
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    I agree heartily with the advice to Get the US Out of the Middle East. Obama was right. It was a huge mistake to EVER go into Iraq & Afghanistan to begin with, and it is DOUBLE that mistake to be going BACK INTO Iraq and Syria NOW.

    It was Bush's Mistake the FIRST time, so why should we be stupid enough to DO IT AGAIN?

    Remember one of Bush's most eloquent quotes: "Fool me once, ****(see FUNNY video below):

    ** We Won't BE Fooled Again: http://youtu.be/4ufa-q7DcWM
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    TJ Wrote: I heard last night that ISIS/ISIL is getting a million dollars a day from private contributions. Many from Saudi Arabia. Because they don't care about Iraq and/or Syria. I think it's time for some serious debate over these conditions. Perhaps Europe, US, Canada, Australia/NZ should pull up stakes and move out. Sending the message....... It's up to you Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Saudi, UAE, Qatar..... Settle your own problems. Good luck with it all. When ISEL is climbing up your ass....... give us a call. Maybe we will be able to do something. It's time for this to not be our problem.
    I guess you see it wrong; indeed they are "getting" a million dollars a day; we are "loosing" that per day because of the cost to fight them!!!
    You are absolutely right; let the middle east fight their own wars. The US should only interfere if it will actually affects us. Like we should have gone in the first place after BIn Laden, not invade whole countries.
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    Our present cost to fight ISIS is now already over 700 million; the Pentagon has now asked for a budget of 7 billion or so, to continue as well has the approval to add 1500 troops to whatever is there already. It is clear that slowly but surely we are getting more and more involved. Considering that we also extended "silently" the war in Afghanistan for another 10 years and are also getting more involved in Syria, then I must say Bush will be very proud of Obama he is "unwillingly"? following in his footsteps due to that the Pentagon rules here and not him. Since we are already at war for 14 years another 14 will not be unlikely.
    Congratulation US; you did sow the seeds far before Osama Bin Laden.
    Does anyone think that you can throw bombs around the world like candy and that the families of whom you killed don't want revenge? If you don't think so then you are dreaming. My prediction is that in the end no one will win; but at least we can say; sorry there is no more money for infrastructure or social programs for the poor. Hallejuja.
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    It looks like even more 'advisers' are heading back to Iraq to help 'advise' the Iraqi government on what they need to do to combat ISIS.

    I shouldn't make a comparison to a conflict that went on well before I was even born, but I can't help but think about the 'advisers' Kennedy sent to Vietnam in 1961. Johnson added even more 'advisers' for two more years until our leaders at the time decided that it was in our national interest to invade a tiny country in Southeast Asia and send thousands of our citizens off to fight and die in a conflict they hardly knew anything about.

    As most of you know, I am firmly against the American military getting involved in Iraq's civil war. I have no problem with us actually advising them, but I am very worried that we are slowing marching back into a war that we already know cannot be won. It is not in our national interest to pick winners and losers in a religious civil war. This is something the Iraqi people have to work out themselves.
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: It looks like even more 'advisers' are heading back to Iraq to help 'advise' the Iraqi government on what they need to do to combat ISIS.

    I shouldn't make a comparison to a conflict that went on well before I was even born, but I can't help but think about the 'advisers' Kennedy sent to Vietnam in 1961. Johnson added even more 'advisers' for two more years until our leaders at the time decided that it was in our national interest to invade a tiny country in Southeast Asia and send thousands of our citizens off to fight and die in a conflict they hardly knew anything about.

    As most of you know, I am firmly against the American military getting involved in Iraq's civil war. I have no problem with us actually advising them, but I am very worried that we are slowing marching back into a war that we already know cannot be won. It is not in our national interest to pick winners and losers in a religious civil war. This is something the Iraqi people have to work out themselves.
    "Jared" I wished our leaders would see it that way. But I'm affraid you and me may be right that this mess can't be cleared the way we go about it and no one will win in the end. We could use all that wasted money for better border protection and infrastructure; however we love to waste money for nothing.