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Middle East policy change - the Redirection

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  • Middle East policy change - the Redirection

    I'm putting this document into its own post (I had posted to it under the Iranian embassy thread) because there's simply too much being revealed here. As someone who has followed Middle East politics fairly closely for 20 years, there is some serious change afoot here. I strongly recommend that anyone interested in the future of the Middle East (Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran) read this article.

    Why is this important? Because these are the fuzzy details on the real 'war on terror.' The Bush administration, in light of an Iraqi stalemate, is resorting to their 'fallback' of leveraging Saudi Arabian support and influence on Sunni fighters throughout the Middle East. Let the proxy wars begin - but do not be mistaken, the US is not, and never has been fighting a 'war on terror.' We are already supporting certain flavors of it, just as we always have, and apparently always will for some time to come. The last time we did this in such an open manner (in Afghanistan in the 80's), Al Qaeda was born.

    Nasr went on, “The Saudis have considerable financial means, and have deep relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis”—Sunni extremists who view Shiites as apostates. “The last time Iran was a threat, the Saudis were able to mobilize the worst kinds of Islamic radicals. Once you get them out of the box, you can’t put them back.”
    "The Redirection"
    http://www.newyorker.com/fact/
    Last edited by Mosely; 03-07-2007, 10:38 AM. Reason: link may need to be updated after article gets archived

  • #2
    Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

    Wow....

    As AMosely stated...alot of stuff going on here. I've been trying to wrap my head around it for awhile now. Very complicated dealings. My head hurts....

    thanks for the post!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

      I am amazed that you started following middle eastern politics when you were only 12 years old.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

        Sadly, it seems to be Iran-Contra all over again. No oversight, no lessons learned.
        |TG-9th| TheFatKidDeath
        "Born to Party, Forced to Work."
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        • #5
          Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

          I'm wondering if someone could help me...I admit I know very little about the Middle East and our involvement. Could someone point me in the right direction here?? How did we get ourselves in this mess?? I'm talking origins here...not about the current Administration.. Also, any history about the region's different political/religious groups.

          cliff notes for the Mid-East would be great..Mid-East for Dummies???

          Just curious....

          Chappie

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

            That New Yorker article is remarkably interesting when viewed in the light of an article I just read in Foreign Affairs current issue; the FA article proposed that Washington support the Muslim Brotherhood and, to a lesser extent, the Saudi-style moderate Salafis. It made a fairly convincing case that neither of these groups pose any danger to America, that the Brotherhood in particular is now a force of moderation in the Arab world and that it acts as a counterweight to Sunni extremists such as Al-Qaeda. It cited many recent positions taken by the Brotherhood throughout the Arab world, as well as moderating positions they've taken in France and the UK; calling for calm during the Arab riots in Paris last summer, for example.

            The second major point of the New Yorker article - that the US is going to create a new Cold War between Sunni and Shiite - is more reasonable. I don't understand why Washington takes Iran-o-phobia to such extremes, and consider their position vis-a-vis Iran a strategic blunder. We can try to keep them from getting nuclear weapons, but the fact of the matter is that Iran supports no terrorist groups which pose a threat to America. Hezbolla has not comitted any acts of terror since the '80s. Hamas, a Sunni organization supported not only by Iran but by everyone in the Middle East, poses no threat to Americans. But still, the New Yorker article makes a mistake by piling too much blame on America for a Cold War between Iran and the Arab world: This Cold War has existed ever since the Iran-Iraq war, and will continue. It is not caused by America, but our recent actions in the region have certainly increased tensions and disrupted the balance of power - Iraq was long seen as a stabilizing force, keeping Iran in check. With Iraq out of the picture (or, indeed, aligned with Iran), we should expect to see some big time military build up in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, and even Egypt. A nuclear Iran would further up the ante. All of this is bad, and it is exacerbated by the US' actions.

            Looks like you're right though, Mosely. It may be time for some proxy wars.
            A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

            "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

              Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
              I don't understand why Washington takes Iran-o-phobia to such extremes, and consider their position vis-a-vis Iran a strategic blunder. We can try to keep them from getting nuclear weapons, but the fact of the matter is that Iran supports no terrorist groups which pose a threat to America. Hezbolla has not comitted any acts of terror since the '80s. Hamas, a Sunni organization supported not only by Iran but by everyone in the Middle East, poses no threat to Americans.
              I blame our idiotic alliance with Israel for this. Sure, it's good to have an ally in the Middle East, but when your ally screws up over and over, sometimes you just have to break off the friendship...
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              • #8
                Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

                Originally posted by Chappie View Post
                I'm wondering if someone could help me...I admit I know very little about the Middle East and our involvement. Could someone point me in the right direction here?? How did we get ourselves in this mess?? I'm talking origins here...not about the current Administration.. Also, any history about the region's different political/religious groups.

                cliff notes for the Mid-East would be great..Mid-East for Dummies???

                Just curious....

                Chappie
                After WWI, the victors carved up and divided amongst themselves what had been the Turkish Empire. This included most of the entire Arab world from modern day North Africa to Iraq. America was offered the oil rich region of northern Iraq, a region we may one day refer to as Kurdistan, but declined, as we did not want to get involved in those silly European imperial games.

                Fast forward to 1950: The Zionist Jews are clamoring for their own nation, including bombing Palestine's imperial dictator Britain. The dual imperial powers of Britain and France, whom hold virtually all of the Arab world, are in the process of leaving. Britain ducks out largely peacefully, leaving behind the small Gulf Kingdoms (Kuwait, UAE, Yemen, Qatar, etc) as well as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, and Egypt. France has to be largely kicked out of its' own holdings of Syria, Lebanon, and North Africa.

                Some of these countries make out peacefully, but trouble breaks out early in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood is (more or less wrongly) held accountable for a murder attempt on the president. Al-Zawahiri was a fanatical member of the Brotherhood, and denounced it for not being extreme enough after he was released from prison by the Egyptians. He is now the #2 of Al Qaeda. Saddam Hussein takes over Iraq from the monarch and years later a long and bloody war takes place between Iraq and Iran. Lebanon is racked by a bloody civil war, eventually Israel steps in but is also kicked out. Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia all ally in war against Israel on numerous occasions. Israel takes land, gives some back.

                Iran has its own troubled history with Britain and the US. Lots of coups and regime change. Eventually a religious leader takes the country from the US supported monarch. This religious regime persists to today.

                The US was actually not as involved as many people would believe. Sometimes Cold War politics came into play; the capitalists mostly supported the Arabs whilst the Communists mostly supported the Persians + Egypt. In the 1980's the USSR invades Afghanistan, the US supports the locals. Bin Laden was there as well, but the US did not fund him or the Taliban, contrary to popular belief.

                In the early '90s, Iraq invades Kuwait. The US organizes a coalition to kick him out, and our presence on the holy Saudi lands causes much offense to a certain fellow named Osama Bin Laden. OBL declares war on the US a few years later (our military bases were still in Saudi Arabia) and commences bombing American targets around the world. He is subsequently exiled from his homeland, then from the Arab world altogether, and ends up in Afghanistan, where he has much good will from his (minor) presence from the 1980's. His first 'big' terrorist attack, destroying several 747's over the Pacific Ocean simultaneously, was to be launched from Indonesia but was discovered by local authorities and stopped. His second 'big' terrorist attack that we know of was 9/11, and it went off without a hitch. 9/11 is estimated to have cost a paltry $300,000 and required the coordination of only a few dozen individuals.

                So the US responded to this man and his motley crew by invading and occupying Afghanistan and Iraq.

                I've left a lot out. I tried to touch on most of the big things.
                A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

                  Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                  After WWI, the victors carved up and divided amongst themselves what had been the Turkish Empire. This included most of the entire Arab world from modern day North Africa to Iraq. America was offered the oil rich region of northern Iraq, a region we may one day refer to as Kurdistan, but declined, as we did not want to get involved in those silly European imperial games.

                  Fast forward to 1950: The Zionist Jews are clamoring for their own nation, including bombing Palestine's imperial dictator Britain. The dual imperial powers of Britain and France, whom hold virtually all of the Arab world, are in the process of leaving. Britain ducks out largely peacefully, leaving behind the small Gulf Kingdoms (Kuwait, UAE, Yemen, Qatar, etc) as well as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, and Egypt. France has to be largely kicked out of its' own holdings of Syria, Lebanon, and North Africa.

                  Some of these countries make out peacefully, but trouble breaks out early in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood is (more or less wrongly) held accountable for a murder attempt on the president. Al-Zawahiri was a fanatical member of the Brotherhood, and denounced it for not being extreme enough after he was released from prison by the Egyptians. He is now the #2 of Al Qaeda. Saddam Hussein takes over Iraq from the monarch and years later a long and bloody war takes place between Iraq and Iran. Lebanon is racked by a bloody civil war, eventually Israel steps in but is also kicked out. Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia all ally in war against Israel on numerous occasions. Israel takes land, gives some back.

                  Iran has its own troubled history with Britain and the US. Lots of coups and regime change. Eventually a religious leader takes the country from the US supported monarch. This religious regime persists to today.

                  The US was actually not as involved as many people would believe. Sometimes Cold War politics came into play; the capitalists mostly supported the Arabs whilst the Communists mostly supported the Persians + Egypt. In the 1980's the USSR invades Afghanistan, the US supports the locals. Bin Laden was there as well, but the US did not fund him or the Taliban, contrary to popular belief.

                  In the early '90s, Iraq invades Kuwait. The US organizes a coalition to kick him out, and our presence on the holy Saudi lands causes much offense to a certain fellow named Osama Bin Laden. OBL declares war on the US a few years later (our military bases were still in Saudi Arabia) and commences bombing American targets around the world. He is subsequently exiled from his homeland, then from the Arab world altogether, and ends up in Afghanistan, where he has much good will from his (minor) presence from the 1980's. His first 'big' terrorist attack, destroying several 747's over the Pacific Ocean simultaneously, was to be launched from Indonesia but was discovered by local authorities and stopped. His second 'big' terrorist attack that we know of was 9/11, and it went off without a hitch. 9/11 is estimated to have cost a paltry $300,000 and required the coordination of only a few dozen individuals.

                  So the US responded to this man and his motley crew by invading and occupying Afghanistan and Iraq.

                  I've left a lot out. I tried to touch on most of the big things.
                  Don't know if you are correct or not but it sounds like an A+ paper to me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

                    Originally posted by jonan_ View Post
                    I am amazed that you started following middle eastern politics when you were only 12 years old.
                    Actually 13. Do you want an explanation? If so, read on.

                    My mother had the crazy idea to take me to Israel and Egypt because I wasn't interested in being Bar Mitzvah'd (I was raised Jewish). That trip opened my eyes in a lot of ways, and put my own suburban life into serious perspective. I didn't get Bar Mitzvah'd (in fact I ended up denouncing religion partly as a result of the trip), but did start closely studying the religious, political and geographic conflicts in the area. While I am by no means an expert, I consider myself fairly educated on the subject. I returned on my own to live and study in Israel for several months at the age of 18, visiting Lebanon and Jordan before going back in to Israel (at the time you could enter those countries with a recent Israeli stamp on your passport). The subject, and the regional conflicts, continue to fascinate me mostly because I do not understand why after hundreds of years human logic has not been able to overcome conflicts that were entirely invented out of pure belief. I believe that it strikes at the very core of whatever force has guided (or misguided) human history througout all time. This region is the birthplace of civilization and ancient religion, and look at it now. If it is the ancient pulse of our human civilization, it has been on the verge of a heart-attack for over a century now.
                    Last edited by Mosely; 03-07-2007, 04:03 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

                      Originally posted by AMosely View Post
                      Actually 13. Do you want an explanation? If so, read on.

                      My mother had the crazy idea to take me to Israel and Egypt because I wasn't interested in being Bar Mitzvah'd (I was raised Jewish). That trip opened my eyes in a lot of ways, and put my own suburban life into serious perspective. I didn't get Bar Mitzvah'd (in fact I ended up denouncing religion partly as a result of the trip), but did start closely studying the religious, political and geographic conflicts in the area. While I am by no means an expert, I consider myself fairly educated on the subject. I returned on my own to live and study in Israel for several months at the age of 18, visiting Lebanon and Jordan before going back in to Israel (at the time you could enter those countries with a recent Israeli stamp on your passport). The subject, and the regional conflicts continue to fascinate me, mostly because I do not understand why after hundreds of years, human logic has not been able to overcome conflicts that were entirely invented out of pure belief. I believe that it strikes at the very core of whatever force has guided (or misguided) human history througout all time. This region is the birthplace of civilization and ancient religion, and look at it now. If it is the ancient pulse of our human civilization, it has been on the verge of a heart-attack for over a century now.
                      That's a really interesting up bringing. I wish I had been as cultured as you. I also like the metaphor of the middle east being the pulse of human civilization. I have never thought of it that way.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

                        Originally posted by AMosely View Post
                        If it is the ancient pulse of our human civilization, it has been on the verge of a heart-attack for over a century now.
                        In terms of violence, I'd guesstimate that the Middle East had a far less violent 20th Century than did either Europe or Asia. I don't think that it would even be close. The Arab-Israeli wars of the 50's, 60's, and 70's are notable for their lack of bloodletting and short durations. Look at the pain brought upon Asia during the 20th Century: Japanese imperial wars, the Japanese-American war, civil wars in Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Korea, and China, the persistent conflicts in Indonesia and Pakistan-India, and last but worst the Mao era of China.

                        The largest war lately in the Middle East would probably be the Iran-Iraq war. This war saw less than half the people die, and lasted less than half as long, as the Vietnam War alone.
                        A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                        "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

                          Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                          It made a fairly convincing case that neither of these groups pose any danger to America, that the Brotherhood in particular is now a force of moderation in the Arab world and that it acts as a counterweight to Sunni extremists such as Al-Qaeda.
                          If true, Bush's gross generalizations on the 'war on terror' are doing a tremendous disservice.

                          Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                          Looks like you're right though, Mosely. It may be time for some proxy wars.
                          I'd ammend this to say 'more' proxy wars, because this isn't the first time the US has attempted to shape the politics (and would-be stability) of a region through proxy means. I'm not sure I agree with going ahead with this, however, and I absolutely do not agree with the Bush administration's continued secrecy surrounding every single thing they do. Congress needs to be informed of their plans or we could very well end up with another debacle on our hands.

                          It is seriously, and possibly disasterously unfortunate the Bush and Cheney were ever given an opportunity to executively control Middle East foreign policy. The effects are almost entirely negative, and will take decades to recover from.
                          Last edited by Mosely; 03-07-2007, 04:02 PM. Reason: my grammar is horrendous today

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                          • #14
                            Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

                            Well when I said proxy wars, I was referring to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and possibly Jordan using proxies to fight amongst each other. The US would of course get involved somehow, but we don't need a proxy army when we have the Army and Marines sitting right there.
                            A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                            "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Middle East policy change - the Redirection

                              Thanks for the quick education Tybalt..I actually knew more than I thought!!! Couldn't see the forest for the trees I guess. Very interesting stuff for sure. I wonder what it would be like if the US would have stayed out?? Or at least not so visible.

                              What do you guys think about partitioning Iraq??

                              Chappie

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