Middle East

Covering All The Bases in the Middle East

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Via Jim Henley's Unqualified Offerings, this interesting summation of our current tactical vision in the Middle East:

So. To keep score. The United States is supporting: the Shia government, which funnels money and arms to Shia militias, death squads, and insurgent/terrorist groups; the Sunni opposition, which funnels money and arms to the Sunni insurgency; the Sunni insurgency directly, so that they will combat the Shia militias as well as al-Qaeda in Iraq, a group of Sunni terrorists supposedly supported by Shia Iran; the Saudis, who fund Sunni insurgents as well–almost surely–as Sunni terrorist groups; the Iraqi Kurds, who have their sights set on an independent nation that includes a de-Arabized Kirkuk; and the Turks, who have their sights set on never, ever seeing an independent Kurdish entity anywhere, anyhow, anyway, ever, amen.

Ah, well, what are you gonna do? Those people in the Middle East aren't going to be killing themselves! Well, maybe, but it's all a lot more efficient when the U.S. gets involved.

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  1. Brian,

    THANK YOU!
    This is the most insightful (read; in accord with my thinking) mid east related post ever.

  2. Clearly, whoever we back will win.

    Brilliant!

  3. And if we pull out of the Middle East peace will break out, with everyone holding hands and singing under rainbows?

  4. And if we pull out of the Middle East peace will break out, with everyone holding hands and singing under rainbows?

    Whoever said pulling out would cause peace to break out? Nobody’s every said that.

    Besides all the stupidity and waste involved in our presence there, the fact is that most Iraqi’s don’t want us there and most members of their government don’t want us there. They’re all adults in a democracy (arguably the only good thing to come from our invasion), and if we had any respect for them (or the notion of democracy) we’d leave yesterday.

  5. Won’t our military adventure in Iraq bankrupt the government? From a libertarian perspective, isn’t that a good thing? I mean, a bankrupt government means less government, no?

  6. I know Rudy (and Dondero) won’t understand it when it happens, but we will experience blow-back from most or all of those groups.

    I’d like to hear Ron Paul use a summation like that to show how our Middle Eastern efforts are counterproductive, as well as expensive.

  7. You can’t bankrupt an entity that can print its own money.

  8. I wonder if the all the little pawns (sunnis, shias, turks, etc) realize that they are just that, pawns. I also wonder what they might collectively do if they were to figure out exactly how the US is playing all of them.

  9. Speaking of pawns, Mr. Dylan sums it up quite nicely.

  10. You can’t bankrupt an entity that can print its own money.

    Of course you can. It’s just less efficient and takes longer.

  11. but it’s all a lot more efficient when the U.S. gets involved

    A Reason poster saying the government is more efficient, at anything?

    Doherty = Libertarian heretic

    Really though, the most depressing thing about the story is the hardcore GOPer reading it and thinking: “Dubya’s plan is right on track!”

  12. MMMmm, Shrimp! Wha? Pawns? Nevermind….

  13. Thanks for the link.

    You might consider who’s a pawn of whom, jimmydageek. It’s considerably more likely that each of these groups is playing the Americans to its own advantage rather than the opposite. We lack the situational memory, the cultural knowledge, the language skills, etc. to know we’re being played. That’s why I thought it might be good times to aggregate our efforts into one neat list, such as it is.

  14. “but it’s all a lot more efficient when the U.S. gets involved.”

    Just wait until we leave. They’ll be killing each other at a much swifter pace.

    “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”

    – Jesus of Nazareth, circa 30 AD

    So, what is the fruit of the alleged prophet Muhummad?

  15. We are getting played, and we are also doing quite a bit of playing ourselves.

    My questioning was: Do these groups know that we are funding their “enemies”?

    If they do know, then they obviously don’t care too much, so long as we keep supplying them with what they want.

    If they don’t know, they sure will be mad when they find out.

    Either way, I can envision a time when many rival groups in the Mideast will put aside their differences, and focus all of their collective energy on the U.S.

  16. “Either way, I can envision a time when many rival groups in the Mideast will put aside their differences, and focus all of their collective energy on the U.S.”

    Be sure to hide your boner.

  17. I can envision a time when many rival groups in the Mideast will put aside their differences, and focus all of their collective energy on the U.S.

    See! That was Dubya’s plan all along! He is making the middle east safer!

  18. So, what is the fruit of the alleged prophet Muhummad?

    I give, what is it? What was the fruit of the alleged messiah Jesus, when heretics were being burned at the stake?

    I don’t know that either question is relevant in regards to this thread.

  19. We never learn. We are getting ready to give 30 billion in military aid to Saudi Arabia. What happens when some of that stuff ends up being used against us, or against Israel for that matter?

  20. If it weren’t for the oil under the sand nobody outside that place would give a damn about any of this.

    Alternative energy sources, drill the arctic, off-shore everywhere needed and then just pull out 100% let them all kill each other.

  21. So, what is the fruit of the alleged prophet Muhummad?

    Iraq, er, yeah… quick, look the other way!

  22. Yet one more reason we should tapper off all aid to foriegn governments. Most of the leaders are probably OK with the US funding both sides, just like the corn lobby is OK with the US giving sugar subsidies if that’s what it takes to keep the cash flowing. Besides, when there are multiple factions, $10 million more for your side looks better than $10 million less for one of your several opponents. Accross the board cuts are the most feasible way for us to break the cycle.

    Unfortunately, even if we cut all millitary aid, there are other countries that fund wars.

    Sources for weapons in Sadam’s Iraq

  23. “I can envision a time when many rival groups in the Mideast will put aside their differences, and focus all of their collective energy on the U.S.”

    Will they be part of Eastasia or part of Eurasia? Either way, the goal will be accomplished….

  24. “If it weren’t for the oil under the sand nobody outside that place would give a damn about any of this.”

    There’s also the feeling of the need to protect Israel even though Israel has plenty of nukes to defend themselves.

  25. “I can envision a time when many rival groups in the Mideast will put aside their differences, and focus all of their collective energy on the U.S.”

    But, thanks to a tremendous error in scaling, they will be swallowed by a small dog.

  26. The British always try to back both sides in any conflict.

  27. So, what is the fruit of the alleged prophet Muhummad?

    I give, what is it? What was the fruit of the alleged messiah Jesus, when heretics were being burned at the stake?

    I think one obvious difference is that Jesus didn’t personally burn heretics at the stake, while Mohammed *did* personally kill those who opposed his quest for power.

  28. Ronald Reagan was right, the politics of the Middle East are 100% irrational. I have more contempt and loathing for that entire region than any other place on earth

  29. BTW, if Islam had never been invented I’m pretty today Zorastrians would be fighting Monophyte Christians, just as they did long before Islam appeared.

  30. So, what is the fruit of the alleged prophet Muhummad?

    Dates.

    Possibly kumquats.

  31. I have more contempt and loathing for that entire region than any other place on earth
    I feel that way about Disneyland.

  32. If it weren’t for the oil under the sand nobody outside that place would give a damn about any of this.

    Except the area was close to USSR, so containment efforts brought us there. A Macheovelian would have stayed out of Vietnam and the Middle East and stared down the Soviets directly.

  33. “There’s also the feeling of the need to protect Israel even though Israel has plenty of nukes to defend themselves.”

    Oh, I get it. You want to see nuclear weapons become Israel’s first line of defense – do you enjoy hearing very load noises? If you haven’t noticed: ever since WWII, nuclear weapons have served soley as a deterrent against somebody else’s nuclear weapons, and that only worked because the parties to the cold war were all willing to play the game rationally. You can do some hard work and try to show that Israel has sufficient conventional capabilities to defend itself, but just mentioning nuclear weapons won’t do the trick.

  34. The goal in Iraq is not to help humanity. The goal is to skim money off the billions we spend there. The more groups we support, especially when it causes a general escalation and the need for even more money, well the more skim. Bookies call it vigarish. Our ruling class could really care less, as long as that godless socialist Saddam is replaced by fellow religious nuts.

  35. Wait a second, who are “a group of Sunni terrorists supposedly supported by Shia Iran?”
    that we’re supporting?

    I’m having trouble keeping score here.

  36. Joe–that would be al-Qaeda in Iraq.

  37. Well, then, he should have mentioned that.

    Becuase the idea that Iran is backing al Qaeda in Iraq is so idiotic on its face that an ordinary reader cannot be expected to make that connection.

  38. Well, Joe, regrettably, the fellow who failed to mention that was me, but I figured the ideas been pimped everywhere by the administration and that it was therefore clear. For the record, that’s not an endorsement. I happen to agree with the “idiotic on its face.”

  39. brian-

    We’ve been supporting all these ‘entities’ for (at least) the last 50+ years…

    So, why was “9/11” suddenly ‘different’?

    Did we “finally” gave them enough money so that they could “afford” to attack us?

    Does the money we give ever reach the “middle-to-upper class”-type that actually commits most acts of ‘terrorism’?

    Perhaps you cannot “bribe” a ‘religious fanatic’?

    But, I do happen to agree with your conclusion… just let the ‘dumbshits’ kill each other!

    Of course, I felt the same way when I heard 75% of the murders in Columbus last year were committed by ‘blacks’ (65% were ‘black’ victims)- who only represent 22% of the population.

    I’m feeling a “Godfather” quote…

    “We have an agreement… We will keep the drug traffic in the ‘colored’ areas– they’re animals, let them lose their souls…”

  40. Anon,

    If you are too cowardly to attach your name, then just shut the fuck up.

  41. “Becuase the idea that Iran is backing al Qaeda in Iraq is so idiotic on its face that an ordinary reader cannot be expected to make that connection.”

    Idiotic though it seems, Iran is doing just that. It suits their short term goal.

  42. Anon, you Racist! We will track you down and prosecute you for Hate Crime for suggesting that our upstanding dark skinned brothers are anything but productive mambers of society.

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