Clarifying the battlefields of the Islamic Small Wars (my term) has been an issue since I began reading the news and blogging.
With perhaps the ascent of the Far Right, the “crusader west” analogy may have a little more substance, but it really isn’t true.
What AQ-types do, especially in the way of cruelty, sadism, and subjugation, goes against the grain of a normal and healthy humanity, and, frankly, Muslims seem themselves ever first in the path of the “jisadists”.
A western organization would first secure their children away from the fighting and work not to confuse noncombatants with warriors. That’s not going to make life fair to warriors who draw western attention, but if the same focus instead on fending off Iranian aggression and the alignments with Hezbollah and such, that may change the perception of who is fighting and why.
As regards Syria, Moscow today continues to represent feudal political absolutism — dictatorship, police state, mafia state, all of that — but this time (and this 25 years after the dissolving of the Soviet Union) as an ultra-nationalist imperial project counting on barbarism and its nuclear threat to get its way in the world. As such, it has managed to abet the destruction of Syria, produce some arms sales out of the horror put on display, and otherwise run its economy and cash reserves down to where it can do little more than loom large and hold its positions.
Syria is an immense tragedy, and the historic credit for it will most certainly go to Assad as flanked by Putin and Khamenei.
Charges against the west are often more assumptive and rhetorical than observed and reasoned. In the political psychology involved, there’s often a measure of the “paranoid delusional narcissistic reflection of motivation” — the target may be accused of harboring the motivations actually intended by the one pointing the finger.
In politics, narcissism often serves to cover an injury to the psyche (terms of art: “narcissistic mortification”; “splitting”) and over time, the cover abetted by anger and resentment can become quite malign and in such a way as to come to serve none but the afflicted himself. Go down the lists of the world’s dictators, and one may see the process repeating itself beneath different banners across time (with regard to dictators: “Different Talks — Same Walk!”).
And the walk turns out for most reliably miserable.
Revisit Mugabe’s history.
The post was written in response to a plea for western attention to drone strikes in Yemen that allegedly were killing any number of noncombatants, including children. Such “news” gets mixed up with post-operation battlefield assessments — but for a few hours to days, the propaganda is the thing.
Here’s what had happened.
Washington (CNN)Nawar Anwar Al-Awlaki, the 8-year-old daughter of former al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Anwar al-Awlaki, was killed in a joint American-UAE raid against the terror group Sunday, according to the girl’s family.
Anwar Al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric who directed attacks against the US, was killed in a targeted drone strike in 2011.
Search term for following graphic: “American, UAE, raid, Yemen”.
The Seal Team met resistance, fought back, called in reinforcements, and got out with the computers that had been the objective of the raid.
“The raid resulted in the seizure of materials and information that is yielding valuable intelligence to help partner nations deter and prevent future terror attacks in Yemen and across the world,” the statement continued.
The Pentagon said 14 al Qaeda fighters were killed in the battle. Central Command said an internal review team “concluded regrettably that civilian non-combatants were likely killed in the midst of a firefight” during the raid, adding that “casualties may include children.”
The statement said than an assessment was ongoing to determine the exact number of civilian casualties.
Thomas said the footage was part of the large amount of data taken in the raid. He said the team collected more intelligence and data “than we’ve gotten at any one time on AQAP up to now.” It included videos, computer and communications equipment and data.