A wounded nation on the edge of rage heard with sheer horror and disbelief as the mandated leader encapsulated the collective wisdom of the political parties in a committee that would take a week to decide what the plan of action should be. And then to ensure that no wound was deprived of any salt, Mr Sharif talked politics and joked with Imran Khan sitting next to him.
Obama has given MB plenty of room for operating and for being observed. As he is not a President for Life, the stronger elements that comprise our government will survive him and probably be able to use the knowledge gained during his tenure. I would fear as much a flip toward the extreme Right in America. We really need a central, progressive, and prudent politics, and the zealots in politics have really skewed the conversation away from the middle ranks. That needs fixing, so I am becoming a Passionate Moderate Liberal.
The above comes not from The Awesome Conversation but rather from private correspondence.
As with the polarizing of American politics, which so far remain civil, a glance at the hot conflicts within the Islamic Small Wars campus tell a tale about the possession of armies in the name of the people: Syria just didn’t have one.
Bashar the Butcher al-Assad had an army.
Every band of mixed pedigree with heavy jihad on its mind made itself an army.
The greater portion of the population of Syria, which numbers above six million internally displace and refugee: no army — no defense — nothing against the state’s military power or the ruthless ambition of spoilers ambitious for plunder, rape, and rapine beneath their black banners.
Iraq appeared to have had an army before ISIS bore down on it and got it to jump out of its boots and uniforms, so it may be said that moderate Sunnis, Chaldean Christians, and the Yezedis also had no more army in Iraq than they would have had in Syria.
To its credit plus the rightful defensive stance of Shiites looking north toward Sunni extremists, it might be said that Baghdad, finally, has an army, and it’s moving but with the pace known to other armies challenged by Islamist irregulars. Even with an army formed to defend the middle humanity of a state, the same would seem to need an army of detectives to deal with the state’s major irritants.
(Reuters) – The Iraqi soldier says he abandoned the army last week in despair. And while he still plans to fight he will not rejoin the unit he deserted in the western city of Ramadi.
Instead, he wants to sign up as a volunteer, alongside tens of thousands of others, to help defend Shi’ite shrines against Sunni insurgents who have swept the country’s north and west and who he believes now threaten his sect.
Note, February 19, 223: I’ve tried to repair link-rot on two videos (so done) on this post, but the condition (when objects and references disappear down the memory hole) is impossible to address in all cases. Thought assembled and published in this way decays in mechanics as well as relevance. –jso
This copy posted to YouTube on February 20, 2014. 0:25:
We want to be free from dictatorship. We want to be free from the politicians who work only for themselves, who are ready to shoot, to beat, to injure people just for saving their money, just for saving their houses, just for saving their power.
I want these people who are here, who have dignity, who are brave: I want them to lead a normal life. We are civilized people but our government are barbarians.
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Deadly clashes between protesters and police in Kiev on Tuesday led to a fire-lit nighttime assault by Interior Ministry troops on the main protest encampment at Independence Square, in what may be a dramatic and irreversible turn in Ukraine’s months-long political crisis.
EU foreign ministers have called an emergency meeting on Ukraine for Thursday.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said: “We have … made it clear that the EU will respond to any deterioration on the ground. We therefore expect that targeted measures against those responsible for violence and use of excessive force can be agreed by our member states as a matter of urgency.”
Posted to YouTube, February 25, 2014.
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In the middle east: Putin-Assad-Khamenei.
In eastern Europe: hard to say.
As the late Barry Rubin has pointed out in regard to the middle east, the revolution goes with the military. Mubarak had a good run, but come time to set up dynasty, Egypt’s military countenanced the revolution (and a year later rescued the latent democracy from a fascist Islamic organization that maintained the Mubarak-era torture chambers, jailed progressive journalists, altered the constitution to consolidate power in what may well have been another “president for life”.
With Assad’s unforgivable assaults on Syrian noncombatant constituents in mind, this news unfolding from Ukraine may well signal the end of an age of dictatorship. It may turn out a second fall of the Soviet Union, a post-Soviet challenge to the continuance of state oligarchies forged in the shadows of the Cold War.
One hopes that it is not also the start of a new era of autocratic repression, but with armed state organizations brought to the barricades, one never knows. Who is in those military and paramilitary forces? Are their senior and junior officers dissenting from the projection of state power and the arrangement of regional power?
The people have themselves: what else do they have? Who else do they have on board with them?
As Nero fiddled, so I’ve heard, Putin as host of the most expensive winter games in history, has been in his glory in Sochi.
We shall soon find out, I am sure, what Ukraine’s armed forces think about that, for protest in the streets is by itself a strong signal — ask Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan about that — but it is not a coup; it is, however, revolutionary.
Syria’s victimized needs must understand that the civil war is their war, not Assad’s war, not al-Qaeda’s war, not Iran’s war or Saudi Arabia’s war, not Russia’s war, not America’s war. Their war.
When Idris defected from Assad’s military, he left an abused organizations — which I have read described as “coup proof” — for disorganized civilian and military energy, which latter he was then to organize. Maybe at the Pentagon and among historians, that should not have been such a big deal, but in the reality, loose bands and militia with many things on their minds do not a ready-made military form. And in waltz the “Islamists” . . . .
“Syria for Syrians” would be my slogan, but it seems we (okay: of “the west”, of sentimental and sympathetic feeling) don’t know how to help them.
Note: the Kurdish People of Syria threatened directly with annihilation by ISIS et al. have taken care of themselves and possibly taken a chunk of Syria with them. However, fighting on that overlooked front continues in the general spilling across borders that the AQ affiliates, even if revoked, lol, define in their own weird way.
Facebook for me has become an Everyman’s Conflict and Politics Roundtable (as well as provocateur and politico tipster heaven) as it has for others, and, of course, it’s not the only “board” (remember those days?) in cyberspace where a lively discussion on conflict and politics is to be had at will.
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It is simply a cutthroat struggle for power, between jihadist groups of similar ideology, distinct only in name and the identity of their backers, albeit with slightly differing methods of imposing their doctrines on the ground.
Britain also suspended deliveries some six weeks ago and Turkey shut its side of the border as fears over the growing strength of extremist jihadis crystallized in the takeover of the warehouses and bases by the Islamic Front, a new alliance of six of the most powerful Islamic rebel groups in Syria.
It was a stark demonstration of how Idris’ influence had diminished amid the rise of al-Qaida-affiliated militants flush with cash, weapons and battleground experience.
That is why the army they don’t have managed to bomb so many millions of them out of their businesses and homes without quelling The Revolution, not to mention failing also to impede for long the regressive progress made by the al-Qaeda affiliates.
However, in Syria, the direction of impedance changes daily with the battles under way.
Syrians could have an army IF the army they don’t have can find a totem for rallying other than a) Bashar al-Assad and family or b) themselves, which more frequently is how things go with coup and junta.
Obama appears to want to tend to worries around his home, conceptually.
And Putin appears to be getting ready for a glorious Winter Olympics.
As mentioned in the top I-like-the-sound-of-my-own-voice section of this post, surrounding states and the UN haven’t more in their kits than humanitarian campground aid (and peacekeepers, when it’s safe to deploy them in defensive or tripwire positions).
* * *
Syrians have no army.
In the middle east, armies, as has been pointed out by the recently departed conservative scholar Barry Rubin, may account for the failure and success of revolutions in the region: if the army’s with the revolutionaries, the revolution wins; if it stays with the regime, the regime wins.
Like a seesaw, the balance shifts back and forth for a while, but the stronger in arms prevails.
Mubarak’s pedestal was shaken by the people, but he was pushed off it by the army and the establishment. The revolution in Egypt succeeded because the army did not want Mubarak any more. The turning point was not that the army would not shoot its own people–it has done so before–but that it would not do so in order to save Mubarak.
Barry Rubin’s article inadvertently also provides a snapshot of Egypt and other of the Arab Spring-involves states just about two-and-one-half years ago. The Egypt he wrote about then was to succumb only momentarily (even if it seemed a lifetime) to the prodigious talents of the Muslim Brotherhood for economic and social regress.
Barry Rubin: Assessing Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood – YouTube – 29:38 – posted 8/29/2013, event recorded 7/12/2013. “The elite would not protect the regime . . . they had lost confidence in Mubarak.” Rubin also goes on to say at 15:22, “People in the middle east know they are on their own! I mean whether I like them or not.”
The Egyptian society is currently at a point of rupture of the historical cycle during which it had been de-politicized through imposed top-down policies. It is undergoing a process of re-politicization and it is gradually realizing its rights and power; and thus the refusal of the masses to accept the governance of a Muslim Brotherhood that did not meet their demands.