Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

War Dreams

with 5 comments

I have to admit that the situation in Syria and the Middle East is a little disturbing. Maybe a lot disturbing. In the normal course of events the rebellion would be crushed in Syria, but we are no longer within the normal course of events. And the Syrian mess is horribly intertwined with Israel’s threat to attack Iran, and the spreading instability from Syria … Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey are already getting spillover. And on the “World News” tonight on TV: The Washington Shooting, Immigration, Domestic politics, and … drum roll … the Loch Ness Monster. Yes dear reader, the sole actual international story on the American news tonight was about the latest Loch Ness Monster hoax. They didn’t call it a hoax though. And then they claimed people have been seeing the Loch Ness Monster since the seventh century. That, in the common or orc speech, is called a lie. Loch Ness Monster sightings date from 1933, which should have ended all the silliness long ago.

Yes, I’m digressing all over the place again. Syria, what’s to be done? I tried writing a blog post. Turns out just understanding the history of Syria is a few blog posts on its own, maybe dozens. Add current events and its a real conundrum. I’ll try and sum it up. Under the guise of supporting a democratic uprising in Syria, the USA and Israel are destabilizing Syria to further isolate Iran, and maybe even force it to capitulate on its nuclear program. Russia and China are supporting the status quo in Syria, and for the moment at least have forestalled direct NATO involvement. No lines in the sand have been drawn yet though. Everyone else in the region is trying to look after themselves, which sadly includes huge numbers of civilians and refugees at this point. And to spice up the mix, Israel is openly talking about a “30 day war” with Iran. And the Iranians responded with stupid sabre rattling of their own.

Fun fun times. It’s impossible to say where this will lead, but I don’t really see how this is going to lead to more peace and stability in the region. Syria, like so many Middle Eastern and African nations, isn’t  a natural nation, just lines on the map drawn by France and England after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War One. That bodes ill for any peaceful end to this. The ongoing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan also bode ill for Syria, ten years after the west “liberated” them they are still failed states with no end in sight. Even Egypt’s new president has called for “regime change” in Syria, while criticizing Muslim on Muslim violence, especially during Ramadan. Encouraging violence while simultaneously criticizing it, I don’t even begin to understand that.

And then there’s Israel’s threat to carry out an extended bombing campaign against Iran. Sigh. The Israelis seem determined to keep themselves isolated and hated among nations of the Middle East, they are so stuck in siege mode that they can’t seem to imagine anything else. Once one has convinced oneself that their enemies are sub-human savages, it’s a short trip to believing that violence is the only option. Again, I can’t even imagine what the fallout from an Israeli war on Iran would entail. Though I certainly don’t imagine it leading to peace in the Middle East and a democratic western oriented regime in Iran.  An Israeli attack on Iran would be Muslim militant fundamentalist’s wet dream though. That’s another aspect of this mess that’s appalling, so many of the actors seem to be deliberately taking steps that will lead to more Islamic militants and more terrorism. Madness, ignorance, or design? Damned if I know.

To me it’s clear that anyone who says they understand what’s going on the Middle East now is a liar or a fool. Decades ago a wag said that “If God is dead, he died trying to solve the Middle East Problem.” Truer now than ever. I think modern propaganda is making the situation worse, it has been a terrible force for polarization and tunnel vision. Having everyone in the region armed to the teeth isn’t helping any either. I also think Israel is one of the worst actors in the whole unwholesome mess, as I think their goal is to create a situation where they can ethnically cleanse the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the name of “national security.” The USA is running  a close second, our foreign policy is so driven by domestic affairs that it has lost touch with reality. I don’t think anyone involved has pure motives though, at least not the major players. And of course I could be utterly wrong about any or all of this.

And here in America in the run-up to the fall presidential elections, we are having a spirited national debate on the wisdom of our militant and aggressive foreign policy. Snort. Nope, we have two war party’s calling the other side “soft on defence.” The one candidate, Ron Paul, actually calling for some sanity in our foreign policy is ignored or hated depending on who’s doing the ignoring or the hating. Lot’s of hating going around, that’s the one constant in all of this, domestically and in the Middle East. Yeah, that always ends well.

Have a great weekend everyone.

(The above image is Public Domain under US copyright law, having been painted in 1872 by Peter Nicolai Arbo, Norway 1831-1892. It’s titled Åsgårdsreien, or in English, The Wild Hunt. The Wild Hunt is a common myth across Northern Europe, it’s the sighting of a group of spectral hunters and hounds tearing across the sky. Sightings of it are often supposed to be an omen of disaster or war. I think the gentle reader can discern why I found it an appropriate illustration for this post.)

Written by unitedcats

August 17, 2012 at 7:23 am

5 Responses

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  1. Turkey is playing a major role in the Syrian conflict. RAMADANI: Okay. Turkey has had historical ambitions in Syria, just like they have some historical ambitions in Iraq, because remember after World War I, the Ottoman Empire was the dominant empire in the region. After World War I, the Ottoman Empire was defeated in that war, and all areas controlled by the Ottoman Empire, based in Turkey, were divided amongst Britain and France mainly. Now, Turkey became extremely angry at that settlement, and forces within Turkey still are determined to regain lost influence in Syria and Iraq, both territorially and politically.

    Economically, Turkey became a big power in the region. They started building relations with various—and that’s important—with various Muslim Brotherhood forces across the region.

    timmyd7409

    August 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

    • Oh yeah, Turkey is deeply involved in this mess too, and I’m not impressed with their motives and goals either. Though I’m not sure if it’s territorial ambitions or just a desire to keep the Kurds “in their place.” Likely a little of both. And only superficially familiar with the Muslim Brotherhood, but yes, they are involved as well. I do find the west’s involvment the most pernicious though, especialy now that they are openly using the UN to “justify” regime change, not to mention using same to “justify” what were once considered acts of war such as arming rebels. And almost all of this traces back to the ghastly decisions made in the region after World War One by France and england refusing to grasp that the colonial era was in its death throes. JMO. —Doug

      unitedcats

      August 17, 2012 at 10:04 am

  2. The adjective pernicious couldn’t sum up US foreign policy any better!!!!

    timmyd7409

    August 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

  3. If there’s going to be a war with Iran, you do everything you can to try to weaken and neutralize Hezbollah, and the first step to do that is you destabilize and do what you can against Syria.

    Without Syria, Hezbollah will be much weaker. Although it’s a very indigenous Lebanese force and it’s very popular amongst large sections of the Lebanese population, its arms and supplies do come through Syria. So, obviously, they will lose a major ally in Syria.

    timmyd7409

    August 19, 2012 at 11:16 pm

  4. Doug Ive tried and tried to unfollow you on wordpress… Alas, they wont let me. I agree with ALMOST EVERYTHING you say here- but would add the only thing missing is an ” Archduke Ferdinand” character to get things moving really quickly…
    Isnt it almost exactly the 98th anniversary of Gavrilo Princep?
    Hamas, Hezbollah or the Mahdi Army going to replay his character?

    Steve

    August 20, 2012 at 7:25 am


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