Middle East

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by JMS, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. JMS

    JMS Member

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    Well, with more disturbing events unfolding in Syria, Iraq, etc, etc, I'm wondering if anyone else is thinking that the days of the 'strongman-dictator' may have been better over there. In other words, 'Saddam is not looking so bad, now.' The 'Rule of Law' seems to be a fairy-tale in these places.

    I suppose we could blame the British for drawing these national borders after WW1 in the manner they are, dividing ethnic and religious groups into artificial nations. I wonder if it was done in that manner to cause internal friction, keeping these new nations weak. Perhaps that is giving the folks at that time too much credit for having thought this far ahead.

    I suppose, too, 'we' (the US) may have done better if we facilitated the recent nation building in reverse... that is, rather than start with national elections/leadership and work down, perhaps start with local elections/ leadership and let the national leadership evolve out of the local. Maybe local police and local responsibility for security (similar to here) would be a better approach than centralized authority.

    In any event, it surely seems like nasty mid-east civil wars and cultural wars are going to be on the news for a long while.

    Well, I'll stop rambling and will be interested in reading the opinions of this erudite forum.
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Nations tend to build themselves.....and then sometimes they don't. We get pretty heady, considering how many problems we have in the U.S., that we're going to be able to solve other nations' problems and build them into stable powers.

    That said, Obama has done a great job telegraphing our plans to enemies. Why fight the U.S., with it's superior military, when you can just sit and wait for them to leave? Obama stating our intentions only makes it a more comfortable alternative.

    But haven't you heard? The Obama Administration doesn't want you thinking about Iraq or Afghanistan or Ukraine or Syria or Libya or Egypt or Iran or North Korea.... no no, it wants you to think about the middle class and domestic issues..... pay no mind to the "Affordable" Care Act, or hiring or the VA or the IRS or the prices you pay for gas....
     
  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    From Wiki

    Middle East and other places are examples out how nation and state are not coinciding.

    I see it as something like for a "state" to function with diverse cultural and ethinic make up, the state authority needs to strong or have some external factor uniting the cultural and ethinic differences. So Iraq's case, a strong leader is needed.

    For a "nation" to function, it needs cultural and ethnic uniformity. In Iraq's case, the national boundry doesn't confirm.
     
  4. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    As others have said, it's just a stark culture clash with West vs all. The current borders in the Middle East were largely formulated by European superpowers during the age of colonization, not by the actual inhabitants. Within these countries the populace is loyal to family-tribe-sect above all not some figment of patriotism and duty to one's country that Westerners all revere. This is why we sarcastically laud Iraqi/Afghani soldiers for their battle prowess. They could care less about a united Iraq....

    Pushing Western values where they just won't work will never help the situation
     
  5. DHinNH

    DHinNH USMA 1989

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    The American public doesn't want us to keep troops in "new" foreign locations.

    Imagine what Europe would look like if the public had not wanted us to stay in Germany after WWII.
     
  6. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    The public didn't want us to stay in Europe after WW2. Fortunately we had leaders who understood that governing by polls often isn't the same as acting in the long term best interests of the nation and the citizens. They got the whole "leadership is about leading" concept and it turns out that they did the right thing for the US and the world.
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    It may also be helpful to remember that while WWII was ending, a new.... cooler.... war was beginning. I don't think leaders were entirely oblivious to that.

    Considering current leadership, not "leading" by polling seems like ancient history.
     
  8. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

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    Sunni v Shiite War In The Middle East

    The conflicts in the Middle East today have devolved into a general Sunni vs. Shiite Moslem conflict, not too different from the horrible 30 Years War in Europe (1618-1648).

    The Sunnis are mostly led by Saudi Arabia, the Shiites by Iran, though these two nations are not actually fighting and using their own troops. Proxies, like Iranian-funded Hezbollah and Saudi-funded ISIS, are doing the fighting and dying.

    The Iraqi government is essentially a Shiite militia, allied with Iran, and far from the secular democracy envisioned by the architects of the US-led invasion of 2003.

    The 30 Years War in Europe (a very bloody affair, i.e. half the population of Germany being killed, for example) ended with Christianity itself being replaced as the supreme form of government (be it Catholic or Protestant) by nationalism, which remained the case until 1945.

    The result of the current religious wars in the Middle East?

    It may take years, decades, but eventually the violence will burn itself out and the influence of Islam in the running of societies in that part of the world will be dramatically....for the first time in 1400 years.

    But a lot of blood will be spilled in the meantime.

    This is a war, or series of wars, which should be fought among the people of that region, without outside interference (US stay home).

    England, though sympathetic to the Protestant side, remained out of the 30 Years War and by the time of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 had become one of the richest and most powerful countries in the world, building empires in North America, the Caribbean and India while the Europeans wasted fortunes and blood (the Swedes, Poles and Danes were never powerful again).

    The US should do likewise.

    Frack (oil and gas) at home instead of fight abroad.
     

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