Calling Planet Peace Movement 2014

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Once more the people of Earth are calling planet peace movement!

by Patrick Muldowney

The first batch of chemical weapons (CW) recently left port in Syria and given there is a large scale civil war in progress (with all the life and death logistical problems that implies) the compelled program for their destruction is virtually right on schedule! If this continues and there is no reason to think it won’t – the Syrian CW disarmament will be completed in the next 6 months and so a question arises; what manner of progressive would not agree that disarmament is a very good thing?

This good result, is unambiguously not thanks to the efforts of any western ‘peace movement’ or ‘anti-imperialist left’. Indeed not one organized grouping identifying as radically left has made any positive contribution to this part of the process of disarming the Assad regime. All of the ‘3 letter’ groups opposed (even if they verbally or theoretically denounce the Baathist / Alawite regime of the Assad dynasty, and naturally they mostly do so) the very real military threats – when they were made by the reluctant Obama and were imminent – that brought about this capitulation of the Assad regime.

But the reality – and everyone knows this – is that no cruise missile threat no good outcome!

The chemical weapons disarmament now in progress, is the direct result of the aggressive placement of military forces and the clear understanding by the Assad tyranny that these forces would be used in a very substantial way to destroy his air power, command and control and seriously and quite unpredictably disrupt his regime’s war effort against the democratically minded Syrian peoples’ and others that oppose him.

The exact military force that ‘cruise missile Marxists’ like me have advocated the use of, since the earliest stages of this struggle for democratic rights, has been put before the regime and this threat of force has brought about this good result.

If I, as a revolutionary democrat complain now it’s because this military force could just as well have been used much earlier, after for example the more minor use of these chemical weapons. Or when we ‘cruise missile Marxists’ first called for NATO intervention in the NFZ style manner of war that liberated the Libyan people!

In retrospect, it’s plain to see that such an intervention would have spared the lives of a great many Syrians, so it would qualify as a humanitarian intervention; as well as an intervention for the furtherance of the obvious revolutionary goals of transforming this tyranny into another garden variety (by ME standards) bourgeois democracy.

We might all note in passing that sparing Syrian lives is clearly of no real concern to the current POTUS and ditherer in chief Barack Obama. This ‘historical blockage’ of a political leader, is hardly much more than a shameless, self-promoting waste of eight years, as has been demonstrated often enough by comparison to the Syrian policy proposals put forward in contrast by his rival, and the once alternate candidate for POTUS – John McCain. As is now being revealed by the once insider people like Defence Sec., Robert Gates. Gates had to cope with this Administration’s lack of commitment to any war of liberation!

Anyway, it is a reasonable estimate that 120,000 plus casualties have been inflicted on Syrians as a direct result of the resistance to their peaceful democratic demands. The war and its casualties are the result of the intransigence of the regime. That tyrannical regime is well known to be a less murderous tyranny than the Saddam Hussein variety was. Everyone knows Saddam got away with the Halabja mass-murder with nary a threat to his CW back in 1988! How the world has changed.

Right across the western world confused left’s, and the pseudoleftists are currently peculiarly silent while they understand, or ought to, that this disarmament, AFTER the attack that killed perhaps 100th of the total 120,000 is NOT IN THEIR NAME.

The chemical weapons are being destroyed as a result of a threatened and more than credibly imminent ‘cruise missile’ response, which Obama belatedly was shamed into ordering. There was a way to prevent that attack and that was to comply with the U.S. demands for the orderly and verifiable CW disarmament now underway. Having overreached with the attack, Assad had no better choice available than to preserve his Air Force etc..

This ‘cruise missile’ Marxist really does believe that all political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

I accept that not only is the struggle to rid the world of tyrannies necessarily protracted (and political unit by political unit variable in the how and when) I think it reasonable to remind people that by the time this CW disarmament task is completed, it is likely that a further 20-30,000 Syrians will be dead from the continuation of the conventional methods used. At that point absolute casualty numbers may well be running neck and neck with those sustained over eleven years in the warfare required to liberate and launch the bourgeois democratic revolution for the peoples’ of Iraq.

That number in Syria will have been achieved in ⅓ the time required for the more difficult task in the larger country of Iraq! Events in Iraq may unfold altering that trajectory, but what are the political demands that could bring the fighting to a stop in either country? What politics ought to be sought by radical democrats to win the war and stop the killing in both of these countries?

In six months time, there still won’t be an end in sight to the protracted war in either country, but in Iraq the democratic forces have been fighting off the front foot for years, while in Syria the regime still has all its ‘toys’ – except the chemical one’s responsible for only 100th of the casualties anyway. This is progress. Unfortunately, Assad got a pretty good deal as he continues to ethnically cleanse and cut out and try to build a holdable enclave.

When this issue came to a head last August, The North Star (TNS) a site deliberately set up to foster real debate among leftists after the events of Libya demonstrated to the site’s founder Pham Binh, (PB) that such a site was required, the site imploded.

TNS essentially collapsed under the strain and was ‘re-launched’ after some not so behind the scenes numbers crunch. The relaunched project was essentially a fraud. There is no longer debate to be had at TNS, more on that later.

Specifically, TNS 2, after a dishonest play against PB and quite blatant repudiation of its original raison d’etre for a broadly inclusive site for discussion and debate has imploded in the dishonest repudiation of that required debate and many people have been censored and banned etc., by the new owners.

To be frank, TNS fell into a madness of juvenile pseudoleftism and the bog standard censorship, found across the spectrum at Neverland ‘socialist’ sites, again unfolded with the boringly predictable results that saw the site abandoned by anyone worth a cracker. The new owners can now talk to themselves and the usual no-hopers in the usual echo chamber manner. The behaviour and consequent numbers are now on record to tell the tale. But as I said I will return to that topic later.

Back in the Middle East next ‘door’ to Syria, the Iraqi army is currently surrounding Fallujah, and the Sunni ‘tribe’ irregular troops are assisting the elected government to retake the city and capture or kill as many Al Qaeda forces they can get hold of.

Back over the border up in Aleppo, the FSA type elements are also taking on Al Qaeda types. Further north, the Turkish government;

‘…has removed 350 police officers from their posts in the capital Ankara, following a corruption probe targeting people close to the government.’

and Turkish politicians are fist fighting in the parliament.

John Kerry is doing his best to put pressure on Netanyahu, eight years after Sharon actually left the scene, and less than a decade after the Zionist state led by him pulled all it’s settlers and troops out of the Gaza strip.

So all troops and settlers are finally out of Sinai, Gaza and Lebanon (invaded under ‘defence’ minister Sharon back in 1982).  The war for greater Israel goes on with the Syrian Golan Heights still occupied; Palestinian East Jerusalem; and the West Bank still occupied – BUT these days the U.S. President – since GWB – no longer calls these areas ‘disputed territory’ but occupied territories!

Clearly U.S. interests are not served in continuing the failed war for Greater Israel. Clearly the U.S. even under Obama, is putting pressure on the Israeli government, and the embarrassing ‘settlement’ project. The blatant racism of Zionism has slowly united world opinion against the project for greater Israel launched in 1967.

For my money, a complicated circle of revolutionary transformation has now closed and western political and military power led by the U.S. has played a leading role in the process. U.S., and other NATO forces are busy in Jordan, both training and equipping ‘FSA’, or equivalent fighters and the bloody war launched by Assad grinds on.

The casualties mount right across the region but provided the U.S. and NATO don’t threaten to destroy Assad’s airpower, the western ‘peace’ movement will stay quiet about the arms and training provided to the FSA.  In other words – provided this war is conducted in the most incompetent and costly (in terms of casualties to the Syrian democratic peoples’) manner – as a slow burn against a well supplied tyranny – the pseudoleft will stay in Neverland.

Obama may yet get the Netanyahu government to finalize the defeat and his supporters will delude themselves with his great achievements, but whatever unfolds US interests spelt out under GWB when he declared the territories occupied and not disputed are now clear enough. The general direction is not going to change, and the general pressure will continue to grow!

27 Responses to “Calling Planet Peace Movement 2014”


  1. 1 Rosa Lichtenstein

    Ah, yet another laptop general in the safety of a bed-sit somewhere in the suburbs criticising the left for not taking up arms in support of the latest fad aired at this site…

  2. 2 admin

    Arthur pointed out what happens when you spend 25 years obsessing about a method of thinking rather than applying that method – or your alternative method – to try to solve some concrete issue. No good blaming the method of thinking for the bad behaviour or bad political policy, when others claiming to use that method draw an opposite conclusion.

    Rosa does not make an argument about how Assad’s CW’s ought to be addressed and doesn’t feel the need to. The issue is described as a fad!

    Clearly Rosa opposed the threat that Obama made to attack Assad’s forces in exactly the same manner as any of the usual suspects that claim to use DM to arrive at that exact conclusion. Clearly this disarmament is not in Rosa’s name, any more than it is in the name of any of the pseudoleft sects, claiming to use DM.

    It turns out that both Rosa and the 3 letter sects apply the principle of NEVER unite with bourgeois forces and both turn away from the revolutionary transformation that is underway across the ME. For them it’s just not happening!

    Political forces who currently have the guns (and have an objective interest in the spread of bourgeois democracy – draining the swamp) ought to be encouraged to employ them in their interests and the interests of democracy and assisting the oppressed to overthrow the tyranny. That is the Maoist method of unite the many to defeat the few but Rosa will have none of it. Rosa will not support NATO governments arming and training of the FSA. Hands off Syria is her chant!

    The pseudoleft is here criticised for being blind to the plight of Syrians and rather providing the excuse for Obama etc., being a do-nothing, and Rosa is as usual shoulder to shoulder with all the usual suspects on the wrong side.

    The Syrian revolution requires assistance and the pseudoleft attempt to hinder instead.

    The pseudoleft purport to want change but nevertheless sit on their hands and harp from the fringe while revolutionary change is fought for by others. Rosa is deaf to the cries of the masses for a democratic future just as her type has always been in the past claiming to use DM or not.

  3. 3 patrickm

    To Summarise

    This CW disarmament is not just in the interests of the U.S. ruling class or any particular ruling elite. American foreign policy has been incompetently handled by Obama who ought to be found lacking in comparison to McCain. That criticism stands irrespective of whether McCain cares more or less than Obama about the loss of Syrian lives. McCain’s policies have followed more closely U.S. cross class interests than Obama’s policies.

    For proletarian revolutionaries this CW disarmament is an unambiguously good result and it has been achieved because the Assad regime capitulated under credible threat of U.S./NATO force. Everyone knows –
    no cruise missile threat – no good outcome. There are no thanks due to the efforts of any western ‘peace movement’, or ‘anti-imperialist left’; quite the reverse, as all of the ‘3 letter’ groups (even if they formally denounce the Assad regime) have openly opposed Obama’s credible though belated threats that brought this result about.

    All progressives agree that this disarmament is a very good thing, but this military force could just as well have been credibly ‘used’ much earlier when the ‘red line’ was first crossed, and before the CW were used on the large scale that forced Obama’s reluctant hand.

    In retrospect, such an intervention would have spared the lives of a great many democratically minded Syrians, so it may qualify as a humanitarian intervention but that is not the issue for democratic and communist revolutionaries. The disarmament does however further the obvious revolutionary goals of transforming this country (that currently operates as a murderous tyranny) into yet another, bog standard, garden variety ME bourgeois democracy and that is the issue. That’s progress and that’s what all progressives work towards. Rosa (who denounces DM) and the rest of the old gang (who ‘uphold’ the use of DM) are not any sort of progressives whatsoever.

    What ever else can be said, it is nevertheless clear that this – after usage – consequential forced disarmament demonstrates progress on planet Earth. Back in 1988, even larger crimes such as Halabja went entirely unpunished by the international community and the tyrant continued on!

    Pseudoleftists are silent while they understand, that this disarmament, after the attack which killed perhaps 100th of the total 120,000 is NOT IN THEIR NAME.

    Assad overplayed his hand and so had no better choice available than to preserve his Air Force etc., and continue to ethnically cleanse areas to carve out his loyalist mostly Alawite enclave, because he like ‘Cruise missile’ Marxists really does believe that all political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

    The strategic effort of progressives to rid the world of tyrannies is necessarily protracted and specifically – case by case – tactically variable.

    Currently Syrian casualties are running much faster than in Iraq and will at some point if this continues be higher in total than in Iraq. (20,000 to 30,000 extra casualties by the time the CW are dealt with). At that point absolute casualty numbers may well be running neck and neck with those sustained over eleven years in the warfare required to liberate and launch the bourgeois democratic revolution for the peoples’ of Iraq.

    That number in Syria will have been achieved in a third the time required for the more difficult task in the larger country of Iraq! That ‘far worse rate’ indicates that liberation may be better achieved against a well armed tyranny with foreign intervention than by the efforts of the unarmed population from their own efforts. At any rate it it does not go to make the contrary argument that liberation MUST be from the bottom up and only internal.

    Events in Iraq may unfold that alter the current trajectory but for progressives the question is what are the political demands that could bring the fighting to a stop in either country?

    What policies ought to be followed by radical democrats to win the war and stop the killing in both of these countries? In six months time, there still won’t be an end in sight to the protracted war in either country, but in Iraq the democratic forces have been fighting off the front foot for years now while in Syria the regime still has most of its ‘toys’ still available to it.

    Ought Fallujah currently be left to Al Qaeda?

    Is Kerry doing his best to put pressure on Netanyahu because U.S. interests are not served in continuing the failed war for Greater Israel?

    Some countries are training and equipping ‘FSA’ ought they be?

    Did Rosa answer, or even begin to address any of these valid points and questions? No. All we got was bigotry and contemptuousness of my being a poor person talking from a bedsit. How contemptible and elitist.

  4. 4 Rosa Lichtenstein

    Thanks for those responses. I’ll reply later today.

  5. 5 Rosa Lichtenstein

    Admin:

    “Arthur pointed out what happens when you spend 25 years obsessing about a method of thinking rather than applying that method – or your alternative method – to try to solve some concrete issue.”

    More like 35, actually. Even so, I can rest content in the knowledge that I have shown your ‘method’ — dialectics — is worse than unsound.

    “No good blaming the method of thinking for the bad behaviour or bad political policy, when others claiming to use that method draw an opposite conclusion.”

    In fact, the situation is far worse than this. As I have already pointed out: this ‘method’ of yours can be and has been used by the *very same* dialectician to derive one result *and* its opposite (sometimes in the same book, article, paragraph or even speech!). Dozens of examples at my site:

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2009_02.htm#CaseStudies

    So, not only would this ‘method’ make change impossible, it can be used to derive anything you like and its opposite. Hence it is an ideal tool for opportunists, reactionaries, anti-Marxists and counter-revolutionaries of every stripe (unfortunately, and with all due respect: examples of which seem to be quite common at this site).

    “Rosa does not make an argument about how Assad’s CW’s ought to be addressed and doesn’t feel the need to. The issue is described as a fad!”

    And where have I described “Assad’s CW’s” as a ‘fad’?

    “It turns out that both Rosa and the 3 letter sects apply the principle of NEVER unite with bourgeois forces and both turn away from the revolutionary transformation that is underway across the ME. For them it’s just not happening!”

    And where have I said this?

    You should take up writing WMD dossiers for the US and UK governments. You’re quite good at making stuff up.

    The rest of your rant against me is no less fictional, and is based on nothing I have said here (or elsewhere, for that matter).

    Looks like I’ve upset you laptop generals.

    Your response: a verbal cluster bomb dispatched with all the accuracy of the US Air Force in Iraq.

    However, I’m grateful you haven’t deployed any depleted Uranium — just depleted evidence.

  6. 6 Rosa Lichtenstein

    Patrick:

    “That’s progress and that’s what all progressives work towards. Rosa (who denounces DM) and the rest of the old gang (who ‘uphold’ the use of DM) are not any sort of progressives whatsoever.”

    I don’t just denounce it — I have demolished it.

    Of course, if you think differently, you’ll no doubt be quite happy to show where I have gone wrong.

    “Ought Fallujah currently be left to Al Qaeda?”

    In 2002, there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq.

    Now there is.

    Er…, can’t think what happened in between?

    Oh yes, those uniformed mass murderers — the US military — invaded, and helped recruit 1000s to Al Qaeda’s cause.

    Very intelligent.

    You ‘progressives’ seem not to have made this connection.

    “Did Rosa answer, or even begin to address any of these valid points and questions?”

    Happy to do so just as soon as you show where my demolition of dialectics has gone wrong.

    That is, *if* you can…

    “No. All we got was bigotry and contemptuousness of my being a poor person talking from a bedsit. How contemptible and elitist.”

    I’m sorry, are you perhaps in the front line in Syria? Or in Fallujah using your laptop to chase off Al Qaeda? If so, I do apologise!

    How brave of you wanting to send others off to fight your ‘progressive’ battles for you, so long as you are safe to post ‘progressive’ messages on the web.

    Check this book out:

    http://www.versobooks.com/books/1203-the-liberal-defence-of-murder

    “An updated account of how liberal calls for humanitarian intervention provide a smoke screen for imperial conquest.

    “A war that has killed more than a million Iraqis was a “humanitarian intervention”, the US army is a force for liberation, and the main threat to world peace is posed by Islam. These are the arguments of a host of liberal commentators, including such notable names as Christopher Hitchens, Kanan Makiya, Michael Ignatieff, Paul Berman, and Bernard-Henri Lévy.

    “In this critical intervention, Richard Seymour unearths the history of liberal justifications for empire, showing how savage policies of conquest — including genocide and slavery — have been retailed as charitable missions. From the Cold War to the War on Terror, Seymour argues that colonialist notions of ‘civilization’ and ‘progress’ still shape liberal pro-war discourse, concealing the same bloody realities.

    “In a new afterword, Seymour revisits the debates on liberal imperialism in the era of Obama and in the light of the Afghan and Iraqi debacles.”

    So, it exposes ‘progressives’ like you who have been providing a left/liberal cover for colonial conquest and imperialist mass murder since the 17th century.

    Have a nice fume…

  7. 7 patrickm

    In the first comment to an article about Assad’s CW’s Rosa says;

    ‘Ah, yet another laptop general in the safety of a bed-sit somewhere in the suburbs criticising the left for not taking up arms in support of the latest fad aired at this site…’

    The ‘latest fad’ being the Syria CW article Rosa is responding to!

    “Rosa does not make an argument about how Assad’s CW’s ought to be addressed and doesn’t feel the need to. The issue is described as a fad!”

    Rosa then says in reply to that;

    ‘And where have I described “Assad’s CW’s” as a ‘fad’?’

    Well where indeed? Maybe your first comment about the latest fad aired at this site. I conclude that Rosa is forgetful, stupid or dishonest and think myself reasonable in doing so! Whatever the cause Rosa is as boring as bat shit.

    Rosa won’t answer direct questions such as “Ought Fallujah currently be left to Al Qaeda?”, in a thread not dealing with her issue of obsession – dialectical materialism – accept to say she’d be happy to answer – if we were willing to deal with her issue from the thread discussing DM! Well that’s not how it works Rosa. That is spamming a site. Either you deal with what the thread has been posted about or you get dumped in the Junk file for not being relevant to the thread.

    Other people may put up with you spamming them with your belief that you have ‘demolished’ the dialectical method – rather than telling you to get on topic and stay there but we won’t. We will just establish a Junk file and throw your spam in to it.

    We don’t censor people, so we will re-establish the required junk folder and that’s where Rosa will end up if she continues on with the spamming.

    It is unacceptable to rubbish people for where they live, or their gender, or their sexual orientation their age, or their state of health. An argument about what attitude a western proletarian could be expected to take towards the organisation Al Qaeda (that conducts actions right across the world anyway) and still consider themselves as a progressive is not addressed by speculating about where and how that person lives.

    To further summarise what this article is about so that Rosa and anyone else can focus their replies.

    This current CW disarmament is an unambiguously good thing to be supported by all progressives, and it has been achieved because the Assad regime capitulated under credible threat of U.S./NATO force. This military force could just as well have been credibly ‘used’ much earlier when the ‘red line’ was first crossed.

    While this may qualify as a humanitarian intervention that is not the issue for democratic and communist revolutionaries like me. The revolutionary goal of transforming this country is the issue.

    I say Rosa (who denounces DM) and the rest of the old gang (like Richard Seymour who ‘uphold’ the use of DM) are not any sort of progressives whatsoever.

    Pseudoleftists are silent but this disarmament is NOT IN THEIR NAME.

    The strategic effort of progressives to rid the world of tyrannies is necessarily protracted and specifically – case by case – tactically variable.

    Currently Syrian casualties are running at a rate much faster than in Iraq and a further 20,000 to 30,000 extra casualties by the time the CW are dealt with are likely.

    Casualties in Syria and Iraq are worth comparing – but the main issue is what are the political demands that could bring the fighting to a stop in either country?

    What policies ought to be followed by radical democrats to win the war and stop the killing in both of these countries?

    Ought Fallujah currently be left to Al Qaeda?

    Is Kerry doing his best to put pressure on Netanyahu because U.S. interests are not served in continuing the failed war for Greater Israel?

    Some countries are training and equipping ‘FSA’ ought they be?

    I don’t want to deal with any more bigotry and contemptuousness of my being a poor person talking from a bedsit.

  8. 8 steve owens
  9. 9 Rosa Lichtenstein

    Patrick:

    ‘And where have I described “Assad’s CW’s” as a ‘fad’?’

    Still true; I have nowhere asserted this, and you have yet to quote me to that effect.

    Here comes the usual abuse in place of proof:

    “I conclude that Rosa is forgetful, stupid or dishonest and think myself reasonable in doing so! Whatever the cause Rosa is as boring as bat shit.”

    1) As we can now see, it is you, my confused friend, who is the fabulist here.

    2) I’d rather be boring (*if* I am) than a supporter of those mass murdering Imperialists.

    “Rosa won’t answer direct questions such as “Ought Fallujah currently be left to Al Qaeda?”,”

    I did. Perhaps you need a new pair of glasses?

    Oh dear, working yourself up into a right old lather, aren’t you?

    “Other people may put up with you spamming them with your belief that you have ‘demolished’ the dialectical method – rather than telling you to get on topic and stay there but we won’t. We will just establish a Junk file and throw your spam in to it.”

    1) I note once again that you can’t show where my demolition of your ‘theory’ goes wrong. So, until you do, my opinion is very much more than a belief: it’s a fact.

    2) I thought dialectics applied to *everything*. I am glad, therefore, to see you are now happy to tell the good folks here that it doesn’t apply to US Imperialism (which fact alone holes their support for these mass murderers well below the waterline), or even current affairs.

    “We don’t censor people, so we will re-establish the required junk folder and that’s where Rosa will end up if she continues on with the spamming.”

    So, those ‘100 flowers’ we heard so mush about the other day wilted within a week, just like they did under Mao, eh?

    “I say Rosa (who denounces DM) and the rest of the old gang (like Richard Seymour who ‘uphold’ the use of DM) are not any sort of progressives whatsoever.”

    No he doesn’t. In fact, Richard is one of the two comrades who persuaded me to publish my Essays on-line back in 2005. Sure, he uses some dialectical phraseology from time to time but only applied to social development (which he qualifies heavily when I press him on it), but he rejects DM. He even has a link to my site at his blog.

    “Currently Syrian casualties are running at a rate much faster than in Iraq and a further 20,000 to 30,000 extra casualties by the time the CW are dealt with are likely.”

    I share your concern for these casualties — pity you show little concern for the 1,000,000+ killed directly or indirectly as a result the USA’s ‘progressive’ invasion of Iraq.

    “Ought Fallujah currently be left to Al Qaeda?”

    1) That’s up to the people of Iraq to decide. Who are you to tell them whet to do?

    2) Before 2002 there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq. Now, courtesy of the US murder machine, it is thriving. Do the math.

    3) Let’s change the formula: Ought parts of the USA currently to be left to right wing Christian militias? Ought S Arabia to be left to support terror? Ought the USA to be left with weapons of mass destruction (which they have used on numerous occasions)? Ought the USA to be allowed to invade whomsoever they like (to control their oil, or their diamonds), and ignore even worse regimes when it suits them?

    What is the ‘progressive’ response to these awkward questions, and the others I asked, or the issues I raised, in my previous post (which you conveniently ignored)?

    Or, are your replies ‘spam’, and fit only for the dread ‘Junk file’?

    “I don’t want to deal with any more bigotry and contemptuousness of my being a poor person talking from a bedsit.”

    Can I suggest you desist, then?

  10. 10 Rosa Lichtenstein

    Steve, thanks for that link. Point 2 above, at the end of my last post, needs to be revised, therefore.

    2) Before 2002 there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq. Now, courtesy of the US murder machine, it is thriving in the region. Do the math.

  11. 11 steve owens

    No problem Rosa, Im just interested in seeing Patricks response to a simple direct question. The clock is ticking.

  12. 12 patrickm

    Steve; Ross Caputi is strategically wrong and offers no useful insight because he has no internationalist framework for dealing with the revolutionary transformation of the swamp of the ME. For him it’s not ‘our’ business and that conservative lack of strategic thinking produces the usual mush that the Guardian churns out as what many people unfortunately take to be a ‘left’ and even radical viewpoint. http://www.theguardian.com/profile/ross-caputi

    Once the country of Iraq was liberated from the Baathist tyranny of Saddam there never was a strategic reason for any remotely progressive Iraqi to fight the COW troops before they packed up and went home. As we always said they would. Any fighting against the COW or the new Iraqi forces that had to be established by the COW in conjunction with the elections etc could only delay the COW going home! This has come up a 100 times on LS/ST.

    But Ross thinks there was a requirement to fight the ‘aggressor’; he thinks that he was an aggressor not a liberator! Ross thinks that there is even now a reason for armed resistance to the elected government of Iraq who are coping with bombers and have no choice but to have built and rebuild an armed force to fight them and then to actually fight them.

    Western progressives ought to be able to tell him that there is not any good enough reason to ‘resist’ that process, and that Iraqi’s interested in democracy ought now, as back then when he was there, to be able to talk their way forward by uniting the many to defeat the few in the Mao recommended manner. Talking a way forward into the new era of countries in the ME that have free and fair elections that mean something was also open to Assad but he chose to slaughter those unarmed Syrians peacefully demonstrating for the progress. Far be it for me or you to condemn them from the required resistance. What we condemn is the Assad use of the CW.

    After all the talking those few who won’t abide elections and democracy and want to use their weapons must still be defeated.

    I accept that as a rule progressives cannot win our war by standing on the defensive. I believe in the thinking summed up in the Mao saying ‘Where the broom does not reach the dust will not vanish of it’s own accord.’ I have said that dozens of times.

    I believe the U.S. military played a (mostly) positive role in WW2 and a negative role in Vietnam. Calling that military ‘the US murder machine’ is utterly pointless if we praise (in general) the one war and condemn the other. Wasting one’s time with Neverland dwellers is utterly pointless as we see with Rosa – who still believes the war to liberate Iraq and launch the bourgeois democratic revolution for the region was about oil. The pseudoleft STILL believe it but just can’t work out how to steal oil when the liberated country gets to hold free and fair elections and form it’s own governments. There are even foolish people in Neverland who think that some ruling class people in Iran actually run Iraq! Obviously nothing is to be gained trying to reason with people as loopy as that.

    In the end the elections (however much formerly praised see Chomsky for the classic slight of hand) have to be disowned! The Iraqi armed forces become the aggressors and the obviously required current fight against Al Qaeda is not addressed other than to blame the liberators for letting them emerge when, ‘do the math’, Saddam had them (and everybody else) under control back in 2002!

    Along came all that destruction of Baathist hardware and armed forces in 2003 and that is what is described as a disaster! Yet now that we have seen what Libya and Syria and the start of Egypt looks like perhaps it might be time for a rethink on what is and is not the best way to liberate the peoples’ of the ME from the swamp. Perhaps we ought to adopt a different time frame more in keeping with our experience. Perhaps protracted war across the region rather than any pipe dream insurrection style transformation is what progressives ought to be discussing and what – case by case – that might mean.

    If the COW let the monsters out in Iraq, Assad has let the monsters out of the bag over in Syria as has the bumbling Obama. So all methods of ridding the region of tyranny have a cost.

    In Neverland, Obama is called Obomba and even drone attacks against Al Qaeda leaders and concentrations are condemned. There are no realistic proposals to fight Al Qaeda or Baathists coming from anyone in Neverland just denunciations of the Great Satan.

    The far more interesting observation that I have made above and that you have studiously avoided is that CW disarmament is currently underway in Syria because of the imminent use of cruise missiles, that as you know I have wanted to see deployed from well before the 120,000 plus deaths (and counting).

    I choose to note that the Iraq body count still churns on with essentially no legitimate way to stop the count (yet one day it will stop) and that the Syrian comparison does not exist side by side. Others choose to avoid comparing the two methods of liberating a comparable country from tyranny and instead continue to talk about oil etc

    Al Qaeda are turning up in large numbers in Syria and there is a complicated fight with no end in sight that requires Marxists like me, or any left internationalists (like you?) to offer realistic proposals on how to arm the masses and unite ALL who can be to move forward. Thankfully from my POV the strategic war launched in Iraq is enabling the fight against tyranny to unfold with democrats on the front foot there.

    I raise the question ‘Some countries are training and equipping ‘FSA’ ought they be?’ and we know that many in Neverland are either silent or attack the Great Satan and others like France, Britain and Turkey for arming and equipping the FSA. Richard Seymour does not condemn the FSA for seeking weapons and training from these imperialist powers. Seymour won’t deny that Assad being deprived of CW is a good thing and I have pointed out exactly how this has come about under the shadow of a cruise missile destruction of his air-power etc. Why not draw out the appropriate discussion on this and settle on supporting this imperialist intervention? People eventually notice silence as well as shouting.

    Unlike Rosa you do have a framework of ‘new’ thinking. Those ‘new facts’ have enabled you to abandon your old thinking on a great many issues. You might like to inform Rosa of some of your changes of mind. You might like to tell her how you have now come to regret not having supported the defense of the people of Kuwait, and the consequent NFZ war that protected the Kurdish people from Saddam of Halabja fame.

    You might like to comment on how the world has changed for the better since the days back in 1988 when Saddam could get away with the use of CW – when he killed more people in one day than all the deaths suffered by the COW during the entire period of it’s deployment!

    You might like to talk about the liberation of Tripoli from the Gaddafi regime with NATO air-power ‘artillery’ and the generals planning and co-ordination and how a new and independent Libya has emerged that is still nothing much to brag to another continent about. But you might tell her that you are glad that NATO played such a major role in liberating the Libyan peoples. After those western governments finally dragged Obama out from Nobel peace prize land, NATO stepped in and protected the people of Benghazi and then set about winning another war of liberation. Cruise Missile Marxists like me wanted that intervention well before it was launched and lots of people came to see we were correct. Not Rosa. Once you accepted this action to protect the Libyan people from the Libyan tyranny it was a no-brainer to revise the protection of the people of Kuwait from the Iraqi tyrant and the subsequent defense of the Kurdish people with the NFZ war.

    Failures in strategic thinking produced original errors that you have slowly and ever so painfully seen through in the course of perhaps 3 decades of actual practice, meanwhile Rosa still bleats on about oil after her experience. Why not tell her that you once handed out “No blood for oil” ISO twaddle but that you don’t anymore.

    I was always satisfied that WW2 trot thinking is Neverland twaddle. The kind of twaddle that ensures that people are unable to deal with free and fair elections and the consequences of them happening.

    Iraq was liberated from Baathist tyranny Syria has not been but you are not standing with Rosa… and neither is Richard Seymour.

    http://www.leninology.com/2012/08/a-note-on-complexities-of-syrian.html#disqus_thread

  13. 13 Rosa Lichtenstein

    Patrick:

    “Wasting one’s time with Neverland dwellers is utterly pointless as we see with Rosa – who still believes the war to liberate Iraq and launch the bourgeois democratic revolution for the region was about oil.”

    You’re out of touch. Here is what top Republicans have admitted:

    Chuck Hagel (Secretary of Defence):

    “People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.”

    Alan Greenspan (former FED Chief):

    “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

    George W Bush:

    “If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks…. They’d seize oil fields to fund their ambitions.”

    John McCain:

    “My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will — that will then prevent us — that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.”

    Sarah Palin:

    “Better to start that drilling [for oil within the U.S.] today than wait and continue relying on foreign sources of energy. We are a nation at war and in many [ways] the reasons for war are fights over energy sources, which is nonsensical when you consider that domestically we have the supplies ready to go.”

    David Frum (former Bush speech-writer):

    “In 2002, Chalabi joined the annual summer retreat of the American Enterprise Institute near Vail, Colorado. He and Cheney spent long hours together, contemplating the possibilities of a Western-oriented Iraq: an additional source of oil, an alternative to U.S. dependency on an unstable-looking Saudi Arabia.”

    John Bolton (former Under-Secretary of State, former Ambassador to the UN):

    “The critical oil and natural gas producing region that we fought so many wars to try and protect our economy from the adverse impact of losing that supply or having it available only at very high prices.”

    General Abizaid (former commander of CENTCOM with responsibility for Iraq ):

    “Of course it’s about oil, it’s very much about oil, and we can’t really deny that.”

    Here’s a report from the Sunday Herald:

    “Five months before September 11, the US advocated using force against Iraq … to secure control of its oil. Neil Mackay on the document which casts doubt on the hawks

    “It is a document that fundamentally questions the motives behind the Bush administration’s desire to take out Saddam Hussein and go to war with Iraq.

    “Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century describes how America is facing the biggest energy crisis in its history. It targets Saddam as a threat to American interests because of his control of Iraqi oilfields and recommends the use of ‘military intervention’ as a means to fix the US energy crisis.

    “The report is linked to a veritable who’s who of US hawks, oilmen and corporate bigwigs. It was commissioned by James Baker, the former US Secretary of State under George Bush Snr, and submitted to Vice-President Dick Cheney in April 2001 — a full five months before September 11. Yet it advocates a policy of using military force against an enemy such as Iraq to secure US access to, and control of, Middle Eastern oil fields.

    “One of the most telling passages in the document reads: ‘Iraq remains a destabilising influence to … the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export programme to manipulate oil markets.

    ‘This would display his personal power, enhance his image as a pan-Arab leader … and pressure others for a lifting of economic sanctions against his regime. The United States should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/diplomatic assessments.

    ‘The United States should then develop an integrated strategy with key allies in Europe and Asia, and with key countries in the Middle East, to restate goals with respect to Iraqi policy and to restore a cohesive coalition of key allies.’

    “At the moment, UN sanctions allow Iraq to export some oil. Indeed, the US imports almost a million barrels of Iraqi oil a day, even though American firms are forbidden from direct involvement with the regime’s oil industry. In 1999, Iraq was exporting around 2.5 million barrels a day across the world.

    “The US document recommends using UN weapons inspectors as a means of controlling Iraqi oil. On one hand, ‘military intervention’ is supported; but the report also backs ‘de-fanging’ Saddam through weapons inspectors and then moving in to take control of Iraqi oil.

    ‘Once an arms-control program is in place, the US could consider reducing restrictions [sanctions] on oil investment inside Iraq,’ it reads. The reason for this is that ‘Iraqi [oil] reserves represent a major asset that can quickly add capacity to world oil markets and inject a more competitive tenor to oil trade’.

    “This, however, may not be as effective as simply taking out Saddam. The report admits that an arms-control policy will be ‘ quite costly’ as it will ‘encourage Saddam Hussein to boast of his ‘victory’ against the United States, fuel his ambition and potentially strengthen his regime’. It adds: ‘Once so encouraged, and if his access to oil revenues was to be increased by adjustments in oil sanctions, Saddam Hussein could be a greater security threat to US allies in the region if weapons of mass destruction, sanctions, weapons regimes and the coalition against him are not strengthened.’

    “The document also points out that ‘the United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma’, and that one of the ‘consequences’ of this is a ‘need for military intervention’.

    “At the heart of the decision to target Iraq over oil lies dire mismanagement of the US energy policy over decades by consecutive administrations. The report refers to the huge power cuts that have affected California in recent years and warns of ‘more Californias’ ahead.

    “It says the ‘central dilemma’ for the US administration is that ‘the American people continue to demand plentiful and cheap energy without sacrifice or inconvenience’. With the ‘energy sector in critical condition, a crisis could erupt at any time [which] could have potentially enormous impact on the US … and would affect US national security and foreign policy in dramatic ways.”

    “The main cause of a crisis, according to the document’s authors, is ‘Middle East tension’, which means the ‘chances are greater than at any point in the last two decades of an oil supply disruption’. The report says the US will never be ‘energy independent’ and is becoming too reliant on foreign powers supplying it with oil and gas. The response is to put oil at the heart of the administration — ‘a reassessment of the role of energy in American foreign policy’.

    “The US energy crisis is exacerbated by growing anti-American feeling in the oil-rich Gulf states. ‘Gulf allies are finding their domestic and foreign policy interests increasingly at odds with US strategic considerations, especially as Arab-Israeli tensions flare,’ says the report. ‘They have become less inclined to lower oil prices … A trend towards anti-Americanism could affect regional leaders’ ability to co-operate with the US in the energy area. The resulting tight markets have increased US vulnerability to disruption and provided adversaries undue political influence over the price of oil.”

    “Iraq is described as the world’s ‘key swing producer … turning its taps on and off when it has felt such action was in its strategic interest”. The report also says there is a ‘possibility that Saddam may remove Iraqi oil from the market for an extended period of time’, creating a volatile market.

    “While the report alone seems to build a compelling case that oil is one of the central issues fuelling the war against Iraq, there are also other, circumstantial pieces of the jigsaw that show disturbing connections between ‘black gold’ and the Bush administration’s desire to wage war on Saddam. In 1998 the oil equipment company Halliburton, of which Dick Cheney was chief executive, sold parts to Iraq so Saddam could repair an infrastructure that had been terribly damaged during the 1991 Gulf war. Cheney’s firm did £15 million of business with Saddam — a man Cheney now calls a ‘murderous dictator’. Halliburton is one of the firms thought by analysts to be in line to make a killing in any clean-up operation after another US-led war on Iraq.

    “All five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the UK, France, China, Russia and the US — have international oil companies that would benefit from huge windfalls in the event of regime change in Baghdad. The best chance for US firms to make billions would come if Bush installed a pro-US Iraqi opposition member as the head of a new government.

    “Representatives of foreign oil firms have already met with leaders of the Iraqi opposition. Ahmed Chalabi, the London-based leader of the Iraqi National Congress, said: ‘American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil.'”

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030402124132/http://www.sundayherald.com/28224

    Currently Foreign oil companies (European and US, for example) control Iraq’s oil, and US companies control the sub-contracted work in the oil fields.

    Details can be found here and in this book:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/business/energy-environment/17oil.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

    http://www.fuelonthefire.com/

    So, you might be pulling he wool over your own eyes, but not us anti-Imperialists.

    I’ll deal with the other (relevant) things you say in my next post.

  14. 14 Rosa Lichtenstein

    Patrick:

    “Iraq was liberated from Baathist tyranny Syria has not been but you are not standing with Rosa… and neither is Richard Seymour.”

    Yes, Iraq is a ‘model democracy’, now controlled by Iran. Very intelligent.

    But what is this about Richard?

    In fact, he and I are in almost total agreement over Syria, and you have yet to show differently.

    But, hey, why let the facts get in the way of a nice ‘progressive’ fairy tail?

  15. 15 Steve Owens

    Patrick I did change my mind about supporting/not supporting no fly zones over Kurdish areas to the extent that I ever took a position. I am now happy to say that no fly zones over Kurdish areas saved lives and were overall a positive thing. As to Kuwait I still oppose the war to “liberate” Kuwait as I have said many times before I see no point in fighting for the undemocratic interests of the Emire of Quwait.
    I fully support the NATO intervention in support of the democratic forces in Libya and am supportive of attempts to arm the Free Syrian Army. I dont and didnt give 2 hoots for the argument about chemical weapons as it was a side show and going down that path only let Assad of the hook.
    As to the resistance in Iraq Ive always stood by the idea that the communities within Iraq have a right to self defense if I remember correctly when the Shia dominated police were involved in murdering Sunni’s your advice to the Sunni’s was to join the police. About as usefull as you advice that Egypt should sent an army into Libya to “help” but then you did claim that US imperialism is the most progressive of entities.

  16. 16 Steve Owens

    Patrick in March of 2011 you wrote “IMPERIALIST INTERESTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST COINCIDE WITH PEOPLES INTERESTS

    People who think of themselves as in anyway progressive or of the left should listen intently to what the Obama administration is saying over Libya precisely because US ruling class interests are currently in the Middle East aligned with progressive interests.”

  17. 17 Steve Owens

    Patrick in march 2011 you said
    “I support these acts of war and would like to see a column of Egyptian armour head straight to Tripoli. Such a column would require air cover both Egyptian and U.S.. It would carry the revolutionary forces forward and prevent any forces of tyranny from realistically resisting. Without such a force the struggle to defeat the Gaddafi forces will be much more difficult.”

  18. 18 patrickm

    Glad to hear you are supportive of John McCain and his calls for the Obama Admin to do more in the way of arming and training the FSA and providing them intelligence. But McCain also called on that Administration to respond when the Obama made red-line ‘side show’ was crossed.

    I agree that the main game is putting a stop to Assad’s air force and artillery, but ethnically cleansing areas using terror gassing and killing perhaps 1200 in a day did demand of McCain to put the pressure on to act when Obama was still dithering. Given the reality of the dithering it is a point that we who wanted more and sooner could not oppose action on.

    In short you must have by definition broken with and opposed the old ‘anti-war’ gang taking to the gutters to oppose the imminent threat of a cruise missile attack in response to the use of the CW.

    We are in agreement that the CW deal does have a tendency to let Assad off the hook, and so of course without the air force smashing attacks he keeps the upper hand, though undoubtedly clearing the CW out is also a clear good that must be supported by all progressives anyway!

    So that’s just the political and military situation that we find ourselves in. At this point an unavoidable setback that will cost the Syrians very dearly. All the Syrian forces that are fighting to overthrow Assad and institute a democratic transformation of Syria will no doubt still be regrouping from the setbacks 6 months down the track when the CW are in the past.

    We are, as usual, left with a complicated war to continue to think through.

    But don’t mince words; the NATO countries don’t do ‘attempts to arm the FSA’ they arm them and train them or they don’t. AND THEY ARE in their own interests and you and I support this because the ‘ruling class interests are currently in the Middle East aligned with progressive interests.’

    So rather than confuse people you ought to state for your own benefit that you are supporting the U.S., British and French efforts to arm and train Syrian elements that are quite often subject to sectarian pressure from the weakest of their memberships. Western NATO forces have no interest in the sectarian backwardness.

    The enemy however seeks to make use of these divisions, and very many people across the region are vulnerable to these sectarian ploys. The enemy tries to divide and conquer – internationalists advise the peoples’ to unite and don’t split along any such ‘communities’ lines. Though it IS sometimes (and might be in this case – I suspect it will) more than expedient to save lives by dividing some of the more troubled communities. Many populations were moved around at the end of WW2 for example.

    I was, like you Steve, hopeful that NATO would intervene in Libya and also was hopeful that Egypt would send ground forces. NATO did but unfortunately the Egyptians did not and the whole war dragged on far longer than necessary.

    I too stand ‘by the idea that the communities within Iraq have a right to self defense’ but only in the context of the new revolutionary democratic Iraq. Streets, suburbs, towns or provinces are not free to maintain Baath control, nor are Al Qaeda free to hold a square metre uncontested by the revolutionary forces. Naturally my advice to the Sunni’s was to join the government and thus the police and army and to hunt down the old Baathist oppressors and any Al Qaeda forces etc..

    I have never claimed ‘that U.S. imperialism is the most progressive of entities.’ But rather that the ruling elite after 9/11 were forced to reconsider their former policies and dump them.

    Former policies like;

    1) Keep Saddam in power rather than risk the Shia coming to power; new policy is to risk the destabilising bourgeois democratic revolution.

    2) Calling East Jerusalem and the West Bank disputed territories; new policies identify them as occupied territory and then annoy the Zionists by (and in US interests) demanding that the occupation be ended.

    Neither of us approve of sectarian violence but the Shia 60% of the Iraqi peoples’, especially given that the Kurdish 20% were substantially removed and contained in an autonomous region, were always going to dominate the new police and armed forces that were before the liberation dominated by Sunni Baathists!

    The most reactionary of the Sunni, especially the Al Qaeda and Baathists for their own noxious reasons started the savagery and have revived it coming out of Syria during 2013. One need only look at the casualties http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/

    I have always opposed falling into the trap of civil war and am glad that the COW was there (for as long as they were) to help stem this always coming awfulness that we now have something to compare to in Syria.

    I shake my head at the thought of anyone wanting a world where a mad tyrant could get away with annexing a weak neighbour! I can’t imagine any clearer case for collective rights of clearly established ‘communities’ that you are so interested in back across the border in Iraq where the ‘tribes’ are run by whatever tribal leader (Emir) and yet that concerns you not one fig!

    You are in a hole and hopelessly compromised; for Gawd’s sake stop digging!

  19. 19 Steve Owens

    “Hundreds of Iraqis are being tortured to death or summarily executed every month in Baghdad alone by death squads working from the Ministry of the Interior, the United Nations’ outgoing human rights chief in Iraq has revealed.

    John Pace, who left Baghdad two weeks ago, told The Independent on Sunday that up to three-quarters of the corpses stacked in the city’s mortuary show evidence of gunshot wounds to the head or injuries caused by drill-bits or burning cigarettes. Much of the killing, he said, was carried out by Shia Muslim groups under the control of the Ministry of the Interior.” (2006)
    Patrick I just think that you never got the idea of how evil the new institutions of Iraq were because you have constantly repeated the idea that Sunni’s could just sign up for a security job and help out the democratic process.
    The US troops opened fire on unarmed crowds but you constantly talk as if its not really happening like one side is right and one side is wrong, thats very dialectic but not very fruitful

  20. 20 patrickm

    So after 2003-4-5 and the first elections as you point out with your quote by 2006 the Shia had back-lashed to the extent that…’Much of the killing, he said, was carried out by Shia Muslim groups under the control of the Ministry of the Interior.”

    It was awful (still is) but it was Al Qaeda policy to generate a civil war and that is when I called for supporting the surge and others stupidly called for troops out now!

    I never got the idea of how evil were the new institutions of Russia, China, Vietnam, or Ireland etc., either for that matter because I always supported the revolution to overthrow the evil already in place and then accepted that the revolutionaries would stumble and bumble along as best they could.

    I do however get the idea that the people of all those places were in revolutionary times and were at the level that they were at.

    People across the ME in massive numbers would murder someone like me because…well take your pick!! Thankfully I live in a western country that has already moved a bit further along the evolutionary path than anywhere in that swamp that requires the revolution that’s been held back for all those years by the realists of the U.S. foreign policy establishment. They hate the new policies and they are spot on that it has thrown the region into turmoil.

    I have constantly repeated the idea that Sunni’s ought to fight Al Qaeda, abandon Baathism, and all and every form of Sunni privilege, and talk their way forward with all other Iraqi peoples’ and naturally sign up for the required security jobs and help out the democratic process.

    The U.S. troops and leadership were often hopeless, but never ever as bad as what Bush senior let loose when he betrayed the Iraqi masses in realist manner and permitted Saddam to systematically murder as many as he deemed necessary to regain control of his anti-Iran tyranny.

  21. 21 steve owens

    The Sunni’s did reject Al Qaeda it was called ‘the awakening’, so why is Al Qaeda now on the apparent rise?
    Could it be because the government has been exposed as being part of a coordinated campaign to arrest Sunni Arabs torture them, sentence them to mass hangings, break up peaceful protest camps and chase their Vice President into exile?
    Or could it be as Gaddafi said when he was in trouble and Assad said when he was in trouble ‘help help Im fighting Al Qaeda’
    If I were you I would has supported the war because your political inspiration was saying stuff like the death toll of the war could be in the hundreds. Now if I believed that Saddam could have been removed with only hundreds dead then I would have supported the war but I saw such claims as absurd therefor no support.
    Now Im all for reconciliation and democracy in Iraq but what we saw was death squads tolerated if not promoted but the forces of occupation. Iraq now has majority rule but just like Northern Ireland could have majority rule you wouldn’t promote reconciliation before the RUC had stopped their campaign of murdering Nationalists.

  22. 22 steve owens
  23. 23 steve owens

    “Yet western anti-war activists, who (like me) generally knew nothing much about Iraq” really? well it doesn’t show

  24. 24 steve owens

    Heres a link to a good article but I put it in mainly because it contains a list of demands that the year long protest movement was on about
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/17/iraq-protest-defy-maliki-regime

  25. 25 steve owens
  26. 26 Steve Owens

    Just back to Falluja this report
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/22/us-iraq-falluja-idUSBREA0L1UP20140122
    states that the ISIL (aka al qaeda) “….are greatly outnumbered by armed tribesmen in Falluja…”

  27. 27 Steve Owens

    Boy am I an idiot of course Iraq cant use the awakening militias to help stabilise the country because they are hanging the leaders of the awakening militias.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25832282

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