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Bombing IS?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Zou, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. KeithLeslie

    KeithLeslie Well-Known Member

  2. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Since we now are bombing ISIS does that make us legally at war with ISIS? This is relevant for the treatment of any ISIS supporters convicted of high treason in this country. The death penalty for treason was removed in the late nineties but its reintroduction would not break any human rights obligations if we are in a state of war.
     
  3. KeithLeslie

    KeithLeslie Well-Known Member

  4. mikehit

    mikehit Well-Known Member

    Much as I despise what ISIS are doing, I find it hard to get much sympathy for the Kurds considering that for generations they have been wanting to do exactly what ISIS are doing in creating a cross-border state based on ethnicity and sertain Kurdish factions have employed terrorist tactics to do so.
    I am also fully aware of the quandaries that ISIS present: rallying allies against ISIS means supporting Kurds groups who are terrorists, or means supporting Syrian army groups against whom we were within a whisker of (officially, anyway) fighting on the battlefield.
     
  5. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    The problem with the middle east is that it operates, and always has operated, on the basis of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Outsiders have always been drawn into the web and the results have never been pretty. This is just the latest round in a dance that extends back a thousand years and will probably still be in progress after another thousand years. It's depressing but there we are.
     
  6. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Sooner or later, the UK & US governments are going to have to lose a lot of face and go and talk to Assad. They have been really stupid over Syria.
     
  7. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi Kate,
    You are right. Also we think only in western terms, only in pre-globalised world terms. The Afghan conflict, ostensibly to get bin Laden, was stupid because in a globalised world it was doomed to fail. He wasn't there. One of the lessons Frank Gardner shares in his book, one he learned early on - pre University, IIRC perhaps from Thesiger but confirmed again & again by later experience - is that British institutions (No10/Foreign Office/Security Services/BBC/other Corporations) tend to have fixed attitudes & thinking, perhaps based on positions that are years, decades old.

    On weapons, an example to consider would be Africa. Would Africa be a different place if 'the West' had not sold them vast amounts of weaponry in a bid to face up to the 'the Communists' who were doing exactly the same? It would certainly reduce the total number of weapons available for killing there whether in military conflict, banditry or basic crime. Would it have changed the political power balance in Africa significantly? Maybe. Maybe not.

    On weapons specifically, one of the interesting bits to emerge from the Russian Afghanistan war was that the military kit could be rendered ineffective by some creative thinking & practical knowledge. I understand that at least one Russian hi-tech helicopter was was brought down by a 19th century elephant gun with ammunition made by hand by a back street Kabul armourer.

    Six elderly reconnaissance Tornados converted back into ground attack configuration sent to attack IS. Equivalent of a 19thC elephant gun? :confused:

    Cheers, Oly
     
  8. KeithLeslie

    KeithLeslie Well-Known Member

    Yes, Whitehall is bound up in its frankly nineteenth century thinking - many of our civil servants, and politicians, still think we have a global empire and because they make booming pronouncements, the 'enemy' will 'do as they are told. And if not, they'll "send a gunboat" won't they? They to get into the 20 th century, let alone the 21st!!!
     
  9. mikehit

    mikehit Well-Known Member

    I think this is one of the few occasions that Whitehall can look around and say 'Not me, guv'.

    Intervention was very much down to Blair being in thrall to the Americans, a lack of focus on what they wanted to achieve and a total lack of a viable exit strategy. I have heard several analyses by militarians and civilans that if they had focussed on Afghanistan and not gone into Iraq they would probably have been much more successful (relatively!) and been able to sell it as a retaliation for 9/11 whereas adding Iraq to the operation helped enhance a feeling of 'war against Islam'.
     
  10. KeithLeslie

    KeithLeslie Well-Known Member

    I think Iraq was much war against that 'evil wotsit Saddam Hussein'; And particularly in Bush's eyes - he wanted to finish what his dad started. And Blair, as you say, was sucked (or suckered?) in.

    You may not be aware that the Iraqis had the IRA's Green Book translated into their language for teh bomb-makers to use; it was also translated into Pashtu and two or three other Afghan languages - but wasn't so effective there, because so many Afghans are illiterate. The Yanks discovered that it you could get at the bomb makers in Afghanistan, they were hard to replace, because of the high level of illiteracy.
     
  11. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    The West imposed crazy borders on the middle east so that Kurdistan was broken up and shared out to a number of states hostile to the Kurds. Can you blame the Kurds for wanting their own state?
     
  12. mikehit

    mikehit Well-Known Member

    As far as I am aware, Kurdistan had no fixed boundaries but was more of a cultural concept of a homeland with vague geographical location.
    Shall we disband Germany which only ever existed post WWI, or France? or Italy? or Poland?

    In fact, have you just provided justification for ISIS? Because that is probably how they would see their aim of recreating the Caliphate.
     
  13. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    The end of WWI in the middle east and the carve-up of the Ottoman Empire was originally settled by the Treaty of Sevres (google it) which foresaw a kurdish state/autonomous region. However, the Sultan of Turkey/Ottoman Empire was deposed by Atatürk & co. who promptly reneged on the deal. Furthermore, it was the victorious colonial powers France and Great Britain who created the arbitrary borders that we have in the region today, thus dividing not only the kurds but also the arabs between Turkey and zwo artificial states. Google 'The Treaty of Lausanne'.

    Germany was created in 1871 as a consequence of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

    By your logic one could also 'disband' Israel, prabably even 'Great Britain'...........
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  14. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    There was a whole lot, IIRC, of rotational & arc migration (as well as radial) of people, religions & philosophies around the middle of the globe for centuries. Inevitably, communities get or choose to be left behind. Thus a variety of Kurds split with major populations across several countries. Perhaps a reason why No10, the FO & MI6 made such a hash of understanding Syria and before that Iraq & WMD?

    Think you may be thinking of Belgium, only fully existing as a State post WW1. Germany, IIRC, was uniting before WW1. And yes, some in Belgium would like their own independence referendums. Who are we to say 'No.'?
     
  15. mikehit

    mikehit Well-Known Member

    But Germany within its current borders is far more recent than that.



    Are you sure about Britain? Britain's boundary is defined by the coast, and within those boundaries has been created by conquering or amalgamation of different regions. Syria etc were created by arbitrary borders splitting regions apart along geogaphical rather than cultural lines.

    But your comment raises the question of how far back do you go and at what point do you say 'like it or not you are part of [whatever country]' and rely on the goodwill of the 'host country' to grant your wishes. But as I say, if you sympathise with the Kurds in creating Kurdistan by breaking down artifical borders, ISIS would say they are wanting the same thing in creating a Caliphate.
     
  16. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Keith, 'Group Think' can operate very well even in the 21C with 21C things! Camera makers? ;) Cheers, Oly
     
  17. mikehit

    mikehit Well-Known Member

    Germany has had very different borders 1871-1918, 1919-1945 and 1945-present, each at the whim of a committee, each one creating intra-cultural or cross-cultural boundaries.

    Will the 'real' Germany please stand up....
     
  18. KeithLeslie

    KeithLeslie Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, that's a nonsensical statement Mike. Germans were trying to unite in the 17th century (the Thirty Years' War), and it very much suited the then great powers around Germany to force it them remain a divided nation; even Napoleon vastly reduced the 300-odd states, and yet again, he victorious powers after the Napoleonic Wars increased the divisions under the Treaty of Vienna. Germans were a political football until Bismarck through his wars of 1864-1871 broke down the old states run by princelings' opposed to unity. You talk about 'different borders' pre-'14, 19-45, and post '45; remember - the later ones were IMPOSED on Germany again by foreign powers.

    Now Bavaria is making mutterings about autonomy; it always was a barrier to unity before 1871.

    Even during the centuries of hundreds of mini-states, Germany had a federal arrangement, not so tight as today's, but nonetheless, many of the states had e.g. a customs union.

    Germany's situation is more akin to Iraq and Syria than to IS; IS is more akin to Bavaria, if there is any correlation at all. But they cut heads off in Bavaria...
     
  19. mikehit

    mikehit Well-Known Member

    Please explain what part of what I said is 'nonsensical'? Particularly as you agree it has had different borders in those three eras.
     
  20. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    The problem is that people confuse the German Empire and the German Republic. The first was glued together by the Prussians and 1871 is as good a date for it as any. The second came about as the major consequence of the 1918 Armistice and the formation of the Weimar Republic. The borders of the two were not congruent, a point about which, some may recall, ex-corporal Hitler made a lot of fuss.
     

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