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View Diary: Why I Blogged the War - Why I Stopped (116 comments)

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  •  Agree with your list except for what (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight, LondonYank

    you say about Israel.  They deserve to be chewed on for building new settlements.  More than chewed on, IMHO.

    We've been meddling and interfering in the Middle East--including the establishment of Israel and the redrawing of other political boundaries--since WW I and are reaping the harvest of anger and resentment these policies and actions have caused.

    •  True, tho it was a 'snake-pit' before us & w/o us. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies, Garrett

      I'm certainly not defending many (most?) US policies in the Middle East -- they include some of the stupidest, most short-sighted, and self-defeating actions the US has engaged in, anywhere. :-)  And Israeli 'settlements' (aka expansion, irredentism) make things worse for pretty much everyone.

      I've been reading some of the tribal histories of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula states, and I lived/traveled there for 4 years (working in a dozen or so countries). There was no shortage of anger and resentment among various Arab families, clans, 'houses', tribes, regions, states, etc., before the US got involved, and without our involvement. Their history is replete with intra-family violent factions (son vs father, competing brothers, nephews vs uncles, etc.), tribal factions (the least interesting form of political conflict, to me, based on personal loyalties), and shifting alliances.

      Just one notable example: the founding monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz, conquered various other tribal chieftains with the help of the ultra-religious Ikwhan bedouin militia. (The Ikhwan are ideological/religious forebears of what we tend to call Salafi/Wahhabi/MB. Ikhwan = إخوان = Brothers...) His clan/house had fled Riyadh when the Al Rashid clan invaded, and the Sauds then moved to present-day Kuwait for 10 years, supporting themselves by... raids on various traders in what we now call Saudi Arabia (but I suppose was then "Rashidi Arabia.") So Abdulaziz came from a family of caravan thieves. Really. This is merely one generation ago, from the current 'exalted' absolutist monarchy. After he'd consolidated power over various tribes, in what some now call the Third Saudi State, the Ikhwan revolted against him. But by that time he commanded enough other forces to crush the Ikhwan (but then reorganized them into the National Guard, one of 3 Saudi military branches). And so on...

      (Then there's the Shia-Sunni split, which [very roughly] makes the Catholic-Protestant 30 Years War pale in comparison. Another story...)

      In such a factional and violent political environment, even normal diplomacy tends to be viewed as 'taking sides' or 'intervening'.

      Again, the US has been really stupid about much of this -- we tend to listen to the most glib, facile speakers who know how to lie to us with conviction. Ahmed Chalabi comes immediately to mind, but there are many more. E.g. Mohammed Magariaf who allegedly took CIA money in the 1980s to kill Gaddafi, failed miserably, kept much of the money for himself, re-emerged well after Gaddafi was overthrown in 2012 (i.e. after the blood was shed, not risking his own), sweet-talked his way into becoming interim head-of-state for 9 months (despite his faction receiving only 3 of 59 seats), spent most of his effort trying to get his man appointed as Minister of Oil (no $urpri$e why), then fed the US GOP with lies after the Benghazi attack, by blaming Al Qaeda on US TV (when it turns out Susan Rice was telling the truth after all).  

      •  Thanks for the info. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight, LondonYank

        I just started reading the relatively new book titled "Lawrence in Arabia."  It focuses on a handful of individuals who played  outsized roles in the Middle East post WW I.  T. E. Lawrence, as the title indicates, is a major focus of the book, but certainly not the only one.  Tribal/clan rivalries already a theme, even though I am barely into the book.

    •  I agree they need to be chewed on quite a bit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LondonYank, Heart of the Rockies

      for building in the Palestinian areas.

      What I am attempting to say is that Israel is not "happy" that we condemn them for building there.  

      "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

      by doingbusinessas on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 01:18:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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