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View Diary: Does Obama even have a Syrian policy? (108 comments)

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  •  umm (1+ / 0-)
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    as much as the left likes to ignore it there are at least two other players in this game:  The non-ISIS, non jihadi rebels and Hezbollah.  Gotta love how we see all these videos of executions by ISIS of non-ISIS rebels who supposedly don't exist in dailykosworld.

    •  Ah (0+ / 0-)

      I see the line is that the non-jihadis have been destroyed.  Yes, thanks to our inaction, that is likely true, as was predicted at the time.

    •  Click on the link in my diary (9+ / 0-)

      Non-ISIS rebels have almost been crushed. They are surrounded and cut off in Aleppo. Once that goes its game over for everyone but Assad and ISIS.

       BTW, non-ISIS does not equal non-jihadi.
      Most of the remaining non-ISIS rebels are very islamic in nature.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 09:27:35 PM PDT

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      •  I always wondered (4+ / 0-)

        whether or not you had a grip on Muslim political thought, and this pretty much confirms you don't. Islamic movements are not ipso facto jihadi, as you imply.

        Hamas, while fundamentally 'Islamic' in nature, is clearly not a jihadi movement. Nor is the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Sissi's propaganda not withstanding. And please, show me how Hezbollah could be even faintly be called jihadi. Of the various Islamic splinter groups in Syria at this moment can you show me, other than ISIS or al-Nusra ones that are jihadi and not simply local tribal groupings?

        •  Ahrar al-Shams n/t (1+ / 0-)
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          truong son traveler
        •  that absolutely gets to the heart of it! (2+ / 0-)
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          jiffypop, Loge

          Indeed, most people here have practically zero understanding of how Salafi, jihadi, islamist are all different.  Can we expect gjohnsit to claim that Erdogan is also a salafi jihadist?  That would be a remarkable claim.  

          Thanks, nickrud.  That'd make an excellent diary

        •  Re: (1+ / 0-)
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          You jump to a lot of assumptions about me.
            No, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood are not jihadist.

            But that really isn't the point because they aren't acceptable allies for the United States. And groups like them in Syria can't be part of the solution for the Obama Administration.
             They are more likely to work with ISIS and al-Nusra, or even join up with them, than to oppose them. That's why the its been a NeoCon fallacy that we could have overthrown Assad by now if we just backed the right horse.

            But I get a feeling that isn't the answer you are looking for.

          "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

          by gjohnsit on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 10:07:30 AM PDT

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          •  its good that you know the difference (0+ / 0-)

            but what are 'acceptable allies'? We allied with the USSR at one point, shortly after it committed near genocide in Ukraine.

            I think where we differ, really, is I've got a sliding scale of who is an 'acceptable ally' based on who we're allying against. From the above comment I think you don't. I'm quite willing to ally with Iranian mullahs against ISIS, while at the same time support an internalized regime change.

            And finally, you can't have it both ways. Either ISIS is about to overrun all the other rebel groups, as you've said elsewhere, or they're about to ally with them. Which is it?

      •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
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        and whose fault is that?  I'd lay a lot of the blame for that on the isolationist left.  Congratulations, the do nothing left got the outcome it pushed for:  a Syrian people caught between ISIS and Assad.  Go us!  Glad to know we have the courage to stand for human rights.  NOT!

        •  the isolationist left (1+ / 0-)
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          Let's be clear about this: the alternative being debated is to bomb the sh*t out of Syria.
             That's NOT standing up for human rights, and I'd be proud of the "isolationist left" if they oppose that policy.

          "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

          by gjohnsit on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 10:02:48 AM PDT

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          •  Far more nuanced than that (0+ / 0-)

            I'd be surprised if you'd find any "bomb the shit out of Syria" plan whatsoever.

            Of course, it has come to this pass because isolationists did not want to support the people fighting ISIS when it was small so now we have to do it now that it is big.  There's a key lesson to be learned there.  

            In fact, there are several things being discussed including some strikes on battlefield targets in Iraq, others in Syria, and another notion that strikes should be launched against both ISIS forces and Assad's forces.  Then there are various other kinds of plans to provide logistical support and supplies,both numanitarian and military, to groups opposing ISIS on the ground.  That's at least several different options under discussion, none of which are a carpet bombing campaign of Syria.  

            I wish people would take a little more time and caution to understand precisely what the issues are and what the aspects are and not misrepresent them for rhetorical purposes, either through ignorance or disingenuousness .

            •  I don't agree (0+ / 0-)
               it has come to this pass because isolationists did not want to support the people fighting ISIS when it was small so now we have to do it now that it is big.
              I don't believe that we have to do any of the fighting. I certainly don't believe that limiting our commitment to bombing will do any real good (and will probably do long-term harm).
                 This is a time for visionary diplomacy, the exact opposite of our default response to anything (i.e. bomb 'em).

              "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

              by gjohnsit on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 11:17:28 AM PDT

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    •  Ask Thomas Friedman and Fareed Zakaria if... (2+ / 0-)
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      gjohnsit, nextstep

      .....there are "moderate" rebels in Syria.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 09:32:28 PM PDT

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      •  moderate is relative (1+ / 0-)
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        as someone wrote recently (and I wish I could remember where) allowing women to drive is liberal/radical in Saudi society, yet conservative in the west.

        So, yes, there are 'moderate' rebels in Syria. By ISIS standards al-Nusra approaches that label.

        To be clear, my point is that we shouldn't be looking for 'moderate by western standards' players, but 'moderate by local standards' players. The Overton window plays out on different scales in different locations.

        •  Moderate is nor relative (4+ / 0-)

          There are a lot of moderate people in the Middle East. We don't side with them. Thus our full force political and back door political attack on secular Bashar al Assad.

          We would rather have another Islamic nutcase country like Saudi in Syria that we can control than a country that accepts all religions.

          Saudi Arabia does not allow anyone to bring a bible into the country. (I've had a friend arrested doing so). We call them moderate. Why? I know not. It is not because moderate is relative it is because our political leadership says that the beheading capital of the world is 'moderate.'

          •  you clearly didn't read my comment (1+ / 0-)
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            nothing in it could even remotely be read as saying the Saudi regime is moderate, even by Islamic standards. You do realize it's the only country in the world that prohibits women drivers? By that standard, its the most conservative Islamic country in the world. Even Iran looks good by comparison.

          •  to be clear, Hamas (2+ / 0-)
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            Mindful Nature, OIL GUY

            I consider Hamas to be a moderate Islamic movement. Nearly pathologically anti-Israel, yes, but on the spectrum of Islamic movements, while it's not the Canadian Muslim Union it's most certainly not ISIS.

          •  the most moderate Muslim countries in the Middle (3+ / 0-)

            East, as evidenced for example by the treatment of women (civil emancipation, access to education and so on) were the secular Arab countries such as Iraq and Libya - you know, the ones we bombed the shit out of...

            We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

            by Lepanto on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 01:20:36 AM PDT

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          •  actually (1+ / 0-)
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            OIL GUY

            I used to live in Saudi Arabia, and your friend must have been an aggressive idiot.  We even had religious services and an Anglican priest. All under the radar of course.

            And you might take a hard look at the actions of the Shabiha before trumpeting how great the Assad regime is.

      •  why would I bother? (0+ / 0-)

        do either of them have a track record of thoughtfully understanding naunces in middle eastern history and politics?  I'd almost think they ought to be asking me, since I'm not particularly impressed with their understandings.

      •  Why would you ask those guys (0+ / 0-)

        anything? A fondness for 'conventional wisdom' which may be conventional, but certainly isn't wise.  

        Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

        by OIL GUY on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 08:13:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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