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Screenshot 2015-08-03 22.10.04Ed West has a new 37-page E-booklet out for 98 pence sterling:

Asabiyyah: What Ibn Khaldun, the Islamic father of social science, can teach us about the world today

A quarter of a century after the end of Communism swept away the ideological conflict of the ‘short 20th century’, a new world is once again taking shape, this time in the Middle East. But what does the crisis in the region, and its refugee exodus into Europe, signify for the future of the world? And why has the noble dream of nation-building failed? Focusing mainly on religion, ideology or economics, most analysis ignored one crucial factor: asabiyyah, or group feeling, something outlined six and a half centuries ago by a largely ignored Arab historian called Ibn Khaldun.

 
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  1. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “And why has the noble dream of nation-building failed?”

    US invasion-intervention.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Right. Because Arab society was so coherent before the Yanks showed up. And our invasion and intervention ruined Japan's attempts at cohesion.
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  2. Cpluskx says:

    Asabiya will be low if the people had civilization/strong states earlier. Imagine people living under strong states for 5000 years. (Iraq for example) You lived/reproduced more if you bowed down to authority. You and your relatives reproduced more if you spent most of your energy on your close relatives, family, tribe etc. instead of whole population. You and your relatives reproduced more if you were nepotistic. Strong states killed all the rebels during those 5000 years. You reproduced more if you were ok with the dictator. Today this creates a corrupt, authoritarian, tribalistic/sectarian, cousin-marriage society with dysfunctional army. (still i’d say without the Islamic Golden Age iq decline (probably around 15 points) Iraq would be something like more authoritarian Singapore)
    Similar pattern is there in Europe too. Two most corrupt countries in Europe are the earliest civilized/state ones, Greece and Italy. Least corrupt ones are later state ones like Finland, Sweden. (but i don’t understand what’s the deal with Russia/Belarus, later state but very authoritarian/corrupt)

    Read More
    • Replies: @DH
    but i don’t understand what’s the deal with Russia/Belarus, later state but very authoritarian/corrupt
    Maybe because your "theory" does not make any sense?
    , @Anonymous

    without the Islamic Golden Age iq decline (probably around 15 points)
     
    [citation needed]
    , @Yngvar

    Imagine people living under strong states for 5000 years. (Iraq for example)
     
    5000 years? No society, let alone state, have existed that long. Iraq was thriving as a center of Islamic philosophy and science for a while, until the Mongols invaded and basically killed everyone.

    No, disease was the vector of all human development 'till we got diseases beat. No black death, no industrial revolution.
    , @Anon
    Part of the problem with successful civilizations is that they allow EVERYBODY a greater chance for survival. "It's better to be poor in a rich country than poor in a poor country," is a well-known concept. If you want to see a population explosion among the ungifted, parasitic, and dumb, civilization enables them to start reproducing in Malthusian numbers. They'd win a Darwin award if they had to survive in a state of raw and unforgiving nature.

    Eventually, the losers will overwhelm the original population because they breed earlier and more often than the responsible people. If you want to know what happened to the ancient Greeks and why their brilliance declined, there's your answer.

    The US and Europe, by making it so easy for losers to thrive, are eventually going to be overwhelmed by people with lousy genes because the liberal saps who run their governments refuse to cull them or keep them out. You have to cut off their ability to breed if they refuse to raise their own offspring. No welfare, period, and sterilization if they insist on dumping their kids on the state.

    The death penalty should be for all felonies of every kind, and juries should be able to hear about your criminal past and take that into account before making their final decision. There's no reason why we should endanger the welfare of everyone in a community just so we can coddle repeat offenders who are incurable sociopaths. That's utter insanity.

    Criminal justice is still stuck in the Victorian era when it comes to psychology. These days we know sociopaths are hard-wired, and once they go bad, it's futile to attempt to rehabilitate them. The ridiculous thing is that liberals keep trying to rehabilitate and excuse sociopaths due to a type of religious thinking that comes from religions that liberals themselves don't even believe in anymore.
    , @B.R.


    Asabiya will be low if the people had civilization/strong states earlier.

     

    Chinese are one of the oldest civilizations there is, and their soldiers were definitely not cowards in Korea.

    PRobably not as simple as "had strong states that warred earlier"...
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  3. Rifleman says:

    And why has the noble dream of nation-building failed?

    It succeeded. It’s called Israel.

    Why have the others in the area failed or stagnated? Because healthy, strong states in the area have since 1948 been an aggressive threat to Israel. In words and deeds.

    So pro-Israeli forces have been working to neutralize those threats.

    Focusing mainly on religion, ideology or economics, most analysis ignored one crucial factor: asabiyyah, or group feeling,

    Jews haven’t been ignoring these feelings. The question – “Is it good for the Jews/Israel?” is foundational to Jewish identity and policy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    So why no strong Arab states in the half millennia or so before 1948? Why were they backwaters of the Ottoman Empire for centuries?
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  4. OT. PR goes under.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11781249/Puerto-Rico-triggers-historic-default-as-austerity-spiral-deepens.html

    “A group of 34 hedge funds, led by Fir Tree Partners and Aurelius Capital, among others, has recruited a team of former-IMF officials to push their case that Puerto Rico is able to pay its debts if it reins in public spending. They claim that the island is “massively overspending” on education, letting costs balloon by 39pc over the past decade even though school enrollment has collapsed by a quarter. The island has already closed more than 100 schools. “

    Read More
    • Replies: @The most deplorable one
    Isn't that part of the bi-factional ruling party's plan? Bankrupt them and they will all come here and become voters for the bi-factional ruling party.
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  5. DH says:
    @Cpluskx
    Asabiya will be low if the people had civilization/strong states earlier. Imagine people living under strong states for 5000 years. (Iraq for example) You lived/reproduced more if you bowed down to authority. You and your relatives reproduced more if you spent most of your energy on your close relatives, family, tribe etc. instead of whole population. You and your relatives reproduced more if you were nepotistic. Strong states killed all the rebels during those 5000 years. You reproduced more if you were ok with the dictator. Today this creates a corrupt, authoritarian, tribalistic/sectarian, cousin-marriage society with dysfunctional army. (still i'd say without the Islamic Golden Age iq decline (probably around 15 points) Iraq would be something like more authoritarian Singapore)
    Similar pattern is there in Europe too. Two most corrupt countries in Europe are the earliest civilized/state ones, Greece and Italy. Least corrupt ones are later state ones like Finland, Sweden. (but i don't understand what's the deal with Russia/Belarus, later state but very authoritarian/corrupt)

    but i don’t understand what’s the deal with Russia/Belarus, later state but very authoritarian/corrupt
    Maybe because your “theory” does not make any sense?

    Read More
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  6. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Rifleman

    And why has the noble dream of nation-building failed?

     

    It succeeded. It's called Israel.

    Why have the others in the area failed or stagnated? Because healthy, strong states in the area have since 1948 been an aggressive threat to Israel. In words and deeds.

    So pro-Israeli forces have been working to neutralize those threats.

    Focusing mainly on religion, ideology or economics, most analysis ignored one crucial factor: asabiyyah, or group feeling,
     
    Jews haven't been ignoring these feelings. The question - "Is it good for the Jews/Israel?" is foundational to Jewish identity and policy.

    So why no strong Arab states in the half millennia or so before 1948? Why were they backwaters of the Ottoman Empire for centuries?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Romanian
    Because they accepted the Ottoman Sultan as Caliph? I'm reading "The Arabs" by Eugene Rogan, and he presents the Ottomans as having a multiple speed empire, with different provinces having more or less leeway in local habits and power structures, depending also on relative distance from Istanbul, as long as they accept some basic precepts on taxation, soldiery and religion. So, with the Ottomans, the local identity could co-exist with obedience towards the Sublime Porte and its leader who also had religious qualities as inheritor of the Caliphate mantle. These arrangements broke down when ambitious families tried to aggressively renegotiate their status relative to the center through rebellion or robbery or civil disobedience (like one group in modern Lebanon hindering the caravans that went yearly to Mecca for the Hajj, which were an important part of the symbolism of the Caliphate). They also broke down when the power structures were challenged, like the constant tensions in Egypt between the Porte's representatives and the defeated Mamluks that remained as an influential military caste. Borders not being what they are today, and with suzerainty at least changing very often, it was more likely for someone to identify as being an Alexandrian or a Muslim rather than an Egyptian.

    Also, the Arabs left in their "backwaters", unlike the conquerors who went out on the 1000 year conquest and were assimilated into urban and artistically advanced cultures, were never very numerous or very strong to begin with. Maybe self-selection meant that they were never very outward looking either.
    , @Rifleman
    So what's your theory? Maybe Arabs are not a "states" people. Maybe Arab marriage/kinship networks don't favor states in the European sense. Maybe Islam doesn't favor states.

    It's been a while since I've read Bernard Lewis, E. Gellner or F Adjami so I don't know.

    Arabs and Islam just don't interest me like I know they are supposed to.

    Omar Sharif died a few weeks ago. He and Peter O'Toole gambled away all their pay in Beirut from the Jordan scenes in Lawrence of Arabia.

    Peter O'Toole was drunk in some of those camel charge scenes.

    See that, Irish like to drink and waste their money, Arabs like to gamble and waste their money.
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  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Cpluskx
    Asabiya will be low if the people had civilization/strong states earlier. Imagine people living under strong states for 5000 years. (Iraq for example) You lived/reproduced more if you bowed down to authority. You and your relatives reproduced more if you spent most of your energy on your close relatives, family, tribe etc. instead of whole population. You and your relatives reproduced more if you were nepotistic. Strong states killed all the rebels during those 5000 years. You reproduced more if you were ok with the dictator. Today this creates a corrupt, authoritarian, tribalistic/sectarian, cousin-marriage society with dysfunctional army. (still i'd say without the Islamic Golden Age iq decline (probably around 15 points) Iraq would be something like more authoritarian Singapore)
    Similar pattern is there in Europe too. Two most corrupt countries in Europe are the earliest civilized/state ones, Greece and Italy. Least corrupt ones are later state ones like Finland, Sweden. (but i don't understand what's the deal with Russia/Belarus, later state but very authoritarian/corrupt)

    without the Islamic Golden Age iq decline (probably around 15 points)

    [citation needed]

    Read More
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  8. Another example of the need to call up the most obscure, remote ghosts to justify things that are now almost unsayable by anyone from the Occident, past or present. This has become a kind of scholastic cottage industry.

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  9. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    He calls foreigners invading a country blitzkrieg-style, bombing and strafing those who dare resist, a “noble dream of nation-building”. That’s as far as I need to read; he’s either swallowed the propaganda or is pushing it. Nobleness achieved through dropping bombs, ah yes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    For many of us it was a noble dream - a noble dream with catastrophic real-life consequences for millions of people. As commented in this thread "The Good Intentions Paving Company".

    Remember that as far as the Left were concerned, invading Iraq would open the gates of hell - for the USA.

    They were completely wrong - it turned out to open the gates of hell for millions of Iraqis - which was quite an achievement given that the place was already pretty sulphurous under Saddam.

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  10. Bert says:

    And people still think the West won the Cold War.

    Read More
    • Replies: @andy178
    "And people still think the West won the Cold War."

    um, because it sorta did.
    http://isteve.blogspot.de/2014/02/the-rape-of-russia-explained-by-anne.html
    http://isteve.blogspot.de/2013/06/marc-rich.html

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  11. Romanian says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    So why no strong Arab states in the half millennia or so before 1948? Why were they backwaters of the Ottoman Empire for centuries?

    Because they accepted the Ottoman Sultan as Caliph? I’m reading “The Arabs” by Eugene Rogan, and he presents the Ottomans as having a multiple speed empire, with different provinces having more or less leeway in local habits and power structures, depending also on relative distance from Istanbul, as long as they accept some basic precepts on taxation, soldiery and religion. So, with the Ottomans, the local identity could co-exist with obedience towards the Sublime Porte and its leader who also had religious qualities as inheritor of the Caliphate mantle. These arrangements broke down when ambitious families tried to aggressively renegotiate their status relative to the center through rebellion or robbery or civil disobedience (like one group in modern Lebanon hindering the caravans that went yearly to Mecca for the Hajj, which were an important part of the symbolism of the Caliphate). They also broke down when the power structures were challenged, like the constant tensions in Egypt between the Porte’s representatives and the defeated Mamluks that remained as an influential military caste. Borders not being what they are today, and with suzerainty at least changing very often, it was more likely for someone to identify as being an Alexandrian or a Muslim rather than an Egyptian.

    Also, the Arabs left in their “backwaters”, unlike the conquerors who went out on the 1000 year conquest and were assimilated into urban and artistically advanced cultures, were never very numerous or very strong to begin with. Maybe self-selection meant that they were never very outward looking either.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. Rifleman says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    So why no strong Arab states in the half millennia or so before 1948? Why were they backwaters of the Ottoman Empire for centuries?

    So what’s your theory? Maybe Arabs are not a “states” people. Maybe Arab marriage/kinship networks don’t favor states in the European sense. Maybe Islam doesn’t favor states.

    It’s been a while since I’ve read Bernard Lewis, E. Gellner or F Adjami so I don’t know.

    Arabs and Islam just don’t interest me like I know they are supposed to.

    Omar Sharif died a few weeks ago. He and Peter O’Toole gambled away all their pay in Beirut from the Jordan scenes in Lawrence of Arabia.

    Peter O’Toole was drunk in some of those camel charge scenes.

    See that, Irish like to drink and waste their money, Arabs like to gamble and waste their money.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Whiskey
    Israel as a practical matter had little to do in influencing Egypt, Syria, and Turkey, all big states with much bigger populations and sometimes allied with them (Turkey until Erdogan). This also discounts Iran (allied with Israel until 1979) and the whole Saharan outlay of Arab states that had little interest in Israel and vice-versa.

    Having read Bernard Lewis, I can answer WHY Muslim states failed to develop into nationalist ones despite trying very hard to do so: it was not in their society to ever form nations. Indeed only Westerners and some Easterners have formed proper nations. And even there, some like Italy are beset by the echoes of dynastic regionalism.

    Polygamy, the driving force of Islam (mobs repeatedly destroyed printing presses as un-Islamic in Cairo, Alexandria, and Istanbul in the 19th and 20th Century), a huge population breeding complacency about technical advancement in the West (and East), all gave way to a fatalistic, medieval-in-amber quality. Men could not cooperate because tribe was all, their only shield against a tyrant taking things from them; tribes were strong because clean, non-corrupt government was very hard to accomplish. The entire Muslim history after Mohammed follows various reformers trying to drive out corruption only to become corrupt themselves, creating dynasties that were good at looting people out of spare chickens but unable to build anything like say, Louis XIV star forts and excellent armies and navies.

    Look at Italy, the most Muslim-like nation of the West. Since the fall of Rome in the West around 479 AD it has been ruled by various dynasties tying it to France, or Spain, or the Austrians, competing against local Republics (Venice) and Kingdoms (the Kingdom of Two Sicilies) and Duke-doms (Milan). No strong central state emerged to crush regionalism and assert through efficient, clean, non-corrupt delivery of services, nationalism.

    The creation of a Nation rather than rule of a temporary tyrant requires the Nation to deliver to its people protection (from foreign and local predation), a minimum level of decency towards its people, an aspiration that the Nation means something, as opposed to the plaything of a dynasty and various peoples collected under that rule. China, Japan, Korea, perhaps Thailand, along with most of Western Europe qualify. The ME? Syria? Egypt? Those are not nations, merely dynastic properties passing from one oligarch set to another temporary tyrant.

    TL:DR version: Muslims are very good at being Muslim tribes, very bad at being a Nation.
    , @HA
    "Arabs and Islam just don’t interest me...Omar Sharif...and Peter O’Toole gambled away all their pay... Irish like to drink and waste their money, Arabs like to gamble and waste their money."

    According to Wikipedia, Peter O'Toole is half-Scottish, while Omar Sharif is neither Arab nor Muslim.

    , @Jefferson
    "See that, Irish like to drink and waste their money, Arabs like to gamble and waste their money."

    The vice known as gambling is also huge among Asians. The Asian people I have been friends with in my life, they have all admitted they have at least 1 family member who is a serious gambling addict. And Asians usually suck at gambling as the vast majority of them lose way more than they win. The vast majority of Asian gambling addicts always end up in the financial red.

    And gambling addiction is even higher depending on which Asian group you are talking about. Filipinos are the worst even by Asian standards and that says a lot. I remember going to a casino just a few miles outside of the Sacramento city limits and it looked a like a freaking Little Quezon City/Little Manila in there even though Filipinos are a small Minority of the Sacramento metropolitan area.
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  13. Ed West says: • Website

    I’d say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    Read More
    • Agree: Deduction, Hepp
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    The Good Intentions Paving Company -- "It's the thought that counts!"
    , @Anonymous
    They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis.

    Rubbish. If they had wanted Iraqis to have better lives, they would have lifted the sanctions and oil quotas. But they couldn't--because Israel.

    , @MQ
    They didn't put anything vaguely liberal in his place. If you want to improve peoples' lives you don't unleash a half million strong army on a country and drive it into chaos and anarchy.
    , @Bert

    but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis.
     
    You are a bloody liar.
    , @yaqub the mad scientist
    I’d say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble.

    Hundreds of songs written from the dogface's perspective refute the "nobility" of armchair warriors.

    "Vaguely liberal".

    No comment needed.

    noble in their intentions

    Save that word for writers who were men of action, like George Orwell. What a shit thing to say. I bet you you use the word "solidarity", too.
    , @al gore rhythms
    The Iraqis were not capable of sustaining a 'vaguely liberal' polity and there was always a strong chance that the invasion would wind up creating more suffering than Saddam was causing. Leaders of great powers ought to have known better.

    And on what grounds did Bush and Blair think that they WERE capable of the invasion working? Was it anything other than the usual self-serving, status seeking need of the modern Westerner to demonstrate his unswerving belief in Equality and cultural interchangeability, in spite of all the evidence? These motivations are far from noble and have caused ontold death and misery and continue to do so.

    , @Bill P
    I first heard about asabiyyah from an orientalist some fifteen years ago, and now it seems the term is in vogue. At first, it sounds like a mysterious concept, but after thinking about it for a while it becomes pretty clear that what it means is something like "common faith." It's a recurrent theme throughout the Old Testament, with obedience to tribal god Yahweh as a stand-in for asabiyyah.

    Perhaps the universalism of Islam and Christianity work against it over time, despite the tribal origins of both. So, strangely enough, Christian and Muslim communities can be the seed of asabiyyah, but like many living cells they come with a built-in expiration code.
    , @Anon
    "The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis."

    https://youtu.be/q99eI_uDDGc?t=8s
    , @Anon
    "I’d say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble."

    It's interesting that neocons have these 'noble' intentions only for nations that Israel doesn't like.

    I mean why not topple Mugabe of Zimbabwe?

    Why all these 'noble' sentiments for changing the regimes in nations most loathed by Israel, either by war, intervention, drone strikes, economic strangulation, and even support for terrorism, as the West has indeed aided and abetted the movement of terrorists to undermine Assad.

    And funny how these 'noble' sentiments keep shifting. When Iraq was fighting Iran, the likes of Wolfowitz were all for Iraq. But when Iraq won and Hussein was brimming with confidence, he became the new Hitler.

    Yes, Hussein was a very bad guy, but then, US is run by the likes of Albright who said it was worth it to kill 300,000 Iraqi women and children through starvation and disease and by Nuland who triggered an unnecessary war in Ukraine.

    But I'm sure West will tell us that Nuland was motivated by 'noble' intentions.

    More like Neo-Bull.
    , @Deduction
    True
    , @Hepp
    By the way, Ed, while you're here, I can't buy your book from Amazon, they say it's only available to those in the UK. How can I get it?
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  14. @Ed West
    I'd say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    The Good Intentions Paving Company — “It’s the thought that counts!”

    Read More
    • Agree: fish
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  15. prosa123 [AKA "Peter"] says: • Website

    OT: rising rents and more competitors are driving many of Manhattan’s bodegas out of business. Now where will people be able to buy untaxed cigarettes, ostensibly prescription-only drugs over the counter, and dairy products three weeks after their expiration dates?

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/08/04/nyregion/bodegas-declining-in-manhattan-as-rents-rise-and-chains-grow.html?referrer=

    Read More
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  16. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Anonymous Nephew
    OT. PR goes under.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11781249/Puerto-Rico-triggers-historic-default-as-austerity-spiral-deepens.html

    "A group of 34 hedge funds, led by Fir Tree Partners and Aurelius Capital, among others, has recruited a team of former-IMF officials to push their case that Puerto Rico is able to pay its debts if it reins in public spending. They claim that the island is “massively overspending” on education, letting costs balloon by 39pc over the past decade even though school enrollment has collapsed by a quarter. The island has already closed more than 100 schools. "

    Isn’t that part of the bi-factional ruling party’s plan? Bankrupt them and they will all come here and become voters for the bi-factional ruling party.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bad memories
    Really?

    I would think that there are two or three ways to view this:

    1. It is a natural outcome of different groups having different IQa and future-time preference,

    2. Some group has deliberately engineered the situation, or

    3. Some group has nudged the system towards its likely outcome.

    It would be interesting to subject the evidence to a robust examination* to determine whether any of these is the correct answer.

    * By robust examination I do not mean torture.
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  17. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:

    Wow, along with Arabic numbers those Muslims invented everything! I hear they claim to have invented gunpowder as well.

    Read More
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  18. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Ed West
    I'd say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis.

    Rubbish. If they had wanted Iraqis to have better lives, they would have lifted the sanctions and oil quotas. But they couldn’t–because Israel.

    Read More
    • Agree: fnn
    • Replies: @Ed West
    How many internet commenters does it take to fix a lightbulb?
    Why should they fix it? It's Israel's fault it's broken.
    , @hhsiii
    Hitchens didn't care about Israel.
    , @Whiskey
    This is nonsense, I remember the arguments for and against intervention. Remember at the time after 9/11 it was general consensus that America had become weak, unable and unwilling to act to prevent attacks on it, and was generally not feared enough. Also, there was considerable hubris about how strong the US military was, and it was VERY strong in breaking and destroying Saddam's armies which were the cream of the Muslim/Arab crop. People were decrying, particularly Liberal Dems/Code Pink etc. whom you seem to echo, the FAILURE OF GW BUSH TO REMOVE SADDAM in 1991. When it could have been done easily.

    Ariel Sharon, and the Saudis opposed removing Saddam, who was a thorn in their side but useful against the Iranians who they rightly regarded as the real, major threat to their regimes.

    However, it was proposed that removing Saddam, and allowing Western investment in Iraq's oil fields, would do the following:

    A. Make America feared again by removing a convenient example of defiance, repeatedly, of American demands.
    B. Be accomplished relatively quickly as armies and air forces could be supplied by the sea, instead of a land-locked region in Central Asia that required iffy Russian cooperation (Afghanistan).
    C. Re-inforce the Carter Doctrine guaranteeing US Military dominance of the Gulf.
    D. Give the US a convenient client state with lots and lots of oil that could prevent the Saudis from EVER jacking up the price of oil.
    E. Give every Iraqi a share of oil receipts and produce a Gulf-like moderation based on keeping the peace and dialing down Jihad to keep the money flowing.

    This failed obviously because the policy was oversold to the American people, done on the dirt cheap, and Bush was passive in not explaining what it was all about: OIL OIL OIL. Like oil was some original sin.

    America runs on cheap oil. Examine your bank account when gas is $4 or above, and when its closer to $2. The cheapest oil is in the ME, and to guarantee its flow the US needs to dominate and have client states, ideally a few to play off each other.

    This is the reality of your air conditioning, your computer, your car, your jet travel, your Amazon orders, pretty much everything in your life. It runs on OIL, not Unicorn Farts and Rainbows.

    Since the Dems, Code Pink, and the rest got their way, we have Iraq controlled by Iran, a hostile power aiming at expensive oil, being fought by ISIS, also wanting expensive oil and world-wide Jihad, with the Saudis being our only alternative; the Iranians are not going to flood the market with cheap oil but demand the Saudis cut production as part of the nuclear deal. With nukes to back up their demands.

    Americans deserved a vote on this: do we back off the ME, leave Iraq and the Gulf to their own devices, live in Pat Buchanon isolationism and moral splendor? And have gas at say, $8-9-10 a gallon or more? With everyone but the very rich living essentially like Depression Era poor? Or do a lot of Americans die in agony and we kill a LOT more people to keep gas at a reasonable price of $3 a gallon?
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  19. fnn says:
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  20. Ed West says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis.

    Rubbish. If they had wanted Iraqis to have better lives, they would have lifted the sanctions and oil quotas. But they couldn't--because Israel.

    How many internet commenters does it take to fix a lightbulb?
    Why should they fix it? It’s Israel’s fault it’s broken.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It's called Occam's razor, dear fellow.

    There was nothing wrong with Iraq until it was repeated broken--and finally destroyed--by the United States, acting at the behest of jewish supremacists. You are either a cuckold or one of them.

    "Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat is and actually has been since 1990 – it’s the threat against Israel," Philip Zelikow said. "And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell."

    In any case, you are trying to evade the point. If they had really cared about Iraqis, they would have lifted sanctions and the oil quotas.

    , @Reg Cæsar
    Are you the real Ed West? Perhaps you're the one to answer a question that's been puzzling me.

    I'd never come across a British "Ed" until this decade, and now they seem to be all over the place: West, Sheeran, Miliband, Balls… There was the occasional "Eddie" in the music hall, but in general, Ed was American, Ted was English, and Ned could be either.

    Is "Ed" now trendy over there? Does it sound "cool"? Does it sound, well, American? Has anyone noticed or commented on this before?

    English pop musicians of the '60s embraced American stage names along with American music: Wayne, Carl, Hank, Ringo. I knew the lineups of dozens of bands but don't recall a single Ed, though.

    Some of these names caught on with parents; Wayne and Carl rocketed up the UK charts as they sank in the US. The classic case is Wayne Rooney, an Englishman with an Irish surname, and a given name which owes its original popularity to Mad Anthony Wayne-- a general who shot at the Brits.
    , @yaqub the mad scientist
    How many internet commenters does it take to fix a lightbulb?

    You're commenting about people commenting about your commentary on Sailer's commentary of your commentary on a medieval writer and its possible applicability to the Gulf War.

    You're pathetic.

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  21. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:

    I think Peter Turchin did a better job in How to Overthrow an Empire – and Replace It with Your Own

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  22. asdfsdfd says:

    OT, a photo montage of borders across the world

    Up Against the Wall: Photos of International Borders

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/up-against-the-wall-photos-of-international-borders-1438616884

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  23. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Ed West
    How many internet commenters does it take to fix a lightbulb?
    Why should they fix it? It's Israel's fault it's broken.

    It’s called Occam’s razor, dear fellow.

    There was nothing wrong with Iraq until it was repeated broken–and finally destroyed–by the United States, acting at the behest of jewish supremacists. You are either a cuckold or one of them.

    “Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat is and actually has been since 1990 – it’s the threat against Israel,” Philip Zelikow said. “And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell.”

    In any case, you are trying to evade the point. If they had really cared about Iraqis, they would have lifted sanctions and the oil quotas.

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    • Replies: @Yngvar

    In any case, you are trying to evade the point. If they had really cared about Iraqis, they would have lifted sanctions
     
    Any enlightening thoughts concerning the civilized worlds sanctions against North Korea You'd like to share? Like why 'we don't care'?
    , @carol
    But if we'd lifted the sanctions and quotas, it would have meant Saddam WINS!

    And we couldn't have that.

    , @Bill B.
    There was nothing wrong with Iraq until it was repeated broken–and finally destroyed–by the...


    You jest I presume.
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  24. You can’t enjoy asabiyyah when your Rulers impose imminvasion diarrhea.

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  25. MQ says:
    @Ed West
    I'd say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    They didn’t put anything vaguely liberal in his place. If you want to improve peoples’ lives you don’t unleash a half million strong army on a country and drive it into chaos and anarchy.

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    • Replies: @Deduction
    They tried to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure. They desperately patrolled, fought and negotiated to keep the peace. They spent ridiculous sums.

    It was naive and stupid but well-intentioned. If chaos was the plan then just the first three weeks of the war would have achieved it even more effectively.

    I supported the war because I was idealistic. I also served. I am not lying.
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  26. @Anon
    "And why has the noble dream of nation-building failed?"

    US invasion-intervention.

    Right. Because Arab society was so coherent before the Yanks showed up. And our invasion and intervention ruined Japan’s attempts at cohesion.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    "Right. Because Arab society was so coherent before the Yanks showed up. And our invasion and intervention ruined Japan’s attempts at cohesion."

    Precisely because they were unstable, they should have been left alone. As Arab nations were modern creations, they needed time to form and develop into viable modern states.
    But then, it took time for US to consolidate too. It was only after the Civil War that it was understood by all that there was NO seceding from the Union, ever.

    The formula in the Middle East was never stable, but it was a hell of a lot more stable before US invaded and began to mess up things beginning with the Gulf War--and by supporting Iraq to attack Iran before that.

    US and USSR also messed up Palestine.

    Even homogeneous nations can be messed up by great power politics. Korea was homogeneous but cut up in two, and both sides are still technically at war because of Great Power politics.

    And look at Ukraine. Yes, the situation wasn't stable, but it got much worse with US intervention that triggered a Civil War there.

    Another reason US should not get involved is Demographic Blowback or Flowback.

    Whenever US gets involved somewhere, it feels morally responsible for all the people displaced by the events. So, US felt compelled to take in the Boat People of Vietnam. Americans felt they'd left the 'good' Vietnamese behind. Same with Laotians.
    And because US got involved in Somalia, we've had Demographic Blowback from that region. A big headache. Damn that George H.W. Bush for taking us into that crazy nation.

    If the refugees don't end up in the US, they end up in Europe. Look at all the displaced Iraqis and Syrians who've made their way to Europe.

    Enough already.

    Libyan nation-state was reasonably stable before US and EU toppled Gaddafi.

    But then, similar thing will likely happen to the US if the same thing happened.

    Look at all the divisions in American among blue state, red state, white cons, white libs, blacks, browns, yellows, Christians, Muslims, Mexicans, and etc.
    If space aliens were to invade and topple the US government, would all these people necessarily unite to fight the space aliens.... or would they take advantage of the crisis to form their own power blocs and try to secede, even by collaborating with space aliens?

    Reagan said all humans would get together against space invaders, but not true. It all depends on 'what's in it for us?' If the agenda of space aliens is to wipe out all humans, humans all over would unite. But if space aliens sought human allies and favored some over others, US and EU would split apart.

    The effect of US invasion/intervention in the Middle East has been the same. Some resisted the Americans, other collaborated with the Americans. Others, like ISIS, took advantage of the disorder created by the invasion.

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  27. Bert says:
    @Ed West
    I'd say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis.

    You are a bloody liar.

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  28. @Ed West
    How many internet commenters does it take to fix a lightbulb?
    Why should they fix it? It's Israel's fault it's broken.

    Are you the real Ed West? Perhaps you’re the one to answer a question that’s been puzzling me.

    I’d never come across a British “Ed” until this decade, and now they seem to be all over the place: West, Sheeran, Miliband, Balls… There was the occasional “Eddie” in the music hall, but in general, Ed was American, Ted was English, and Ned could be either.

    Is “Ed” now trendy over there? Does it sound “cool”? Does it sound, well, American? Has anyone noticed or commented on this before?

    English pop musicians of the ’60s embraced American stage names along with American music: Wayne, Carl, Hank, Ringo. I knew the lineups of dozens of bands but don’t recall a single Ed, though.

    Some of these names caught on with parents; Wayne and Carl rocketed up the UK charts as they sank in the US. The classic case is Wayne Rooney, an Englishman with an Irish surname, and a given name which owes its original popularity to Mad Anthony Wayne– a general who shot at the Brits.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Yep.
    Back in the 70s we had Ted Heath - now, incredibly being investigated as a child molester 10 years after his death, and Eddie Booth the fictitious star of 'love thy neighbour' and Britain's biggest TV star when that accolade actually meant something.
    Apparently, a popular bandleader of the 1940s had the moniker 'Ted Heath' first.
    , @Ed West
    Reg - as far as I know Edward has never especially gone away. Royal names tend to stay fairly constant among English people - Harry, William, George all appear near the top each other - maybe Edward is a bit less so. I'm not sure Ed is cool or American but its not gratingly upper class enough to disqualify from public office, Edward might be.
    But there was a British prime minister called Edward as late as 1974 - admittedly the worst we've ever had. Ed Miliband might have run him close for that honour.
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  29. @The most deplorable one
    Isn't that part of the bi-factional ruling party's plan? Bankrupt them and they will all come here and become voters for the bi-factional ruling party.

    Really?

    I would think that there are two or three ways to view this:

    1. It is a natural outcome of different groups having different IQa and future-time preference,

    2. Some group has deliberately engineered the situation, or

    3. Some group has nudged the system towards its likely outcome.

    It would be interesting to subject the evidence to a robust examination* to determine whether any of these is the correct answer.

    * By robust examination I do not mean torture.

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  30. andy178 says:

    Shame-honor ranking effectively prohibits the development of wider, more socialized types of human relationship. Status considerations of the kind are impervious to Western concepts of contractual relationships.

    Pierre Bourdieu, the French social anthropologist, has pointed out that no dishonor attaches to such primary transactions as selling short weight, deceiving anyone about quality, quantity or kind of goods, cheating at gambling, and bearing false witness. The doer of these things is merely quicker off the mark than the next fellow; owing him nothing, he is not to be blamed for taking what he can. (2)

    Where suspicion and status-obsession reign, the simplest tasks become a labyrinth:

    In Western societies, licenses, passports, certificates of import and export, tax returns, legal judgments, bureaucratic documentation of every type represent contractual or defined dealings between the state and the individual and are negotiable only to the extent that the relevant law is imprecisely worded. [...] In Arab countries, every one of the signatures on those indispensable bureacratic pieces of paper represents power to some particular holder. The decision to dispense or to withhold the signature vitally adjusts power between one person and the next and must be treated accordingly, well prepared, and paid for. (2)

    http://thosewhocansee.blogspot.de/2011/08/jasmine-revolution.html

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  31. andy178 says:
    @Bert
    And people still think the West won the Cold War.

    “And people still think the West won the Cold War.”

    um, because it sorta did.

    http://isteve.blogspot.de/2014/02/the-rape-of-russia-explained-by-anne.html

    http://isteve.blogspot.de/2013/06/marc-rich.html

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  32. hhsiii says:
    @Anonymous
    They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis.

    Rubbish. If they had wanted Iraqis to have better lives, they would have lifted the sanctions and oil quotas. But they couldn't--because Israel.

    Hitchens didn’t care about Israel.

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  33. @Ed West
    I'd say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    I’d say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble.

    Hundreds of songs written from the dogface’s perspective refute the “nobility” of armchair warriors.

    “Vaguely liberal”.

    No comment needed.

    noble in their intentions

    Save that word for writers who were men of action, like George Orwell. What a shit thing to say. I bet you you use the word “solidarity”, too.

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  34. @Ed West
    How many internet commenters does it take to fix a lightbulb?
    Why should they fix it? It's Israel's fault it's broken.

    How many internet commenters does it take to fix a lightbulb?

    You’re commenting about people commenting about your commentary on Sailer’s commentary of your commentary on a medieval writer and its possible applicability to the Gulf War.

    You’re pathetic.

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  35. @Ed West
    I'd say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    The Iraqis were not capable of sustaining a ‘vaguely liberal’ polity and there was always a strong chance that the invasion would wind up creating more suffering than Saddam was causing. Leaders of great powers ought to have known better.

    And on what grounds did Bush and Blair think that they WERE capable of the invasion working? Was it anything other than the usual self-serving, status seeking need of the modern Westerner to demonstrate his unswerving belief in Equality and cultural interchangeability, in spite of all the evidence? These motivations are far from noble and have caused ontold death and misery and continue to do so.

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    • Replies: @Deduction
    Admittedly i was a child, but I firmly believed in the grand project of building a Switzerland in Iraq.

    I can recite my arguments from then and they make plenty of sense.

    That is, if you start from a tabula rasa conception of human difference.

    Still that is absolutely the dominant perspective of the last 50 years.

    You should not be suprised whenpeople really believe in it. The vast majority of people do. It's nicer.
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  36. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar
    Right. Because Arab society was so coherent before the Yanks showed up. And our invasion and intervention ruined Japan's attempts at cohesion.

    “Right. Because Arab society was so coherent before the Yanks showed up. And our invasion and intervention ruined Japan’s attempts at cohesion.”

    Precisely because they were unstable, they should have been left alone. As Arab nations were modern creations, they needed time to form and develop into viable modern states.
    But then, it took time for US to consolidate too. It was only after the Civil War that it was understood by all that there was NO seceding from the Union, ever.

    The formula in the Middle East was never stable, but it was a hell of a lot more stable before US invaded and began to mess up things beginning with the Gulf War–and by supporting Iraq to attack Iran before that.

    US and USSR also messed up Palestine.

    Even homogeneous nations can be messed up by great power politics. Korea was homogeneous but cut up in two, and both sides are still technically at war because of Great Power politics.

    And look at Ukraine. Yes, the situation wasn’t stable, but it got much worse with US intervention that triggered a Civil War there.

    Another reason US should not get involved is Demographic Blowback or Flowback.

    Whenever US gets involved somewhere, it feels morally responsible for all the people displaced by the events. So, US felt compelled to take in the Boat People of Vietnam. Americans felt they’d left the ‘good’ Vietnamese behind. Same with Laotians.
    And because US got involved in Somalia, we’ve had Demographic Blowback from that region. A big headache. Damn that George H.W. Bush for taking us into that crazy nation.

    If the refugees don’t end up in the US, they end up in Europe. Look at all the displaced Iraqis and Syrians who’ve made their way to Europe.

    Enough already.

    Libyan nation-state was reasonably stable before US and EU toppled Gaddafi.

    But then, similar thing will likely happen to the US if the same thing happened.

    Look at all the divisions in American among blue state, red state, white cons, white libs, blacks, browns, yellows, Christians, Muslims, Mexicans, and etc.
    If space aliens were to invade and topple the US government, would all these people necessarily unite to fight the space aliens…. or would they take advantage of the crisis to form their own power blocs and try to secede, even by collaborating with space aliens?

    Reagan said all humans would get together against space invaders, but not true. It all depends on ‘what’s in it for us?’ If the agenda of space aliens is to wipe out all humans, humans all over would unite. But if space aliens sought human allies and favored some over others, US and EU would split apart.

    The effect of US invasion/intervention in the Middle East has been the same. Some resisted the Americans, other collaborated with the Americans. Others, like ISIS, took advantage of the disorder created by the invasion.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Precisely because they were unstable, they should have been left alone. As Arab nations were modern creations, they needed time to form and develop into viable modern states.
     
    Time doesn't magically turn a colonial amalgamation of tribal groups in conflict into modern Western-style republics. Letting a powerful minority group to thump the rest and exist in power worked for a while, but ended up being precarious and fragile when the forces of extremism trumped pan-Arabism and socialism.

    Even homogeneous nations can be messed up by great power politics. Korea was homogeneous but cut up in two, and both sides are still technically at war because of Great Power politics.
     
    Yes, let's look at the Republic of Korea. What a mess. One of the richer countries in the world, some of the highest IQ and PISA scores, and a thriving high-tech industry with some of the lowest crime rates.

    We were successful in "nation-building" in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, and thought we could replicate those successes elsewhere. Well, Vietnam isn't Germany and Iraq isn't South Korea. Those areas with a history of strong central authority (not necessarily racial homogeneity, though that helps a lot) can be "nation-built" because they have been nations before. Such is not the case with Syria, Iraq, etc. which are, as you point out, modern colonial creations. Iran and Turkey are different stories obviously.

    Libyan nation-state was reasonably stable before US and EU toppled Gaddafi.
     
    Syria was pretty stable too until Hafez al-Assad died. Even without the Western intervention, who knows what would have happened in Libya once Gaddafi died? Without any external influence, maybe things would have worked out as domestic opposition was extremely weak in Libya, but Salafism and other modern, "purist" Islamic movements were a game-changer.
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  37. Whiskey says: • Website
    @Rifleman
    So what's your theory? Maybe Arabs are not a "states" people. Maybe Arab marriage/kinship networks don't favor states in the European sense. Maybe Islam doesn't favor states.

    It's been a while since I've read Bernard Lewis, E. Gellner or F Adjami so I don't know.

    Arabs and Islam just don't interest me like I know they are supposed to.

    Omar Sharif died a few weeks ago. He and Peter O'Toole gambled away all their pay in Beirut from the Jordan scenes in Lawrence of Arabia.

    Peter O'Toole was drunk in some of those camel charge scenes.

    See that, Irish like to drink and waste their money, Arabs like to gamble and waste their money.

    Israel as a practical matter had little to do in influencing Egypt, Syria, and Turkey, all big states with much bigger populations and sometimes allied with them (Turkey until Erdogan). This also discounts Iran (allied with Israel until 1979) and the whole Saharan outlay of Arab states that had little interest in Israel and vice-versa.

    Having read Bernard Lewis, I can answer WHY Muslim states failed to develop into nationalist ones despite trying very hard to do so: it was not in their society to ever form nations. Indeed only Westerners and some Easterners have formed proper nations. And even there, some like Italy are beset by the echoes of dynastic regionalism.

    Polygamy, the driving force of Islam (mobs repeatedly destroyed printing presses as un-Islamic in Cairo, Alexandria, and Istanbul in the 19th and 20th Century), a huge population breeding complacency about technical advancement in the West (and East), all gave way to a fatalistic, medieval-in-amber quality. Men could not cooperate because tribe was all, their only shield against a tyrant taking things from them; tribes were strong because clean, non-corrupt government was very hard to accomplish. The entire Muslim history after Mohammed follows various reformers trying to drive out corruption only to become corrupt themselves, creating dynasties that were good at looting people out of spare chickens but unable to build anything like say, Louis XIV star forts and excellent armies and navies.

    Look at Italy, the most Muslim-like nation of the West. Since the fall of Rome in the West around 479 AD it has been ruled by various dynasties tying it to France, or Spain, or the Austrians, competing against local Republics (Venice) and Kingdoms (the Kingdom of Two Sicilies) and Duke-doms (Milan). No strong central state emerged to crush regionalism and assert through efficient, clean, non-corrupt delivery of services, nationalism.

    The creation of a Nation rather than rule of a temporary tyrant requires the Nation to deliver to its people protection (from foreign and local predation), a minimum level of decency towards its people, an aspiration that the Nation means something, as opposed to the plaything of a dynasty and various peoples collected under that rule. China, Japan, Korea, perhaps Thailand, along with most of Western Europe qualify. The ME? Syria? Egypt? Those are not nations, merely dynastic properties passing from one oligarch set to another temporary tyrant.

    TL:DR version: Muslims are very good at being Muslim tribes, very bad at being a Nation.

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  38. Yngvar says:
    @Cpluskx
    Asabiya will be low if the people had civilization/strong states earlier. Imagine people living under strong states for 5000 years. (Iraq for example) You lived/reproduced more if you bowed down to authority. You and your relatives reproduced more if you spent most of your energy on your close relatives, family, tribe etc. instead of whole population. You and your relatives reproduced more if you were nepotistic. Strong states killed all the rebels during those 5000 years. You reproduced more if you were ok with the dictator. Today this creates a corrupt, authoritarian, tribalistic/sectarian, cousin-marriage society with dysfunctional army. (still i'd say without the Islamic Golden Age iq decline (probably around 15 points) Iraq would be something like more authoritarian Singapore)
    Similar pattern is there in Europe too. Two most corrupt countries in Europe are the earliest civilized/state ones, Greece and Italy. Least corrupt ones are later state ones like Finland, Sweden. (but i don't understand what's the deal with Russia/Belarus, later state but very authoritarian/corrupt)

    Imagine people living under strong states for 5000 years. (Iraq for example)

    5000 years? No society, let alone state, have existed that long. Iraq was thriving as a center of Islamic philosophy and science for a while, until the Mongols invaded and basically killed everyone.

    No, disease was the vector of all human development ’till we got diseases beat. No black death, no industrial revolution.

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  39. Whiskey says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis.

    Rubbish. If they had wanted Iraqis to have better lives, they would have lifted the sanctions and oil quotas. But they couldn't--because Israel.

    This is nonsense, I remember the arguments for and against intervention. Remember at the time after 9/11 it was general consensus that America had become weak, unable and unwilling to act to prevent attacks on it, and was generally not feared enough. Also, there was considerable hubris about how strong the US military was, and it was VERY strong in breaking and destroying Saddam’s armies which were the cream of the Muslim/Arab crop. People were decrying, particularly Liberal Dems/Code Pink etc. whom you seem to echo, the FAILURE OF GW BUSH TO REMOVE SADDAM in 1991. When it could have been done easily.

    Ariel Sharon, and the Saudis opposed removing Saddam, who was a thorn in their side but useful against the Iranians who they rightly regarded as the real, major threat to their regimes.

    However, it was proposed that removing Saddam, and allowing Western investment in Iraq’s oil fields, would do the following:

    A. Make America feared again by removing a convenient example of defiance, repeatedly, of American demands.
    B. Be accomplished relatively quickly as armies and air forces could be supplied by the sea, instead of a land-locked region in Central Asia that required iffy Russian cooperation (Afghanistan).
    C. Re-inforce the Carter Doctrine guaranteeing US Military dominance of the Gulf.
    D. Give the US a convenient client state with lots and lots of oil that could prevent the Saudis from EVER jacking up the price of oil.
    E. Give every Iraqi a share of oil receipts and produce a Gulf-like moderation based on keeping the peace and dialing down Jihad to keep the money flowing.

    This failed obviously because the policy was oversold to the American people, done on the dirt cheap, and Bush was passive in not explaining what it was all about: OIL OIL OIL. Like oil was some original sin.

    America runs on cheap oil. Examine your bank account when gas is $4 or above, and when its closer to $2. The cheapest oil is in the ME, and to guarantee its flow the US needs to dominate and have client states, ideally a few to play off each other.

    This is the reality of your air conditioning, your computer, your car, your jet travel, your Amazon orders, pretty much everything in your life. It runs on OIL, not Unicorn Farts and Rainbows.

    Since the Dems, Code Pink, and the rest got their way, we have Iraq controlled by Iran, a hostile power aiming at expensive oil, being fought by ISIS, also wanting expensive oil and world-wide Jihad, with the Saudis being our only alternative; the Iranians are not going to flood the market with cheap oil but demand the Saudis cut production as part of the nuclear deal. With nukes to back up their demands.

    Americans deserved a vote on this: do we back off the ME, leave Iraq and the Gulf to their own devices, live in Pat Buchanon isolationism and moral splendor? And have gas at say, $8-9-10 a gallon or more? With everyone but the very rich living essentially like Depression Era poor? Or do a lot of Americans die in agony and we kill a LOT more people to keep gas at a reasonable price of $3 a gallon?

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    • Replies: @Dirk Dagger
    And there really was the possibility that Saddam Hussein had chemical/biological/bio-chemical weapons. The post-9/11 Anthrax crisis has been flushed down the memory hole but it should be noted that the FBI laboratory wrongly reported to the administration that the Anthrax spores had been weaponized; Iraq was the logical suspect.
    , @Hepp
    The entire fallacy in your argument is the idea that you need to control the Middle East to buy their oil. They have no other resources and need to sell it not to starve. Even if it was all controlled by Iran, who didn't want to sell it to the United States, you could simply buy it through an intermediary.

    Oh, yeah, and by the way, only a small percentage of American oil comes from the Middle East anyway.

    Many people believe that the US really wants resources, and that it's ideal talk is to justify the seizing of oil or whatever. I think it's actually the opposite. We're involved in broad in order to spread a moral vision, and talk about oil and actual benefits to the country is simply used to sell the American public, which is nationalistic.
    , @Simon in London
    The Iraqi military has traditionally been among the least competent of the non-Gulf Arab state militaries. 'Cream of the crop' Arab military would likely be Egypt, the only Arab nation to bear some resemblance to a nation-state.

    Of course as non-state irregular fighters Arabs do very well.
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  40. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar
    Are you the real Ed West? Perhaps you're the one to answer a question that's been puzzling me.

    I'd never come across a British "Ed" until this decade, and now they seem to be all over the place: West, Sheeran, Miliband, Balls… There was the occasional "Eddie" in the music hall, but in general, Ed was American, Ted was English, and Ned could be either.

    Is "Ed" now trendy over there? Does it sound "cool"? Does it sound, well, American? Has anyone noticed or commented on this before?

    English pop musicians of the '60s embraced American stage names along with American music: Wayne, Carl, Hank, Ringo. I knew the lineups of dozens of bands but don't recall a single Ed, though.

    Some of these names caught on with parents; Wayne and Carl rocketed up the UK charts as they sank in the US. The classic case is Wayne Rooney, an Englishman with an Irish surname, and a given name which owes its original popularity to Mad Anthony Wayne-- a general who shot at the Brits.

    Yep.
    Back in the 70s we had Ted Heath – now, incredibly being investigated as a child molester 10 years after his death, and Eddie Booth the fictitious star of ‘love thy neighbour’ and Britain’s biggest TV star when that accolade actually meant something.
    Apparently, a popular bandleader of the 1940s had the moniker ‘Ted Heath’ first.

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  41. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Cpluskx
    Asabiya will be low if the people had civilization/strong states earlier. Imagine people living under strong states for 5000 years. (Iraq for example) You lived/reproduced more if you bowed down to authority. You and your relatives reproduced more if you spent most of your energy on your close relatives, family, tribe etc. instead of whole population. You and your relatives reproduced more if you were nepotistic. Strong states killed all the rebels during those 5000 years. You reproduced more if you were ok with the dictator. Today this creates a corrupt, authoritarian, tribalistic/sectarian, cousin-marriage society with dysfunctional army. (still i'd say without the Islamic Golden Age iq decline (probably around 15 points) Iraq would be something like more authoritarian Singapore)
    Similar pattern is there in Europe too. Two most corrupt countries in Europe are the earliest civilized/state ones, Greece and Italy. Least corrupt ones are later state ones like Finland, Sweden. (but i don't understand what's the deal with Russia/Belarus, later state but very authoritarian/corrupt)

    Part of the problem with successful civilizations is that they allow EVERYBODY a greater chance for survival. “It’s better to be poor in a rich country than poor in a poor country,” is a well-known concept. If you want to see a population explosion among the ungifted, parasitic, and dumb, civilization enables them to start reproducing in Malthusian numbers. They’d win a Darwin award if they had to survive in a state of raw and unforgiving nature.

    Eventually, the losers will overwhelm the original population because they breed earlier and more often than the responsible people. If you want to know what happened to the ancient Greeks and why their brilliance declined, there’s your answer.

    The US and Europe, by making it so easy for losers to thrive, are eventually going to be overwhelmed by people with lousy genes because the liberal saps who run their governments refuse to cull them or keep them out. You have to cut off their ability to breed if they refuse to raise their own offspring. No welfare, period, and sterilization if they insist on dumping their kids on the state.

    The death penalty should be for all felonies of every kind, and juries should be able to hear about your criminal past and take that into account before making their final decision. There’s no reason why we should endanger the welfare of everyone in a community just so we can coddle repeat offenders who are incurable sociopaths. That’s utter insanity.

    Criminal justice is still stuck in the Victorian era when it comes to psychology. These days we know sociopaths are hard-wired, and once they go bad, it’s futile to attempt to rehabilitate them. The ridiculous thing is that liberals keep trying to rehabilitate and excuse sociopaths due to a type of religious thinking that comes from religions that liberals themselves don’t even believe in anymore.

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  42. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2015/08/04/cuckservatives-plunging-in-the-polls-jeb-bush-remains-confident

    I wonder… would Jeb be more popular if not for Dubya?

    After Dubya, I don’t see how the Bush legacy can be saved.

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  43. Yngvar says:
    @Anonymous
    It's called Occam's razor, dear fellow.

    There was nothing wrong with Iraq until it was repeated broken--and finally destroyed--by the United States, acting at the behest of jewish supremacists. You are either a cuckold or one of them.

    "Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat is and actually has been since 1990 – it’s the threat against Israel," Philip Zelikow said. "And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell."

    In any case, you are trying to evade the point. If they had really cared about Iraqis, they would have lifted sanctions and the oil quotas.

    In any case, you are trying to evade the point. If they had really cared about Iraqis, they would have lifted sanctions

    Any enlightening thoughts concerning the civilized worlds sanctions against North Korea You’d like to share? Like why ‘we don’t care’?

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  44. carol says:
    @Anonymous
    It's called Occam's razor, dear fellow.

    There was nothing wrong with Iraq until it was repeated broken--and finally destroyed--by the United States, acting at the behest of jewish supremacists. You are either a cuckold or one of them.

    "Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat is and actually has been since 1990 – it’s the threat against Israel," Philip Zelikow said. "And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell."

    In any case, you are trying to evade the point. If they had really cared about Iraqis, they would have lifted sanctions and the oil quotas.

    But if we’d lifted the sanctions and quotas, it would have meant Saddam WINS!

    And we couldn’t have that.

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  45. Ed West says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar
    Are you the real Ed West? Perhaps you're the one to answer a question that's been puzzling me.

    I'd never come across a British "Ed" until this decade, and now they seem to be all over the place: West, Sheeran, Miliband, Balls… There was the occasional "Eddie" in the music hall, but in general, Ed was American, Ted was English, and Ned could be either.

    Is "Ed" now trendy over there? Does it sound "cool"? Does it sound, well, American? Has anyone noticed or commented on this before?

    English pop musicians of the '60s embraced American stage names along with American music: Wayne, Carl, Hank, Ringo. I knew the lineups of dozens of bands but don't recall a single Ed, though.

    Some of these names caught on with parents; Wayne and Carl rocketed up the UK charts as they sank in the US. The classic case is Wayne Rooney, an Englishman with an Irish surname, and a given name which owes its original popularity to Mad Anthony Wayne-- a general who shot at the Brits.

    Reg – as far as I know Edward has never especially gone away. Royal names tend to stay fairly constant among English people – Harry, William, George all appear near the top each other – maybe Edward is a bit less so. I’m not sure Ed is cool or American but its not gratingly upper class enough to disqualify from public office, Edward might be.
    But there was a British prime minister called Edward as late as 1974 – admittedly the worst we’ve ever had. Ed Miliband might have run him close for that honour.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Thanks. For a moment there, I thought I was taken by a "sock puppet".

    I don't doubt that royal names are sturdy favorites in Britain, but "Chuck" and "Hank" for Charles and Henry seem uniquely American, and I suspected "Ed" might be as well.

    It is rather strange that I can't recall a single English rock band member named Edward (or Edwin, Edmund, Edgar, etc.), especially since some of them were Teddy Boys.

    I'm going through American Teds to see which are Theodores (Roosevelt, Sorenson, Williams, Bundy, Nugent) and which are Edwards (Kennedy, Turner, Danson, Koppel, Cruz-- though the last two were born abroad.)
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  46. Bill B. says:
    @Anonymous
    It's called Occam's razor, dear fellow.

    There was nothing wrong with Iraq until it was repeated broken--and finally destroyed--by the United States, acting at the behest of jewish supremacists. You are either a cuckold or one of them.

    "Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat is and actually has been since 1990 – it’s the threat against Israel," Philip Zelikow said. "And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell."

    In any case, you are trying to evade the point. If they had really cared about Iraqis, they would have lifted sanctions and the oil quotas.

    There was nothing wrong with Iraq until it was repeated broken–and finally destroyed–by the…

    You jest I presume.

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  47. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Focusing mainly on religion, ideology or economics, most analysis ignored one crucial factor: asabiyyah, or group feeling, something outlined six and a half centuries ago by a largely ignored Arab historian called Ibn Khaldun.”

    Business schools have known about the importance of organizational culture and good cultural fit for years. Why hasn’t this understanding been translated onto a national level? It’s as though our leaders have their heads in the sand or just don’t care.

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  48. @anonymous
    He calls foreigners invading a country blitzkrieg-style, bombing and strafing those who dare resist, a "noble dream of nation-building". That's as far as I need to read; he's either swallowed the propaganda or is pushing it. Nobleness achieved through dropping bombs, ah yes.

    For many of us it was a noble dream – a noble dream with catastrophic real-life consequences for millions of people. As commented in this thread “The Good Intentions Paving Company“.

    Remember that as far as the Left were concerned, invading Iraq would open the gates of hell – for the USA.

    They were completely wrong – it turned out to open the gates of hell for millions of Iraqis – which was quite an achievement given that the place was already pretty sulphurous under Saddam.

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    • Replies: @Deduction
    You're correct.

    The right didn't understand how diversity doomed the war because the Iraqis cannot get along.

    The left didn't understand how diversity stopped the Iraqis uniting against the US and so there would be little blowback in bombs and so on.

    People really believe in the multicult. Everyone here needs to remember that.
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  49. Pat Casey says:

    OT, so OT, but I just really want an ISteve opinion, whatever it may be, on this:

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/04/therapy-for-tough-guys/?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region&_r=0

    From the moment I heard Michael’s voice on my answering machine, I felt intrigued and intimidated.

    “Hey, Doc,” he said, though I am neither a doctor nor a character in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. “Word on the street is that you’re a damn good therapist. I might want to set up a meeting, but I’ve got a question. So give me a call and let’s talk.”

    And it only gets better.

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  50. Anon • Disclaimer says:
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  51. HA says:
    @Rifleman
    So what's your theory? Maybe Arabs are not a "states" people. Maybe Arab marriage/kinship networks don't favor states in the European sense. Maybe Islam doesn't favor states.

    It's been a while since I've read Bernard Lewis, E. Gellner or F Adjami so I don't know.

    Arabs and Islam just don't interest me like I know they are supposed to.

    Omar Sharif died a few weeks ago. He and Peter O'Toole gambled away all their pay in Beirut from the Jordan scenes in Lawrence of Arabia.

    Peter O'Toole was drunk in some of those camel charge scenes.

    See that, Irish like to drink and waste their money, Arabs like to gamble and waste their money.

    “Arabs and Islam just don’t interest me…Omar Sharif…and Peter O’Toole gambled away all their pay… Irish like to drink and waste their money, Arabs like to gamble and waste their money.”

    According to Wikipedia, Peter O’Toole is half-Scottish, while Omar Sharif is neither Arab nor Muslim.

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  52. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    http://moonbattery.com/?p=61532

    “Texas Christian University Student Punished for Expressing Conservative Views on Social Media”

    How about Texas Cucktian University?

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  53. Anon • Disclaimer says:
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  54. Bill P says:
    @Ed West
    I'd say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    I first heard about asabiyyah from an orientalist some fifteen years ago, and now it seems the term is in vogue. At first, it sounds like a mysterious concept, but after thinking about it for a while it becomes pretty clear that what it means is something like “common faith.” It’s a recurrent theme throughout the Old Testament, with obedience to tribal god Yahweh as a stand-in for asabiyyah.

    Perhaps the universalism of Islam and Christianity work against it over time, despite the tribal origins of both. So, strangely enough, Christian and Muslim communities can be the seed of asabiyyah, but like many living cells they come with a built-in expiration code.

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  55. @Ed West
    Reg - as far as I know Edward has never especially gone away. Royal names tend to stay fairly constant among English people - Harry, William, George all appear near the top each other - maybe Edward is a bit less so. I'm not sure Ed is cool or American but its not gratingly upper class enough to disqualify from public office, Edward might be.
    But there was a British prime minister called Edward as late as 1974 - admittedly the worst we've ever had. Ed Miliband might have run him close for that honour.

    Thanks. For a moment there, I thought I was taken by a “sock puppet”.

    I don’t doubt that royal names are sturdy favorites in Britain, but “Chuck” and “Hank” for Charles and Henry seem uniquely American, and I suspected “Ed” might be as well.

    It is rather strange that I can’t recall a single English rock band member named Edward (or Edwin, Edmund, Edgar, etc.), especially since some of them were Teddy Boys.

    I’m going through American Teds to see which are Theodores (Roosevelt, Sorenson, Williams, Bundy, Nugent) and which are Edwards (Kennedy, Turner, Danson, Koppel, Cruz– though the last two were born abroad.)

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  56. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Ed West
    I'd say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    “The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis.”

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  57. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Ed West
    I'd say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    “I’d say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble.”

    It’s interesting that neocons have these ‘noble’ intentions only for nations that Israel doesn’t like.

    I mean why not topple Mugabe of Zimbabwe?

    Why all these ‘noble’ sentiments for changing the regimes in nations most loathed by Israel, either by war, intervention, drone strikes, economic strangulation, and even support for terrorism, as the West has indeed aided and abetted the movement of terrorists to undermine Assad.

    And funny how these ‘noble’ sentiments keep shifting. When Iraq was fighting Iran, the likes of Wolfowitz were all for Iraq. But when Iraq won and Hussein was brimming with confidence, he became the new Hitler.

    Yes, Hussein was a very bad guy, but then, US is run by the likes of Albright who said it was worth it to kill 300,000 Iraqi women and children through starvation and disease and by Nuland who triggered an unnecessary war in Ukraine.

    But I’m sure West will tell us that Nuland was motivated by ‘noble’ intentions.

    More like Neo-Bull.

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    • Replies: @Deduction

    I mean why not topple Mugabe of Zimbabwe?
     
    3 reasons.

    One place at a time and you have to start somewhere.

    Black Africa was an even more sensitive place for the white man to go.

    It helps to have oil and s literate society if you're going to transform a place to Switzerland.
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  58. Jefferson says:
    @Rifleman
    So what's your theory? Maybe Arabs are not a "states" people. Maybe Arab marriage/kinship networks don't favor states in the European sense. Maybe Islam doesn't favor states.

    It's been a while since I've read Bernard Lewis, E. Gellner or F Adjami so I don't know.

    Arabs and Islam just don't interest me like I know they are supposed to.

    Omar Sharif died a few weeks ago. He and Peter O'Toole gambled away all their pay in Beirut from the Jordan scenes in Lawrence of Arabia.

    Peter O'Toole was drunk in some of those camel charge scenes.

    See that, Irish like to drink and waste their money, Arabs like to gamble and waste their money.

    “See that, Irish like to drink and waste their money, Arabs like to gamble and waste their money.”

    The vice known as gambling is also huge among Asians. The Asian people I have been friends with in my life, they have all admitted they have at least 1 family member who is a serious gambling addict. And Asians usually suck at gambling as the vast majority of them lose way more than they win. The vast majority of Asian gambling addicts always end up in the financial red.

    And gambling addiction is even higher depending on which Asian group you are talking about. Filipinos are the worst even by Asian standards and that says a lot. I remember going to a casino just a few miles outside of the Sacramento city limits and it looked a like a freaking Little Quezon City/Little Manila in there even though Filipinos are a small Minority of the Sacramento metropolitan area.

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  59. Deduction says:
    @Ed West
    I'd say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    True

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  60. Deduction says:
    @MQ
    They didn't put anything vaguely liberal in his place. If you want to improve peoples' lives you don't unleash a half million strong army on a country and drive it into chaos and anarchy.

    They tried to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure. They desperately patrolled, fought and negotiated to keep the peace. They spent ridiculous sums.

    It was naive and stupid but well-intentioned. If chaos was the plan then just the first three weeks of the war would have achieved it even more effectively.

    I supported the war because I was idealistic. I also served. I am not lying.

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    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    1 million Iraqis have died since the invasion and you really believe policy makers were "well intentioned"?

    Those hospitals and schools were built by American contracting firms, which made obscene amounts of money (and overbilled to a ridiculous extent too). Many of them received no-bid contracts too, which is just unprecedented. Dick Cheney's former employer Haliburton was especially egregious.
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  61. Dirk Dagger says: • Website
    @Whiskey
    This is nonsense, I remember the arguments for and against intervention. Remember at the time after 9/11 it was general consensus that America had become weak, unable and unwilling to act to prevent attacks on it, and was generally not feared enough. Also, there was considerable hubris about how strong the US military was, and it was VERY strong in breaking and destroying Saddam's armies which were the cream of the Muslim/Arab crop. People were decrying, particularly Liberal Dems/Code Pink etc. whom you seem to echo, the FAILURE OF GW BUSH TO REMOVE SADDAM in 1991. When it could have been done easily.

    Ariel Sharon, and the Saudis opposed removing Saddam, who was a thorn in their side but useful against the Iranians who they rightly regarded as the real, major threat to their regimes.

    However, it was proposed that removing Saddam, and allowing Western investment in Iraq's oil fields, would do the following:

    A. Make America feared again by removing a convenient example of defiance, repeatedly, of American demands.
    B. Be accomplished relatively quickly as armies and air forces could be supplied by the sea, instead of a land-locked region in Central Asia that required iffy Russian cooperation (Afghanistan).
    C. Re-inforce the Carter Doctrine guaranteeing US Military dominance of the Gulf.
    D. Give the US a convenient client state with lots and lots of oil that could prevent the Saudis from EVER jacking up the price of oil.
    E. Give every Iraqi a share of oil receipts and produce a Gulf-like moderation based on keeping the peace and dialing down Jihad to keep the money flowing.

    This failed obviously because the policy was oversold to the American people, done on the dirt cheap, and Bush was passive in not explaining what it was all about: OIL OIL OIL. Like oil was some original sin.

    America runs on cheap oil. Examine your bank account when gas is $4 or above, and when its closer to $2. The cheapest oil is in the ME, and to guarantee its flow the US needs to dominate and have client states, ideally a few to play off each other.

    This is the reality of your air conditioning, your computer, your car, your jet travel, your Amazon orders, pretty much everything in your life. It runs on OIL, not Unicorn Farts and Rainbows.

    Since the Dems, Code Pink, and the rest got their way, we have Iraq controlled by Iran, a hostile power aiming at expensive oil, being fought by ISIS, also wanting expensive oil and world-wide Jihad, with the Saudis being our only alternative; the Iranians are not going to flood the market with cheap oil but demand the Saudis cut production as part of the nuclear deal. With nukes to back up their demands.

    Americans deserved a vote on this: do we back off the ME, leave Iraq and the Gulf to their own devices, live in Pat Buchanon isolationism and moral splendor? And have gas at say, $8-9-10 a gallon or more? With everyone but the very rich living essentially like Depression Era poor? Or do a lot of Americans die in agony and we kill a LOT more people to keep gas at a reasonable price of $3 a gallon?

    And there really was the possibility that Saddam Hussein had chemical/biological/bio-chemical weapons. The post-9/11 Anthrax crisis has been flushed down the memory hole but it should be noted that the FBI laboratory wrongly reported to the administration that the Anthrax spores had been weaponized; Iraq was the logical suspect.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The anthrax thing was terrifying at the time.
    , @B.R.
    They hadn't been weaponized?

    Was it not ultimately revealed to be Fed Anthrax courtesy of the Bruce Ivins guy?

    I recall that some of the spores were well-prepared and did not clump, thus caused inhalatory anthrax..
    , @JohnnyWalker123
    There was never a possibility that Iraq was sending anthrax.

    It's hard to send stuff through international mail and not get tracked.

    Iraq was too poor to have sophisticated terrorist cells in the U.S.
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  62. Deduction says:
    @al gore rhythms
    The Iraqis were not capable of sustaining a 'vaguely liberal' polity and there was always a strong chance that the invasion would wind up creating more suffering than Saddam was causing. Leaders of great powers ought to have known better.

    And on what grounds did Bush and Blair think that they WERE capable of the invasion working? Was it anything other than the usual self-serving, status seeking need of the modern Westerner to demonstrate his unswerving belief in Equality and cultural interchangeability, in spite of all the evidence? These motivations are far from noble and have caused ontold death and misery and continue to do so.

    Admittedly i was a child, but I firmly believed in the grand project of building a Switzerland in Iraq.

    I can recite my arguments from then and they make plenty of sense.

    That is, if you start from a tabula rasa conception of human difference.

    Still that is absolutely the dominant perspective of the last 50 years.

    You should not be suprised whenpeople really believe in it. The vast majority of people do. It’s nicer.

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  63. Deduction says:
    @Anonymous Nephew
    For many of us it was a noble dream - a noble dream with catastrophic real-life consequences for millions of people. As commented in this thread "The Good Intentions Paving Company".

    Remember that as far as the Left were concerned, invading Iraq would open the gates of hell - for the USA.

    They were completely wrong - it turned out to open the gates of hell for millions of Iraqis - which was quite an achievement given that the place was already pretty sulphurous under Saddam.

    You’re correct.

    The right didn’t understand how diversity doomed the war because the Iraqis cannot get along.

    The left didn’t understand how diversity stopped the Iraqis uniting against the US and so there would be little blowback in bombs and so on.

    People really believe in the multicult. Everyone here needs to remember that.

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  64. Hepp says:
    @Whiskey
    This is nonsense, I remember the arguments for and against intervention. Remember at the time after 9/11 it was general consensus that America had become weak, unable and unwilling to act to prevent attacks on it, and was generally not feared enough. Also, there was considerable hubris about how strong the US military was, and it was VERY strong in breaking and destroying Saddam's armies which were the cream of the Muslim/Arab crop. People were decrying, particularly Liberal Dems/Code Pink etc. whom you seem to echo, the FAILURE OF GW BUSH TO REMOVE SADDAM in 1991. When it could have been done easily.

    Ariel Sharon, and the Saudis opposed removing Saddam, who was a thorn in their side but useful against the Iranians who they rightly regarded as the real, major threat to their regimes.

    However, it was proposed that removing Saddam, and allowing Western investment in Iraq's oil fields, would do the following:

    A. Make America feared again by removing a convenient example of defiance, repeatedly, of American demands.
    B. Be accomplished relatively quickly as armies and air forces could be supplied by the sea, instead of a land-locked region in Central Asia that required iffy Russian cooperation (Afghanistan).
    C. Re-inforce the Carter Doctrine guaranteeing US Military dominance of the Gulf.
    D. Give the US a convenient client state with lots and lots of oil that could prevent the Saudis from EVER jacking up the price of oil.
    E. Give every Iraqi a share of oil receipts and produce a Gulf-like moderation based on keeping the peace and dialing down Jihad to keep the money flowing.

    This failed obviously because the policy was oversold to the American people, done on the dirt cheap, and Bush was passive in not explaining what it was all about: OIL OIL OIL. Like oil was some original sin.

    America runs on cheap oil. Examine your bank account when gas is $4 or above, and when its closer to $2. The cheapest oil is in the ME, and to guarantee its flow the US needs to dominate and have client states, ideally a few to play off each other.

    This is the reality of your air conditioning, your computer, your car, your jet travel, your Amazon orders, pretty much everything in your life. It runs on OIL, not Unicorn Farts and Rainbows.

    Since the Dems, Code Pink, and the rest got their way, we have Iraq controlled by Iran, a hostile power aiming at expensive oil, being fought by ISIS, also wanting expensive oil and world-wide Jihad, with the Saudis being our only alternative; the Iranians are not going to flood the market with cheap oil but demand the Saudis cut production as part of the nuclear deal. With nukes to back up their demands.

    Americans deserved a vote on this: do we back off the ME, leave Iraq and the Gulf to their own devices, live in Pat Buchanon isolationism and moral splendor? And have gas at say, $8-9-10 a gallon or more? With everyone but the very rich living essentially like Depression Era poor? Or do a lot of Americans die in agony and we kill a LOT more people to keep gas at a reasonable price of $3 a gallon?

    The entire fallacy in your argument is the idea that you need to control the Middle East to buy their oil. They have no other resources and need to sell it not to starve. Even if it was all controlled by Iran, who didn’t want to sell it to the United States, you could simply buy it through an intermediary.

    Oh, yeah, and by the way, only a small percentage of American oil comes from the Middle East anyway.

    Many people believe that the US really wants resources, and that it’s ideal talk is to justify the seizing of oil or whatever. I think it’s actually the opposite. We’re involved in broad in order to spread a moral vision, and talk about oil and actual benefits to the country is simply used to sell the American public, which is nationalistic.

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    US imports of Middle East oil are only a small part of the picture.

    If the oil flow is disrupted to Japan, China and other countries, which are also big trading partners of ours, and with Europe and the BRICS, then their economic troubles will overwhelm the stability of the world economy.

    It is hard to run a country with the lights out, no elevators, no refrigeration, etc, without soon having blood in the streets.

    , @Anon
    "We’re involved in broad in order to spread a moral vision, and talk about oil and actual benefits to the country is simply used to sell the American public, which is nationalistic."

    Moral vision? Saudi Arabia is more reactionary and repressive than secular Arab regimes like Syria, but US targets Syria.

    Some 'moral' or 'progressive' vision.

    It's all about who-controls-the-US. The Zionists.

    It's about greasing global Jewish interests.

    Likewise, suppose Jews had gained total power over Russia.

    Would there be a War on Russia?

    No. Russia would be hailed as a great nation no matter corrupt it is.
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  65. Hepp says:
    @Ed West
    I'd say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble. The most prominent advocates of removing the Baathists, people like Wolfowitz and Chris Hitchens, were noble in their intentions. They may have been naive to the point of irresponsibility, but they were genuinely trying to make lives better for Iraqis. Perhaps they should have read Cousin Marriage Condundrum, which is mentioned in Asabiyya.

    By the way, Ed, while you’re here, I can’t buy your book from Amazon, they say it’s only available to those in the UK. How can I get it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Auntie Analogue
    My dear Hepp, simply go to the website of Amazon.uk and order Ed West's book from Amazon.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/

    I've obtained DVD's not available in the U.S. from Amazon.uk (I have a multi-region DVD player that plays UK Region 2 discs).
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  66. slumber_j says:
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  67. @Dirk Dagger
    And there really was the possibility that Saddam Hussein had chemical/biological/bio-chemical weapons. The post-9/11 Anthrax crisis has been flushed down the memory hole but it should be noted that the FBI laboratory wrongly reported to the administration that the Anthrax spores had been weaponized; Iraq was the logical suspect.

    The anthrax thing was terrifying at the time.

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  68. G Pinfold says:

    Business schools have known about the importance of organizational culture and good cultural fit for years. Why hasn’t this understanding been translated onto a national level? It’s as though our leaders have their heads in the sand or just don’t care.

    Management theorists are ambivalent about culture, though on balance, strong culture is probably seen as a negative. Multinational corporations, be they ever so slick, cool and hip, are command and control operations – sterile, culture-free, authoritarian and conformist. ‘Disruption’ is a current buzzword. When they use it, they mean disruption of culture, of established order, of comfortable workplaces and friendly arrangements.

    Why would global business be different to global politics?

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  69. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    From much of the commentary I gather that there’s a general idea out there that the architects of the Iraq war were really on a mission to do good, noble things but failed in their quest. Those who crafted it are supposed to be our best and brightest; all of them went to our top schools and are supposed to be knowledgeable, well read people. And yet people way down on the food chain can point out the disastrous results engendered by these elite thinkers, at least from the point of view of the stated objectives. So how is this possible? Are graduates of elite schools incompetent nincompoops? Were the stated noble objectives just a fraud to fool the public? Should Joe the car mechanic be in charge of foreign policy instead of the ones we have now? Carrying out good deeds through war like so many boy scouts with machine guns certainly seems like a great idea. What could possibly go wrong/

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  70. B.R. says:
    @Cpluskx
    Asabiya will be low if the people had civilization/strong states earlier. Imagine people living under strong states for 5000 years. (Iraq for example) You lived/reproduced more if you bowed down to authority. You and your relatives reproduced more if you spent most of your energy on your close relatives, family, tribe etc. instead of whole population. You and your relatives reproduced more if you were nepotistic. Strong states killed all the rebels during those 5000 years. You reproduced more if you were ok with the dictator. Today this creates a corrupt, authoritarian, tribalistic/sectarian, cousin-marriage society with dysfunctional army. (still i'd say without the Islamic Golden Age iq decline (probably around 15 points) Iraq would be something like more authoritarian Singapore)
    Similar pattern is there in Europe too. Two most corrupt countries in Europe are the earliest civilized/state ones, Greece and Italy. Least corrupt ones are later state ones like Finland, Sweden. (but i don't understand what's the deal with Russia/Belarus, later state but very authoritarian/corrupt)

    Asabiya will be low if the people had civilization/strong states earlier.

    Chinese are one of the oldest civilizations there is, and their soldiers were definitely not cowards in Korea.

    PRobably not as simple as “had strong states that warred earlier”…

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  71. B.R. says:
    @Dirk Dagger
    And there really was the possibility that Saddam Hussein had chemical/biological/bio-chemical weapons. The post-9/11 Anthrax crisis has been flushed down the memory hole but it should be noted that the FBI laboratory wrongly reported to the administration that the Anthrax spores had been weaponized; Iraq was the logical suspect.

    They hadn’t been weaponized?

    Was it not ultimately revealed to be Fed Anthrax courtesy of the Bruce Ivins guy?

    I recall that some of the spores were well-prepared and did not clump, thus caused inhalatory anthrax..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dirk Dagger
    I've oversimplified it, perhaps too much, but the short answer is: no, the spores were not "weaponized"; wikipedia has a decent write-up of the controversy (in retrospect): here. At the time (October 25, 2001) the N.Y. Times was reporting:

    Three top scientists — all with experience in germ weapons and knowledge of the federal investigation — said in interviews yesterday that the powder was high-grade and in theory capable of inflicting wide casualties.

    And, two of the scientists said, the anthrax was altered from its natural state to reduce its electrostatic charge, a process that prevents small particles from sticking together and to nearby objects, thus making them more likely to become airborne.
     

    From: Contradicting Some U.S. Officials, 3 Scientists Call Anthrax Powder High-Grade
    By William J. Broad. [There are links in the wikipedia article]
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  72. @Dirk Dagger
    And there really was the possibility that Saddam Hussein had chemical/biological/bio-chemical weapons. The post-9/11 Anthrax crisis has been flushed down the memory hole but it should be noted that the FBI laboratory wrongly reported to the administration that the Anthrax spores had been weaponized; Iraq was the logical suspect.

    There was never a possibility that Iraq was sending anthrax.

    It’s hard to send stuff through international mail and not get tracked.

    Iraq was too poor to have sophisticated terrorist cells in the U.S.

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  73. @Deduction
    They tried to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure. They desperately patrolled, fought and negotiated to keep the peace. They spent ridiculous sums.

    It was naive and stupid but well-intentioned. If chaos was the plan then just the first three weeks of the war would have achieved it even more effectively.

    I supported the war because I was idealistic. I also served. I am not lying.

    1 million Iraqis have died since the invasion and you really believe policy makers were “well intentioned”?

    Those hospitals and schools were built by American contracting firms, which made obscene amounts of money (and overbilled to a ridiculous extent too). Many of them received no-bid contracts too, which is just unprecedented. Dick Cheney’s former employer Haliburton was especially egregious.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Dick Cheney’s former employer Haliburton was especially egregious.
     
    I hate to rain on your clichéd conspiracy parade, but Haliburton knew what the heck it was doing. It actually had, you know, expertise and capacity to do what it was contracted to do. Some of the real problems were 1) containerfuls of cash that were doled out to the Iraqis from tribal chiefs to Iraqi government apparatchiks, which simply disappeared and 2) swarms of "contractors" with absolutely zero expertise and experience who predictably provided poor quality service or couldn't provide any service at all.

    Many of them received no-bid contracts too, which is just unprecedented.
     
    In principle, I absolutely agree that multiple bids are necessary to obtain the best market price (and for that matter USG ought to be buying off-the-shelf as much as possible, because such items are a fraction of the cost of specially gov/mil-spec-d ones). And that works in the civilian/peacetime setting. But in the exigencies of war, no-bid contracts are not unusual, because speed and convenience are paramount. Wars are inevitably followed by war profiteers. And that's why wars have been always expensive throughout history, and nations (esp. the British and the French) have changed the course of history by directing subsidies at the right time to the right allies.
    , @Deduction

    1 million Iraqis have died since the invasion and you really believe policy makers were “well intentioned”?
     
    Just because the results were bad, it doesn't mean the intentions were wrong.

    Hitler didn't invade Russia with the intention of destroying Germany. Nor did Napoleon intend to destroy France.

    People make bad decisions and internet morons attribute those bad decisions to conspiracy theories.

    I know it seems hard to believe but people who disagree with you are (when you are right) simply mistaken. Not evil.

    Having said that, no-one even did anything with just one motivation. The Iraq War had many justifications, but the grand humanitarian project was a very significant one.

    Start with the axiom that the Iraqis are just like the Germans or Japanese (because racial equality) and the Iraq War should result in a society as successful as Germany and Japan have been since WWII.

    I really believed this. Reality proved my assumptions wrong so I changed my assumptions. I was a child so i suppose a change of assumptions was easier. Nonetheless you are trying to tell me that my motivations were evil - an argument that obviously discredits you in my eyes. Think about it.
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  74. @Hepp
    By the way, Ed, while you're here, I can't buy your book from Amazon, they say it's only available to those in the UK. How can I get it?

    My dear Hepp, simply go to the website of Amazon.uk and order Ed West’s book from Amazon.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/

    I’ve obtained DVD’s not available in the U.S. from Amazon.uk (I have a multi-region DVD player that plays UK Region 2 discs).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hepp
    I should've clarified that I was trying to buy it on Kindle and they say it's not available outside the UK in that format. Since it's all a digital transfer, why should that be the case?
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  75. Twinkie says:
    @Anon
    "Right. Because Arab society was so coherent before the Yanks showed up. And our invasion and intervention ruined Japan’s attempts at cohesion."

    Precisely because they were unstable, they should have been left alone. As Arab nations were modern creations, they needed time to form and develop into viable modern states.
    But then, it took time for US to consolidate too. It was only after the Civil War that it was understood by all that there was NO seceding from the Union, ever.

    The formula in the Middle East was never stable, but it was a hell of a lot more stable before US invaded and began to mess up things beginning with the Gulf War--and by supporting Iraq to attack Iran before that.

    US and USSR also messed up Palestine.

    Even homogeneous nations can be messed up by great power politics. Korea was homogeneous but cut up in two, and both sides are still technically at war because of Great Power politics.

    And look at Ukraine. Yes, the situation wasn't stable, but it got much worse with US intervention that triggered a Civil War there.

    Another reason US should not get involved is Demographic Blowback or Flowback.

    Whenever US gets involved somewhere, it feels morally responsible for all the people displaced by the events. So, US felt compelled to take in the Boat People of Vietnam. Americans felt they'd left the 'good' Vietnamese behind. Same with Laotians.
    And because US got involved in Somalia, we've had Demographic Blowback from that region. A big headache. Damn that George H.W. Bush for taking us into that crazy nation.

    If the refugees don't end up in the US, they end up in Europe. Look at all the displaced Iraqis and Syrians who've made their way to Europe.

    Enough already.

    Libyan nation-state was reasonably stable before US and EU toppled Gaddafi.

    But then, similar thing will likely happen to the US if the same thing happened.

    Look at all the divisions in American among blue state, red state, white cons, white libs, blacks, browns, yellows, Christians, Muslims, Mexicans, and etc.
    If space aliens were to invade and topple the US government, would all these people necessarily unite to fight the space aliens.... or would they take advantage of the crisis to form their own power blocs and try to secede, even by collaborating with space aliens?

    Reagan said all humans would get together against space invaders, but not true. It all depends on 'what's in it for us?' If the agenda of space aliens is to wipe out all humans, humans all over would unite. But if space aliens sought human allies and favored some over others, US and EU would split apart.

    The effect of US invasion/intervention in the Middle East has been the same. Some resisted the Americans, other collaborated with the Americans. Others, like ISIS, took advantage of the disorder created by the invasion.

    Precisely because they were unstable, they should have been left alone. As Arab nations were modern creations, they needed time to form and develop into viable modern states.

    Time doesn’t magically turn a colonial amalgamation of tribal groups in conflict into modern Western-style republics. Letting a powerful minority group to thump the rest and exist in power worked for a while, but ended up being precarious and fragile when the forces of extremism trumped pan-Arabism and socialism.

    Even homogeneous nations can be messed up by great power politics. Korea was homogeneous but cut up in two, and both sides are still technically at war because of Great Power politics.

    Yes, let’s look at the Republic of Korea. What a mess. One of the richer countries in the world, some of the highest IQ and PISA scores, and a thriving high-tech industry with some of the lowest crime rates.

    We were successful in “nation-building” in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, and thought we could replicate those successes elsewhere. Well, Vietnam isn’t Germany and Iraq isn’t South Korea. Those areas with a history of strong central authority (not necessarily racial homogeneity, though that helps a lot) can be “nation-built” because they have been nations before. Such is not the case with Syria, Iraq, etc. which are, as you point out, modern colonial creations. Iran and Turkey are different stories obviously.

    Libyan nation-state was reasonably stable before US and EU toppled Gaddafi.

    Syria was pretty stable too until Hafez al-Assad died. Even without the Western intervention, who knows what would have happened in Libya once Gaddafi died? Without any external influence, maybe things would have worked out as domestic opposition was extremely weak in Libya, but Salafism and other modern, “purist” Islamic movements were a game-changer.

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    • Replies: @The most deplorable one

    We were successful in “nation-building” in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, and thought we could replicate those successes elsewhere.
     
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ... (pauses for breath) oh ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ... (gains breath)

    chortle chortle chortle ...
    , @Anon
    "Time doesn’t magically turn a colonial amalgamation of tribal groups in conflict into modern Western-style republics. Letting a powerful minority group to thump the rest and exist in power worked for a while, but ended up being precarious and fragile when the forces of extremism trumped pan-Arabism and socialism."

    Don't be a dammy. I didn't say time magically would.

    The fact is Western Imperialism created all those weird nations in the Middle East. If Europeans had any real sense and morality, they would have carved out sounder geopolitical entities. They didn't. Kurds were not given their own land but divided and placed in different nations.
    The West caused this mess.

    So, yes, the national makeup of Middle Eastern nations were unsound. Still, there was relative order in most of them until US, at the behest of Israel, began to mess up the whole place.

    Israel and West Bank are geo-politically unsound too. If US and EU were to bomb the hell out of Jews and give Palestinians tons of arms to raise hell with, Israel would fall apart like other Arab nations.
    But the West allowed the Jews/Zionists to use a firm grip on the Palestinians -- and even use ruthless force against other Arab nations like Lebanon and even bomb parts of Iraq and Syria.

    Israeli Jews have used ruthless violence against Pallies, Assad used ruthless violence against other groups, Hussein did the same, and Saudis have done the same against its Shia minority and against Yemen. Time and again, they relied on ruthless violence to keep the order.

    Why are Saudis and Israelis better off? The West allows the elites of those nations to crush opposition and maintain order. Well, Hussein, Assad, and Gadfly did much the same to keep order in their nations. And it worked even if it didn't solve the problem of social tensions, just like Israeli violence against Palestinians haven't resolved the issue of occupation.
    But US, at the behest of Jews, decided to either invade and mess up those nations OR lend key support to rebel groups who then upended the entire region.

    And such chaos would result in any nation in Latin America and Africa. They are all diverse and unstable. Suppose US sent tons of arms and weapons to indigenous Indian groups in Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. Those places could go up in smoke, and some of them did when Marxists in the 60s, 70s, and 80s got Soviet aid to arm the indigenous groups.
    But with the fall of communism, most of that went away, and there is peace in Latin America, more so than in the past.
    So, foreign intervention can really mess up nations.
    When China and USSR and US sent arms to various African tribes in nations during the Cold War, there was a lot of violence.
    So, the rule is LEAVE THEM ALONE.

    "Yes, let’s look at the Republic of Korea. What a mess. One of the richer countries in the world, some of the highest IQ and PISA scores, and a thriving high-tech industry with some of the lowest crime rates."

    But Korea is still divided and North Korea is poor, isolated, and backward, not least because of continuing US sanctions. So, the legacy of US and USSR intervention still lingers. It doesn't matter that SK has done well as long as the nation is divided. Suppose your family is forcibly divided and your dad, you, and your sister are doing well but your mother, your brother, and your other sister are starving. Would you call your family a success?

    Korean IQ is same with other East Asian and white average. Nothing special. And Koreans are not smart in using their smarts. Their education system is thick-skulled and produces grinds and robots. And politically, it is a dirty whore of the US. At least nations like Syria and Iran stand up to the US. South Korea got rich by acting as bitch of US, even going to Vietnam to turn women there into hookers and killing innocent folks. SK president ditched Putin's invitation to the Red Army victory celebration because she is beholden to the US. She a ho.
    South Korea is a rich whore. It is like Japan and Taiwan. It deserves no respect. It is like Batista's Cuba. And its high-tech is just an imitation of Apple.

    "Syria was pretty stable too until Hafez al-Assad died. Even without the Western intervention, who knows what would have happened in Libya once Gaddafi died? Without any external influence, maybe things would have worked out as domestic opposition was extremely weak in Libya, but Salafism and other modern, “purist” Islamic movements were a game-changer."

    Who knows what would have happened.

    But one thing for sure, US should NOT have messed them up, especially at the behest of nasty little Israel. If not for Jewish pressure, US would have not messed with most of the Middle East.
    And keep in mind that Israel also messes up Korea by pressuring US to be harsh with North Korea. It's true that the North Korean regime is a pisspot. The Kim dynasty is hideous.
    BUT the cold war is over, and NK isn't a threat to anyone. If anything, US accelerated the nuke program by having idiots like Bush yammer about 'axis of evil', right after the invasion of Iraq. Think about it. US invades a nation that didn't do anything to America, and then Bush calls NK an 'axis of evil' nation. Even if the NK leaders were good decent people than a**holes, they would have reacted the same way: build the bomb as fast as possible cuz US is gonna hit NK next.

    US made peace with China and Cuba. Why not NK? NK cannot threaten US, Japan, or China, its sponsor. Sometimes, it causes some minor problems for SK. But it's mostly tantrums.
    US will not make peace with NK because NK has a nuke program and has been friendly with nations Israel doesn't like. And US doesn't want Korea united cuz a united Korea will grow in nationalism, grow closer to China, and no longer have need for US military presence(now mainly there against China). If not for Neocons and Zionists, I believe US elites would have made decisions to reduce tensions in the Koreas. And the Middle East certainly wouldn't be the hellhole it is. The mess created by US hurt so many people. All those war refugees from Iraq. Many ended up in Europe, many tried to move to Australia, causing a massive headache there. And now the Syrian mess is sending 100,000s of people scampering to Europe. Zionist-controlled US mess up entire regions, but Australia and EU pay the price. And Russia and EU were getting along before lowlifes like Nuland messed up Ukraine.

    In the past, US was at least a good influence for many nations morally, politically, and economically, especially because USSR was the 'evil empire'.
    Now, US is an evil nation dominated by the nasty tribe and homos. Just look at the mess in Ukraine. Look at the mountains of dead in the Middle East all because of Zionist interests.
    And as SK's are a bunch of suckass imitators of whomever has the money and power(the US of course), it is just turning into a commonweal of the US that has truly turned into an imperialist power.

    Reagan sometimes used force but when necessary. When Reagan saw the possibility of peace, he chose peace. He didn't turn out to be a diehard cold warrior after all.

    But Clinton, Dubya, and Obama have been blowing up the world at the behest of wicked Zionists and even crazy homos. This WWG against Russia is the most ridiculous thing I ever did see.
    But 80% of dumbass SK's approve of the US? What a bunch of dogs.
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  76. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Twinkie

    Precisely because they were unstable, they should have been left alone. As Arab nations were modern creations, they needed time to form and develop into viable modern states.
     
    Time doesn't magically turn a colonial amalgamation of tribal groups in conflict into modern Western-style republics. Letting a powerful minority group to thump the rest and exist in power worked for a while, but ended up being precarious and fragile when the forces of extremism trumped pan-Arabism and socialism.

    Even homogeneous nations can be messed up by great power politics. Korea was homogeneous but cut up in two, and both sides are still technically at war because of Great Power politics.
     
    Yes, let's look at the Republic of Korea. What a mess. One of the richer countries in the world, some of the highest IQ and PISA scores, and a thriving high-tech industry with some of the lowest crime rates.

    We were successful in "nation-building" in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, and thought we could replicate those successes elsewhere. Well, Vietnam isn't Germany and Iraq isn't South Korea. Those areas with a history of strong central authority (not necessarily racial homogeneity, though that helps a lot) can be "nation-built" because they have been nations before. Such is not the case with Syria, Iraq, etc. which are, as you point out, modern colonial creations. Iran and Turkey are different stories obviously.

    Libyan nation-state was reasonably stable before US and EU toppled Gaddafi.
     
    Syria was pretty stable too until Hafez al-Assad died. Even without the Western intervention, who knows what would have happened in Libya once Gaddafi died? Without any external influence, maybe things would have worked out as domestic opposition was extremely weak in Libya, but Salafism and other modern, "purist" Islamic movements were a game-changer.

    We were successful in “nation-building” in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, and thought we could replicate those successes elsewhere.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha … (pauses for breath) oh ho ho ho ho ho ho ho … (gains breath)

    chortle chortle chortle …

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  77. Twinkie says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    1 million Iraqis have died since the invasion and you really believe policy makers were "well intentioned"?

    Those hospitals and schools were built by American contracting firms, which made obscene amounts of money (and overbilled to a ridiculous extent too). Many of them received no-bid contracts too, which is just unprecedented. Dick Cheney's former employer Haliburton was especially egregious.

    Dick Cheney’s former employer Haliburton was especially egregious.

    I hate to rain on your clichéd conspiracy parade, but Haliburton knew what the heck it was doing. It actually had, you know, expertise and capacity to do what it was contracted to do. Some of the real problems were 1) containerfuls of cash that were doled out to the Iraqis from tribal chiefs to Iraqi government apparatchiks, which simply disappeared and 2) swarms of “contractors” with absolutely zero expertise and experience who predictably provided poor quality service or couldn’t provide any service at all.

    Many of them received no-bid contracts too, which is just unprecedented.

    In principle, I absolutely agree that multiple bids are necessary to obtain the best market price (and for that matter USG ought to be buying off-the-shelf as much as possible, because such items are a fraction of the cost of specially gov/mil-spec-d ones). And that works in the civilian/peacetime setting. But in the exigencies of war, no-bid contracts are not unusual, because speed and convenience are paramount. Wars are inevitably followed by war profiteers. And that’s why wars have been always expensive throughout history, and nations (esp. the British and the French) have changed the course of history by directing subsidies at the right time to the right allies.

    Read More
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  78. Hepp says:
    @Auntie Analogue
    My dear Hepp, simply go to the website of Amazon.uk and order Ed West's book from Amazon.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/

    I've obtained DVD's not available in the U.S. from Amazon.uk (I have a multi-region DVD player that plays UK Region 2 discs).

    I should’ve clarified that I was trying to buy it on Kindle and they say it’s not available outside the UK in that format. Since it’s all a digital transfer, why should that be the case?

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  79. I hate to rain on your clichéd conspiracy parade, but Haliburton knew what the heck it was doing. It actually had, you know, expertise and capacity to do what it was contracted to do. Some of the real problems were 1) containerfuls of cash that were doled out to the Iraqis from tribal chiefs to Iraqi government apparatchiks, which simply disappeared and 2) swarms of “contractors” with absolutely zero expertise and experience who predictably provided poor quality service or couldn’t provide any service at all.

    $60 billion was wasted to fraud by these contractors, including KBR-Haliburton.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7f435f04-8c05-11e2-b001-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3huRSFmMX

    A 2011 report from the commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan estimated that defence contractors had wasted or lost to fraud as much as $60bn – or $12m a day – since 2001.

    But in the exigencies of war, no-bid contracts are not unusual, because speed and convenience are paramount.

    How long does it take to get a bid? If we let these firms know in advance that bids would be needed, I’m sure they could’ve taken a few days to get rough bids prepared. Wall Street firms are capable of putting together multi-billion dollar bids pretty quickly. I’m sure the contractors could’ve done the same.

    The reason that bids weren’t given is because the process was pre-rigged by Cheney and others within the administration. It’s an open-shut case of fraud and embezzlement, as many of these administration officials had some type of financial relationship with these various contractors. Most especially our VP Cheney, who was a Halburton exec during the 90s and who somehow got the exec job without former private sector experience.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    $60 billion was wasted to fraud by these contractors, including KBR-Haliburton.
     
    That's cute. You do realize the USG and its civilian contractors waste much more than $60 billion without a war, right?

    I am not here to defend Haliburton or its subsidiary KBR, but merely to state that it actually had some competencies/expertise in some of services it provided (never perfectly, mind you).

    During the late Iraq War, bricks of cash were doled out in huge quantities to the Iraqi government and various tribal leaders, with absolutely zero accountability. There were also many contractors with absolutely zero expertise or core competencies that lined their pockets for providing extremely shoddy or no service. All those things were much more egregious and detrimental than the supposed favor Haliburton received because of Dick Cheney.
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  80. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “…until the Mongols invaded and basically killed everyone.”

    The Mongols do seem to have sacked the entire Arab world, killed off large numbers, created those mounds of skulls and that sort of thing. Is that what happened to the Arab world? I suppose it could be. Perhaps it happened at a time when civilization wasn’t at a stage where it could recover from such a fall. I imagine this is something that has been well studied. Does anyone know of any resources that address this idea?

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  81. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie

    Precisely because they were unstable, they should have been left alone. As Arab nations were modern creations, they needed time to form and develop into viable modern states.
     
    Time doesn't magically turn a colonial amalgamation of tribal groups in conflict into modern Western-style republics. Letting a powerful minority group to thump the rest and exist in power worked for a while, but ended up being precarious and fragile when the forces of extremism trumped pan-Arabism and socialism.

    Even homogeneous nations can be messed up by great power politics. Korea was homogeneous but cut up in two, and both sides are still technically at war because of Great Power politics.
     
    Yes, let's look at the Republic of Korea. What a mess. One of the richer countries in the world, some of the highest IQ and PISA scores, and a thriving high-tech industry with some of the lowest crime rates.

    We were successful in "nation-building" in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, and thought we could replicate those successes elsewhere. Well, Vietnam isn't Germany and Iraq isn't South Korea. Those areas with a history of strong central authority (not necessarily racial homogeneity, though that helps a lot) can be "nation-built" because they have been nations before. Such is not the case with Syria, Iraq, etc. which are, as you point out, modern colonial creations. Iran and Turkey are different stories obviously.

    Libyan nation-state was reasonably stable before US and EU toppled Gaddafi.
     
    Syria was pretty stable too until Hafez al-Assad died. Even without the Western intervention, who knows what would have happened in Libya once Gaddafi died? Without any external influence, maybe things would have worked out as domestic opposition was extremely weak in Libya, but Salafism and other modern, "purist" Islamic movements were a game-changer.

    “Time doesn’t magically turn a colonial amalgamation of tribal groups in conflict into modern Western-style republics. Letting a powerful minority group to thump the rest and exist in power worked for a while, but ended up being precarious and fragile when the forces of extremism trumped pan-Arabism and socialism.”

    Don’t be a dammy. I didn’t say time magically would.

    The fact is Western Imperialism created all those weird nations in the Middle East. If Europeans had any real sense and morality, they would have carved out sounder geopolitical entities. They didn’t. Kurds were not given their own land but divided and placed in different nations.
    The West caused this mess.

    So, yes, the national makeup of Middle Eastern nations were unsound. Still, there was relative order in most of them until US, at the behest of Israel, began to mess up the whole place.

    Israel and West Bank are geo-politically unsound too. If US and EU were to bomb the hell out of Jews and give Palestinians tons of arms to raise hell with, Israel would fall apart like other Arab nations.
    But the West allowed the Jews/Zionists to use a firm grip on the Palestinians — and even use ruthless force against other Arab nations like Lebanon and even bomb parts of Iraq and Syria.

    Israeli Jews have used ruthless violence against Pallies, Assad used ruthless violence against other groups, Hussein did the same, and Saudis have done the same against its Shia minority and against Yemen. Time and again, they relied on ruthless violence to keep the order.

    Why are Saudis and Israelis better off? The West allows the elites of those nations to crush opposition and maintain order. Well, Hussein, Assad, and Gadfly did much the same to keep order in their nations. And it worked even if it didn’t solve the problem of social tensions, just like Israeli violence against Palestinians haven’t resolved the issue of occupation.
    But US, at the behest of Jews, decided to either invade and mess up those nations OR lend key support to rebel groups who then upended the entire region.

    And such chaos would result in any nation in Latin America and Africa. They are all diverse and unstable. Suppose US sent tons of arms and weapons to indigenous Indian groups in Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. Those places could go up in smoke, and some of them did when Marxists in the 60s, 70s, and 80s got Soviet aid to arm the indigenous groups.
    But with the fall of communism, most of that went away, and there is peace in Latin America, more so than in the past.
    So, foreign intervention can really mess up nations.
    When China and USSR and US sent arms to various African tribes in nations during the Cold War, there was a lot of violence.
    So, the rule is LEAVE THEM ALONE.

    “Yes, let’s look at the Republic of Korea. What a mess. One of the richer countries in the world, some of the highest IQ and PISA scores, and a thriving high-tech industry with some of the lowest crime rates.”

    But Korea is still divided and North Korea is poor, isolated, and backward, not least because of continuing US sanctions. So, the legacy of US and USSR intervention still lingers. It doesn’t matter that SK has done well as long as the nation is divided. Suppose your family is forcibly divided and your dad, you, and your sister are doing well but your mother, your brother, and your other sister are starving. Would you call your family a success?

    Korean IQ is same with other East Asian and white average. Nothing special. And Koreans are not smart in using their smarts. Their education system is thick-skulled and produces grinds and robots. And politically, it is a dirty whore of the US. At least nations like Syria and Iran stand up to the US. South Korea got rich by acting as bitch of US, even going to Vietnam to turn women there into hookers and killing innocent folks. SK president ditched Putin’s invitation to the Red Army victory celebration because she is beholden to the US. She a ho.
    South Korea is a rich whore. It is like Japan and Taiwan. It deserves no respect. It is like Batista’s Cuba. And its high-tech is just an imitation of Apple.

    “Syria was pretty stable too until Hafez al-Assad died. Even without the Western intervention, who knows what would have happened in Libya once Gaddafi died? Without any external influence, maybe things would have worked out as domestic opposition was extremely weak in Libya, but Salafism and other modern, “purist” Islamic movements were a game-changer.”

    Who knows what would have happened.

    But one thing for sure, US should NOT have messed them up, especially at the behest of nasty little Israel. If not for Jewish pressure, US would have not messed with most of the Middle East.
    And keep in mind that Israel also messes up Korea by pressuring US to be harsh with North Korea. It’s true that the North Korean regime is a pisspot. The Kim dynasty is hideous.
    BUT the cold war is over, and NK isn’t a threat to anyone. If anything, US accelerated the nuke program by having idiots like Bush yammer about ‘axis of evil’, right after the invasion of Iraq. Think about it. US invades a nation that didn’t do anything to America, and then Bush calls NK an ‘axis of evil’ nation. Even if the NK leaders were good decent people than a**holes, they would have reacted the same way: build the bomb as fast as possible cuz US is gonna hit NK next.

    US made peace with China and Cuba. Why not NK? NK cannot threaten US, Japan, or China, its sponsor. Sometimes, it causes some minor problems for SK. But it’s mostly tantrums.
    US will not make peace with NK because NK has a nuke program and has been friendly with nations Israel doesn’t like. And US doesn’t want Korea united cuz a united Korea will grow in nationalism, grow closer to China, and no longer have need for US military presence(now mainly there against China). If not for Neocons and Zionists, I believe US elites would have made decisions to reduce tensions in the Koreas. And the Middle East certainly wouldn’t be the hellhole it is. The mess created by US hurt so many people. All those war refugees from Iraq. Many ended up in Europe, many tried to move to Australia, causing a massive headache there. And now the Syrian mess is sending 100,000s of people scampering to Europe. Zionist-controlled US mess up entire regions, but Australia and EU pay the price. And Russia and EU were getting along before lowlifes like Nuland messed up Ukraine.

    In the past, US was at least a good influence for many nations morally, politically, and economically, especially because USSR was the ‘evil empire’.
    Now, US is an evil nation dominated by the nasty tribe and homos. Just look at the mess in Ukraine. Look at the mountains of dead in the Middle East all because of Zionist interests.
    And as SK’s are a bunch of suckass imitators of whomever has the money and power(the US of course), it is just turning into a commonweal of the US that has truly turned into an imperialist power.

    Reagan sometimes used force but when necessary. When Reagan saw the possibility of peace, he chose peace. He didn’t turn out to be a diehard cold warrior after all.

    But Clinton, Dubya, and Obama have been blowing up the world at the behest of wicked Zionists and even crazy homos. This WWG against Russia is the most ridiculous thing I ever did see.
    But 80% of dumbass SK’s approve of the US? What a bunch of dogs.

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    • Replies: @Deduction

    The fact is Western Imperialism created all those weird nations in the Middle East. If Europeans had any real sense and morality, they would have carved out sounder geopolitical entities. They didn’t. Kurds were not given their own land but divided and placed in different nations.
    The West caused this mess
     
    And prior to that they were all part of the Ottoman Empire, for centuries.

    Hmm under Western control for decades...part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries...and it's the West's fault?

    You know, a cursory look at history would tell you that national boundaries are tricky to draw and often the cause of dispute...

    , @anon

    The fact is Western Imperialism created all those weird nations in the Middle East. If Europeans had any real sense and morality, they would have carved out sounder geopolitical entities. They didn’t. Kurds were not given their own land but divided and placed in different nations. The West caused this mess.
     
    Map of the provinces of the Ottoman empire 1900

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1e/Map-of-Ottoman-Empire-in-1900-German.svg


    Ottoman empire 1680

    http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/eehistory/Images/Ottoman%20map.gif


    Before that divided between the Mongols and Egyptian (Mamluke) empires

    http://qph.is.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-9b51a66543ea90fb9dfb05b8e1ab33d2?convert_to_webp=true
    , @Twinkie

    Now, US is an evil nation dominated by the nasty tribe and homos.
     
    Why do you hate America? Don't answer. I am just being sarcastic.

    And politically, it [South Korea] is a dirty whore of the US. At least nations like Syria and Iran stand up to the US.
     
    That's right, those Syrians and Iranian showed America! No doubt those "dirty whore" of South Koreans would love to trade places with Syrians and Iranians. I mean, who doesn't want to choose strife, poverty, oppression, and backwardness over living in a reasonably free, highly affluent, and superbly orderly, high-tech society. Those poor Koreans. If only they could be like Syrians.

    South Korea got rich by acting as bitch of US, even going to Vietnam to turn women there into hookers and killing innocent folks. SK president ditched Putin’s invitation to the Red Army victory celebration because she is beholden to the US. She a ho. South Korea is a rich whore. It is like Japan and Taiwan. It deserves no respect. It is like Batista’s Cuba. And its high-tech is just an imitation of Apple.
     
    Tell us how you really feel. Seems like snubbing Putin's invitation really struck a nerve with you.
    , @Twinkie

    The West caused this mess.
     
    You are right. Middle Easterners have no agency in their own lives, in their own region. They are like violent, retarded little children whose fate depends on others.
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  82. Harold says:

    Is Ed West the greatest mainstream journalist working today? Yes.

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  83. Deduction says:
    @Anon
    "I’d say removing Saddam and putting something vaguely liberal in his place was noble."

    It's interesting that neocons have these 'noble' intentions only for nations that Israel doesn't like.

    I mean why not topple Mugabe of Zimbabwe?

    Why all these 'noble' sentiments for changing the regimes in nations most loathed by Israel, either by war, intervention, drone strikes, economic strangulation, and even support for terrorism, as the West has indeed aided and abetted the movement of terrorists to undermine Assad.

    And funny how these 'noble' sentiments keep shifting. When Iraq was fighting Iran, the likes of Wolfowitz were all for Iraq. But when Iraq won and Hussein was brimming with confidence, he became the new Hitler.

    Yes, Hussein was a very bad guy, but then, US is run by the likes of Albright who said it was worth it to kill 300,000 Iraqi women and children through starvation and disease and by Nuland who triggered an unnecessary war in Ukraine.

    But I'm sure West will tell us that Nuland was motivated by 'noble' intentions.

    More like Neo-Bull.

    I mean why not topple Mugabe of Zimbabwe?

    3 reasons.

    One place at a time and you have to start somewhere.

    Black Africa was an even more sensitive place for the white man to go.

    It helps to have oil and s literate society if you’re going to transform a place to Switzerland.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Here is another Unz.com article:

    http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/the-brookings-institute-plan-to-liquidate-syria/

    You see, the fix was in. It was all part of a plan, stan.

    US has become an evil country. As a result, tons of Syrian refugees are headed to Europe.

    Ain't that great?
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  84. Deduction says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    1 million Iraqis have died since the invasion and you really believe policy makers were "well intentioned"?

    Those hospitals and schools were built by American contracting firms, which made obscene amounts of money (and overbilled to a ridiculous extent too). Many of them received no-bid contracts too, which is just unprecedented. Dick Cheney's former employer Haliburton was especially egregious.

    1 million Iraqis have died since the invasion and you really believe policy makers were “well intentioned”?

    Just because the results were bad, it doesn’t mean the intentions were wrong.

    Hitler didn’t invade Russia with the intention of destroying Germany. Nor did Napoleon intend to destroy France.

    People make bad decisions and internet morons attribute those bad decisions to conspiracy theories.

    I know it seems hard to believe but people who disagree with you are (when you are right) simply mistaken. Not evil.

    Having said that, no-one even did anything with just one motivation. The Iraq War had many justifications, but the grand humanitarian project was a very significant one.

    Start with the axiom that the Iraqis are just like the Germans or Japanese (because racial equality) and the Iraq War should result in a society as successful as Germany and Japan have been since WWII.

    I really believed this. Reality proved my assumptions wrong so I changed my assumptions. I was a child so i suppose a change of assumptions was easier. Nonetheless you are trying to tell me that my motivations were evil – an argument that obviously discredits you in my eyes. Think about it.

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  85. Deduction says:
    @Anon
    "Time doesn’t magically turn a colonial amalgamation of tribal groups in conflict into modern Western-style republics. Letting a powerful minority group to thump the rest and exist in power worked for a while, but ended up being precarious and fragile when the forces of extremism trumped pan-Arabism and socialism."

    Don't be a dammy. I didn't say time magically would.

    The fact is Western Imperialism created all those weird nations in the Middle East. If Europeans had any real sense and morality, they would have carved out sounder geopolitical entities. They didn't. Kurds were not given their own land but divided and placed in different nations.
    The West caused this mess.

    So, yes, the national makeup of Middle Eastern nations were unsound. Still, there was relative order in most of them until US, at the behest of Israel, began to mess up the whole place.

    Israel and West Bank are geo-politically unsound too. If US and EU were to bomb the hell out of Jews and give Palestinians tons of arms to raise hell with, Israel would fall apart like other Arab nations.
    But the West allowed the Jews/Zionists to use a firm grip on the Palestinians -- and even use ruthless force against other Arab nations like Lebanon and even bomb parts of Iraq and Syria.

    Israeli Jews have used ruthless violence against Pallies, Assad used ruthless violence against other groups, Hussein did the same, and Saudis have done the same against its Shia minority and against Yemen. Time and again, they relied on ruthless violence to keep the order.

    Why are Saudis and Israelis better off? The West allows the elites of those nations to crush opposition and maintain order. Well, Hussein, Assad, and Gadfly did much the same to keep order in their nations. And it worked even if it didn't solve the problem of social tensions, just like Israeli violence against Palestinians haven't resolved the issue of occupation.
    But US, at the behest of Jews, decided to either invade and mess up those nations OR lend key support to rebel groups who then upended the entire region.

    And such chaos would result in any nation in Latin America and Africa. They are all diverse and unstable. Suppose US sent tons of arms and weapons to indigenous Indian groups in Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. Those places could go up in smoke, and some of them did when Marxists in the 60s, 70s, and 80s got Soviet aid to arm the indigenous groups.
    But with the fall of communism, most of that went away, and there is peace in Latin America, more so than in the past.
    So, foreign intervention can really mess up nations.
    When China and USSR and US sent arms to various African tribes in nations during the Cold War, there was a lot of violence.
    So, the rule is LEAVE THEM ALONE.

    "Yes, let’s look at the Republic of Korea. What a mess. One of the richer countries in the world, some of the highest IQ and PISA scores, and a thriving high-tech industry with some of the lowest crime rates."

    But Korea is still divided and North Korea is poor, isolated, and backward, not least because of continuing US sanctions. So, the legacy of US and USSR intervention still lingers. It doesn't matter that SK has done well as long as the nation is divided. Suppose your family is forcibly divided and your dad, you, and your sister are doing well but your mother, your brother, and your other sister are starving. Would you call your family a success?

    Korean IQ is same with other East Asian and white average. Nothing special. And Koreans are not smart in using their smarts. Their education system is thick-skulled and produces grinds and robots. And politically, it is a dirty whore of the US. At least nations like Syria and Iran stand up to the US. South Korea got rich by acting as bitch of US, even going to Vietnam to turn women there into hookers and killing innocent folks. SK president ditched Putin's invitation to the Red Army victory celebration because she is beholden to the US. She a ho.
    South Korea is a rich whore. It is like Japan and Taiwan. It deserves no respect. It is like Batista's Cuba. And its high-tech is just an imitation of Apple.

    "Syria was pretty stable too until Hafez al-Assad died. Even without the Western intervention, who knows what would have happened in Libya once Gaddafi died? Without any external influence, maybe things would have worked out as domestic opposition was extremely weak in Libya, but Salafism and other modern, “purist” Islamic movements were a game-changer."

    Who knows what would have happened.

    But one thing for sure, US should NOT have messed them up, especially at the behest of nasty little Israel. If not for Jewish pressure, US would have not messed with most of the Middle East.
    And keep in mind that Israel also messes up Korea by pressuring US to be harsh with North Korea. It's true that the North Korean regime is a pisspot. The Kim dynasty is hideous.
    BUT the cold war is over, and NK isn't a threat to anyone. If anything, US accelerated the nuke program by having idiots like Bush yammer about 'axis of evil', right after the invasion of Iraq. Think about it. US invades a nation that didn't do anything to America, and then Bush calls NK an 'axis of evil' nation. Even if the NK leaders were good decent people than a**holes, they would have reacted the same way: build the bomb as fast as possible cuz US is gonna hit NK next.

    US made peace with China and Cuba. Why not NK? NK cannot threaten US, Japan, or China, its sponsor. Sometimes, it causes some minor problems for SK. But it's mostly tantrums.
    US will not make peace with NK because NK has a nuke program and has been friendly with nations Israel doesn't like. And US doesn't want Korea united cuz a united Korea will grow in nationalism, grow closer to China, and no longer have need for US military presence(now mainly there against China). If not for Neocons and Zionists, I believe US elites would have made decisions to reduce tensions in the Koreas. And the Middle East certainly wouldn't be the hellhole it is. The mess created by US hurt so many people. All those war refugees from Iraq. Many ended up in Europe, many tried to move to Australia, causing a massive headache there. And now the Syrian mess is sending 100,000s of people scampering to Europe. Zionist-controlled US mess up entire regions, but Australia and EU pay the price. And Russia and EU were getting along before lowlifes like Nuland messed up Ukraine.

    In the past, US was at least a good influence for many nations morally, politically, and economically, especially because USSR was the 'evil empire'.
    Now, US is an evil nation dominated by the nasty tribe and homos. Just look at the mess in Ukraine. Look at the mountains of dead in the Middle East all because of Zionist interests.
    And as SK's are a bunch of suckass imitators of whomever has the money and power(the US of course), it is just turning into a commonweal of the US that has truly turned into an imperialist power.

    Reagan sometimes used force but when necessary. When Reagan saw the possibility of peace, he chose peace. He didn't turn out to be a diehard cold warrior after all.

    But Clinton, Dubya, and Obama have been blowing up the world at the behest of wicked Zionists and even crazy homos. This WWG against Russia is the most ridiculous thing I ever did see.
    But 80% of dumbass SK's approve of the US? What a bunch of dogs.

    The fact is Western Imperialism created all those weird nations in the Middle East. If Europeans had any real sense and morality, they would have carved out sounder geopolitical entities. They didn’t. Kurds were not given their own land but divided and placed in different nations.
    The West caused this mess

    And prior to that they were all part of the Ottoman Empire, for centuries.

    Hmm under Western control for decades…part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries…and it’s the West’s fault?

    You know, a cursory look at history would tell you that national boundaries are tricky to draw and often the cause of dispute…

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    • Replies: @Anon
    "And prior to that they were all part of the Ottoman Empire, for centuries.
    Hmm under Western control for decades…part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries…and it’s the West’s fault?"

    Don't be a dammy.

    There was once a time when empires were the rule. Not only in the Middle East but in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, e.g. Aztec Empire.

    In the 20th century, nation-states became the rule for most people, and the Middle East also made a move in that direction.

    The problem is Middle Easterners didn't get to create their own boundaries whereas Europeans mostly did.

    Under Ottoman Rule, the Middle East was filled with tribes, many of them nomadic. So, there was no need to have national borders.
    But with the fall of empires in the 20th century, especially following WWI, national boundaries became very important.

    WWII was triggered by the fact that WWI had left problematic boundaries where Germans were in Polish lands, Czech lands, and etc. And Poles were in parts of Hungary, and Ukrainians were in parts of Poland. Now, the European situation wasn't as crazy as what happened in the Middle East, but even that led to WWII and the death of 50 million.

    As a Foreign Affairs article said as much, i.e. Europe was more peaceful after WWII because of better nationalism that favoritized homogeneity. Actually, Buchanan and people on Alt Right have been making this point forever but were always ignored.

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/2008-03-02/us-and-them

    Anyway, even though the map of Europe after WWI wasn't perfect, they were still a lot more sensible than the map of the Middle East after European imperialists got through with it.
    In other words, most European nations were solidly dominated by majority populations following WWI.
    Even so, it led to the horrors of WWII. The Treaty of Versailles was unfair to Germans but then also to many Slavic peoples and Hungarians, sizable numbers of whom ended up in other nations..
    It was even messier in places like what became Yugoslavia, which is why the region was especially hot during and after WWII and then in the 90s when the US encouraged the breakup and picked sides.

    Anyway, if Europeans had some say in how their nations became nations, Middle Easterners got no say. And it is wrong to compare Europeans with Ottomans since Ottomans just ruled over the Middle East in an empire without trying to carve those areas into nation-states.

    In contrast, Europeans did carve those areas into nation-states. Now, what is the point of a nation-state as conceptualized in Europe? It is for the nation to represent the identity and will of a people and for its elites to lead their own people. Great idea.

    But Middle Eastern nation states were conceived and created not to serve the national interests of various ethnic groups within their own boundaries but to serve the imperialist interests of the Westerners.
    It's like the entity of Indochina grouped Laos, Cambodians, and Vietnamese together. Lucky for them, the three went separate ways and became genuine nation-states. But this never happened in the Middle East. If the nation-state-creation in the Middle East had been done right, Kurds would have gotten their own nation. Kurds really got the worst of the deal, possibly because they were disliked by Arabs and Turks, with whom Europeans basically dealt with.
    But there were also sectarian and clan/tribal issues that the Europeans overlooked, often willfully.

    So, the nation-states in the Middle East were unstable.
    Imagine if a foreign power came to Europe and created a nation that was 1/3 Germany, 1/3 Poland, and 1/3 France. It would be unstable as hell.

    Even so, the nation-states in the Middle East have managed to keep order and maintain the integrity of their borders for the most part since the end of WWII.
    And it's possible that, over time, there would have been greater compromises and peace among the various groups. After all, even though Hussein favored Sunnis, there had been a lot of Sunni-Shia marriages and social interaction under his rule.
    No one knows. And this goes for Israel too. Israel is unstable cuz of its massive Arab population, even more so in West Bank. But there is peace there cuz Israeli Jews have a firm ruthless grip on things. All Middle Eastern nations are like this. This stuff about Israel being a liberal democracy goes only so far. Jews in West Bank have full national rights, West Bank Arabs don't.

    The point, anyway, is that most of Middle East would still be orderly despite the instabilities because each nation had a firm ruler who sometimes acted ruthlessly, just like Israeli leaders do when they have to be mean and tough; just like Lincoln whose war killed 600,000 Americans in the name of preserving the Union.

    The Middle East finally blew up because of US and EU intervention. Things had been unstable but kept under control by ruthless rulers, but once the control was subverted by US invasion or aid to rebels, the place just went up in flames with massive refugee problems that now threaten Europe and Australia(that thankfully have tougher policies, good for them.)

    Foreign intervention really messes things up. Some may say it's for the good, others for the bad. If not for the French intervention, the Brits would have easily crushed the American Revolutionaries, especially as 1/3 of colonials were loyal and another 1/3 were neutral. So, only 1/3 were for independence and they were heavily outgunned by the Brits. It was foreign French intervention that gave victory to the revolutionaries. Some would say it was good, but it goes to show the key importance of foreign intervention.
    And had the Brits and French come to the support of the American South, the South would likely have prevailed and won independence from the North. Good or bad, again it shows the key importance of foreign independence.
    Americans understood this, which is why they pushed the Monroe Doctrine. After all, the republic wouldn't have come into being in the first place if not for foreign intervention.
    But then, continued foreign intervention could just as well undo the republic as having brought it into being. It's like the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.
    Foreign Intervention can make us, it can unmake us.

    If US has Monroe Doctrine, I think Muhammad Doctrine is fair for Middle Eastern nations.
    Leave those buggers alone. Sure, they are nasty and ruthless, but it is their business. Especially since US looks away when Jews get tough with Pallies, it should shut up about 'human rights' and all that other garbage it selectively pontificates about to justify its meddling in other parts of the world. US should focus on business, diplomacy, and getting along.

    The Cold War is over, and this constant invocation of bullshit ideals in the service of Israel and globalist Jewish power is getting out of hand.
    No more Iraqs, no more Libyas, and no more Ukraines.
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  86. Deduction says:

    South Korea is a rich whore. It is like Japan and Taiwan. It deserves no respect. It is like Batista’s Cuba. And its high-tech is just an imitation of Apple.

    You’re an idiot. I suggest you visit any of those places before you continue to humiliate yourself.

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  87. Svigor says:

    This is the reality of your air conditioning, your computer, your car, your jet travel, your Amazon orders, pretty much everything in your life. It runs on OIL, not Unicorn Farts and Rainbows.

    Oil accounts for a very small portion of American electrical production. Coal, nuclear, natural gas are all real sources for power production, oil is not.

    From much of the commentary I gather that there’s a general idea out there that the architects of the Iraq war were really on a mission to do good, noble things but failed in their quest. Those who crafted it are supposed to be our best and brightest; all of them went to our top schools and are supposed to be knowledgeable, well read people. And yet people way down on the food chain can point out the disastrous results engendered by these elite thinkers, at least from the point of view of the stated objectives. So how is this possible?

    Just for the record, I was against Iraq Attaq II, from the moment the rumors started. Afghanistan, fine, the Taliban were sheltering Osama and gave us lip when we told them to give him up. But I and pretty much every WN were adamantly opposed to Iraq Attaq II. I argued with lots of patriotards who were in favor, too.

    As you say, it didn’t take a genius to see that there was no real evidence that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11, and that sending the US military over there to kill people and break stuff was a mistake waiting to happen.

    I should’ve clarified that I was trying to buy it on Kindle and they say it’s not available outside the UK in that format. Since it’s all a digital transfer, why should that be the case?

    Lawyers.

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  88. Dirk Dagger says: • Website
    @B.R.
    They hadn't been weaponized?

    Was it not ultimately revealed to be Fed Anthrax courtesy of the Bruce Ivins guy?

    I recall that some of the spores were well-prepared and did not clump, thus caused inhalatory anthrax..

    I’ve oversimplified it, perhaps too much, but the short answer is: no, the spores were not “weaponized”; wikipedia has a decent write-up of the controversy (in retrospect): here. At the time (October 25, 2001) the N.Y. Times was reporting:

    Three top scientists — all with experience in germ weapons and knowledge of the federal investigation — said in interviews yesterday that the powder was high-grade and in theory capable of inflicting wide casualties.

    And, two of the scientists said, the anthrax was altered from its natural state to reduce its electrostatic charge, a process that prevents small particles from sticking together and to nearby objects, thus making them more likely to become airborne.

    From: Contradicting Some U.S. Officials, 3 Scientists Call Anthrax Powder High-Grade
    By William J. Broad. [There are links in the wikipedia article]

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  89. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Deduction

    The fact is Western Imperialism created all those weird nations in the Middle East. If Europeans had any real sense and morality, they would have carved out sounder geopolitical entities. They didn’t. Kurds were not given their own land but divided and placed in different nations.
    The West caused this mess
     
    And prior to that they were all part of the Ottoman Empire, for centuries.

    Hmm under Western control for decades...part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries...and it's the West's fault?

    You know, a cursory look at history would tell you that national boundaries are tricky to draw and often the cause of dispute...

    “And prior to that they were all part of the Ottoman Empire, for centuries.
    Hmm under Western control for decades…part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries…and it’s the West’s fault?”

    Don’t be a dammy.

    There was once a time when empires were the rule. Not only in the Middle East but in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, e.g. Aztec Empire.

    In the 20th century, nation-states became the rule for most people, and the Middle East also made a move in that direction.

    The problem is Middle Easterners didn’t get to create their own boundaries whereas Europeans mostly did.

    Under Ottoman Rule, the Middle East was filled with tribes, many of them nomadic. So, there was no need to have national borders.
    But with the fall of empires in the 20th century, especially following WWI, national boundaries became very important.

    WWII was triggered by the fact that WWI had left problematic boundaries where Germans were in Polish lands, Czech lands, and etc. And Poles were in parts of Hungary, and Ukrainians were in parts of Poland. Now, the European situation wasn’t as crazy as what happened in the Middle East, but even that led to WWII and the death of 50 million.

    As a Foreign Affairs article said as much, i.e. Europe was more peaceful after WWII because of better nationalism that favoritized homogeneity. Actually, Buchanan and people on Alt Right have been making this point forever but were always ignored.

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/2008-03-02/us-and-them

    Anyway, even though the map of Europe after WWI wasn’t perfect, they were still a lot more sensible than the map of the Middle East after European imperialists got through with it.
    In other words, most European nations were solidly dominated by majority populations following WWI.
    Even so, it led to the horrors of WWII. The Treaty of Versailles was unfair to Germans but then also to many Slavic peoples and Hungarians, sizable numbers of whom ended up in other nations..
    It was even messier in places like what became Yugoslavia, which is why the region was especially hot during and after WWII and then in the 90s when the US encouraged the breakup and picked sides.

    Anyway, if Europeans had some say in how their nations became nations, Middle Easterners got no say. And it is wrong to compare Europeans with Ottomans since Ottomans just ruled over the Middle East in an empire without trying to carve those areas into nation-states.

    In contrast, Europeans did carve those areas into nation-states. Now, what is the point of a nation-state as conceptualized in Europe? It is for the nation to represent the identity and will of a people and for its elites to lead their own people. Great idea.

    But Middle Eastern nation states were conceived and created not to serve the national interests of various ethnic groups within their own boundaries but to serve the imperialist interests of the Westerners.
    It’s like the entity of Indochina grouped Laos, Cambodians, and Vietnamese together. Lucky for them, the three went separate ways and became genuine nation-states. But this never happened in the Middle East. If the nation-state-creation in the Middle East had been done right, Kurds would have gotten their own nation. Kurds really got the worst of the deal, possibly because they were disliked by Arabs and Turks, with whom Europeans basically dealt with.
    But there were also sectarian and clan/tribal issues that the Europeans overlooked, often willfully.

    So, the nation-states in the Middle East were unstable.
    Imagine if a foreign power came to Europe and created a nation that was 1/3 Germany, 1/3 Poland, and 1/3 France. It would be unstable as hell.

    Even so, the nation-states in the Middle East have managed to keep order and maintain the integrity of their borders for the most part since the end of WWII.
    And it’s possible that, over time, there would have been greater compromises and peace among the various groups. After all, even though Hussein favored Sunnis, there had been a lot of Sunni-Shia marriages and social interaction under his rule.
    No one knows. And this goes for Israel too. Israel is unstable cuz of its massive Arab population, even more so in West Bank. But there is peace there cuz Israeli Jews have a firm ruthless grip on things. All Middle Eastern nations are like this. This stuff about Israel being a liberal democracy goes only so far. Jews in West Bank have full national rights, West Bank Arabs don’t.

    The point, anyway, is that most of Middle East would still be orderly despite the instabilities because each nation had a firm ruler who sometimes acted ruthlessly, just like Israeli leaders do when they have to be mean and tough; just like Lincoln whose war killed 600,000 Americans in the name of preserving the Union.

    The Middle East finally blew up because of US and EU intervention. Things had been unstable but kept under control by ruthless rulers, but once the control was subverted by US invasion or aid to rebels, the place just went up in flames with massive refugee problems that now threaten Europe and Australia(that thankfully have tougher policies, good for them.)

    Foreign intervention really messes things up. Some may say it’s for the good, others for the bad. If not for the French intervention, the Brits would have easily crushed the American Revolutionaries, especially as 1/3 of colonials were loyal and another 1/3 were neutral. So, only 1/3 were for independence and they were heavily outgunned by the Brits. It was foreign French intervention that gave victory to the revolutionaries. Some would say it was good, but it goes to show the key importance of foreign intervention.
    And had the Brits and French come to the support of the American South, the South would likely have prevailed and won independence from the North. Good or bad, again it shows the key importance of foreign independence.
    Americans understood this, which is why they pushed the Monroe Doctrine. After all, the republic wouldn’t have come into being in the first place if not for foreign intervention.
    But then, continued foreign intervention could just as well undo the republic as having brought it into being. It’s like the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.
    Foreign Intervention can make us, it can unmake us.

    If US has Monroe Doctrine, I think Muhammad Doctrine is fair for Middle Eastern nations.
    Leave those buggers alone. Sure, they are nasty and ruthless, but it is their business. Especially since US looks away when Jews get tough with Pallies, it should shut up about ‘human rights’ and all that other garbage it selectively pontificates about to justify its meddling in other parts of the world. US should focus on business, diplomacy, and getting along.

    The Cold War is over, and this constant invocation of bullshit ideals in the service of Israel and globalist Jewish power is getting out of hand.
    No more Iraqs, no more Libyas, and no more Ukraines.

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  90. Ivy says:
    @Hepp
    The entire fallacy in your argument is the idea that you need to control the Middle East to buy their oil. They have no other resources and need to sell it not to starve. Even if it was all controlled by Iran, who didn't want to sell it to the United States, you could simply buy it through an intermediary.

    Oh, yeah, and by the way, only a small percentage of American oil comes from the Middle East anyway.

    Many people believe that the US really wants resources, and that it's ideal talk is to justify the seizing of oil or whatever. I think it's actually the opposite. We're involved in broad in order to spread a moral vision, and talk about oil and actual benefits to the country is simply used to sell the American public, which is nationalistic.

    US imports of Middle East oil are only a small part of the picture.

    If the oil flow is disrupted to Japan, China and other countries, which are also big trading partners of ours, and with Europe and the BRICS, then their economic troubles will overwhelm the stability of the world economy.

    It is hard to run a country with the lights out, no elevators, no refrigeration, etc, without soon having blood in the streets.

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    So what you're saying is the entire planet has an interest in keeping the oil flowing. So how is a country like Iran, with an economy smaller than the state of Florida and an army smaller than Saudi Arabia's, going to stand up to all the countries of the world? Russia and China put sanctions on Iran that they were desperate to get out of. But they're going to fight the entire planet and destroy their own economy too because...why exactly?
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  91. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon
    "Time doesn’t magically turn a colonial amalgamation of tribal groups in conflict into modern Western-style republics. Letting a powerful minority group to thump the rest and exist in power worked for a while, but ended up being precarious and fragile when the forces of extremism trumped pan-Arabism and socialism."

    Don't be a dammy. I didn't say time magically would.

    The fact is Western Imperialism created all those weird nations in the Middle East. If Europeans had any real sense and morality, they would have carved out sounder geopolitical entities. They didn't. Kurds were not given their own land but divided and placed in different nations.
    The West caused this mess.

    So, yes, the national makeup of Middle Eastern nations were unsound. Still, there was relative order in most of them until US, at the behest of Israel, began to mess up the whole place.

    Israel and West Bank are geo-politically unsound too. If US and EU were to bomb the hell out of Jews and give Palestinians tons of arms to raise hell with, Israel would fall apart like other Arab nations.
    But the West allowed the Jews/Zionists to use a firm grip on the Palestinians -- and even use ruthless force against other Arab nations like Lebanon and even bomb parts of Iraq and Syria.

    Israeli Jews have used ruthless violence against Pallies, Assad used ruthless violence against other groups, Hussein did the same, and Saudis have done the same against its Shia minority and against Yemen. Time and again, they relied on ruthless violence to keep the order.

    Why are Saudis and Israelis better off? The West allows the elites of those nations to crush opposition and maintain order. Well, Hussein, Assad, and Gadfly did much the same to keep order in their nations. And it worked even if it didn't solve the problem of social tensions, just like Israeli violence against Palestinians haven't resolved the issue of occupation.
    But US, at the behest of Jews, decided to either invade and mess up those nations OR lend key support to rebel groups who then upended the entire region.

    And such chaos would result in any nation in Latin America and Africa. They are all diverse and unstable. Suppose US sent tons of arms and weapons to indigenous Indian groups in Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. Those places could go up in smoke, and some of them did when Marxists in the 60s, 70s, and 80s got Soviet aid to arm the indigenous groups.
    But with the fall of communism, most of that went away, and there is peace in Latin America, more so than in the past.
    So, foreign intervention can really mess up nations.
    When China and USSR and US sent arms to various African tribes in nations during the Cold War, there was a lot of violence.
    So, the rule is LEAVE THEM ALONE.

    "Yes, let’s look at the Republic of Korea. What a mess. One of the richer countries in the world, some of the highest IQ and PISA scores, and a thriving high-tech industry with some of the lowest crime rates."

    But Korea is still divided and North Korea is poor, isolated, and backward, not least because of continuing US sanctions. So, the legacy of US and USSR intervention still lingers. It doesn't matter that SK has done well as long as the nation is divided. Suppose your family is forcibly divided and your dad, you, and your sister are doing well but your mother, your brother, and your other sister are starving. Would you call your family a success?

    Korean IQ is same with other East Asian and white average. Nothing special. And Koreans are not smart in using their smarts. Their education system is thick-skulled and produces grinds and robots. And politically, it is a dirty whore of the US. At least nations like Syria and Iran stand up to the US. South Korea got rich by acting as bitch of US, even going to Vietnam to turn women there into hookers and killing innocent folks. SK president ditched Putin's invitation to the Red Army victory celebration because she is beholden to the US. She a ho.
    South Korea is a rich whore. It is like Japan and Taiwan. It deserves no respect. It is like Batista's Cuba. And its high-tech is just an imitation of Apple.

    "Syria was pretty stable too until Hafez al-Assad died. Even without the Western intervention, who knows what would have happened in Libya once Gaddafi died? Without any external influence, maybe things would have worked out as domestic opposition was extremely weak in Libya, but Salafism and other modern, “purist” Islamic movements were a game-changer."

    Who knows what would have happened.

    But one thing for sure, US should NOT have messed them up, especially at the behest of nasty little Israel. If not for Jewish pressure, US would have not messed with most of the Middle East.
    And keep in mind that Israel also messes up Korea by pressuring US to be harsh with North Korea. It's true that the North Korean regime is a pisspot. The Kim dynasty is hideous.
    BUT the cold war is over, and NK isn't a threat to anyone. If anything, US accelerated the nuke program by having idiots like Bush yammer about 'axis of evil', right after the invasion of Iraq. Think about it. US invades a nation that didn't do anything to America, and then Bush calls NK an 'axis of evil' nation. Even if the NK leaders were good decent people than a**holes, they would have reacted the same way: build the bomb as fast as possible cuz US is gonna hit NK next.

    US made peace with China and Cuba. Why not NK? NK cannot threaten US, Japan, or China, its sponsor. Sometimes, it causes some minor problems for SK. But it's mostly tantrums.
    US will not make peace with NK because NK has a nuke program and has been friendly with nations Israel doesn't like. And US doesn't want Korea united cuz a united Korea will grow in nationalism, grow closer to China, and no longer have need for US military presence(now mainly there against China). If not for Neocons and Zionists, I believe US elites would have made decisions to reduce tensions in the Koreas. And the Middle East certainly wouldn't be the hellhole it is. The mess created by US hurt so many people. All those war refugees from Iraq. Many ended up in Europe, many tried to move to Australia, causing a massive headache there. And now the Syrian mess is sending 100,000s of people scampering to Europe. Zionist-controlled US mess up entire regions, but Australia and EU pay the price. And Russia and EU were getting along before lowlifes like Nuland messed up Ukraine.

    In the past, US was at least a good influence for many nations morally, politically, and economically, especially because USSR was the 'evil empire'.
    Now, US is an evil nation dominated by the nasty tribe and homos. Just look at the mess in Ukraine. Look at the mountains of dead in the Middle East all because of Zionist interests.
    And as SK's are a bunch of suckass imitators of whomever has the money and power(the US of course), it is just turning into a commonweal of the US that has truly turned into an imperialist power.

    Reagan sometimes used force but when necessary. When Reagan saw the possibility of peace, he chose peace. He didn't turn out to be a diehard cold warrior after all.

    But Clinton, Dubya, and Obama have been blowing up the world at the behest of wicked Zionists and even crazy homos. This WWG against Russia is the most ridiculous thing I ever did see.
    But 80% of dumbass SK's approve of the US? What a bunch of dogs.

    The fact is Western Imperialism created all those weird nations in the Middle East. If Europeans had any real sense and morality, they would have carved out sounder geopolitical entities. They didn’t. Kurds were not given their own land but divided and placed in different nations. The West caused this mess.

    Map of the provinces of the Ottoman empire 1900

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1e/Map-of-Ottoman-Empire-in-1900-German.svg

    Ottoman empire 1680

    Before that divided between the Mongols and Egyptian (Mamluke) empires

    http://qph.is.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-9b51a66543ea90fb9dfb05b8e1ab33d2?convert_to_webp=true

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  92. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Deduction

    I mean why not topple Mugabe of Zimbabwe?
     
    3 reasons.

    One place at a time and you have to start somewhere.

    Black Africa was an even more sensitive place for the white man to go.

    It helps to have oil and s literate society if you're going to transform a place to Switzerland.

    Here is another Unz.com article:

    http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/the-brookings-institute-plan-to-liquidate-syria/

    You see, the fix was in. It was all part of a plan, stan.

    US has become an evil country. As a result, tons of Syrian refugees are headed to Europe.

    Ain’t that great?

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  93. @Whiskey
    This is nonsense, I remember the arguments for and against intervention. Remember at the time after 9/11 it was general consensus that America had become weak, unable and unwilling to act to prevent attacks on it, and was generally not feared enough. Also, there was considerable hubris about how strong the US military was, and it was VERY strong in breaking and destroying Saddam's armies which were the cream of the Muslim/Arab crop. People were decrying, particularly Liberal Dems/Code Pink etc. whom you seem to echo, the FAILURE OF GW BUSH TO REMOVE SADDAM in 1991. When it could have been done easily.

    Ariel Sharon, and the Saudis opposed removing Saddam, who was a thorn in their side but useful against the Iranians who they rightly regarded as the real, major threat to their regimes.

    However, it was proposed that removing Saddam, and allowing Western investment in Iraq's oil fields, would do the following:

    A. Make America feared again by removing a convenient example of defiance, repeatedly, of American demands.
    B. Be accomplished relatively quickly as armies and air forces could be supplied by the sea, instead of a land-locked region in Central Asia that required iffy Russian cooperation (Afghanistan).
    C. Re-inforce the Carter Doctrine guaranteeing US Military dominance of the Gulf.
    D. Give the US a convenient client state with lots and lots of oil that could prevent the Saudis from EVER jacking up the price of oil.
    E. Give every Iraqi a share of oil receipts and produce a Gulf-like moderation based on keeping the peace and dialing down Jihad to keep the money flowing.

    This failed obviously because the policy was oversold to the American people, done on the dirt cheap, and Bush was passive in not explaining what it was all about: OIL OIL OIL. Like oil was some original sin.

    America runs on cheap oil. Examine your bank account when gas is $4 or above, and when its closer to $2. The cheapest oil is in the ME, and to guarantee its flow the US needs to dominate and have client states, ideally a few to play off each other.

    This is the reality of your air conditioning, your computer, your car, your jet travel, your Amazon orders, pretty much everything in your life. It runs on OIL, not Unicorn Farts and Rainbows.

    Since the Dems, Code Pink, and the rest got their way, we have Iraq controlled by Iran, a hostile power aiming at expensive oil, being fought by ISIS, also wanting expensive oil and world-wide Jihad, with the Saudis being our only alternative; the Iranians are not going to flood the market with cheap oil but demand the Saudis cut production as part of the nuclear deal. With nukes to back up their demands.

    Americans deserved a vote on this: do we back off the ME, leave Iraq and the Gulf to their own devices, live in Pat Buchanon isolationism and moral splendor? And have gas at say, $8-9-10 a gallon or more? With everyone but the very rich living essentially like Depression Era poor? Or do a lot of Americans die in agony and we kill a LOT more people to keep gas at a reasonable price of $3 a gallon?

    The Iraqi military has traditionally been among the least competent of the non-Gulf Arab state militaries. ‘Cream of the crop’ Arab military would likely be Egypt, the only Arab nation to bear some resemblance to a nation-state.

    Of course as non-state irregular fighters Arabs do very well.

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  94. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Hepp
    The entire fallacy in your argument is the idea that you need to control the Middle East to buy their oil. They have no other resources and need to sell it not to starve. Even if it was all controlled by Iran, who didn't want to sell it to the United States, you could simply buy it through an intermediary.

    Oh, yeah, and by the way, only a small percentage of American oil comes from the Middle East anyway.

    Many people believe that the US really wants resources, and that it's ideal talk is to justify the seizing of oil or whatever. I think it's actually the opposite. We're involved in broad in order to spread a moral vision, and talk about oil and actual benefits to the country is simply used to sell the American public, which is nationalistic.

    “We’re involved in broad in order to spread a moral vision, and talk about oil and actual benefits to the country is simply used to sell the American public, which is nationalistic.”

    Moral vision? Saudi Arabia is more reactionary and repressive than secular Arab regimes like Syria, but US targets Syria.

    Some ‘moral’ or ‘progressive’ vision.

    It’s all about who-controls-the-US. The Zionists.

    It’s about greasing global Jewish interests.

    Likewise, suppose Jews had gained total power over Russia.

    Would there be a War on Russia?

    No. Russia would be hailed as a great nation no matter corrupt it is.

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    I used to subscribe to the Zionist hypothesis. But "Zionists" doesn't explain why the US has troops in South Korea, keeps expanding NATO, wants to defend Taiwan, overthrows Gaddaff...

    The US elite wants to move towards a world where everyone turns into a postmodernist secular welfare state with gay marriage. They make an alliance with a country like Saudi Arabia because 1) it's necessary to contain what they see as a greater evil in Iran and 2) there is no alternative to the current government.
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  95. Hepp says:
    @Ivy
    US imports of Middle East oil are only a small part of the picture.

    If the oil flow is disrupted to Japan, China and other countries, which are also big trading partners of ours, and with Europe and the BRICS, then their economic troubles will overwhelm the stability of the world economy.

    It is hard to run a country with the lights out, no elevators, no refrigeration, etc, without soon having blood in the streets.

    So what you’re saying is the entire planet has an interest in keeping the oil flowing. So how is a country like Iran, with an economy smaller than the state of Florida and an army smaller than Saudi Arabia’s, going to stand up to all the countries of the world? Russia and China put sanctions on Iran that they were desperate to get out of. But they’re going to fight the entire planet and destroy their own economy too because…why exactly?

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  96. Hepp says:
    @Anon
    "We’re involved in broad in order to spread a moral vision, and talk about oil and actual benefits to the country is simply used to sell the American public, which is nationalistic."

    Moral vision? Saudi Arabia is more reactionary and repressive than secular Arab regimes like Syria, but US targets Syria.

    Some 'moral' or 'progressive' vision.

    It's all about who-controls-the-US. The Zionists.

    It's about greasing global Jewish interests.

    Likewise, suppose Jews had gained total power over Russia.

    Would there be a War on Russia?

    No. Russia would be hailed as a great nation no matter corrupt it is.

    I used to subscribe to the Zionist hypothesis. But “Zionists” doesn’t explain why the US has troops in South Korea, keeps expanding NATO, wants to defend Taiwan, overthrows Gaddaff…

    The US elite wants to move towards a world where everyone turns into a postmodernist secular welfare state with gay marriage. They make an alliance with a country like Saudi Arabia because 1) it’s necessary to contain what they see as a greater evil in Iran and 2) there is no alternative to the current government.

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  97. Svigor says:

    I used to subscribe to the Zionist hypothesis. But “Zionists” doesn’t explain why the US has troops in South Korea, keeps expanding NATO, wants to defend Taiwan, overthrows Gaddaff…

    The US elite wants to move towards a world where everyone turns into a postmodernist secular welfare state with gay marriage. They make an alliance with a country like Saudi Arabia because 1) it’s necessary to contain what they see as a greater evil in Iran and 2) there is no alternative to the current government.

    Binary thinking, eh? Quaint.

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  98. Twinkie says:
    @JohnnyWalker123

    I hate to rain on your clichéd conspiracy parade, but Haliburton knew what the heck it was doing. It actually had, you know, expertise and capacity to do what it was contracted to do. Some of the real problems were 1) containerfuls of cash that were doled out to the Iraqis from tribal chiefs to Iraqi government apparatchiks, which simply disappeared and 2) swarms of “contractors” with absolutely zero expertise and experience who predictably provided poor quality service or couldn’t provide any service at all.
     
    $60 billion was wasted to fraud by these contractors, including KBR-Haliburton.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7f435f04-8c05-11e2-b001-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3huRSFmMX

    A 2011 report from the commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan estimated that defence contractors had wasted or lost to fraud as much as $60bn – or $12m a day – since 2001.
     

    But in the exigencies of war, no-bid contracts are not unusual, because speed and convenience are paramount.
     
    How long does it take to get a bid? If we let these firms know in advance that bids would be needed, I'm sure they could've taken a few days to get rough bids prepared. Wall Street firms are capable of putting together multi-billion dollar bids pretty quickly. I'm sure the contractors could've done the same.

    The reason that bids weren't given is because the process was pre-rigged by Cheney and others within the administration. It's an open-shut case of fraud and embezzlement, as many of these administration officials had some type of financial relationship with these various contractors. Most especially our VP Cheney, who was a Halburton exec during the 90s and who somehow got the exec job without former private sector experience.

    $60 billion was wasted to fraud by these contractors, including KBR-Haliburton.

    That’s cute. You do realize the USG and its civilian contractors waste much more than $60 billion without a war, right?

    I am not here to defend Haliburton or its subsidiary KBR, but merely to state that it actually had some competencies/expertise in some of services it provided (never perfectly, mind you).

    During the late Iraq War, bricks of cash were doled out in huge quantities to the Iraqi government and various tribal leaders, with absolutely zero accountability. There were also many contractors with absolutely zero expertise or core competencies that lined their pockets for providing extremely shoddy or no service. All those things were much more egregious and detrimental than the supposed favor Haliburton received because of Dick Cheney.

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  99. Twinkie says:
    @Anon
    "Time doesn’t magically turn a colonial amalgamation of tribal groups in conflict into modern Western-style republics. Letting a powerful minority group to thump the rest and exist in power worked for a while, but ended up being precarious and fragile when the forces of extremism trumped pan-Arabism and socialism."

    Don't be a dammy. I didn't say time magically would.

    The fact is Western Imperialism created all those weird nations in the Middle East. If Europeans had any real sense and morality, they would have carved out sounder geopolitical entities. They didn't. Kurds were not given their own land but divided and placed in different nations.
    The West caused this mess.

    So, yes, the national makeup of Middle Eastern nations were unsound. Still, there was relative order in most of them until US, at the behest of Israel, began to mess up the whole place.

    Israel and West Bank are geo-politically unsound too. If US and EU were to bomb the hell out of Jews and give Palestinians tons of arms to raise hell with, Israel would fall apart like other Arab nations.
    But the West allowed the Jews/Zionists to use a firm grip on the Palestinians -- and even use ruthless force against other Arab nations like Lebanon and even bomb parts of Iraq and Syria.

    Israeli Jews have used ruthless violence against Pallies, Assad used ruthless violence against other groups, Hussein did the same, and Saudis have done the same against its Shia minority and against Yemen. Time and again, they relied on ruthless violence to keep the order.

    Why are Saudis and Israelis better off? The West allows the elites of those nations to crush opposition and maintain order. Well, Hussein, Assad, and Gadfly did much the same to keep order in their nations. And it worked even if it didn't solve the problem of social tensions, just like Israeli violence against Palestinians haven't resolved the issue of occupation.
    But US, at the behest of Jews, decided to either invade and mess up those nations OR lend key support to rebel groups who then upended the entire region.

    And such chaos would result in any nation in Latin America and Africa. They are all diverse and unstable. Suppose US sent tons of arms and weapons to indigenous Indian groups in Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. Those places could go up in smoke, and some of them did when Marxists in the 60s, 70s, and 80s got Soviet aid to arm the indigenous groups.
    But with the fall of communism, most of that went away, and there is peace in Latin America, more so than in the past.
    So, foreign intervention can really mess up nations.
    When China and USSR and US sent arms to various African tribes in nations during the Cold War, there was a lot of violence.
    So, the rule is LEAVE THEM ALONE.

    "Yes, let’s look at the Republic of Korea. What a mess. One of the richer countries in the world, some of the highest IQ and PISA scores, and a thriving high-tech industry with some of the lowest crime rates."

    But Korea is still divided and North Korea is poor, isolated, and backward, not least because of continuing US sanctions. So, the legacy of US and USSR intervention still lingers. It doesn't matter that SK has done well as long as the nation is divided. Suppose your family is forcibly divided and your dad, you, and your sister are doing well but your mother, your brother, and your other sister are starving. Would you call your family a success?

    Korean IQ is same with other East Asian and white average. Nothing special. And Koreans are not smart in using their smarts. Their education system is thick-skulled and produces grinds and robots. And politically, it is a dirty whore of the US. At least nations like Syria and Iran stand up to the US. South Korea got rich by acting as bitch of US, even going to Vietnam to turn women there into hookers and killing innocent folks. SK president ditched Putin's invitation to the Red Army victory celebration because she is beholden to the US. She a ho.
    South Korea is a rich whore. It is like Japan and Taiwan. It deserves no respect. It is like Batista's Cuba. And its high-tech is just an imitation of Apple.

    "Syria was pretty stable too until Hafez al-Assad died. Even without the Western intervention, who knows what would have happened in Libya once Gaddafi died? Without any external influence, maybe things would have worked out as domestic opposition was extremely weak in Libya, but Salafism and other modern, “purist” Islamic movements were a game-changer."

    Who knows what would have happened.

    But one thing for sure, US should NOT have messed them up, especially at the behest of nasty little Israel. If not for Jewish pressure, US would have not messed with most of the Middle East.
    And keep in mind that Israel also messes up Korea by pressuring US to be harsh with North Korea. It's true that the North Korean regime is a pisspot. The Kim dynasty is hideous.
    BUT the cold war is over, and NK isn't a threat to anyone. If anything, US accelerated the nuke program by having idiots like Bush yammer about 'axis of evil', right after the invasion of Iraq. Think about it. US invades a nation that didn't do anything to America, and then Bush calls NK an 'axis of evil' nation. Even if the NK leaders were good decent people than a**holes, they would have reacted the same way: build the bomb as fast as possible cuz US is gonna hit NK next.

    US made peace with China and Cuba. Why not NK? NK cannot threaten US, Japan, or China, its sponsor. Sometimes, it causes some minor problems for SK. But it's mostly tantrums.
    US will not make peace with NK because NK has a nuke program and has been friendly with nations Israel doesn't like. And US doesn't want Korea united cuz a united Korea will grow in nationalism, grow closer to China, and no longer have need for US military presence(now mainly there against China). If not for Neocons and Zionists, I believe US elites would have made decisions to reduce tensions in the Koreas. And the Middle East certainly wouldn't be the hellhole it is. The mess created by US hurt so many people. All those war refugees from Iraq. Many ended up in Europe, many tried to move to Australia, causing a massive headache there. And now the Syrian mess is sending 100,000s of people scampering to Europe. Zionist-controlled US mess up entire regions, but Australia and EU pay the price. And Russia and EU were getting along before lowlifes like Nuland messed up Ukraine.

    In the past, US was at least a good influence for many nations morally, politically, and economically, especially because USSR was the 'evil empire'.
    Now, US is an evil nation dominated by the nasty tribe and homos. Just look at the mess in Ukraine. Look at the mountains of dead in the Middle East all because of Zionist interests.
    And as SK's are a bunch of suckass imitators of whomever has the money and power(the US of course), it is just turning into a commonweal of the US that has truly turned into an imperialist power.

    Reagan sometimes used force but when necessary. When Reagan saw the possibility of peace, he chose peace. He didn't turn out to be a diehard cold warrior after all.

    But Clinton, Dubya, and Obama have been blowing up the world at the behest of wicked Zionists and even crazy homos. This WWG against Russia is the most ridiculous thing I ever did see.
    But 80% of dumbass SK's approve of the US? What a bunch of dogs.

    Now, US is an evil nation dominated by the nasty tribe and homos.

    Why do you hate America? Don’t answer. I am just being sarcastic.

    And politically, it [South Korea] is a dirty whore of the US. At least nations like Syria and Iran stand up to the US.

    That’s right, those Syrians and Iranian showed America! No doubt those “dirty whore” of South Koreans would love to trade places with Syrians and Iranians. I mean, who doesn’t want to choose strife, poverty, oppression, and backwardness over living in a reasonably free, highly affluent, and superbly orderly, high-tech society. Those poor Koreans. If only they could be like Syrians.

    South Korea got rich by acting as bitch of US, even going to Vietnam to turn women there into hookers and killing innocent folks. SK president ditched Putin’s invitation to the Red Army victory celebration because she is beholden to the US. She a ho. South Korea is a rich whore. It is like Japan and Taiwan. It deserves no respect. It is like Batista’s Cuba. And its high-tech is just an imitation of Apple.

    Tell us how you really feel. Seems like snubbing Putin’s invitation really struck a nerve with you.

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  100. Twinkie says:
    @Anon
    "Time doesn’t magically turn a colonial amalgamation of tribal groups in conflict into modern Western-style republics. Letting a powerful minority group to thump the rest and exist in power worked for a while, but ended up being precarious and fragile when the forces of extremism trumped pan-Arabism and socialism."

    Don't be a dammy. I didn't say time magically would.

    The fact is Western Imperialism created all those weird nations in the Middle East. If Europeans had any real sense and morality, they would have carved out sounder geopolitical entities. They didn't. Kurds were not given their own land but divided and placed in different nations.
    The West caused this mess.

    So, yes, the national makeup of Middle Eastern nations were unsound. Still, there was relative order in most of them until US, at the behest of Israel, began to mess up the whole place.

    Israel and West Bank are geo-politically unsound too. If US and EU were to bomb the hell out of Jews and give Palestinians tons of arms to raise hell with, Israel would fall apart like other Arab nations.
    But the West allowed the Jews/Zionists to use a firm grip on the Palestinians -- and even use ruthless force against other Arab nations like Lebanon and even bomb parts of Iraq and Syria.

    Israeli Jews have used ruthless violence against Pallies, Assad used ruthless violence against other groups, Hussein did the same, and Saudis have done the same against its Shia minority and against Yemen. Time and again, they relied on ruthless violence to keep the order.

    Why are Saudis and Israelis better off? The West allows the elites of those nations to crush opposition and maintain order. Well, Hussein, Assad, and Gadfly did much the same to keep order in their nations. And it worked even if it didn't solve the problem of social tensions, just like Israeli violence against Palestinians haven't resolved the issue of occupation.
    But US, at the behest of Jews, decided to either invade and mess up those nations OR lend key support to rebel groups who then upended the entire region.

    And such chaos would result in any nation in Latin America and Africa. They are all diverse and unstable. Suppose US sent tons of arms and weapons to indigenous Indian groups in Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. Those places could go up in smoke, and some of them did when Marxists in the 60s, 70s, and 80s got Soviet aid to arm the indigenous groups.
    But with the fall of communism, most of that went away, and there is peace in Latin America, more so than in the past.
    So, foreign intervention can really mess up nations.
    When China and USSR and US sent arms to various African tribes in nations during the Cold War, there was a lot of violence.
    So, the rule is LEAVE THEM ALONE.

    "Yes, let’s look at the Republic of Korea. What a mess. One of the richer countries in the world, some of the highest IQ and PISA scores, and a thriving high-tech industry with some of the lowest crime rates."

    But Korea is still divided and North Korea is poor, isolated, and backward, not least because of continuing US sanctions. So, the legacy of US and USSR intervention still lingers. It doesn't matter that SK has done well as long as the nation is divided. Suppose your family is forcibly divided and your dad, you, and your sister are doing well but your mother, your brother, and your other sister are starving. Would you call your family a success?

    Korean IQ is same with other East Asian and white average. Nothing special. And Koreans are not smart in using their smarts. Their education system is thick-skulled and produces grinds and robots. And politically, it is a dirty whore of the US. At least nations like Syria and Iran stand up to the US. South Korea got rich by acting as bitch of US, even going to Vietnam to turn women there into hookers and killing innocent folks. SK president ditched Putin's invitation to the Red Army victory celebration because she is beholden to the US. She a ho.
    South Korea is a rich whore. It is like Japan and Taiwan. It deserves no respect. It is like Batista's Cuba. And its high-tech is just an imitation of Apple.

    "Syria was pretty stable too until Hafez al-Assad died. Even without the Western intervention, who knows what would have happened in Libya once Gaddafi died? Without any external influence, maybe things would have worked out as domestic opposition was extremely weak in Libya, but Salafism and other modern, “purist” Islamic movements were a game-changer."

    Who knows what would have happened.

    But one thing for sure, US should NOT have messed them up, especially at the behest of nasty little Israel. If not for Jewish pressure, US would have not messed with most of the Middle East.
    And keep in mind that Israel also messes up Korea by pressuring US to be harsh with North Korea. It's true that the North Korean regime is a pisspot. The Kim dynasty is hideous.
    BUT the cold war is over, and NK isn't a threat to anyone. If anything, US accelerated the nuke program by having idiots like Bush yammer about 'axis of evil', right after the invasion of Iraq. Think about it. US invades a nation that didn't do anything to America, and then Bush calls NK an 'axis of evil' nation. Even if the NK leaders were good decent people than a**holes, they would have reacted the same way: build the bomb as fast as possible cuz US is gonna hit NK next.

    US made peace with China and Cuba. Why not NK? NK cannot threaten US, Japan, or China, its sponsor. Sometimes, it causes some minor problems for SK. But it's mostly tantrums.
    US will not make peace with NK because NK has a nuke program and has been friendly with nations Israel doesn't like. And US doesn't want Korea united cuz a united Korea will grow in nationalism, grow closer to China, and no longer have need for US military presence(now mainly there against China). If not for Neocons and Zionists, I believe US elites would have made decisions to reduce tensions in the Koreas. And the Middle East certainly wouldn't be the hellhole it is. The mess created by US hurt so many people. All those war refugees from Iraq. Many ended up in Europe, many tried to move to Australia, causing a massive headache there. And now the Syrian mess is sending 100,000s of people scampering to Europe. Zionist-controlled US mess up entire regions, but Australia and EU pay the price. And Russia and EU were getting along before lowlifes like Nuland messed up Ukraine.

    In the past, US was at least a good influence for many nations morally, politically, and economically, especially because USSR was the 'evil empire'.
    Now, US is an evil nation dominated by the nasty tribe and homos. Just look at the mess in Ukraine. Look at the mountains of dead in the Middle East all because of Zionist interests.
    And as SK's are a bunch of suckass imitators of whomever has the money and power(the US of course), it is just turning into a commonweal of the US that has truly turned into an imperialist power.

    Reagan sometimes used force but when necessary. When Reagan saw the possibility of peace, he chose peace. He didn't turn out to be a diehard cold warrior after all.

    But Clinton, Dubya, and Obama have been blowing up the world at the behest of wicked Zionists and even crazy homos. This WWG against Russia is the most ridiculous thing I ever did see.
    But 80% of dumbass SK's approve of the US? What a bunch of dogs.

    The West caused this mess.

    You are right. Middle Easterners have no agency in their own lives, in their own region. They are like violent, retarded little children whose fate depends on others.

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  101. […] also: The Islamic historian who can explain why some states fail and others succeed from ed west, Ed West’s Kindle Single on ibn Khaldun and Asabiyyah from steve sailer, and Introducing: Asabiyah from […]

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