2015 October 27 Tuesday
US Troops To Go On Offensive In Syria, Iraq

The headline: Ashton Carter: U.S. to Begin 'Direct Action on the Ground' in Iraq, Syria.

Shiites in Iraq don't want to fight to recapture Sunni areas. Alawites and other minority factions in Syria also don't want to fight in Sunni areas. In the Sunni areas it is hard to get people worked up to fight against the Sunni fundamentalists in ISIS/ISIF/Daesh. Anatoly Karlin brought this out in maps (more here). Each ethnic group occupies its own people's territory for the most part.

The problem with Arab armies is nothing new. A major cause is easy to understand. The United States is left with the inability to ally with a competent moderate semi-secular Arab state or semi-secular Sunni Arab militia that wants to form such a state. The United States keeps trying to pursue a goal that depends on its ability to stand up competent moderate semi-secular Arab state. US policy keeps failing. Nothing is learned.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 October 27 08:26 PM 

bob sykes said at October 28, 2015 5:17 AM:

The US and EU are terrified of changing borders anywhere, even if it would reduce violence, because their own borders are not stable, and partition of the US itself and all EU states is a real possibility.

Jim said at October 28, 2015 5:45 AM:

It seems that US policymakers look at a map of the Middle East with the pretty colors and neatly drawn boundaries and think that it has something to do with reality. There is no such nation as "Iraq" and there is (and never was) any such people as "Iraqis".

Toddy Cat said at October 28, 2015 7:50 AM:

"A competent moderate semi-secular Arab state"

Of course, there is no such thing, and never really has been. The closest we ever came were Mubarak's Egypt, and Quadaffi's Libya after about 1993 or so, and our brilliant Middle East policy has destroyed these, and made certain that no regimes like them will ever exist again.

And I'm supposed to be afraid of Donald Trump's foreign policy? Please...

Seth W. said at October 28, 2015 3:40 PM:

"The United States keeps trying to pursue a goal that depends on its ability to stand up competent moderate semi-secular Arab state. US policy keeps failing. Nothing is learned."

Well, some benefit from war and chaos. Who might they be? I bet they're just a few making those decisions on how many to kill this time. Some people think war is a lot of fun. For me traveling, reading, watching movies, some tequila and sex are better ways to spend an afternoon.

Dan said at October 29, 2015 5:31 AM:

The US is getting involved because of Putin. The most unthinkably horrible outcome would be for him to successfully stabilize Syria without us.

If we are involved and Syria stabilizes, we can claim credit.

Dan said at October 29, 2015 5:42 AM:

America's worst nightmare:

"More than 800,000 refugees RETURNING to Syria as Putin OBLITERATES Islamic State"

Check it out said at October 29, 2015 4:39 PM:

"The US is getting involved because of Putin."

No dumb ass, Putin is getting involved because of the US. The U.S. was arming and sponsoring the terrorists you think you're fighting. What are you a fucken idiot? Haven't you noticed that it is precisely the other way around? This is the first time since Cold War days that Russia gets involved in a conflict outside the borders of the former USSR or immediate area of influence. And it has become absolutely necessary since the U.S. has only provided devastation and ruin abroad for decades. And yes, Putin will most probalby get the job done. You know why, because he wants it, so he won't be jerking around like the U.S.

What I don't understand is why the stabilization of Syria would be such a "horrible outcome" if it is brought about by Russa? What is more important -asswipe- the stabilization of Syria and the end to the massacre against families or your fucken politicians taking credit for it? What the fuck do you have inside as ethical principles? The stabilization of Syria and the rest of the world can only be the most beautiful outcome regardless of who really gets it done.

"we can claim credit" Are you for real? The U.S. regime will never again claim credit on any of their foreign butchering pursuits. There's now something called internet you know, and fox/cnn/abc/nbc cannot silence it. There's also something called International Law and it's time the U.S. stops treading all over it.

"claim credit", "most unthinkably horrible outcome"??? Go get your head examined.

Check it out said at October 29, 2015 4:53 PM:

And now that somebody above mentioned Libya, let me tell you a little about Gaddafi.

Libyans called it the eighth wonder of the world. Western media called it a pet project and the pipe dream of a mad dog. The "mad dog" himself in 1991 prophetically said about the largest civil engineering venture in the world: "After this achievement, American threats against Libya will double. The United States will make excuses, but the real reason is to stop this achievement, to keep the people of Libya oppressed."

It was Muammar Gaddafi's dream to provide fresh water for all Libyans and to make Libya self-sufficient in food production. In 1953, the search for new oilfields in the deserts of southern Libya led to the discovery not just of significant oil reserves, but also of vast quantities of fresh water trapped in the underlying strata. The four ancient water aquifers that were discovered, each had estimated capacities ranging between 4,800 and 20,000 cubic kilometers. Most of this water was collected between 38,000 and 14,000 years ago, though some pockets are believed to be only 7,000 years old.

After Gaddafi and the Free Unitary Officers seized power in a bloodless coup from the corrupt King Idris during the Al-Fateh Revolution in 1969, the Jamahiriya government nationalized the oil companies and spent much of the oil revenues to harness the supply of fresh water from the desert aquifers by putting in hundreds of bore wells. Large farms were established in southern Libya to encourage the people to move to the desert. It turned out that the majority of the people however preferred life in the northern coastal areas. Therefore Gaddafi subsequently conceived a plan to bring the water to the people instead. The Libyan Jamahiriya government conducted the initial feasibility studies in 1974, and in 1983 the Great Man-Made River Authority was set up. This fully government funded project was designed in five phases, each of them largely separate in itself, but which eventually would combine to form an integrated system. As water in Gaddafi's Libya was regarded to be a human right, there has not been any charge on the people, nor were any international loans needed for the almost $30 billion cost of the project.

In 1996, during the opening of Phase II of the Great Man-Made River Project, Gaddafi said:
This is the biggest answer to America and all the evil forces who accuse us of being concerned with terrorism. We are only concerned with peace and progress. America is against life and progress; it pushes the world toward darkness. At the time of the NATO-led war against Libya in 2011, three phases of the Great Man-Made River Project were completed. The first and largest phase, providing two million cubic metres of water a day along a 1,200 km pipeline to Benghazi and Sirte, was formally inaugurated in August 1991. Phase II includes the delivery of one million cubic metres of water a day to the western coastal belt and also supplies Tripoli. Phase III provides the planned expansion of the existing Phase I system, and supplies Tobruk and the coast from a new wellfield.

The 'rivers' are a 4000-kilometer network of 4 meters diameter lined concrete pipes, buried below the desert sands to prevent evaporation. There are 1300 wells, 500,000 sections of pipe, 3700 kilometers of haul roads, and 250 million cubic meters of excavation. All material for the project was locally manufactured. Large reservoirs provide storage, and pumping stations control the flow into the cities.
The last two phases of the project should involve extending the distribution network together. When completed, the irrigation water from the Great Man-Made River would enable about 155,000 hectares of land to be cultivated. Or, as Gaddafi defined, the project would make the desert as green as the flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya.
In 1999, UNESCO accepted Libya's offer to fund the Great Man-Made River International Water Prize, an award that rewards remarkable scientific research work on water usage in arid areas.

Many foreign nationals worked in Libya on the Great Man-Made River Project for decades. But after the start of NATO's so-called humanitarian bombing of the North-African country in March 2011, most foreign workers have returned home. In July 2011, NATO not only bombed the Great Man-Made River water supply pipeline near Brega, but also destroyed the factory that produces the pipes to repair it, claiming in justification that it was used as "a military storage facility" and that "rockets were launched from there". Six of the facility's security guards were killed in the NATO attack, and the water supply for the 70% of the population who depend on the piped supply for personal use and for irrigation has been compromised with this damage to Libya's vital infrastructure. The construction on the last two phases of the Great Man-Made River Project were scheduled to continue over the next two decades, but NATO's war on Libya has thrown the project's future - and the wellbeing of the Libyan people - into great jeopardy.
A German language documentary shows the size and brilliance of the project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1omQdyEkqk

Fresh clean water, as provided to the Libyans by the Great Man-Made River, is essential to all life forms. Without fresh water we simply cannot function. Right now, 40% of the global population has little to no access to clean water, and that figure is actually expected to jump to 50% by 2025. According to the United Nations Development Program 2007, global consumption of water is doubling every 20 years, more than twice the rate of human population growth. Simultaneously, every single year most of the major deserts around the world are becoming bigger and the amount of usable agricultural land in most areas is becoming smaller, while rivers, lakes and major underground aquifers around the globe are drying up - except in Gaddafi's Libya.

In the light of the current world developments, there is more to the NATO destruction of the Great Man-Made River Project than being an isolated war crime. The United Nations Environment Program 2007 describes a so-called "water for profit scheme", which actively promotes the privatization and monopolization for the world's water supplies by multinational corporations. Meanwhile the World Bank recently adopted a policy of water privatization and full-cost water pricing, with one of its former directors, Ismail Serageldin, stating: "The wars of the 21st century will be fought over water".
In practice this means that the United Nations in collaboration with the World Bank plans to secure water resources to use at their disposal, and that once they totally control these resources, the resources become assets to be reallocated back to the enslaved nations for a price. Those prices will rise while the quality of the water will decrease, and fresh water sources will become less accessible to those who desperately need it. Simply put, one of the most effective ways to enslave the people is to take control of their basic daily needs and to take away their self-sufficiency.

How this relates to the NATO destruction of Gaddafi's Great Man-Made River Project in July 2011 can be best illustrated by the Hegelian Dialectic, popularly known as the concept of Problem -> Reaction -> Solution. In this case, by bombing the water supply and the pipes factory, a Problem was created with an ulterior motive, namely to gain control over the most precious part of Libya's infrastructure. Subsequently a Reaction in the form of an immediate widespread need was provoked as a result of the Problem, since as much as 70% of the Libyans depend on the Great Man-Made River for personal use as well as for the watering of the land. A month after the destruction of the Great Man-Made River, more than half of Libya was without running water. Ultimately a predetermined Solution was implemented: in order to have access to fresh water, the inhabitants of the war-torn country had no choice but to fully depend on - and thus to be enslaved to - the NATO-installed government.

A 'democratic' and 'democracy-bringing' government that came to power through the wounding and killing of thousands of Libyans by 'humanitarian bombs', and that overthrow the 'dictator' whose dream it was to provide fresh water for all Libyans for free.

Check it out said at October 29, 2015 5:08 PM:



1. There was no electricity bill in Libya; electricity was free for all its citizens.

2. There was no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.

3. Home considered a human right in Libya -- Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home. Gaddafi's father died while him, his wife and his mother were still living in a tent.

4. All newlyweds in Libya received $60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.

5. Education and medical treatments were free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. Today the figure is 83%.

6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kick- start their farms, all for free.

7. If Libyans could not find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it -- not only free but they get US $2, 300/mth accommodation and car allowance.

8. In Libya, if a Libyan bought a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.

9. The price of petrol in Libya was $0.14 per liter.

10. Libya had no external debt and its reserves amounted to $150 billion -- now frozen globally.

11. If a Libyan was unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she was employed until employment is found.

12. A portion of Libyan oil sale was, credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.

13. A mother who gave birth to a child received US $5 ,000

14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya cost $ 0.15

15. 25% of Libyans had a university degree

16. Gaddafi carried out the world's largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.

But hey, nothing beats the American way of life, right?

You're welcome.

Toddy Cat said at October 30, 2015 12:18 PM:

Well, "Check it out" is obviously a little....biased, perhaps, when it comes to Gaddafi and Libya, but there's no doubt that the actions of the Obama Administration during the so-called "Arab Spring" destroyed what was a functioning country and a sort-of ally of the West, and replaced it with anarchy, refugees, and ISIS. I can't really blame him for being pissed, this was an act of appalling arrogance and stupidity on the part of the U.S.

Jim said at October 30, 2015 1:46 PM:

Toddy Cat - Yes it is hard to understand the motivations for the US attack on Gaddafi, except possibly as revenge for some of his former involvement in terroism. But generally it is hard to make much sense out of US foreign policy in the Middle East.

PRCD said at October 31, 2015 2:59 PM:

I'm surprised Check It Out hasn't become the next George Soros or Michael Bloomberg with the brains he has in his head. Instead, all his brainpower is wasted here trolling anonymous commenters on a blog few read. Who's to say he's not optimizing his own utility function though? Maybe he considers trolling a life well lived instead of making billions or inventing something useful.

Brett Bellmore said at November 3, 2015 3:01 AM:

Putin's entry into the Middle East should scare anybody with half a brain. His country is months away from bankruptcy, because the oil revenues he was relying on to fund rebuilding the USSR have plummeted, and he's burned through almost his entire reserve fund. Basically the only thing that can save him from ending up ruling a third world country is for the price of oil to shoot back up, and stay there.

And here he is, with lots of military hardware, within shooting distance of the Middle East oil reserves.

A peaceful Middle East is not in his interests. Only two things are: Either a Middle East he controls, or a Middle East in flames. Either would allow him to push the price of oil back up to where he needs it.

So his presence there isn't too hard to understand. He's there to either take the oil, or render it inaccessible.

Our own policy is a bit more confusing, since you normally assume the leader of a nation has at least SOME interest in his own country's welfare. But assuming the opposite seems to be a better basis for predicting Obama's policies.

Check it out said at November 4, 2015 4:50 PM:

"Putin's entry into the Middle East should scare anybody with half a brain." Putin's entry into the Middle East is celebrated by the whole world, except a few lie you. Do you think Putin is an idiot and you are going to warn him that "his country is months away from bankruptcy"? No.

"A peaceful Middle East is not in his interests." Well, we'll just have to find out, won't we? I mean, A peaceful Middle East has never been in the interests of American presidents, has it? Let's give Putin a chance. If American presidents have constantly fucked things up in the Middle East and the people learned nothing from that, I think it's just fair to give Putin a chance and see how he does. It's called fairness.

"So his presence there isn't too hard to understand. He's there to either take the oil, or render it inaccessible." What? Are you talking about Russia or the U.S.?

Check it out said at November 4, 2015 5:01 PM:

"I'm surprised Check It Out hasn't become the next George Soros or Michael Bloomberg with the brains he has in his head. Instead, all his brainpower is wasted here trolling anonymous commenters on a blog few read. Who's to say he's not optimizing his own utility function though? Maybe he considers trolling a life well lived instead of making billions or inventing something useful."

Of course you're surprised; with all your lack of brains in your head. So what is your function? Or better yet, you can perhaps suggest how I should use my time -or at least some of it, I mean you can see I'm not here every day-. Or tell us what you do that is so amazing... Yeah, that's what I thought.

You only think in terms of making money and profits because you are a degrated product of the economic system. For you money has become the ends and not the means in life. That is a mental illness that leads to necrophilia, although all you know about and associate with necrophilia is sex with corpses, right? You're rotting away, telling people what you interpret should be better for them. You're outdated. You're degenerating. Do you want to know how bad? Here, read Erich Fromm's "To Have of To Be"

I like putting idiots who project themselves like you in their place. No money can buy that. You've been served

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