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Thread: Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

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    Re: Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

    This article is a good explanation of the causes of the current fighting. It suggests to me that it would not have helped if the USA remained and continued to support al-Maliki. It also suggests that fighting off ISIS will not resolve the ongoing Shiite-Sunni conflict, an inclusive government that ends discrimination is requried.

    "...The groundwork for today's problems began almost as soon as that last American convoy left in 2011. Sunni lawmakers protested the rounding up of many of their aides and security guards, and the country's vice president -- top Sunni leader Tariq al-Hashimi -- faced arrest and later fled the country.

    The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was supposed to usher in a political era of inclusion and reconciliation. His critics say those first days after the American departure were a signal of opposite intentions that have continued to this day.

    The Sunni minority that had ruled Iraq via the iron fist of Saddam Hussein was at the political and social mercy of al-Maliki's Shia-dominated government. Today, they say, "inclusiveness" never materialized, Sunnis have been marginalized and resentment has festered in a divide-and-conquer political climate. As one local put it, "It's like if you're against us, you're a terrorist and we'll arrest you."

    Why Iraq is in turmoil

    This resentment, aided by the violent government shutdown of Sunni protest camps, provided an opening for the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to move into the Sunni heartland of Anbar Province in force. Al Qaeda is a beast that feasts on discontent and in Anbar there is no shortage of sustenance....

    In 2006 the Americans convinced -- and paid -- Sunni tribal and religious leaders to fight the hardliners, with great success. But Sunni grievances never went away and some in Anbar see ISIS as comrades-in-arms against an al-Maliki government viewed as an oppressor of Sunnis. Other Sunnis see al-Maliki as the lesser of two evils -- they don't like how they're treated, but like even less the ISIS brand of hard-line, brutal "governance".

    Al-Maliki has more than once termed the various fights and stand-offs in Ramadi and Fallujah as a fight against "al Qaeda", but it's not that simple.

    The Sunni sense of being under the heel of a sectarian government, of being cut out of the running of their country, failing to share in growing oil revenues, has nothing to do with al Qaeda and won't evaporate once ISIS is forced from Ramadi and Fallujah.

    The Americans aren't coming back to help out with boots on the ground, but they are giving other support -- offering drones, missiles, aircraft and other assistance.

    But this isn't a battle to be won militarily. Sunnis -- many of whom have yet to get used to no longer running the country -- say they want to be part of the system that was meant to be "inclusive" but has, they feel, been anything but..........."
    Inside Iraq: Two years after U.S. withdrawal, are things worse than ever? - CNN.com

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    Re: Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Fearandloathing View Post
    While I find it hard to disagree with his assessment, his choice of words belies an agenda not the least of which is some mild propaganda of his own.


    By whose standard are these interventions "destructive"?
    Bombing a nation that was not a threat (Iraq) is considered destructive by most impartial observers.

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    Re: Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    Bombing a nation that was not a threat (Iraq) is considered destructive by most impartial observers.
    Yes, they should be obviously viewed as destructive by all reasonable people. But patronising individuals, defending bad policy, overrides reason.
    Killing one person is murder, killing 100,000 is foreign policy

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    Re: Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    Yes well, it was never proven that he was responsible for the gas. And it makes no sense that he would. For one thing, at the time he enjoyed 70% support from Syrian's. Gassing them would not advance his purpose. Gassing his own people would make Putins support more difficult, and gassing his people would be handing the US a green light for military action, that he most certainly didn't want. The UK ended up pulling there support. Hillary Clinton failed in all three of her attempts to secure a resolution for the use of force in Syria, Obama could not get authorisation from congress, and, 70% of Americans were against it.

    You're right that Saudis and Qatar too, are supporting the terrorists working to overthrow president Assad. And then IS as pointed out by the CIA official in the op, has been emboldened by our policies there. So why anyone would want to see more US policy in the region is a mystery.
    ... you have a very cartoony way of looking at the United States' role in the world.

    Most of the conflict and tension that drives war in the Middle East is a result of the actions and desires of the people who live there. War is coming whether the United States is there or not. We have a right to be there because our substantial foreign investment in the region gives us a skin in the game.
    If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.

    St. Benedict

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    Re: Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    ... you have a very cartoony way of looking at the United States' role in the world.

    Most of the conflict and tension that drives war in the Middle East is a result of the actions and desires of the people who live there. War is coming whether the United States is there or not. We have a right to be there because our substantial foreign investment in the region gives us a skin in the game.
    Well me and the CIA official in the op.
    Killing one person is murder, killing 100,000 is foreign policy

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    Re: Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    Well me and the CIA official in the op.
    ... we have lots of officials. Most of them will say anything for attention.
    If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.

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    Re: Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    ... we have lots of officials. Most of them will say anything for attention.
    Yeah, that's it. Anything to say about the op, or did you just show up to criticise me?
    Killing one person is murder, killing 100,000 is foreign policy

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    Re: Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    Well me and the CIA official in the op.

    That's former official -- 25 years former.
    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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    Re: Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    Yeah, that's it. Anything to say about the op, or did you just show up to criticise me?
    He's arguing that a tangible American presence in the Middle East raises opposition from people who would like to see the Western influence gone so they can can displace it with their own (usually circa 12th century) vision of how society should be.

    You seem to be a fan of stability based on your willingness to indulge Assad's dictatorship on the grounds that he brings some semblance of the rule of law to his society. Well, both the British Empire and the United States brought stability like that (even better, with a greater emphasis on human rights and democracy than Assad had ever shown) on a super massive scale. Our foreign investment and energy demands provided great opportunity for native populations to channel their energies into construction and production, rather than fight sectarian wars over the few easily accessible resources their region had before Western technology raised their living standards to unimagined heights. Our diplomacy and the threat of force ends wars and genocides before they start. For every several years where we have to endure the results of our mistakes and failures (like the Arab Spring), there have been decades of peace and vigorous economic development. King Arthur became a legendary figure because the man behind the legend brought about twenty years of peace between native Romano-Britons and the Saxon colonists. There are places in the world where the United States has brought seventy years of near uninterrupted peace.

    United States' influence on the world isn't simple or one-dimensional.
    If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.

    St. Benedict

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    Re: Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    He's arguing that a tangible American presence in the Middle East raises opposition from people who would like to see the Western influence gone so they can can displace it with their own (usually circa 12th century) vision of how society should be.

    You seem to be a fan of stability based on your willingness to indulge Assad's dictatorship on the grounds that he brings some semblance of the rule of law to his society. Well, both the British Empire and the United States brought stability like that (even better, with a greater emphasis on human rights and democracy than Assad had ever shown) on a super massive scale. Our foreign investment and energy demands provided great opportunity for native populations to channel their energies into construction and production, rather than fight sectarian wars over the few easily accessible resources their region had before Western technology raised their living standards to unimagined heights. Our diplomacy and the threat of force ends wars and genocides before they start. For every several years where we have to endure the results of our mistakes and failures (like the Arab Spring), there have been decades of peace and vigorous economic development. King Arthur became a legendary figure because the man behind the legend brought about twenty years of peace between native Romano-Britons and the Saxon colonists. There are places in the world where the United States has brought seventy years of near uninterrupted peace.

    United States' influence on the world isn't simple or one-dimensional.
    So I appreciate your position there. But respectfully disagree. While there have been policies that avoided war, I agree with the official in the op, the one criticised for having been retired from the CIA for 25 years now.
    Killing one person is murder, killing 100,000 is foreign policy

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