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  #11  
Old Jan 11th 2016, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Oil Consumption by Country

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I do get the point but what's the point of the point when no one's going to touch Saudi Arabia.
The point is that any other military operation against any other target in the Middle East is like pissing against the wind.

The problem is Saudi and until that problem is addressed, the game will go on regardless of how many bombs we drop or how many people we slaughter.

Or to put it more bluntly, using western military power to engage ISIS/Daesh is just a fool's game that won't make any difference.
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  #12  
Old Jan 11th 2016, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Oil Consumption by Country

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The point is that any other military operation against any other target in the Middle East is like pissing against the wind.

The problem is Saudi and until that problem is addressed, the game will go on regardless of how many bombs we drop or how many people we slaughter.

Or to put it more bluntly, using western military power to engage ISIS/Daesh is just a fool's game that won't make any difference.
I suspect it would make a great deal of difference to anyone who is/isn't spared from ISIS control by that military power or the absence of it. It will also make a rather large difference if it becomes a determining factor in whether or not ISIS runs up against Israeli borders. There's a pretty big jump between "Doesn't address the root cause" and "Won't make any difference."

But all that aside, I can't see Saudi Arabia being as single-highhandedly and totally responsible as you suggest for the simple reason that ISIS is new. There has been Sunni-Shia and Muslim-Western conflict (much of it supported by elements in SA) in the region my entire life and more, but Daesh is breaking the mold. SA may be a necessary answer to the question "Why ISIS? Why now?" But it certainly isn't a sufficient answer by itself.
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  #13  
Old Jan 13th 2016, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Oil Consumption by Country

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I suspect it would make a great deal of difference to anyone who is/isn't spared from ISIS control by that military power or the absence of it. It will also make a rather large difference if it becomes a determining factor in whether or not ISIS runs up against Israeli borders. There's a pretty big jump between "Doesn't address the root cause" and "Won't make any difference."
I'm saying that Saudi is driving the conflicts in the Middle East. Even if you stop one conflict (by killing everyone in the neighborhood), another similar conflict is just going to pop up because of the root issue that is driving the conflict is getting bigger and bigger.

Speaking of which, I don't consider it my business to pay for military operations to stop a bunch of fanatical Muslims on the other side of the planet from killing other fanatical Muslims in the name of Allah. To put it simply, religion is an issue that is not amendable to solutions involving bombs and guns.

Indeed, I might venture to say that the western urge to control events in the Middle East is one of the primary reasons that we have all these problems in the Middle East - and those problems are not contained in the Middle East.

That is to say, the only thing western military intervention in the Middle East does is create a need for more western military intervention in the Middle East.

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But all that aside, I can't see Saudi Arabia being as single-highhandedly and totally responsible as you suggest for the simple reason that ISIS is new.
Radical Islamic terrorism and/or radical Islamic killing of Muslims wasn't invented by ISIS/Daesh. Remember Al-Queda?

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There has been Sunni-Shia and Muslim-Western conflict (much of it supported by elements in SA) in the region my entire life and more...
Really? Please cite a relevant example from pre-2003.

To my understanding, Sunni-Shia violence has been relatively quite modest for the last five centuries or so (due to the absolute dominance of Sunni rulership of the Ottoman Empire and subsequent post WW1 British/French alliances with Sunni powers).

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... but Daesh is breaking the mold. SA may be a necessary answer to the question "Why ISIS? Why now?" But it certainly isn't a sufficient answer by itself.
Why now? As I've already noted several times, because the US invasion/overthrow of Saddam has fundamentally altered the Sunni-Shia balance to a point where Sunni is now on the short end and that's something the Sunnis haven't experienced in over 500 years. They are apparently desperate to re-establish Sunni dominance in the Middle East. That's why "now" and not before.
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Old Jan 13th 2016, 08:34 PM
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Radical Islamic terrorism and/or radical Islamic killing of Muslims wasn't invented by ISIS/Daesh. Remember Al-Queda?
I do. But Al-Queda was not Daesh. They were a terrorist organization, working in cooperation with the then-governing powers of Afghanistan. They weren't a sovereign Caliphate actively and aggressively trying to overthrow all other Muslim regimes in the region. As best I recall, they didn't make a habit of publicly butchering people on TV or burning people alive as a recruitment tool. Nor did they go out of their way to tear down historic artifacts and ruins, certainly not on the scale of ISIS.

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Really? Please cite a relevant example from pre-2003.

To my understanding, Sunni-Shia violence has been relatively quite modest for the last five centuries or so (due to the absolute dominance of Sunni rulership of the Ottoman Empire and subsequent post WW1 British/French alliances with Sunni powers).
The big one would be the Iran-Iraq War in the '80s.

It's worth noting that "my entire life" all post-dates the '79 revolution in Iran. I think you're right about the peaceful effects of Sunni dominance (well, peaceful from an international standpoint anyway...). But I'd argue that fell apart with the rise of a Shiite theocracy in Iran. The fall of Sunni Iraq just made it worse.
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Old Jan 14th 2016, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Oil Consumption by Country

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I do. But Al-Queda was not Daesh. They were a terrorist organization, working in cooperation with the then-governing powers of Afghanistan. They weren't a sovereign Caliphate actively and aggressively trying to overthrow all other Muslim regimes in the region. As best I recall, they didn't make a habit of publicly butchering people on TV or burning people alive as a recruitment tool. Nor did they go out of their way to tear down historic artifacts and ruins, certainly not on the scale of ISIS.
I don't see much difference there. And Osama's stated goal was the establishment of a caliphate.

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The big one would be the Iran-Iraq War in the '80s.
That wasn't specifically a Sunni vs Shia religious war since the vast majority of the combatants on both sides were Shia. That was (in many ways) just another attempt by the USA to fuck Iran by proxy. US government has an obsession with Iran ever since the Iranians threw out the US puppet dictator of Iran back in 1979. Saddam was totally Washington's boy back then. Indeed, it was at that time that US government supplied Saddam with the chemical weapons that he used against the Iranians and subsequently used against the Kurds.

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
It's worth noting that "my entire life" all post-dates the '79 revolution in Iran. I think you're right about the peaceful effects of Sunni dominance (well, peaceful from an international standpoint anyway...). But I'd argue that fell apart with the rise of a Shiite theocracy in Iran. The fall of Sunni Iraq just made it worse.
Iran/Persia has always been Shia and has 500 years of historical conflict with the Ottoman Empire (which was Sunni). The conflict between the Ottomans and the Persians was the same as the conflict between the Romans and the Persians - a very typical secular conflict over a shared border and contested trade routes.

Btw, the establishment of a theocracy in Iran didn't change the Sunni-Shia balance in the Middle East. It is the overthrow of Sunni-controlled Iraq that did that. Iraq (politically speaking) moved from the Sunni camp to the Shia camp and that massively destablized the Sunni-Shia balance in the Middle East. Don't forget that Iraq is the most populous country in the Arabic Middle East.
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