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At this point We don't need to go to war, but we need to support the Kurds so that they can degrade ISIL to a non state. We should stop supporting Iraq because that has become a vassal of Iran. One think we should do right now is to provide medevac to save Peshmerga. injured in battle. and mine clearing technology. Of the 1000 Peshmerga killed so far, 70% have been from IEDs.
In response to:

The Subdivided States Of America

Mike1116 Wrote: Jan 18, 2015 6:51 PM
In colonial days the colonists would create an artificial country made up of different ethnic groups so that only the colonial power or some other tyrant could govern it. The people could not govern themselves because they were divided. You can talk about democracy but it is worthless when it is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Now we have "diversity". It is a clever scheme to take power away from the people so that only the powerful will govern.
In response to:

Two Views of Capitalism

Mike1116 Wrote: Jan 11, 2015 2:43 AM
Capitalism is not the opposite of Communism, Free Enterprise is. Capitalism is a tool that is used even by Communists. It is not even an ism. I think the term itself is a distraction to divert our attention from the essential issue, which is freedom.
Saudi Arabia seems to be pumping oil to squeeze Russia and Iran to make them stop supporting the regime in Syria. I expect this is the reason Syria is being pressured to enter talks. As to finding a single party to talk to, that is unrealistic. There are multiple factions and they all need to talk to each other and carve up Syria accordingly. I would like to see an agreement between Assad, the FSA and the Kurds so they could all act together against ISIL and Al Nusra. Saudi Arabia should be happy with that, though Turkey would not. Although Saudi Arabia represents a rather extreme form of Islam, I think they see no benefit in conflict between Shiite and Sunni. They need to end this. Turkey wants it to continue and wants to weaken Arabs by it just as Iran does.
The Iraqi Kurds must be confident that their offensive on Shingal will be decisive in their favor. The day chosen to start the offensive is flag day in Kurdistan (Kurdistan Regional Government, also known to Kurds as Bashur, which means the South). KRG Flag day is Dec 17. Flag day is not required to be observed by schools, but has become wildly popular. Shops that sell KRG flags and Peshmerga outfits for children have sold out. The Peshmerga leadership must believe that this offensive will become an important part of future patriotic celebrations. Incidentally, the KRG flag features a large 21 pointed sunburst in the center. This is a very specific pre-Islamic religious symbol. Why does a supposed Muslim people use their ancient pre-Islamic religious symbol as the sign of their nationhood? This become less puzzling when you learn that most Kurds are members of one of several highly secretive Sufi orders. Sufis are mystics, whose masters claim authority that is greater than any written doctrine.
There is a theory that Iran is fomenting a war between Sunnis and Shiite Arabs in Syria and Iraq, but that they don't really care if the Shiites win. The point is to weaken and divide the Arabs so that Iran can step in to restore order and end up in control of Arab oil. It seems that Turkey is playing the same game, except that they want Turkey to own all the oil. With the US deliberately stepping down as the world policeman, opportunities abound for budding Napoleons and Caesars.
Rudaw announced the beginning of a large scale Peshmerga offensive starting at 7am local time (a bout a half hour ago) to retake Shingal from ISIS. This offensive is taking place simultaneously on a number of fronts. There is also a blocking strategy to prevent reinforcements from Tal Afar. This followed intensive air bombardments the night before. This will be part of a necessary first step before approaching Mosul, to help cut off and surround Mosul.
There is another dimension of events in kobane that is not getting much attention. Kobane is one of the 3 cantons of Rojava, which represents a unique political and social experiment. "Social ecology", a concept that was founded by Murray Bookchin, is the guiding principle behind this experiment. This philosophy was embraced by Abdullah Ocalan after he became disillusioned with Marxist Leninist thought. There was a very deliberate effort to find an alternative guiding principle. On a governmental level it is about municipal confederalism, which rejects statism. Think "Articles of Confederation", but less centralized. On a social level it includes the ideal of a matriarchal society, which is presently the opposite of society in that area. It seems that the idea behind this is that the drive to dominate other people is part of the patriarchal social model, and they need to change their civilization before trying to implement a new political system The philosophy is still evolving. In recent years it has been cut loose from a previous association with anarchist thought. What is happening in Kobane has parallels with the Paris Commune of 1871, which inspired Karl Marx.
In response to:

Putin Meets with North Korea

Mike1116 Wrote: Nov 22, 2014 4:55 AM
The KRG (Kurdistan regional Government) is resisting a tremendous popular pressure for independence. Go to YouTube and search for "My Kudistan" (with English subtitles). Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and many former colonies in Africa were created out of several ethnic groups to deliberately make the people weak and unable to resist a Tyrant. These countries are inherently unstable without a Tyrant in charge. It is time the US recognizes the error of this policy. Dividing these countries along ethnic lines would create inherently stable countries that could be effectively ruled by the will of the people. Giving the Pashtuns a state of their own would take the pressure off of the rest of Afghanistan and give Pakistan something to do other than trying to destabilize Afghanistan.
The ideology of the YPG, the Kurdish militia of Syria that is defending Kobane, is hard to categorize. They follow the thinking of Abdullah Ocalan (Apo), which has changed from being Marxist Leninist at one time. They consider themselves to be social revolutionaries. They believe in a matriarchal society and ecology is very big with them. They are also against statism, whatever that means. They believe that society went wrong with the invention of agriculture. The tribal society is ideal. They believe that socialism did not work because it required the creation of a new civilization, which did not happen. They are taking the emphasis off of socialism and placing it on creating the new civilization first. Unlike standard leftists, they are extremely nationalistic, but they are completely tolerant of others as long as those others will leave them in peace. As you can see, they are highly motivated and dedicated and indoctrinated, and more than willing to die to defend their country and people. I notice that in many pictures of the women YPG fighters in Kobane (who seem to be the majority), they are often smiling and laughing and looking very at ease. In a video interview of the peshmerga commander in Kobane you could hear children in the background laughing and playing. Those who are wounded say how anxious they are to get back into the fighting. One gravely injured fighter was on her deathbed singing a patriotic song with power and feeling. These people are not going to fight our wars for us, but they will certainly hold their ground if given the weapons. A good strategy for for them and for us is for them to take a strip of land all along the Turkish border to seal off ISIS from the outside world and to unite the 3 cantons of Syrian Rojava.
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