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Syrian Refugees

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Well probably a hot button topic.

Hungary doesn't want them, and for good reason. A missile throwing mob of violent and desperate people: sounds like exactly the kind of people I want to rent a room to.

Before we go any further, I get the refugee crisis. I get it, humanitarianism etc.

But why is it that whenever Islam screws up the people come clamouring to west Europe? And even then, they're not satisfied just leaving their country, their destination has to be a specific country, in this case Germany, because otherwise these destitute, nothing-to-offer refugees just won't be satisfied. Because the world owes them something as they abandon their homeland but not their religion.

-jM
A&D
 
Stop Bill C-10

djfear

TRIBE Member
My family left a commie state because of the corruption, piss poor opportunities, and harassment from authorities. And guess what? I'm a successful tax payer who doesn't break any laws, and I contribute to the economy and the country. My brother and sister are both successful with families. None of us have ever been on E.I.

My parent's life was more difficult and they didn't find the success that others have, but they still did well relatively speaking.

So there's that.
 

mute79

TRIBE Member
Your commie state culture was still comparable to western culture, ideology aside. So Jeffsus' point about refugees from Islamic countries not wanting to integrate stands.

I am also don't understand why rich gulf states don't let in any refugees. Most of all what I don't understand is why Saudi Arabia is choosing to "assist" the refugees in Germany by building 200 mosques.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Islam didn't create the refugee crisis, we have other actors to consider Ike the Assad government, and the hundreds of local militias that sprout up in a civil war.

Civil war created the refugee crisis, not Islam. The proof of this is quite clear, since "islam" has been in Syria for over a thousand years, but only now do we have a refugee crisis.

I'd think we would have a better leg to stand on refusing refugees had we not committed to help the Syrian people with our military. If we can spend on jets over there we can spend on refugees too, that is if we are truly concerned for them that is
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
I work with Islamic Syrians, Indians and Pakistanis. They all seem very well integrated here.

Iranians too! Canada does not have the integration problems Europe or America do
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
People flee Syria and Iraq because of very common features of desperate civil wars and what happens to the common citizens when thrust between different opposing and cruelly violent groups. Eastern Europe was like this in WWII for instance, as Nazi tanks rolled through villages the army would follow behind, finding all suspicious males who may be allied with the Soviets or with local "partisan" militias that were all over the place - some resisting the Nazis some looking just to provide some protection to local populations in a crazy time of back and forth campaigning.

The basic rule is this: opposing force takes over city. All those who were suspected of supporting the enemy are captured, imprisoned or killed. Locals are identified that can help legitimize the occupying force - recruiting from the local population, both forced and voluntary. When the occupiers or invaders are pushed back the opposite happens - any local supporters who were leveraged by the occupying forces are then captured, imprisoned or killed. Common people joined groups for protection, but if their partisan force found itself on the bad side of a changeover of a town or village, then their membership in that group could become a death sentence.

There was no easy way out. Here is an example of the same kind of dynamics going on in Tikrit:

While [the so-called ‘Islamic State’ group] ruled Tikrit, many locals joined. When they were beaten there, fighters fled, leaving family members behind. Today those relatives are harassed and cannot even leave their homes....Tikrit, in the province of Salahaddin, is a town populated mainly by Sunni Muslims. And the Islamic State, or IS, group base their ideology on their own version of Sunni Islam. Because of the situation in Iraq, where many local Sunnis felt sidelined and oppressed by a Shiite Muslim-led government, they believed that it would be better to live under, or join, the IS group than live under that government, headed at the time by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
...
Mahmoud’s sons, Tawfiq and Nasser, were among those who felt that way. They swore allegiance to the IS group and went to fight for them in other parts of the province. Tawfiq died in the fighting and her other son is apparently still alive, either in the area of Hawija or in the city of Mosul – she doesn’t know where. And Mahmoud now lives in the mud hut with her widowed daughter-in-law and the couple’s three children.

Mahmoud says she left Tikrit when aerial bombing by the international coalition began and after her son was killed. She is living so far from the city deliberately, she told NIQASH because she is afraid that other locals, victims of the IS group, will take revenge on her because her sons joined the extremists. In fact, her house in the Jamiyah neighbourhood in Tikrit has been burned down – this happened after members of the Shiite Muslim militias fighting the IS group and the Iraqi army entered Tikrit earlier this year, when they took the city back.

“Now,” Mahmoud says, “we are living on the mercy of local people here.”
“This family is living in really miserable conditions,” says Naim Ali, an activist and member of a local humanitarian organisation that visited the village recently. “I couldn’t believe they were living like this – they beg for water and bread.”

Yet despite the conditions she is living in, Mahmoud still thinks highly of members of the IS group; she continues to describe them as revolutionaries. When NIQASH visited, she was feeding chickens in her yard. “I stayed in Tikrit for more than nine months under the rule of the IS group,” she told NIQASH. “I was living with dignity. And I hope those good days will come again,” she adds.

For the time being it seems that Mahmoud and her family are best off where they are: out of sight and out of town.

“Their presence is unacceptable,” Jamal al-Ilyawi, a tribal leader from the Albu Ali al-Jassim tribe and a member of the Sheikh’s Council of Salahaddin, told NIQASH. “We can no longer tolerate the presence of IS group families in Tikrit and in the areas surrounding the city. They killed our sons and our brothers, caused the city’s destruction and displaced the city’s people.”

“It was agreed that some of the relatives of members of the IS group would be allowed to return if they officially made pledges to their local tribes and to local security, saying they were innocent of any criminal acts,” al-Ilyawi then explained. “Despite that though, they will not be allowed to mix with others and they must continue to live in isolation.”

He says that members of the IS group in Tikrit and its surrounds can be classified into two main groups. The first is composed of those from places like Diyala, Mosul and south of Baghdad, who had not lived in Tikrit for their whole lives. The second is made up of people who are actually from Tikrit but, he noted, this group is much smaller.

“After the IS group took control of Tikrit, dozens of young men joined the organisation – and they had different reasons for doing so,” says Thaer al-Jibouri, a senior police officer in the city. “Some joined it because they wanted to take revenge on the security forces that had ruled the country for so long, they wanted to get revenge for those forces’ bad behaviour toward local people. Other young guys joined the group because they wanted to be leaders, they wanted power – that’s still a dream for many young men.”
Sabah’s family stayed and now they are all paying for a teenage boy’s decision.

After Iraqi military and militias forced the IS group to leave the city in April this year, al-Jibouri believes that almost all of the family members who were associated with the IS group left for the group’s remaining strongholds, like Mosul, Sharqat and Hawija.

“The ones who remained are really only allowed to stay in the city because relatives, who are either members of local security forces or of the militias, have guaranteed their good behaviour,” al-Jibouri says.
The ones who remained have been treated like outcasts here and most of the time they cannot even leave their own homes. They are afraid of what other locals will do.

“In the best case, they would be insulted and harassed on the street,” the police colonel notes. “In the worst case, they would be killed.”
For example, in Dhuluiya, over 100 kilometres from Tikrit, north of Baghdad, victims of the IS group didn’t just harass those who were associated with the IS group; they also firebombed three of those families’ houses. Nobody was killed though. Dhuluiya locals also publicly demanded that the families leave the area, staging two demonstrations, closing roads and writing graffiti on the families’ houses.

“I am in a living hell,” says another Tikrit man, a 44-year-old who didn’t want to give his name because his son, Sabah, ran away to join the IS group. “I am imprisoned in my own house, I don’t leave it. When I do, people insult me on the street,” he tells NIQASH.
Sabah wasn’t even 17 when he and three friends left the city to join an IS group battalion led by a Tikrit local, Nasser al-Amounah, a leading member of the extremist group. His father wasn’t able to contact him after this and says he has not heard from him since; he doesn’t even know if the boy is still alive.

Now Sabah’s father can’t even go to the market to buy food. If there are administrative tasks or if somebody gets sick, he sends his wife or her sister to the council or to the doctor.

At the time that Sabah ran away, his father says he told the local police about it. He also says he told the police he disowned the teenager.
“After all, if I believed in what he was doing, I would have left and taken my whole family when the IS group left the city,” he argues. But they stayed and now they are all paying for a teenage boy’s decision. “Today even my other children are hearing hurtful words. Other kids call them the “sons of the Islamic State” and “killers”. They won’t even play with them anymore.”
It's these kinds of dynamics, almost universal and comment elements of conflict throughout human history, that drive the context behind why we have a refugee crisis now.
 
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DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
Islam didn't create the refugee crisis, we have other actors to consider Ike the Assad government, and the hundreds of local militias that sprout up in a civil war.

you mean the Assad government (who are Alawites - a sect of Shia Islam) backed by Iran (who are the Shia power in the world) fighting ISIS and the other Sunni extremists who are funded and supported by the multiple Sunni interests in the region?

ya, nothing to do with Islam.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Sure, something to do with Islam, just as the bitter fighting across the countryside in WWII had something to do with communism and nazi ideology. I never stated "nothing" to do with Islam did I?

Note Jeffsus quote "But why is it that whenever Islam screws up the people come clamouring to west Europe?'

Just noting that someone like Jeffsus, for all his focus on Islam, loses the forest for the trees. The forest being an ongoing civil war and a Great Game of regional and world powers fueling it. The forest being the broader human condition that connects us all, even the muslims, to what has gone before. Someone may read Jeffus and think "Islam corrupts everything it touches - Islam bad!" and then lose the opportunity to understand the universal applicability of what is happening there in terms of why refugee crises happen. They may forget the way normal people are thrust between vicious groups and forced to make choices to make it to the next week or the next day.

They may, if they indulge Jeffsus too much - not be able to consider much APART from Islam.

And I am here to help out providing another perspective.

There are common elements to what we are seeing now that happen in all chaotic, war-torn places when the common citizenry is thrust between an ever changing set of armies and militias - and the reprisals and reprisals to reprisals we see across Iraq and Syria echoe down the history of humanity, happening in nearly every part of the globe in one place or another when there is ongoing conflict. I can think of the Colombian struggle between FARC, the paras, state military and narco gangs as another time and place where locals suffered - plenty of history like this in Latin America.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
(who are Alawites - a sect of Shia Islam) backed by Iran (who are the Shia power in the world) fighting ISIS and the other Sunni extremists who are funded and supported by the multiple Sunni interests in the region?

And as long as we're trying to be accurate, the Allawite self-identity is not rooted in radical islam the way it is for ISIS. There has been no Allawite press for a new Caliphate - in fact Syria has been noted to have had a rather secular authoritarian dictatorship for many decades, even watering down official state support for Islam in their constitution. The Allawites have a unique history in the region and in Syria and Jordan are essentially the most powerful tribe, the tribe linked with monarchy and who befriended colonial powers to enable their attempted mastery of the region. They profited from this arrangement and have often been in direct conflict with "radical islam" as this often formed an ideological component of the rebels they have long suppressed (with extreme and often appalling brutality) inside their kingdoms.

I wouldn't suggest for a moment that Allwaites = ISIS = Iran in terms of "radical islam".
 
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wickedken

TRIBE Member
Islam didn't create the refugee crisis, we have other actors to consider Ike the Assad government, and the hundreds of local militias that sprout up in a civil war.

Civil war created the refugee crisis, not Islam. The proof of this is quite clear, since "islam" has been in Syria for over a thousand years, but only now do we have a refugee crisis.

I'd think we would have a better leg to stand on refusing refugees had we not committed to help the Syrian people with our military. If we can spend on jets over there we can spend on refugees too, that is if we are truly concerned for them that is

Wow... it's like you almost made the connection between ending the civil war would end the refugee "crisis". Maybe by eliminating the opposition, like the enemy of my enemy is... my enemy? Surely you didn't say that did you?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
A resolution to the civil war is the only thing that can end the refugee crisis, certainly that is true.

If thats what you thought I said, then you're doing ok on reading comprehension and inferring from what I wrote.
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
yes, there are other factors, but I think it's entirely fair to say that the Syrian civil war is yet another chapter in the civil war that's Islam has been raging against itself for 1400 years.

It seems the super powers have decided to cede Syria to Assad/Iran/Russia. I expect even more Sunni muslims will be looking to leave Syria, which means millions more refugees fleeing the country and piling on more stress on the refugee crisis.

I suspect that as the US disengages from the middle east and Iran and Russia exert more influence in the region the Sunni v. Shia split will become even more pronounced.

meaning things are going to get much worse before they ever get better.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
Your commie state culture was still comparable to western culture, ideology aside. So Jeffsus' point about refugees from Islamic countries not wanting to integrate stands.

I am also don't understand why rich gulf states don't let in any refugees. Most of all what I don't understand is why Saudi Arabia is choosing to "assist" the refugees in Germany by building 200 mosques.

I think one of the most interesting upcoming discussions will be the balancing of fundamental rights. For example, it is a basic right to have freedom of religion. But we have seen cases of that right being used as a way to hide an identity by wearing a nijab in criminal proceedings and in citizenship oaths. These cases will all be eventually be decided by the Supreme Court but there is no way that all people will agree to their decision, and of course Parliament can write a law.

I recall there was an instance of some community wanting to use Sharia law here in certain situations... I think it was not allowed but how is that consistent with allowing e.g. Aboriginal community circles to handle certain things? Aren't there many small communities in Ontario where some religious aspect of living is tolerated, like the Mennonites?
 

Brandon

TRIBE Member
I recall there was an instance of some community wanting to use Sharia law here in certain situations... I think it was not allowed but how is that consistent with allowing e.g. Aboriginal community circles to handle certain things? Aren't there many small communities in Ontario where some religious aspect of living is tolerated, like the Mennonites?

Religious arbitration by various faith groups was permitted for many years in Ontario, but as soon as the prospect of "Sharia courts" reared its head in the media, the province shut down all faith-based arbitration. Or something like that - it was a few years ago now.
 
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ndrwrld

TRIBE Member
which are totally pushed by the U.S. Government.
If it has to do with Oil, they're all over it.
Syria doesn't necessarily have that much, but if the U.S. keeps sticking their fucking noses into it, Iraq will start blowing the fuck out of U.S. ( illegally situated ) bases there.
Other countries will follow...and that's exactly what the U.S. wants.

follow the bouncing ball folks.
 

Karim

TRIBE Member
Just finished reading ISIS: Inside the army of terror a few weeks ago (Link: Amazon) and it was really eye opening to see how the conflict in Syria played out. Yes ISIS is a deeply Islamic organization, but it was Assad that stoked the fire in the region by disproportionately targeting the Sunni groups with extremely heavy handed violence. He didn't do it because of Allawite vs. Sunni Muslim infighting, he did it to spawn the extremist movement in Syria so that he could turn to the West and say "Help me, we're fighting the common enemy here".

So when the Sunni muslim population of Syria was getting slaughtered in brutal ways, they reached out to, and invited the Islamic State in Iraq for help, mostly fuelled by a desperate plea of survival rather than a desire to form the Caliphate.

And guess what? Assad's plan is working. We, the USA, Australia, and more are sending in jets to strike ISIS targets that are only to Assad's benefit.

So sure, Islamic ideology is fuelling ISIS, but the conflict goes beyond muslims killing each other in the name of Islam. It's a lot of geopolitical power plays that are simply in the name of maintaining power. Assad is also a piece of shit that needs to be stopped so it irks me that he is being helped.

Ultimately in conflict, the majority of the population who have been living out their mundane, non political and peaceful lives get caught in the cross fire and they have to pay for the sins of the few.
 

hummus

TRIBE Member
Your commie state culture was still comparable to western culture, ideology aside. So Jeffsus' point about refugees from Islamic countries not wanting to integrate stands.

I am also don't understand why rich gulf states don't let in any refugees. Most of all what I don't understand is why Saudi Arabia is choosing to "assist" the refugees in Germany by building 200 mosques.

Except that the gulf countries have taken in refugees.

The trouble with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait is that whereas they have money, they never signed the Refugee Convention from the UNO:

http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49da0e466.html

and you know what? this document was created on 1951

There are over a million Syrians in Saudi, 500k+ have came in since the war has started, but technically cannot be called refugees, there are no refugee or asylum status in the Saudi immigration system, they jump into the system and live among Saudis, so no refugee camps for them, they are given work and visitor visas which gets renewed automatically and with free movement (meaning no Syrians are deported)
Is it enough, No. Can they take more? absolutely, in fact there has been so much pressure by the people to open the borders and not deny anyone the right to come in.
And not to knock Jordan or Lebanon, who have done the most to elevate the Syrian refugee crisis, they both don't have visa restrictions for Syrians and have borders with syria, which explains the influx they're getting in.
Whereas Saudi already does. In fact Lebanon, as of January 2015 have closed its borders to Syrian refugees. But Lebanon is suffering the most with the Syrian crisis.
Saudi has also taken in 480k Yemenis since that war has started, with the same treatment.
So technically, yes 0 refugees is the number in Saudi but they are jumping the refugee status and becoming legal migrants.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
which are totally pushed by the U.S. Government.
If it has to do with Oil, they're all over it.
Syria doesn't necessarily have that much, but if the U.S. keeps sticking their fucking noses into it, Iraq will start blowing the fuck out of U.S. ( illegally situated ) bases there.
Other countries will follow...and that's exactly what the U.S. wants.

follow the bouncing ball folks.

This post does hit on some important geopolitical concerns.

Its not just about oil right but just being the dominant force in what US planners have long called "the most stupendous geopolitical prize the world has ever known", the Middle East.

Some in the US are under the mistaken impression that more domestic production can open the way to less US involvement in the ME - but the conceit here is imaging that the US cares about ME oil only for its own access. Sure, this is a paramount concern - however it also cares about *who else* accesses ME oil and on what terms. The fact the resource is important for countries around the world and big powers like China, Russia and Europe mean that the US will always be interested in attempting to maintain dominance over this region. This is the logic of hegemony, and is fairly well understood in political theory and those who study the power dynamics of Great Powers.

Syria is one of the few client states remaining in the region who has traditionally been supported by patron states outside the western orbit, and this fact is part of the reason the US has had less freedom of action here, needing to balance expected moves by Syrian benefactors often incentivized to act against US interests. There was no "natural ally" here and Western indecision, the inability to really pick a winning side they liked, has contributed to the worsening of the situtation in Syria (our pathetic and naive attempt to make the Free Syrian Army the cornerstone of our strategy was doomed to fail).

The recent Russian moves to prop up Assad more openly can be seen as a bit of a Russian spoiler to western designs that may not be guaranteed to include a space for his regime, and a push to retain some toehold from what has long been an eroding position in the ME for Russian interests.

Civil wars just get worse when the forces fighting have outside powers pouring in money and resources (they are shorter when forces don't have these kinds of influences that can fuel long, prolonged conflicts). This one has Big Powers and tons of local "medium powers" pouring in support and resources to all actors - I dont see an end that doesn't include bringing all those interests to the table. Attrition may be the course chosen.... and potentially some actors involved here may tire or be beaten, but it will be long road absent the settling of interests among all those vying for influence in Syria through their favored proxies.

However, the real reason we have a sharpening of the refugee crisis is not even these politics though, not even due to "islam" - its all about Maslow's heirarchy of needs and the deprivations of war. Local governments in the area like Jordan have been dealing with a refugee *crisis* long before Europe has - as the civil war raged on. But now with it entering a prolonged and brutal phase the deprivations are just simply getting worse. People cannot be guaranteed the basic elements of survival like water, electricity, food, to say nothing of intermittent access (if any at all) to higher level services like health care, fire protection, education for their kids.

People can sit out for a time, but what we're seeing now is a prolonged and deepening deprivation driving the human misery we see now propelling refugees across Western Europe.

The only silver lining here is this may finally press reluctant powers to unite in a multi-party, regional/global resolution to the problem. I am actually halfway optimistic this pressure can actually be a "good thing" in the long term - its just too bad the human price must rise to such a high cost and western interests need to feel pressure directly before acting. We may see this cross the threshold to really make a Grand Bargain and resolution to this Civil War more likely...
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Except that the gulf countries have taken in refugees.

The trouble with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait is that whereas they have money, they never signed the Refugee Convention from the UNO:

UNHCR - The 1951 Refugee Convention

and you know what? this document was created on 1951

There are over a million Syrians in Saudi, 500k+ have came in since the war has started, but technically cannot be called refugees, there are no refugee or asylum status in the Saudi immigration system, they jump into the system and live among Saudis, so no refugee camps for them, they are given work and visitor visas which gets renewed automatically and with free movement (meaning no Syrians are deported)
Is it enough, No. Can they take more? absolutely, in fact there has been so much pressure by the people to open the borders and not deny anyone the right to come in.
And not to knock Jordan or Lebanon, who have done the most to elevate the Syrian refugee crisis, they both don't have visa restrictions for Syrians and have borders with syria, which explains the influx they're getting in.
Whereas Saudi already does. In fact Lebanon, as of January 2015 have closed its borders to Syrian refugees. But Lebanon is suffering the most with the Syrian crisis.
Saudi has also taken in 480k Yemenis since that war has started, with the same treatment.
So technically, yes 0 refugees is the number in Saudi but they are jumping the refugee status and becoming legal migrants.

Useful corrective, thanks for sharing.

The pressure has been enormous on regional nations there, especially Jordan and Lebanon. It's a little galling to see Western nations play the victim card and act like they're the only ones that have to deal with this, when the pressure on local countries has been many times worse and going on for much longer than this summer, which is when Western nations really started "feeling it".
 

Ho||yw0oD

TRIBE Member
Just finished reading ISIS: Inside the army of terror a few weeks ago (Link: Amazon) and it was really eye opening to see how the conflict in Syria played out. Yes ISIS is a deeply Islamic organization, but it was Assad that stoked the fire in the region by disproportionately targeting the Sunni groups with extremely heavy handed violence. He didn't do it because of Allawite vs. Sunni Muslim infighting, he did it to spawn the extremist movement in Syria so that he could turn to the West and say "Help me, we're fighting the common enemy here".

So when the Sunni muslim population of Syria was getting slaughtered in brutal ways, they reached out to, and invited the Islamic State in Iraq for help, mostly fuelled by a desperate plea of survival rather than a desire to form the Caliphate.

And guess what? Assad's plan is working. We, the USA, Australia, and more are sending in jets to strike ISIS targets that are only to Assad's benefit.

So sure, Islamic ideology is fuelling ISIS, but the conflict goes beyond muslims killing each other in the name of Islam. It's a lot of geopolitical power plays that are simply in the name of maintaining power. Assad is also a piece of shit that needs to be stopped so it irks me that he is being helped.

Ultimately in conflict, the majority of the population who have been living out their mundane, non political and peaceful lives get caught in the cross fire and they have to pay for the sins of the few.

Very interesting. Although, I struggle to see the success behind the strategy. Assad has been able to garner indirect support--or rather, a pinching of the nose--from some Western powers at an enormous cost. Assad has lost nearly 35% of populated territory since the civil war began. ISIS represents about half of opposition-controlled territory. Why would he stoke a Sunni belligerency?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Very interesting. Although, I struggle to see the success behind the strategy. Assad has been able to garner indirect support--or rather, a pinching of the nose--from some Western powers at an enormous cost. Assad has lost nearly 35% of populated territory since the civil war began. ISIS represents about half of opposition-controlled territory. Why would he stoke a Sunni belligerency?

Because everyone was looking at regime change, by having an Islamic Evil inside his country he could avoid regime change and sell himself as necessary to stop the Evil Threat.

It worked.

In 2012 these talks failed:

In August 2012, not long after former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stepped down as the international community’s special envoy on Syria, he and I shared a coffee break between airplane flights. Speaking with deep sadness, this consummate international negotiator said he’d never worked harder on a problem with less to show for it. Since then, the widely respected former Algerian foreign minister and international civil servant Lakhdar Brahimi has done the same, with the same result.

What Annan and Brahimi tried to do through a series of meetings in Geneva was to weave together enough threads of political agreement to form the basis for a cease-fire. The problem was that when one side had brought off recent military success, it felt optimistic enough to believe it could fight to victory and was uninterested in making political concessions. Even had the fighters themselves come close to equal levels of exhaustion and suffering, half a dozen powers that were fueling the war by proxy could and did ensure that a stable military equilibrium was never reached. Those powers included Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, which were backing Assad, and Saudi Arabia, various Gulf States, and the US, which were backing the opposition. Despite enormous efforts, the Geneva talks failed.
And Assad's best option then was to make himself look "indispensable" in the efforts to beat ISIS, it also had waning interest in far flung towns like Raqqa, so there was convenience of interest here - Assad could not actually physically prosecute war against ISIS in all areas and it was also politically advantageous for them to allow ISIS some growth to become the threat that would galvanize support for the Assad regime amongst nations, like the US, that were openly chatting about regime change. An observer went to Raqqa:

...[and] was struck by how ordinary it was. A dusty place far from the country’s other major cities, it offered few amenities and most Syrians I knew complained about it, if they chanced to visit. It was true that the local population, a mixture of tribes and settled Bedouins, was almost entirely Sunni Muslim, but unlike such western Syrian cities as Hama and Aleppo, it didn’t have a tradition of Islamist activism. As a resident of al-Tabqa, a town near Raqqa with an air base that was captured by ISIS in August, put it: “The irony is we were famous for not praying!”

But Raqqa’s relative lack of importance to the Syrian regime—which led to it ceding control of the city—its substantial size, its proximity to Iraq, and its relative distance from the main front lines have been critical to ISIS and its aim of creating a large and highly centralized state. Its forces, after intensive bombing attacks on them and their bases and equipment, have been pushed back from Kobane on the Syrian–Turkish border, but they have gained or consolidated their grip on territory elsewhere including at Heet and Ramadi in Iraq, and they still have firm control of Raqqa.​
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
But why is it that whenever Islam screws up the people come clamouring to west Europe? And even then, they're not satisfied just leaving their country, their destination has to be a specific country, in this case Germany, because otherwise these destitute, nothing-to-offer refugees just won't be satisfied. Because the world owes them something as they abandon their homeland but not their religion.

-jM
A&D

Most of the refugees have been taken in by countries that are predominantly Muslim. Comparatively few ended up in Europe. The numbers (in Europe) just seem staggering because the total number is so unbelievably high.
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
Just finished reading ISIS: Inside the army of terror a few weeks ago (Link: Amazon) and it was really eye opening to see how the conflict in Syria played out. Yes ISIS is a deeply Islamic organization, but it was Assad that stoked the fire in the region by disproportionately targeting the Sunni groups with extremely heavy handed violence. He didn't do it because of Allawite vs. Sunni Muslim infighting, he did it to spawn the extremist movement in Syria so that he could turn to the West and say "Help me, we're fighting the common enemy here".

So when the Sunni muslim population of Syria was getting slaughtered in brutal ways, they reached out to, and invited the Islamic State in Iraq for help, mostly fuelled by a desperate plea of survival rather than a desire to form the Caliphate.

And guess what? Assad's plan is working. We, the USA, Australia, and more are sending in jets to strike ISIS targets that are only to Assad's benefit.

So sure, Islamic ideology is fuelling ISIS, but the conflict goes beyond muslims killing each other in the name of Islam. It's a lot of geopolitical power plays that are simply in the name of maintaining power. Assad is also a piece of shit that needs to be stopped so it irks me that he is being helped.

Ultimately in conflict, the majority of the population who have been living out their mundane, non political and peaceful lives get caught in the cross fire and they have to pay for the sins of the few.

not entirely accurate. Assad released Islamists from prison shortly after the protests began in Syria :

Syria turmoil: Political inmates 'freed' after protests - BBC News

this predates 'ISIS' in Syria. The primary reason why Assad released them was to sabotage and fracture his opposition. The opinion of the 'west' would have been secondary, but it did work in keeping the west from any real intervention.

https://kyleorton1991.wordpress.com...c-state-why-assad-strengthened-the-jihadists/

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Also, I never understood why people are so eager to try and disassociate religion from politics. Any "organized religion" is political by definition. Islam is even more political than most religions by it's very nature, and specifically the Shia v. Sunni split within Islam is entirely political (it's based on who would lead the caliphate).

Do political leaders sometimes cynically stoke the flames of religious sects? absolutely, but the only reason they are able to do so is because of the fanaticism of the many extremists and the complicity of the majority of believers.
 
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