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Attacks in Paris Stadium, concert hall

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2015 11:49 am
@izzythepush,
I'm not sure that's such a big obstacle. Earlier t his year, PKK alleged that the Turks had not kept their side of the 2013 bargain, and began raids into Turkey again. Of course, the Turks responded by shelling Iraqi Kurdistan and making air strikes. We might be doing Turkey a favor by arming the Kurds and pointing them at ISIS.
layman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2015 12:00 pm
@izzythepush,
Quote:
The rest of us prefer not to let the terrorists win.


Yeah, you kinda remind me of that ostrich I seen when I was in Ozzieland a few years back, eh, Dizzy. He seen me comin, machete in hand. He didn't wanna let me win, so he stuck his sorry little head in the sand.

Cool with me. Made it right easy to hack his head right off, then carry his carcass back to camp, ya know?
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2015 03:21 am
@Setanta,
I think the Turk/Kurd situation is a real Gordian knot. You've got now got a situation where the majority Turkish Kurd population are now broadly sympathetic to the PKK which wasn't the case previously. You've got a Kurdish party getting a decent presence in the elections and Erdogan being blamed for bombs going of at pro Kurd rallies.

How long before autonomous Kurdish Syria decides to join up with autonomous Kurdish Iraq and starts to claim Kurdish Turkey?
puzzledperson
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2015 05:51 pm
@layman,
It wasn't just Fallujah. And it is possible to get a first-person American perspective. Joshua Key spent six and a half months in Iraq as part of the 43rd Combat Engineer Company of the Second Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, starting in late April 2003. He spent two tours in Ramadi, as well as assignments to Fallujah, al-Habbaniyah/Khaldia, and al-Qa'im (on the border with Syria). Only two weeks were spent in the safety of a green zone (al-Asad) near Baghdad. After being sent home on leave, he decided not to come back. As he told his brother: "It's not the war you think it is. Innocent people are dying over there. I'm not going back." His experience is preserved in the book, The Deserter's Tale.

The difference between his two assignments in Ramadi is particularly instructive. The first began April 28, 2003, the same day of the Fallujah massacre. His company of 120 men was sent in to relieve the 82nd Airborne Division and to take control of the city of 300,000. Key wondered how such a small group could defend themselves and expected to be slaughtered. Key writes:

"However, on entering Ramadi, we were greeted with waves and cheers, Children racing up to our vehicles shouted for food and water. . . our first month in Ramadi was the quietest and easiest of my time in Iraq. During our first tour of duty in Ramadi, we were not subjected to rocket or mortar attacks, nobody launched grenades at us, and almost nobody took shots at us as we moved about the city. Nobody in my platoon was injured or killed." This was April 28 to late May 2003. Key recounts seeing Iraqis using grenades -- to fish the Euphrates river. Contrast this with his second tour of Ramadi, which began just two weeks after the first (with the intervening fortnight spent in Fallujah):

"Now that we were back for our second tour of duty in the city, few people were smiling at us, and a number made no effort to mask their hatred of us. One day, when a butcher in the market caught me looking at him, he raised his knife and held the sharp edge close to his own throat as I walked by. . . Ramadi had changed for the worse. It was no longer a quiet place. It had become the war zone I had first anticipated when arriving in Iraq, with one exception -- the enemy was never visible."

Note that this wasn't just the appearance of guerrilla fighters on the scene: it was a change in the mood of the civilian populace of the city. What happened during the first month in Ramadi, and in the two week period in Fallujah before returning to Ramadi, to account for this change?

Key writes about the night raids on Iraqi homes during his first assignment in Ramadi:

"During that first month in Ramadi, we usually raided at least one home, and as many as four, each night. The houses we raided were ordinary one or two story homes in residential areas."

The raids were conducted to find "contraband, caches of weapons, and signs of terrorists or terrorist activity." After blowing the door of the house open with explosives (during which the raiders hid around the corner to avoid becoming "fried meat"), the raids featured several common themes: roughing up the occupants, vandalism, theft, and kidnappings with indefinite detention under unknown conditions (but Abu Ghraib provides some context).

Vandalism: "The more obvious it became that we would find no weapons or contraband, the more we kicked the stuffing out of the house. We knocked over dressers, sliced into mattresses with knives. . . we turned over everything we could and broke furniture at random, searching. . . With all our ransacking, we never found anything other than the ordinary goods that ordinary people keep in their houses."

Theft: "When we found money, jewelry, or knives, we helped ourselves to them and to anything else that caught our fancy. . . Who was going to stop us? We were the army of the United States of America, and we would do whatever we pleased..."

Kidnapping: "The Iraqi brothers were taken away to an American facility for interrogation. I don't know what it was called and I don't know where it was. All I know is that we sent away every man -- pretty well every male over five feet tall -- that we found in our house raids, and I never saw any of them return to the neighborhoods we patrolled regularly."

Key also spent time assigned to traffic control checkpoints at a number of locations, including Fallujah (between his two Ramadi assignments during the first half of June). He describes specific incidents and names their participants. Beatings were sometimes given to Iraqi civilians who complained, made disrespectful comments, or otherwise did something American soldiers disliked:

"In my countless days at traffic control points, I never once saw an Iraqi civilian threaten or harm an American soldier. . . Every day or two I saw American troops beating the daylights out of Iraqi civilians. In our own platoon, all we had to do was look at our highest ranking sergeant to see that it was okay to kick and punch Iraqis whenever we felt the urge. . . We were encouraged to beat up on the enemy; given the absence of any clearly understood enemy, we picked fights with civilians who were powerless to resist. We knew that we would not have to account for our actions. Because we were fearful, sleep-deprived, jacked up on caffeine, adrenaline, and testosterone, and because our officers constantly reminded us that all Iraqis were (potentially) our enemies, civilians included, it was tempting to steal, no big deal to punch, and easy to kill."

Key describes an incident driving to a traffic control point in Fallujah in the first half of June, between the two Ramadi assignments:

"Unfortunately, the violence meted out by American troops was not limited to kicking and punching. One day in our first week in Fallujah, my entire platoon -- three squads consisting of a total of about 20 men -- was stationed at a traffic control point. Lieutenant Joyce was the highest ranking officer with us that day. While the other two squads monitored approaching cars, I was busy with my squad mates searching vehicles and cars. . . a hail of gunfire came from M-16 rifles, M-249s, and .50 caliber machine-guns. . . coming from the first and second squads in my platoon. . . all firing at a white car. . . that had two people inside. . . that had driven too close to the checkpoint, about ten feet past the line where it was supposed to stop. . . Inside the car, one man was dead. His head was attached to his neck by only a few threads of flesh and blood was spattered all over him and the car. . . I saw a boy in the front seat. He looked like he was about ten years old. A medic pulled him out. One of the boy's arms was nearly severed, but he was alive. The boy was conscious, and he was looking at his father. . . I spent ten minutes searching the vehicle and patting down the dead man. There were no weapons inside it. There was nothing unusual in the car, except all the blood that we had made run. . . As far as I can tell, he was killed simply because he hadn't known where to stop his car."

In August 2003, Key's company was transferred to the al-Habbaniyah/Khaldia area:

"...by this time tensions in Iraq had escalated so much that we were under regular attack from fighters we could never see. As a group of soldiers, if we stopped in any one place and stayed for more than ten minutes, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades would start raining on us..."

Key describes the standard response:

"We did what we always did in such circumstances, blasting away with our machine-guns at the area where we imagined our enemies were hiding. We didn't stop to ask ourselves if any civilians were in the area; on orders from our commanders, we just lit up the area with machine-gun fire. As always, we had no real idea where our true enemies were, or if we hit anybody with our return fire."

Later, on border duty in al-Qa'im:

"We took mortar fire and rocket-propelled grenades almost every day. . . as before, we could never see who was behind the attacks, but our men would shoot in what they hoped was the direction of the enemy. . . We often responded to mortar fire by raiding a house -- any house -- that seemed to be near the source of the attack..."

Key describes the apprehension of a solitary, unarmed, middle-aged man wearing a plain white robe, who did nothing more than walk down the road in the area of enemy fire after the attack:

"Specialist Barrigan, another squad mate, and I jumped out of the vehicle, grabbed the man, pulled him inside, and zip-cuffed him. Barrigan grabbed a billy-club and started whacking the man on the head. When the man fell to his knees Barrigan continued to beat him in the ribs. When the man was dazed and motionless, Barrigan halted the beating. . . We returned to the border, dragged the man out of the vehicle, and brought him into an interrogation room. . . an English speaking Iraqi who worked at the border came into the room and spoke with Sergeant Padilla..."

It transpired that the detainee they had grabbed and beaten worked at the border and had just finished his shift and was walking home when they grabbed him. "He received no explanation or apology" but was released and sent on his way.

In his epilogue, Key writes:

"I believe some people will say that Americans faced a nasty, unconventional war in Iraq, and that we had no choice but to take the war to our enemy in unconventional ways. My feeling is that we lacked the information, the skills, and the experience to find our true enemies in Iraq. . . They were on the run and gone while we were still diving for cover against flying shrapnel. We fought back by lashing out at civilians. . . it seemed the only way we could fight back, but it was wrong.

"I am responsible for the things I did. . . But the situation was made worse because we had tacit approval from our commanders to shoot first and ask questions later. If a soldier beat up or shot somebody, all he had to say -- if he said anything at all -- was that he felt threatened. As a result, our behavior was completely unchecked.

"In Iraq, I did not witness the equivalent of the American massacre of hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians in the hamlet of My Lai in 1968. . . Instead, I saw a steady stream of abuse and individual killing -- a beating here, a shot there. Collectively, however, these incidents add up.

"Some people will say that the terrible things I have described were exceptions to the rule. This might be comforting but it would also be naïve to think so. Because I saw fundamental violations of basic human rights every day or two for six and a half months in Iraq, and since I never saw a single soldier or officer criticized or disciplined for carrying out such violations, I tend to hear the opposite. . . that what I saw was only the tip of the iceberg."
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2015 06:44 pm
@izzythepush,
Quote:

How long before autonomous Kurdish Syria decides to join up with autonomous Kurdish Iraq and starts to claim Kurdish Turkey?


30 years would be my guess, but Turkey has little ability to change what looks to be coming. Kurdistan will be carved out of Iraq/Syria/Turkey.
puzzledperson
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2015 07:55 pm
@Lash,
"Admins don't chase people around for bad behavior. No matter how ridiculous."

Well, clearly they do, since there's no spam here. Usenet used to be a great place for serious discussions, until the unmoderated newsgroups (forums) became one vast wasteland of commercial spam.

There is a mechanism for reporting comments to administrators, here. There are three categories: spam, NFSW (whatever that is), and "other". And it seems fairly obvious that if someone spent all their time replying to every comment with nothing more than a string of curse words, the account would be terminated.

So, as is usually the case in life, free speech isn't a question of absolutes, but of whether the rules are reasonable, and reasonably enforced. You can't walk into a movie theater and scream "fire!" just for kicks or because someone in the theater pissed you off and you want to ruin their movie by disrupting it. You also can't simply invent anything you want to about anybody at any time, otherwise there would be no civil remedy against slander, libel, and defamation.

It's one thing to make ignorant, unpopular, or mistaken statements. One will encounter that virtually anywhere and the best remedy is the truth, compellingly expressed.

It's quite another to deliberately and maliciously attack someone with patently false, hostile and personally abusive remarks, in an attempt to discourage their participation, to injure or intimate them, or to discredit them with lies because you know that the truth won't serve your purposes.

"Izzythepush" falls into the latter category, behaviorally speaking. He didn't write what he did about me, repeatedly, because he's stupid or because he was trying to express an honest difference of opinion; he was maliciously lying, using words as a cudgel in an attempt to bludgeon me into silence, drive me off, or confuse readers for the purpose of discrediting me. (Again, behaviorally speaking.) It was dishonest and irrationally hostile. It was also counterproductive, in a venue where thoughtful contributors who take the time to compose something more than casually tossed off opinions are the exception.
puzzledperson
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2015 08:23 pm
@layman,
Once again: the unjustified mass killings of protesters in Fallujah which provoked widespread Iraqi resentment and which directly contributed to the start of popular insurgency the following month, took place in late April, 2003.

The newspaper article from the Independent (whose journalism you object to but offer no rebuttal to aside from personally attacking the author) was published within a week of those shootings.

The LongWar article I also linked to, was published in November 2004. So references in it to al Zarqawi and other foreign terrorists as having been in Fallujah "for months" do not in the least contradict the coverage of the Independent or my own representations. On the contrary, the same article quotes Fallujah locals in November 2004 as saying that it was a grave mistake to have allowed their humble local insurgency against occupation forces, to be coopted by Zarqawi's foreign terrorists.

I'd appreciate it if you refrained from trying to obscure this point for the fourth time.

0 Replies
 
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2015 08:41 pm
@layman,
I didn't argue that ISIS had nothing do with the Paris bombings, merely that the evidence thus far adduced strongly suggests that the attacks were not planned by the upper (or even middle) leadership of the organization using commandos trained and equipped by them for the purpose. I also said that ISIS does bear responsibility to the extent that their leadership DID make vague exhortations calling on sympathizers in western countries to carry out attacks in its name.

As for the attacks being made in revenge for French bombing of Syria the week before, the attackers themselves asserted this in statements made to French police outside the Bataclan prior to the final police intervention there. It's obvious that if France had not taken part in coalition bombing campaigns, the Paris attacks on the Bataclan and other targets on November 13 would not have occurred. Do you dispute this?

Does that in any way justify the Paris attacks? No, of course not.

Please refrain from silly, time-wasting straw man arguments.
Lash
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2015 08:55 pm
@puzzledperson,
Hello newby. I've been here for 12 years. You don't need to explain the way the place works to me.

"Bad behavior," to me, is in a different solar system than spam. I'm thankful the admins dispatch that stuff.

I have used every bit of profanity you can imagine, and I've not been sent into the stratosphere, so I'm convinced bad language isn't, by itself, a ticket to ride either.

You are preaching to the choir about Izzy. You've characterized him perfectly. He obviously suffers from some serious deficit that drives him to feign superiority online to compensate for whatever hell his life is - so using the ignore feature is probably your best option. You can follow his comments - and note the frequency of his attacks on different members with little or no provocation.

Just ignore.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 12:18 am
@puzzledperson,
Seems like a great book. Thanks for quoting. What hapoened to him after his desertion?
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 12:27 am
@puzzledperson,
PP, you must have missed this....

ISIS Claims Responsibility, Calling Paris Attacks ‘First of the Storm’
By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI
November 14, 2015

SINONE, Iraq — The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for the catastrophic attacks in the French capital, calling them “the first of the storm” and mocking France as a “capital of prostitution and obscenity,” according to statements released in multiple languages on one of the terror group’s encrypted messaging accounts.

The remarks came in a communiqué published in Arabic, English and French on the Islamic State’s account on Telegram, a messaging platform, and then distributed via its supporters on Twitter, according to a transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist propaganda.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/world/europe/isis-claims-responsibility-for-paris-attacks-calling-them-miracles.html
Quehoniaomath
 
  0  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 12:35 am
@Olivier5,
ISIS eh?
http://www.davidicke.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/get-attachment-129.jpg


That one?

Created so the government can take our freedoms and rights away?

That one?
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 01:28 am
@Quehoniaomath,
No, you got the wrong one. I'm talking of the one that's OUTSIDE of your arse.
puzzledperson
 
  0  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 02:30 am
@puzzledperson,
I keep saying that the Paris attacks were preceded by French bombing of Syria a week before. While it's true that the attackers cited French bombing of Syria as the cause, the first French bombing of Syria (Raqqa, the de facto ISIS capital there) first occurred on October 8 according to the New York Times, which is nearly five weeks before the Paris attacks. That gives considerably more time for planning.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/16/world/europe/inquiry-finds-mounting-proof-of-syria-link-to-paris-attacks.html

0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 02:36 am
@puzzledperson,
Quote:
Why did the Iraqi public turn against their liberators?

When the U.S. military deposed Saddam Hussein, they were greeted with waves and cheers. By May, the insurgency began, slowly at first, most notably in Fallujah. Why Fallujah? Why May,


I had forgotten the details of this, but the so-called "insurgency" in this so-called "conservative" town of Fallujah, began in March, and it was NOT initiated by US troops. A mob of these nice, friendly, conservative, pro-American sunni muslims had killed 4 americans, set them on fire, dragged their mutilated bodies all over their "conservative" little town, and hung them on a bridge.

Forget about that, PP?

At that time, control of the city was in civilian hands, and very few US troops were in the city. Did fanatical muslims all over the country resent our efforts to run these killers down by entering the town? Of course! They should be allowed to run free, killing more Americans. But the so-called "insurgency" was NOT precipitated by anything initiated by US troops.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 02:51 am
@layman,
They were tales of abuses coming out of Fallujah, I tellya!

Quote:
"Arab satellite news channels were crucial to building political pressure to halt military operations. For example, CPA documented 34 stories on Al Jazeera that misreported or distorted battlefield events between 6 and 13 April. Between 14 and 20 April, Al Jazeera used the "excessive force" theme 11 times and allowed various anti-Coalition factions to claim that U.S. forces were using cluster bombs against urban areas and kidnapping and torturing Iraqi children. Six negative reports by al-Arabiyah focused almost exclusively on the excessive force theme. Overall, the qualitative content of negative reports increasingly was shrill in tone, and both TV stations appeared willing to take even the most baseless claims as fact. "During the first week of April, insurgents invited a reporter from Al Jazeera, Ahmed Mansour, and his film crew into Fallujah where they filmed scenes of dead babies from the hospital, presumably killed by Coalition air strikes. Comparisons were made to the Palestinian Intifada. Children were shown bespattered with blood; mothers were shown screaming and mourning."
0 Replies
 
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 03:04 am
@Olivier5,
I didn't miss the ISIS claim of responsibility for the November 13 Paris attacks. Don't forget that ISIS, like many terrorist organizations, has falsely claimed "credit" for attacks in the past, including the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris prior to the November 13 attacks. Eventually, analysts decided that al Qaeda bore the responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack, insofar as any organization did. Many of these Jihadists have affiliations that are loose and shifting. Coulibaly, of the earlier attacks, claimed ISIS membership as well as coordination with the Kouachi brothers:

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/aqap-vs-isis-who-was-really-behind-charles-hebdo-692115745

Elsewhere I wrote:

* * *

The statement issued by ISIS claiming responsibility for the attacks contains no information identifying the attackers or giving any details not in public media reports. It also erroneously claims an attack in France's 18th Arrondissement (district), which happens to be the main Muslim quarter of Paris, and where no attack took place:

http://www.vox.com/2015/11/14/9734794/isis-claim-paris-statement

Curiously though, it was mentioned in early media reports, in a way that someone for whom English is a second language, or even a careless but literate reader, might mistake for an indication of such an attack:

"On Twitter, this offer came from the 18th Arrondissement, the district south of the Stade de France where multiple explosions were reported during a Germany-France soccer match..."

https://www.takepart.com/article/2015/11/13/paris

Someone unfamiliar with the political geography of Paris and who had no inside knowledge of the attacks might misunderstand this to say that multiple explosions were reported from the 18th Arrondissement.

The ISIS statement also talks about precisely chosen targets and simultaneous attacks, though we will see that neither is true.

* * *

So I hope I will be forgiven for a little skepticism on this point.

roger
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 03:20 am
@puzzledperson,
Can't believe them when they admit it, and probably do when they deny it. I love it.
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 03:31 am
@Olivier5,
Key and his wife sought political asylum in Canada. The recent political shift to the left there has brought hope:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/Grit-win-could-bring-safety--for-war-resisters-family-338030302.html

Incidentally, as earnest as I may seem (assuming that there is anyone to seem TO) about these matters, as I've written elsewhere, I'm a solipsist with respect to my environment, and I'm convinced that this is a fake world. I remember watching nearly all of this crap on CNN in the 1990s, with certain variations (e.g., Clinton, not Obama, was president). Back then, I borrowed Key's book from the library but decided not to read it insofar as it was missing pages and I had other fish to fry at the time. Well, more than a decade later, I find the same book for sale in the book corner of another library branch, with exactly the same pages missing, but no indication of its previous incarnation, and a 2007 copyright date. And there's plenty more where that came from.

And tonight I watched (part of) Groundhog Day on AMC. Again. Good movie.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 03:56 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
Turkey has little ability to change what looks to be coming.


Don't talk rubbish, Turkey is the key political player in the region. Not only are they the only democracy, they can count on financial support from the Gulf states. When you start telling Turkey what to do and blithely assuming they're just going to do what you say they start shooting down Russian jets.

Your thinking is what caused such a mighty **** up in Iraq, just substitute Turkey for Iran. Any anti IS approach in Syria/Iraq is doomed without making sure Turkey is on board.
0 Replies
 
 

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