Salafi Jihadism and U.S. Grand Strategy – Part I

In 1972, Great Britain essentially ceded its role in the Middle East to the United States.  The move was one of political expedience, as the UK’s leaders hoped to cut their costs supporting long-time allies by passing the duty off to America.  The thinking was that the U.S. was already committed on a global scale because of its many alliances and international commitments at economic, military, and diplomatic levels.  Also, in 1972 the United States enjoyed strong approval by most Mid-East nations, specifically because the United States had never broken a promise to an ally in the region, and had never held colonies there.  However, the move radically altered the world power structure, as the Middle East has always served as a fulcrum for regional domination in Europe, Africa and Asia.  The Soviet Union could not afford an American-dominated Middle East, as this would  make Soviet domination of Eurasia impossible.  Therefore, while careful to avoid direct military confrontation in the Middle East, the USSR continued its proxy strategy by supporting client states in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen (among others) and creating disruption in US client states like Egypt, Iran and Jordan.  The Soviets’ efforts were often ham-handed, but they gave inspiration to other nascent groups seeking to gain power through asymmetrical conflict, such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and (ironically) the Baathists in Iraq.

The United States intelligence community was aware of the Soviet actions, but could not generally oppose them in like fashion.  Also, with the US global focus on Asia at that time (the Vietnam conflict and building the China buffer especially),  the US felt that the Soviet actions in the Middle East were strategically disruptive but not an imminent threat, a decision proven wrong by the events in Iran at the end of the decade.

The combination of the Shiite revolution in Iran and the Soviet debacle in Afghanistan led to an explosion of radical movements in the Middle East, especially those which used terrorism.  This was because government efforts, whether regional or global, had failed to wipe out such groups, because such groups could act with little logistical support and because such groups appeared to gain credibility in short time.  These groups early on fell into three types:

  • Secular groups seeking political power, which generally failed due to limited popular support and because they were seen as direct sedition by the governments;
  • Islamic groups based on nationalism, which achieved limited success but had trouble gaining support outside their demographic membership; and
  • Jihadists which proclaimed loose versions of Jihad, in support of ‘umma’ or similarly broad and vague ideals.

The secular groups were seen as direct threats by most governments, yet also had some of the least public support, so most of these were eradicated quickly.  The nationalist groups were more successful, but could not continue in strength once their main objective was gained.   The third group learned from the first two, and   made sure their membership was spread out across several nations, that they did not directly oppose any host government in their actions, and that patronage was built through extant political, financial, and religious structures.   Terrorism therefore evolved from the fairly primitive PLO and Fatah, to Islamic Jihad and Hamas, to more elaborate constructions.

U.S. Grand Strategy was not well-considered for most its history.  Until FDR’s election, U.S. Presidents were disinclined to think in global terms, preferring to avoid fights if possible and raise forces as needed.  Roosevelt agreed with Churchill even before Winston was Prime Minister that the Nazis represented a grave threat to the free world, and also that the Fascists in Japan were a threat to the Pacific region.  But even Roosevelt could not prepare U.S. forces for the war in advance, a lesson not lost on later Presidents so far as Europe and Asia were concerned.  But while Harry Truman supported the nation of Israel in part to stabilize the Middle East, and Eisenhower cultivated the Saudis to give the US a key Arab ally, no formal grand strategy for the U.S. included a Middle East plan.  Aside from standing by allies and opposing the Soviets, the rest was ad hoc.

After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, humbled by their defeat, and with the U.S. stinging not only from the loss of Iran to Shiite extremist revolutionaries, Islamist groups had reason to believe their strategy was succeeding.  Lost in the noise for most people was the fact that the terrorists made up a very small portion of Muslims – Shiites, Wahhabists and the newly arrived Salafis.  With Soviet sponsors removed, terrorism became a domestic product and internal sponsors directed the flavor and character of the movements.

The U.S. also gained from the events, as sponsorship of the Afghan mujahadeen demonstrated that indirect support could achieve strategic results.  While the Islamists made effective use of asymmetric warfare, the U.S. was discovering that unconventional warfare could be more effective for them than nominal doctrine.

Next – The Gulf War

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Posted by on April 27, 2013.
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DJ Drummond holds an MBA with a concentration in Accounting, and has worked in Finance/Credit for 13 years, with 17 years of Operations Management experience before that. He writes on political, religious, and cancer-related issues, with the occasional foray into satire and snark.

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  • Commander_Chico

    Well, nice to see a thoughtful and substantive post here.

    There are several elephants in the room being ignored, though.

    1. True, U.S. strategy during the Cold War necessarily put opposition to the Evil Empire as the first and overriding priority. After all, who else threatened to invade Europe and the Middle East and destroy the USA with thousands of nukes?

    The sometimes ignored corollary to that strategy was the unholy alliance with Wahabi Saudi Arabia to provide a financial and importantly ideological opposition to the USSR in Afghanistan. Not to mention the mutually beneficial relationship to protect the regime supplying oil. That continues today — except the target is now Iran.

    Zbig Brzezinski has acknowledged the USA’s role in promoting Islamism as a ideological sword against Godless Communism not only in Afghanistan, but in the USSR’s Central Asian republics and throughout the Middle East. Remember when Dana Rohrabacher and other Americans were visiting the mujhadeen and emphasizing the common monotheism of Islamists and American Christians? Unfortunately, what the muj were getting was hard-core Salafism from Saudi Arabia. Abdul Rahman, the “Blind Sheik” went to preach to the muj, financed by SA or the CIA. And then he got a Green Card to the USA. Bin Laden’s journey is well known.

    SA has been the financier, propagandist and missionary force behind the trend towards Salafism. Everywhere I’ve been in the Muslim world, I’ve heard about Saudi money flowing to Wahabi/Salafi mosques and preachers – from Morocco to Mombasa to Malaysia. Indigenous Muslims complain about it.

    I blame SA for the Boston bombings – it was their money and paid preachers which financed and promoted the shift in Chechniya from gentle tolerant Sufism to intolerant Salafism. But for this, would the Boston bombing have happened?

    Zbig says it as worth it to bring down the USSR. I think he is right – but if some Al qaeda group gets a hold of a low-yield nuke (1940s technology) we might be proven wrong. A couple of years ago I talked to a retired CIA officer who thought it was “inevitable” and wanted to move out of Washington for that reason.

    2. Support for Israel is not based on a desire for “stability.” It is mostly based on domestic political considerations. Support for Israel had some utility during the Cold War when Egypt, Iraq and Syria were Soviet clients, but Israel is now creating more problems for the USA and regional instability then they are worth as an alleged “ally.” Can you say “Lebanon?” Israel needs to be strong-armed into stopping the settlements on the West Bank and cutting a deal to really bring about a chance for stability. This is the best interests of the USA. (cue calls of antisemitism from jim_m).

    3. The Soviets had little if anything to do with the Iranian revolution. Truth is, the Shah was a tyrant and megalomaniac who oppressed his own people, used to threaten the GCC countries, and was high-handed with the USA. The Shia revolution and Khomeini was an indigenous phenomenon borne of revulsion with the excesses of the Imperial regime. Iranians just ended up hating the Shah and his family and cronies.

    4. Has anyone noticed the recent deployment of elements of HQ, 1st Armored Division – to Jordan?? Coupled with the recent claims by David Cameron of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad Regime, this is troubling. Again, we have the USA backing the Saudi Salafists. But this is Act One in the coming “regime change” of Iran.

    • jim_m

      Chico comes out in favor of the wiping of Israel off the map. What a shocker. Chico believes that a despotic “stability” is preferable to an outpost of freedom and democracy. Is there any point in time when Chico does not come out in favor of despotism?

      • Brucehenry

        What’s a real “shocker” is your bogus charges and wild, unhinged accusations.

        • jim_m

          Unhinged accusations? So it is not unhinged to say that the only reason to support Israel was as a counter balance to Soviet influence in the region and not as a democracy and certainly not as our sole reliable ally in a key strategic region of the world?

          You’re right, we gain nothing by having an ally in the midst of all this islamicism. Idiot.

          • Brucehenry

            So maybe you’d like to highlight the quote where Chico says the “only” reason to support Israel was as a counterweight to Soviet influence.

            Or where he said, or even hinted or implied, that Israel should be “wiped off the map”?

            Or where he said a “despotic ‘stability’” is preferable to anything. He did say that stability in the region is in the interests of the US. It is. Don’t you think stability in the region is in the interests of the US, Jim?

          • jim_m

            Support for Israel is not based on a desire for “stability.” It is mostly based on domestic political considerations. Support for Israel had some utility during the Cold War when Egypt, Iraq and Syria were Soviet clients, but Israel is now creating more problems for the USA and regional instability then they are worth as an alleged “ally.” Can you say “Lebanon?” Israel needs to be strong-armed into stopping the settlements on the West Bank and putting a deal to really bring about a chance for stability.

            In there we see that the only reason was to counter soviet influence, that he values stability via the domination of despotic governments. The whole of his arguments about Israel (not just here but elsewhere as well) are little more than parroting of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic tripe pushed by islamists that do in fact call for the destruction of Israel explicitly.

            [edit] I find it interesting that Chico believes that there will be stability when we have suppressed the only democracy in the region and we have bowed to the power of dictatorships and islamic fascist states that universally repress their people (and frequently murder them in large numbers). I find it unsurprising that Bruce also supports this policy.

          • Brucehenry

            Here we see you as a kook, reading sentiments into plain English sentences that are not written into them.

            And I thought your new laptop was supposed to DEcrease your spelling errors and other typos?

          • jim_m

            It has. There are markedly fewer. I did notice that I was having a problem with that particular comment as the system would not scroll the comment window and I was typing blindly. I was forced to post the comment and then edit it to correct errors. I also edited the cut and paste to make the formatting more compact.

          • Brucehenry

            Chico doesn’t say we need to “suppress the only democracy in the region,” Jim. He says we need to pressure Israel to change it’s settlement policy. That would clear the way, arguably, to the “cutting of a deal” to solve the main issue.

            We take diplomatic actions to pressure allies all the time.

          • jim_m

            For all your carping of my editing my comments I do not remove what I have said and change the subject and meaning of my post like you just did.

          • jim_m

            Yes, let’s cut yet another deal with the faithless palis, shall we? I can remember when Arafat was demanding a separate Pali state with a connected Gaza and West Bank and a capitol in Jerusalem and when he was offered just that Arafat turned it down. When you offer them everything they want they then come up with fresh demands to provide an excuse to continue their violence.

            The point is that you are bargaining with people that have genocide as their objective. You are siding with people who abhor freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and just about everything else we hold dear. You do so thinking that it makes you somehow superior. It only makes you an accomplice. And then you complain when I call you anti-Semites. Seriously?

          • Brucehenry

            Arafat has been dead for years.

            And the alternative to cutting a deal with the Palestinians is no deal at all in the Middle East, something that is unsustainable.

          • jim_m

            Actually, what is really unsustainable is peace in the middle east. 1000′s of years of human history have demonstrated that beyond any shadow of a doubt. Again it it s the naivete of the left that supposes that if we give the arabs what they want that there will be peace.

            And while arafat is dead his successors in the form of Hamas and other terror organizations are even more hard line than he was. You are placing your faith in people we know to be untrustworthy. That does not say anything nice about your powers of discernment.

          • Brucehenry

            Yeah I guess you’re right. Fuck it.

          • jim_m

            What has been demonstrated is that these thug regimes respect the exertion of power. They are bullies. If you are unwilling to replace them with real democracies then you need to be content with intimidating them into compliance.

            The left hates Reagan, but one of his central policies was peace through strength. obama has projected weakness and that has encouraged violence and war. He’s reaping the fruits of the policy he has sowed. Like it or not Reagan was right and obama is an ahistorical idiot.

          • Brucehenry

            Reagan’s “peace through strength” was illusory and temporary. It was bought with borrowed and printed money and accelerated the decline of American hegemony through imperial overreach.

            Edited to add: I recommend the book this Wiki entry is about.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rise_and_Fall_of_the_Great_Powers

          • herddog505

            The Soviet Union collapsed trying to keep up with us. This is not a temporary or illusory fact: the USSR is gone.

            I’d say that “peace through strength” worked. I also point out that Reagan’s military spending, as a % of GDP, was actually less than what it had been under Ike and JFK (I leave out Truman as he had Korea on his hands). Did they “accelerate the decline of American hegemony through imperial overreach”, too?

            I realize that it’s fashionable for lefties to make that Reagan was the worst president ever (well, until W), that he accomplished nothing, that he was a doddering old man who spent us into a hole that poor Barry is trying to deal with, but the facts don’t support that.

          • Brucehenry

            Well, actually, according to Paul Kennedy’s “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers,” they kinda did.

            Yes, the Soviet Union is gone, but at the cost of TRIPLING the US national debt, which doubled AGAIN due to W’s “War on Terror.”

            This has contributed, and will contribute, to a long-term lessening of American influence abroad, as we find ourselves less and less able to afford military adventures like, say, the invasions of Panama or Grenada. Or more importantly, to intervene in vital areas such as the Middle East or Northeast Asia.

            I don’t deny that Reagan’s gambit to outspend the Soviet Union into oblivion worked. The question is, what’ll we do if China or some other power makes a bid for mastery? That’s what I meant by “temporary and illusory.”

            And the idea that Reagan showed a propensity for “peace through strength” in regard to the Middle East is just silly when you recall his abject flight from Beirut, his trading of arms with our enemy Iran, and his appeasement of Lebanese (Syrian-backed) Shiite terrorists throughout the 1980s. Maybe he was a tough guy where Gorbachev was concerned — Assad and Khomeini, not so much.

          • herddog505

            Let me see if I’ve got this right:

            — Reagan sent Marines to Lebanon for peacekeeping (a favorite hobby-horse of the left). We suffered casualties and he pulled out… just as lefties thought W ought to have done in Iraq when the going got tough. So, which is it? Coward or wise man?

            — Reagan boosted the national debt fighting the Soviets. They are gone. Mission accomplished. Barry had boosted the national debt doing… um… er… well, I’m sure that he spent the money in a good cause. Not. So, which is it? Did Reagan “invest” the money, or did he p*ss it away?

            — Reagan “appeased” the (Syrian-backed) Shiites. Now, Barry can’t even back up his line in the sand.

            See, even I can make invidious comparisons.

            All I know is that the economy for most of Reagan’s term was very good. Our military, after abused and neglect during the ’70s, was built back up, allowing us to kick ass quickly during Gulf War I and II. When peace through strength fails, quick victory through strength is not such a bad Plan B.

            All this is being undone by Barry… and we’re not even saving any money. I’ll give credit to Slick: he DID reduce the deficit. Barry is ruining us. And that WON’T be “temporary and illusory.”

          • Brucehenry

            My point is not whether Reagan should or should not have sent Marines to Lebanon, nor whether he should or should not have fled after the Marines’ murder. My point is that what he did in the Middle East could hardly have been considered a shining example of “peace through strength.”

            Nor could the paying of ransoms to the kidnappers of Western hostages in Lebanon. Nor could the selling of arms to our enemies in Iran.

            Nor do I fault Reagan for his gambit of outspending the Soviets. Perhaps he thought the price would be made up by his successors who would be more fiscally prudent when the goal of ending the Soviet threat was reached. If so, who was the naive one?

          • jim_m

            Perhaps he figured that a growing economy would render the spending increase moot. But then the real problem the left had with Reagan was that he opposed the USSR and his policies lead to its swift collapse.

          • Brucehenry

            Perhaps. If so, he was wrong.

            And again, while his “peace through strength” policy may have had the desired effect on the Soviet Union, it was not manifest in the Middle East, where he responded to Syrian-backed terrorists murdering 241 Marines by invading Grenada, a laughable response.

          • jim_m

            OK, so you deny that a growing economy increases tax revenues? You argue against virtually every economist that has ever existed. And Reagan did oversee the start of one of the greatest economic expansions since WWII.

            But I forget myself. You believe in the economics of Carter and his disciple obama. They believe in high taxes, low growth rates and soaring poverty.

          • Brucehenry

            Of course a growing economy increases tax revenues. Reagan was wrong if he thought the economy would continue to grow indefinitely, as you implied.

          • jim_m

            I implied no such thing. Nor is there any evidence that the military expansion that Reagan backed would be forever as you just alleged.

          • Brucehenry

            If he figured a “growing economy would render the spending increase moot” IN THE TIME FRAME of his own administration he could have seen he was wrong in his own budgets. If you didn’t mean he thought the economy would continue to grow indefinitely what did you mean?

          • herddog505

            You have a point: Reagan trusted democrats.

            He trusted wrong.

            By the way, I think that you might find these charts interesting. What you will see is why our debt situation is what it is. Hint: it ain’t due to defense spending in the ’80s. Rather, it’s due to entitlements exploding after 1964 (when another big government democrat got the idea that he could buy votes in perpetuity on the taxpayer’s dime).

            http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/entitlement_spending

          • Commander_Chico

            The Marines were sent to Lebanon for peacekeeping. Unfortunately, someone changed their mission to taking sides in the Lebanese Civil War in behalf of the Christian militias against Hezbollah, and the USS New Jersey fired 16 inch shells into the hills to that end.

            The Marine force was not configured or secured for the change in mission. They (and the oft-forgotten French force) paid the price.

            Chico is an (offshore) veteran of that ill-fated expedition (not on the New Jersey). Got a Navy Expeditionary Medal for it, (not exactly a Silver Star.) Months before the New Jersey fired, he remembers his CO saying on the bridge one night as we watched tracer fire in Beirut while cruising at four knots a mile off of Ras Beirut – “I don’t know why we’re here, if we fired into that city we’d have no idea what we would be hitting.” He was a prescient man. BTW, Beirut is a lovely city now.

            Reagan was smart to get out of Beirut, and he was smart to invade Grenada. We did not need a Soviet base for TU-95s in the Eastern Caribbean. Of course the stated “medical students” reason was bullshit, akin to “WMD” for Iraq. Or “poison gas” for the upcoming war on Syria, for that matter.

            Reagan (and James Baker) had a more realist foreign policy. They were not neocons.

          • jim_m

            One only accelerates the decline of the US when a GOP president is in the White House. If they spend on defense they accelerate the decline. If they do not spend on defense they accelerate the decline.

            Give up on asking Bruce to give anything but an ideological answer to such arguments. He excuses the incompetence of obama by asserting that any solution is terrible. SO the real problem is that rather than hiding their heads in the sand the GOP tries to do something. Such a response by obama is considered “genius” foreign policy but they would condemn the same behavior from a republican.

          • Brucehenry

            So Reagan was right not to react to Saddam’s actual gassing of Kurdish civilians — not feckless or unwilling to take a stand against criminal regimes.

            But Obama is wrong wrong wrong not to react to Assad’s alleged gassing of opposition forces. Feckless and unwilling to take a stand against criminal regimes.

            Edited to add: Yes, Reagan really really really projected peace through strength in the Middle East when he fled Lebanon after the Beirut bombings of 1983, then invaded Grenada. And again when he negotiated with terrorists for the return of Westerners kidnapped in Lebanon. And again when he sold arms to Iran in contravention of US laws.

          • Brucehenry

            If “Islamicists and fascists” are among those calling for the halt to Israel’s West Bank settlements those Islamicists and fascists are not alone. Many Westerners, governments and citizens alike, agree with them on this point.

            Sometimes those who oppose American actions or inactions, or call for changes to those actions or inactions, are correct.

          • jim_m

            And sometimes they are not. The problem with the left is that they never see any mistakes in those that criticize the US.

          • Brucehenry

            And the problem with YOU is that any criticism of Israeli policy equates to calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map” — as you have done here.

          • jim_m

            When one sides with the nations that are demanding such an end, then you are essentially doing the same whether you choose to admit so or not. Ignoring that fact is simply evidence of your naivete.

          • Brucehenry

            Those nations also call for an “end to world hunger,” for “world peace,” for “economic justice,” and several other goals with which I agree. I guess that means I’m naive, too.

            The fact is that If Israel halted construction and forbade any new settlements in the West Bank, that would NOT lead to it being “wiped off the map.” Far from it — it might KEEP that from happening.

          • jim_m

            Yes it does. World peace is a fantasy that has never been achieved and never will. Economic justice is a socialist fantasy and excuse for oppression of the productive classes in order to enrich the ruling class.

            World hunger is not caused by lack of food, but by political conditions and hunger has more often been used in the last century to punish political opposition. The ability to obliterate famine by transport of food has existed for over a century. Famines are caused by political upheaval or by evil intent. If you want to end world hunger put an end to leftist support for kleptocratic dictatorships and communism.

          • Brucehenry

            I’m pointing out here that one doesn’t need to automatically disagree with EVERY SINGLE THING an opponent says in order to oppose that opponent.

          • jim_m

            Agreed, even you and chico are correct from time to time. You more often than he.

            I was going to add that the idea of world peace has been used to promote some of the most evil repression and atrocities ever to have occurred in world history. World peace is just another left wing fantasy used to cover up for those types of regimes. World peace is used as an excuse to avoid confronting evil and to instead promote what some people refer to as “stability”. In that last respect both left and right are guilty.

          • Brucehenry

            So what? I agree that “world peace” and “economic justice” have often been used as code words to mask political aims. So have “the True Faith,” and “promoting freedom and democracy.”

            That doesn’t mean that an actual end to world hunger, or the actual achievement of economic justice, or the actual establishment of freedom and democracy, are unworthy goals.

          • jim_m

            I agree they are worthy goals. I think the disconnect comes when you think that the perfect ideal is attainable.

            I also point out that freedom and democracy are almost entirely excluded from any of the major movements toward establishing peace, so-called “economic justice” (which is at its core communism and nothing else), and ending world hunger. The latter is usually used as a tool to establish greater political control over food supply, the very thing that causes hunger today.

          • jim_m

            I will simply note that you ignored once again the fact that I have pointed out correctly that Chico did speak specifically about the utility of Israel being to oppose the soviets and that it is Israel that promotes instability and that stability is found in supporting islamic nationalist governments and dictatorships in the region.

          • Brucehenry

            Nowhere does he say that “stability is found in supporting Islamic nationalist governments and dictatorships in the region,” or that support for Israel was “only” about stability during the Cold War.

            And again, nowhere does he call for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”

            You made up these things, Jim, a typical tactic of yours. It’s kooky, paranoid, and laughable.

          • jim_m

            OK then explain how we suppress the actions of Israel and bow to the demands of all these dictatorships and we are not supporting those dictatorships? Your extraordinarily naive to think that by acceding to the demands of these islamicists and fascists that we are not supporting them and promoting them.

            You can think me laughable. You have only demonstrated yourself to be ignorant and naive.

          • Commander_Chico

            Glad you hit my cue and the “anti-Semitic” note there, jim.

            Also, even if Israel is a democracy (arguable since the Palestinians under their control in the West Bank do not get to vote in Israeli elections, or it’s an apartheid style democracy), it’s not the “only democracy”: Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Tunisia, Libya certainly Turkey have had recent effective elections.

            Bruce gets tied up with wrangling with you, but I think you’re just a bullshitter. Get your shit together.

          • Jwb10001

            Is the West Bank part of Israel? Why should people that don’t live in Israel vote in Israeli elections? You don’t want to allow Israelis to live in the west bank but you want Palastinians living there to vote in Israeli elections. How do you square that circle?

          • Commander_Chico

            Jews living in the West Bank vote in Israeli elections. Arabs living in the West Bank don’t get to vote in Israeli elections. Hence “apartheid.”

          • jim_m

            I thought that the West Bank was “occupied territory” and therefore not Israel. You are aware that Americans abroad get to vote in Presidential elections. Your complaint seems to be that citizens living abroad are allowed to vote, but foreigners are not. The US by your own determination is an apartheid state. Why are US servicemen living abroad given a right to vote but not the people they live amongst? Apartheid racism that’s why.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Jews Israeli Ciitizens living in the West Bank vote in Isreali elections.

            Fixed It For our soi disant cognoscenti…

          • Jwb10001

            Because they are citizens of Israel. It doesn’t matter where they live just like in the US. Do you suppose that Mexicans living south of the border should vote in US elections? Why should that be. I’m not arguing the policy of never annexing the West Bank but since they have not why should non Israeli citizens living there be entitled to vote in their elections?

          • jim_m

            It’s part of Israel when it becomes convenient for Chico to criticize the Jews. Otherwise it is not part of Israel.

          • Commander_Chico

            Thousands of Arabs live in parts of the West Bank controlled by Israel, outside the government of the “Palestinian Authority,” like the Jordan Valley. They are taxed, are ruled from Israel and don’t get to vote.

          • Jwb10001

            Thousands of Mexicans live in the US, at least some of them pay taxes and are not allowed to vote in US elections. The US occupied Iraq for a time Iraqis were not allowed to vote in US elections. Lots of countries occupy other countries and don’t allow the occupied citizens to vote in their elections. Why is Israel different? Lots of US citizens live in central america and they vote in US elections.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            They
            aren’t
            Israeli
            Citizens

          • Commander_Chico

            Any Jew from the USA, France or Yeman, or even many Russians claiming to be Jews, can go to the West Bank, become an Israeli citizen, get Israeli government subsidies for housing and welfare (subsidized by you and me), and vote in Israeli elections. Arabs who were born there cannot do this, but are ruled by the Israeli government without representation.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            At which point they are citizens of Israel. Sovereign nations get to set their own standards for citizenship and need not seek the approval of soi disant cognoscenti.

          • Commander_Chico

            Yeah but if they set a racialist citizenship policy, others get to say it’s an apartheid system.

          • herddog505

            There are, I believe, thirteen Arab members of the Knesset, or about 11% of that body. Arabs comprise about 20% of Israeli citizens.

            In contrast, there are forty-two members of the Congressional Black Caucus, or just under 10% of the House of Representatives. About 12.5% of Americans are black.

            There are thirty-two Hispanics in the Congress, or about 6%. About 16.5% of Americans are Latino.

            Looks like Israel is about as “apartheid” as the United States, doesn’t it?

            By the way:

            Most of the Arabs living in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in the Six-Day Warof 1967 and later annexed, were offered Israeli citizenship, but most have refused, not wanting to recognize Israeli sovereignty. They became permanent residents. They have the right to apply for citizenship, are entitled to municipal services, and have municipal voting rights.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_citizens_of_Israel#Representation_in_the_Knesset

            And finally:

            Abdel Rahman Zuabi, a Muslim from northern Israel, was the first Arab on the Israeli Supreme Court, serving a 9-month term in 1999. In 2004, Salim Joubran, a Christian Arab from Haifa descended from Lebanese Maronites, became the first Arab to hold a permanent appointment on the Court. Joubran’s expertise lies in the field of criminal law.

          • Commander_Chico

            The Arabs in the large areas of the West Bank under Israeli military control (like the Jordan Valley) are both outside the Palestinian Authority, because of the retention of Israeli direct rule, and also unable to vote in Israeli elections. Israel is squeezing those people into an impossible situation by establishing Jewish settlements, and then building walls to cut the Arabs off from their land and water.

            America gets blamed for this.

          • herddog505

            WHY are they “unable to vote”? Is it because the nasty ol’ Jews won’t let them? Or is it because, as the Wiki article I cited indicates, that they’ve REFUSED to become Israeli citizens?

            Haneen Zoabi paces the floor of her office in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth, a small bundle of energy facing the almost impossible task of persuading a disillusioned and demoralised Arab electorate to vote on Tuesday.

            Poll after poll has predicted that turnout among the 800,000 Arab citizens of Israel eligible to vote could be less than 50 per cent, compared to about 65 per cent for the Jewish population.

            The first woman to represent an Arab party in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, she understands why people from her community may be unwilling to vote.

            ”Apathy, disappointment, [the idea that] we will change nothing,” she says. A smaller number boycott elections for ideological reasons.

            But Ms Zoabi – who is in the winnable number two position on the Balad Party’s list – has no time for the idea that ”the Knesset is no place for an Arab”.

            A boycott now would be an act of weakness, not an act of active struggle. We need to develop another political struggle, for example civil disobedience, while we are also using our voice inside the Knesset,” she says.* [emphasis mine - hd505]

            So, a HUGE number of Arabs CAN vote in Israel… but won’t despite being urged on by their elected representatives. Yeah, that’s apartheid in action, all right.

            And let’s look at this particular elected representative. She must be a token, right? One of the “good ones”? The Arab version of an Uncle Tom, allowed to be elected because she can be trusted to sell out her own people? Um, no:

            The 43-year-old has been labelled a terrorist for her participation in the flotilla that aimed to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2010.

            Blacks in South Africa – in our own country, for that matter – struggled for decades to achieve that sort of “apartheid”.

            As for the US being blamed… well, hell, we get blamed for everything else, so I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

            ====

            (*) http://www.canberratimes.com.au/world/arab-mp-struggles-to-persuade-a-disillusioned-community-to-vote-20130120-2d16x.html#ixzz2S8KxhJRN

          • Jwb10001

            I swear between Bruce endlessly debating 1980′s foreign policy and Chico’s pretzel logic I’ve completely lost track of what this tread was about.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Which are more common? Arab citizens of Israel or Jewish Citizens of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt on a per capita basis?

    • jim_m

      Coupled with the recent claims by David Cameron of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad Regime, this is troubling

      Far more troubling than the deployment of our military is the steadfast refusal of the obama admin to acknowledge what the rest of the world is claiming is proof that Syria is using chemical weapons. Once again we see that obama is completely feckless in his policies and is unwilling to take a stand against real criminal regimes. He is still bent on finding a way to appease his way out of the situation.

      Not surprising is that Chico doesn’t give a damn about people being gassed or about a murderous regime upping the anti on what they will do to keep their people repressed. I’ll bet Chico and obama would care a lot more if the dying were more valuable politically,

      • Brucehenry

        Saddam’s regime gassed the Kurds in Halabja in 1988. What did the Reagan/Bush administration do about it?

        Answer: NOTHING, until Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990, a development that took the administration by surprise.

        What you want is for the administration to react in an emotional manner and involve us in yet another war, then blame it for the consequences that can easily be foreseen: Islamic radicals in charge of Syria, one of the most important countries in the Middle East.

        • jim_m

          OK. SO your argument is that if we do not stop all such instances that we should not stop any. You are a good little fascist.

          No, I am not asking for the admin to react in am emotional manner. I am asking for the admin to at least acknowledge that the gassing is taking place. obama will not because he has painted himself into a corner by saying that if Syria used such weapons that they will be forced to take action. At least previous admins denounced such actions. obama will not and is acting stupidly in an effort to avoid admitting that this is taking place.

          • Brucehenry

            Just pointing out the Halabja war crime, and the failure of the Reagan/Bush administration to react to it, as an example of your selective outrage about history, Jim.

            Do you characterize Reagan’s Middle East policies as “feckless” unwillingness to “take a stand against criminal regimes,” or as cold, calculating Realpolitik?

          • jim_m

            No. It was not selective. I defy you to point out where I was ignoring it previously (yes I recognize that Wizbang did not exist for another decade yet).

            You ignore my point that obama is refusing to admit that this is even happening and that his motivation is appeasement. The world denounced the gassing of civilians in Iraq at the time it happened. obama can’t even bring himself to do that and you support him fully in his refusal.

          • Brucehenry

            I haven’t seen anything today about it, but as of yesterday I was under the impression that there were those who cast doubt on these claims. Such as films of people foaming at the mouth in the hospital — usually people are dead within minutes of this symptom of exposure to sarin appearing.

            But I do agree that Obama should not have talked tough about any “red line” unless he is willing to take dramatic action.

          • jim_m

            Don’t go looking in the US press to publish anything that will challenge obama’s narrative. I would go look at the foreign press. They are far better at publishing foreign events.

            The red line comment was stupid. He is trapped and there is no solution other than to intervene militarily or look spineless and incompetent. Well, to be honest I frankly expect him to accomplish doing both ultimately.

          • Brucehenry

            Funny because I find lots of commentary about this in the US press. It’s on the AOL welcome page, for chrissake.

            But you go on fantasizing and whining about how the US press is in the tank for Obama.

          • jim_m

            obama is not saying it. And yes, it is true that the admin’s control over the message has slipped of late. I suppose it is getting harder for them to lock reporters in the closet without having them complain publicly.

          • Brucehenry

            For whatever reason Obama is not rushing to take military action in Syria, and to whatever degree it was unfortunate that he said the “red line” thing and now finds himself boxed in, I agree that slow is the way to go here.

            We should NOT rush to war in Syria. And most Americans agree with me. They know there could be unforeseen consequences, including placing a hard-line Islamicist regime in power in Syria.

          • jim_m

            I am not advocating for a rush to war. I am merely advocating for a cessation of our rush to appeasement.

          • Brucehenry

            “Far more troubling than the deployment of our military is the steadfast refusal of the obama admin to acknowledge what the rest of the world is claiming is proof that Syria is using chemical weapons.”

            Sounds like calling for a rush to war rather than waiting for confirmation of what may be credible — but not conclusive — evidence of chemical weapons use. At least to me that’s what it sounds like.

            One man’s “appeasement” is another man’s “prudence.”

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Perhaps.

            But I’ve got to wonder – is there anything that would, immediately, be an overwhelming proof? Nerve gasses, if I recall correctly, have a rather unfortunate tendency to quickly degrade in hot and dry conditions.

            (Sounds like most of the ME, actually.)

            By the time you can get a group there to evaluate whether they were used, the evidence will (almost literally) have evaporated.

            Aside, that is, from capturing a sample of the stuff from the local environment – which could be immediately be disregarded as something whipped up in a lab to embarrass (the suspect of the moment) – about the best ‘proof’ there is would be in the symptoms and deaths.

            And then there’s the additional question – once Obama draws a line in the sand (so to speak) – what’s he going to do if the (suspect of the moment) gives him a raised middle finger and steps across it grinning? Send a sternly worded memo warning of the possible establishment of a commission to determine if a committee is needed to render a decision on starting a study to evaluate whether sanctions would be proper?

            Poor sap’s gotten himself into a game he doesn’t know how to play, I think.

          • Brucehenry

            Well, your sarcasm aside, you demonstrate my point, that it would be unwise at this juncture to take military action based on these allegations.

            I agree that talking about a red line was also unwise.

          • jim_m

            They could show pictures of the dead bodies of people killed by gas attacks stacked like cord wood and obama would still refuse to call it for what it is. Just like Major Hassan was “work place violence” .

            obama never admits to the obvious if it in any way contradicts what he has ideologically determined that the truth must be. obama will look like an ass before he contradicts his ideology.

            What you call “prudence” the rest of us call ideological blinkers and lying.

          • Brucehenry

            They DID show pictures of the dead in Halabja, stacked like cordwood. What did Saint Ron do?

          • jim_m

            I did no t say that we should go to war, I said that we should do something at the very least. obama refuses to even admit that these weapons are even being used.

            obama won’t admit it because he has said that if they are using chemical weapons then he will take military action. He has boxed himself in so it is easier for him to lie and ignore the atrocity than to make any sort of admission that it is taking place.

            Had the imbecile in chief left himself some wiggle room there would be alternatives available to sending in troupes. But he didn’t so he will instead ignore that this ever happened.

          • Brucehenry

            Given that he HAS boxed himself in, then, Jim, what would you have him do, NOW? What is this “do something” that you say he must do in response to these “credible, but unconfirmed” reports?

          • jim_m

            It doesn’t matter now. Nothing short of military intervention is possible because anything less will appear as weakness. That isn’t my choice, it is the choice he left himself. He will choose to look weak and that will be far more damaging to peace in the long term than intervention.

          • Brucehenry

            LOL in other words you ARE calling for going to war.

            Thank God cooler heads will prevail, Jim.

          • jim_m

            With obama having painted himself into a corner the choice is between war now or war later. You have no other choices. Had we actually vetted a proper presidential candidate we might have ended up with someone who is not such an ignorant ideologue but here we are.

            Perhaps you are better with war later when you can try to blame the fault on the GOP. Perhaps also you are happier with war later when the opponent will be better organized against us. That is usually the case with the left, set the US up to fail and then blame everyone but themselves for that failure.

            This is not about cooler heads, and I am not advocating war I am just pointing out reality to you. You will choose to appease evil as you always do.

          • Brucehenry

            Given your record on predicting the future I’m not too concerned that those are the only choices we face.

            Reagan said we would be steadfast in our support for Lebanon in 1983, but we didn’t go to war, and instead fled, after our Marines were murdered by Syrian-backed terrorists. Should we have? Gone to war, I mean.

            Reagan said we’d never negotiate with terrorists, but we did, when Syrian-backed thugs kidnapped Americans and other Westerners in Beirut. No war then, either. Should there have been one?

            Reagan signed into law that we would never sell arms to Iran, but we did, and some of those arms ended up in the hands of Syrian-backed terrorists in Lebanon, but we didn’t go to war. Maybe we should have?

            Do we chalk up these failures to make war on Syria to the feckless unwillingness to confront dictators that characterized the Reagan administration? Too bad that Reagan demonstrated such weakness and fecklessness — maybe Obama wouldn’t have to deal with this situation now if he hadn’t.

          • jim_m

            Give it up on Reagan already. He was 30 years ago. Your argument boils down to :If bad things are happening now it is Reagan’s fault and nothing obama does is of any consequence and future problems are not going to be obama’s fault but will be the responsibility of someone to be blamed later.

            Ideologue. Fool.

          • Brucehenry

            Rich coming from a guy who routinely brings up Confederate Democrats as proof that the modern Democratic party is racist.

            I’m not claiming that the situation in the Middle East is Reagan’s fault — even though, by your standards, he acted fecklessly in the 1980s — I’m just pointing out that Republicans weren’t clamoring for war AFTER OUR MARINES WERE MURDERED BY SYRIAN-BACKED TERRORISTS. (Neither were Democrats, btw.)

            Yet now, you claim the President’s only option is military action, in response to yet-unproven allegations of use of chemical weapons. Priceless.

            I’d also like to point out that you have repeatedly said that you were not calling for war, and THEN repeatedly claimed that the only options are “war now or war later.”

          • jim_m

            There is a difference between saying that war is necessary and war is desirable. You cannot make that distinction.

          • Brucehenry

            And you have not made it. You said first that you weren’t calling for war, then claimed it was necessary. It seems to me that if you say it is necessary to do something, you are advocating that it be done.

          • jim_m

            Here you go Bruce. If true, this is what you do about dictators using chemical weapons on people without going to the length of invading them.

            Of course you and Chico will denounce this unwarranted aggression for 2 reasons. 1) because of who actually had the guts to do something and 2) out of fear that muslims might be stirred to blow someone up if we don’t do something to appease them immediately.

          • Brucehenry

            “If true,” it may have been approved or winked at by the Obama administration, Jim.

          • jim_m

            Doubt it. They would have been notified but I doubt that Israel lets the US have veto power over their security interests. obama has demonstrated all too well that he cannot be trusted as a ally to Israel or anyone else.

          • Brucehenry

            Hilarious. Who else do you think Israel counts on? What other superpower sends Israel billions a year in military aid?

            Who has their “ideological blinders” on now?

          • jim_m

            I don;t think that Israel “counts on” the US anything like it did before obama. I guarantee you that the Great Britain does not. France has demonstrated that they will not wait for the US to lead as well.

            You also forget that much of that aid is also balanced by sending an equivalent part to their enemy, Egypt.

          • Brucehenry

            It’s a good thing that France will act without us sometimes. I tire of being the world’s policeman, and if other countries want to help with issues like Mali and Chad, I’m fer it.

            As for your thoughts on what Israel and the UK counts on, those are your opinions, fed by a diet of right wing “news and analysis” that have led to your belief that, for example, the US lost 7500 lives in Bosnia(!) and other facts that ain’t so.

          • jim_m

            Ok. I guess reading the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Mirror are all poor gauges of what the UK thinks. Also I should probably ignore what is said about the US in Parliament.

          • Brucehenry

            I don’t think it was the Telegraph, the Guardian, or the mirror who told you the US had 7500 casualties in Bosnia, nor was it a member of Parliament.

          • jim_m

            I have not spoken of Bosnia on this page since Clinton so you must be confusing me with someone else. dumbass.

            [edit] I did discuss with Chico the comparative deaths between Bush and obama and I mistakenly conflated the total number of military casualties with the fact that obama has seem more than double the number of military casualties in Afghanistan than we had under Bush. I acknowledged that error as well.

            Perhaps you could be so gracious as to acknowledge that you are equally an ass tonight. But I doubt it.

          • Commander_Chico

            This is what you said four days ago, Jim:

            I doubt that you complained while Clinton was sacrificing 7500 men in combat in Bosnia and Somalia.

            http://wizbangblog.com/2013/04/24/benghazi-interim-progress-report-published-clinton-lied/#comment-874905108

          • jim_m

            OK. That is decidedly NOT what Bruce accused me of saying.

          • jim_m

            Come on Bruce. It was only taking you moments to reply to me just a short time ago. Now you can’t be bothered? Very poor form.

            It certainly could not have been me posting in the last 3 days since I was traveling and my access was limited.

            waiting……

            Crickets…………………………………………..

          • jim_m

            I said Bosnia AND Somalia. Clinton lost over 7500 military lives during his Presidency. Are you going to dispute that?

            Lying sack of shit. It does not surprise me that you totally misrepresent what I said and it does not surprise me that you refuse to acknowledge that fact either. Every day you become more and more dishonest in your statements here.

            And if you want to know where that number comes form, it comes from the links that Chico provided.

            Quick Bruce, edit you comment to correct it!

          • Commander_Chico

            WTF are you talking about this 7500?

            It might be true that 7500 military died during the 8 years of Clinton’s presidency, but it would be the usual statistics of motorcycle accidents (#1 cause of death of young servicemembers in peace time) heart attacks, car accidents, helicopters crashing, disease, and a few homicides here and there.

            You really are full of shit, a troll. I’m sorry I even took the trouble to write this.

          • Brucehenry

            What Chico says, above.

            It’s hilarious how you feign outrage about being called out for something you actually, you know, SAID.

            Weaseling out now won’t work. Man up.

            http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/deaths.asp

            I didn’t misrepresent shit. You claimed Clinton “sacrificed in combat” 7500 troops in Bosnia, and, yes, Somalia. The actual number of combat deaths was about 24.

            This is not just to show you are, in your words, a “lying sack of shit.” I don’t really think you are a liar. Rather, you’re a rube, a fool, a dupe. fed lies by whatever rightwing cesspools you get this crap from and internalizing them until you “know” stuff like this little factoid is “true.”

            And also, too:http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/04/republicans-obama-must-take-action-in-syria-so-we-can-criticize-action-he-took-in-syria.html?mbid=nl_Borowitz%20(113)

          • jim_m

            So I see your new debating tactic is to post outright lies about other people claiming that they made outrageous mistakes that they never did and then you disappear rather than admit the error.

            Which leads me to suppose that it was ever an error to begin with but you made it up deliberately.

            Of course you could just go back and edit your comments to remove the mistake as you did yesterday.

          • Brucehenry

            LOL I went to bed. And also LOL see Chico’s link above.

            Go ahead, click on it. There’s no acknowledgement of any “error.” Just a recitation of falsehoods about casualties in the various wars you slobber over.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Well, we agree on part, but I’m serious here about what would constitute actual proof. That needs to be defined first thing.

            And re your conversation about Reagan w/Jim_m – as the saying goes “That was then. This is now.”

            Obama’s facing this, and his primary means of dealing with unpleasant reality is to ignore it or get mad at it and hope it goes away. In this case, I don’t think either tactic is going to work.

          • Brucehenry

            Right. And if a case cannot be proven, then it shouldn’t be a casus belli. There was no doubt that Saddam gassed the Kurds of Halabja. There IS room for doubt in this case.

            My argument with Jim was about why he didn’t scream for war when Saddam actually, you know, DID what Assad is ALLEGED to have done. Or why he didn’t scream for war when Syrian-backed terrorists actually, you know, murdered 241 American marines but claims that war is “necessary” now that Obama has said something he arguably shouldn’t have.

            I don’t think Reagan was wrong NOT to go to war in 1983, and I don’t think Obama will be wrong NOT to go to war 30 years later. I was just pointing out the beatification of Reagan as a “peace-through-strength” advocate looks a little silly when you reflect on what he actually DID in 1983.

            Which was invade Grenada, for chrissake.

            Edited to add this link.http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2013/04/bashar_assad_s_chemical_weapons_if_syria_did_use_sarin_gas_on_its_own_people.html

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Talking down Reagan doesn’t make Obama look better. If anything, it’ll remind folks of the better financial conditions back then.

            Man, I never thought I’d miss the ’80s. Even with the Cold War, you had a good idea that the other side didn’t want war as much as you didn’t, but couldn’t be sure WE weren’t crazy enough to strike first.

            Hey, maybe big hair and shoulder pads will be the next big trend in women’s fashion again…

          • Brucehenry

            Good thing Obama’s not talking Reagan down, then. Just me.

          • jim_m

            obama talks down everyone but himself. Specifying an individual is redundant.

          • Brucehenry

            I liked big hair.

          • jim_m

            I liked the old Bruce that didn’t lie about other people and occasionally apologized when he got things wrong.

            But I guess all things must come to an end.

          • Brucehenry

            Except I didn’t, see Chico’s link above.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Me too. Not all that wild about the shoulder pads, though. But that’s fashion for you.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Since when is sticking one’s head in the sand “facing” an issue?

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            We could always draw a face on the upraised part of the anatomy…

          • herddog505

            once Obama draws a line in the sand (so to speak) – what’s he going to do if the (suspect of the moment) gives him a raised middle finger and steps across it grinning?… Poor sap’s gotten himself into a game he doesn’t know how to play, I think.

            Exactly. He and his minions must be kicking themselves over the “red line” comment. He tried to talk tough, and now his bluff has been called. The best he can hope for is that there won’t be any more such attacks and people (to the extent they paid attention in the first place) will forget about it. Otherwise, he’s gonna have to be hitting his knees to pray that MiniTru puts any more such attacks down the memory hole.

            This, of course, ignores that the US public are not the only people watching. In Tehran and Pyongyang and Beijing and Moscow, they are also watching this feckless idiot flounder whenever anybody, from House Republicans to the Catholic bishops to the Assad regime, calls his bluff. It don’t exactly make for a strong bargaining position if something happens that REALLY affects us.

            Remember when the (IIRC) global warming conference locked Barry out of the room? “Go outside and play with your teleprompter, little man: the adults have important business to discuss.”

          • Brucehenry

            Or he can hope, as I do, that the reports are incorrect and that we can avoid war.

      • Commander_Chico

        So typical you would fall into line with the propaganda, jim.

        The unholy alliance between Saudi Arabia – Al Qaeda – Qatar – Israel – USA – UK – France to take over Syria.

        Again, what interest of the American people in what the government of Syria is? And what are the odds you’ll be able to get a beer in Damascus once the regime changes?

        Hey, the Iraqi PM Maliki just shut down all TV channels criticizing him, Freedom!!!

        At least now, there is a lot of skepticism about these claims of “poison gas,” even among the likes of CNN talking heads who are usually whores for war.

        So “the rest of the world” is not claiming this. Only the usual suspects. When the USA wants war, they trot out the British PM to shill for it, I guess. In fact, “the rest of the world” is a known propaganda technique known as “bandwagoning.”

        Also, don’t you find it curious that elements of HQ, 1st Armored were announced to be deploying days before this “poison gas” story came out? Seems clumsy to me, but they know they can sell any bullshit, I guess.

        Americans, stand by for more war, cheered on by the cry of the chickenhawk.

  • Brucehenry

    I’d love to see a bibliography for this article. And I’d like to hear more about this so-called ceding of Britain’s role in the Middle East to the US — “in 1972.” What, was there a meeting or something, an announcement?

    But assuming you are correct about the US assuming the role formerly played by imperialist Britain, (and I don’t really dispute that this is so), are you puzzled that many inhabitants of the region would harbor a great deal of resentment toward us?

    Edited to add: a couple of interesting links:http://www.jamestown.org/programs/gta/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=528&no_cache=1

    • Commander_Chico

      The Brits played a role in garrisoning and bolstering the Gulf monarchies until 1972 – they fought insurgencies in Oman up to near that date.

      The phrase was withdrawal “east of Suez.” The Brits still do some things in the region, even second their officers to command and staff units of the Omani military.

      After 1972, you saw the growth of the USN’s “Middle East Force” and other involvements.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_of_Suez

  • Commander_Chico

    Nobody has really commented on DJ’s subject and the main point of my first comment:

    Salafi jihadism and its origins and supports.

    I guess since the Our Syrian Friends, the “freedom fighters” allegedly being gassed, are Salafi jihadists, discussion about Syria is relevant, though.

    • jim_m

      I have no objection to killing jihadists but using chemical weapons against anyone is unacceptable.

      • Commander_Chico

        Where’s the evidence? All I see is the usual suspects peddling bullshit.

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          That is the danger you face when you look at yourself in the mirror, chica.

        • jim_m

          I made no allegation. It was a simple statement: Using chemical weapons is unacceptable regardless of the target.

          I take it that you dispute my position. OK then. Explain to everyone under what circumstances you believe that using chemical warfare is acceptable.

          • Commander_Chico

            CS gas – tear gas – is a chemical weapon. It’s possible that’s what they are talking about and distorting unless it’s totally made up

            Obviously chemical weapons of any type would be acceptable for use in cases of retaliation or national survival.

          • jim_m

            Yes, I expected that you would take a “by any means possible” attitude toward reaching your objectives. Using chemical or biological weapons is immoral and wrong regardless of the excuse. What your problem is, is that you believe that there is no depths to which you will sink to get what you want. If you are going to lose you would rather murder millions of innocents in order to try to extort your way out. There are reasons why we draw parallels between the left and the Nazis. Amoral idiots like you are one of those reasons.

          • Commander_Chico

            So I guess you’re one of those sanctimonious guys who tut-tut the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

            Hey, when the Chinese hit the beaches in California in 2031, I say hell yeah use Sarin.

          • jim_m

            Idiot. We were at war with Japan. I would think that it is a little different if you were saying if Japan had invaded the continental US should we have used nukes on Los Angeles? The answer is no (except if you happen to be there). And the answer is no that we should not use chemical weapons either.

            There is a difference between nuking your own civilians and nuking the enemy. There is yet a further difference in using weapons that the world has come together and declared the use of such weapons to be immoral under any circumstances.

            Once again you validate the fact that you have no morals and that anything you can do to achieve your ideological ends is fully justifiable. No matter how many people you have to murder to get your way, your conscience will always be clear.

          • Commander_Chico

            I bet whatever “coalition of the willing” that gets roped into attacking Syria kills a lot more Syrian civilians than this alleged chemical weapon did, just like the Iraq war killed a lot more Iraqi civilians than Saddam did.

          • jim_m

            I knew we could count on you to argue that setting people free was worse than killing them with chemical weapons. And you wonder why we say that you support fascism?

        • jim_m

          I see that you are too much of a fraud to respond to this.

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          That

          All I see is the usual suspects peddling bullshit.

          remains the risk you run every time you look at yourself in the mirror.