JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #100 on: January 30, 2019, 07:17:17 PM »
The one question nobody seems interested in is: "What do the Afghani themselves want?"
The conventional way to answer that is through democratic elections but those take years and multiple cycles before the public embraces such decision results. I don't think Afghanistan is even close yet. Even Iraq is still having infancy issues with their fledgling democracy but progressing nicely.
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It's probably a difficult question to answer. With the people in Kabul not wanting Taliban power. But with the Taliban controlling >80% of the country, they're the ones you'd want to talk to.
I find it instructive that the Taliban political office is in a different country.  ::)
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The Russians couldn't fix it. Now the Americans seem to realise they can't fix it either. We'll have to leave it to the Afghani to fix it. How hard that may be.
I don't expect anybody to fix it... :o  To make it follow a western model would take more money than their economy can support, and the world is weary of throwing money into that bottomless pit in the desert.  Historically it has only been a rest stop on the Silk Road, with a couple working ski areas (back in the good old days). I don't think the Taliban approve of ski bunnies.  ::)
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We can surely expect another flow of refugees. My Afghani neighbour seems to think so. He doesn't like the Taliban either.
I think only the Taliban like the Taliban. There will be the typical exodus of citizens who aligned with the western advisors and who now have a target on their back.
 
Afghanistan has not known real peace for several decades (multiple generations). It will probably return to how it was before the Russians tried to impose their own form of security, so back to war lords and Taliban dividing up the booty (opium trade).  That is probably OK with the rest of the world as long as they only kill each other.

JR

PS In passing, I saw an image in a recent newspaper of an aluminum factory in Afghanistan, I think it was owned by Rossnoeft?(Russian), but there was no explanation with the picture. I can't find more specific info. I think the Chinese have been investing into mining in the region (not to mention their "Belt and Road"). 
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.


JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #101 on: February 28, 2019, 12:51:52 PM »
I don't know if this is technically ME, but Indian and Pakistani warplanes are shooting at each other over Kashmir. This is of international interest because both possess nuclear weapons.

This started over a pakistani terrorist group killing indian soldiers in Kashmir, India retaliated  by bombing a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. It has since escalated to jet fighter aircraft. Kashmir is a disputed territory between Pakistan and India when the UK pulled out and partitioned them based on religion (muslims in Pakistan, and Hindus in India) . Kashmir was muslim but decided they wanted to stay with India, and has been a source of friction between them since the late 40s with both sides claiming territory there.

Perhaps coincidental the recent movement by US to pull out of Afghanistan may pivot attention (pressure)  from Pakistan's northern border (with Afghanistan) to the south (with Kashmir). This is an unfortunate development as relations had been improving over recent years with India and Pakistan even playing a cricket match together. 

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #102 on: August 12, 2019, 09:32:47 PM »
I don't know if this is technically ME, but Indian and Pakistani warplanes are shooting at each other over Kashmir. This is of international interest because both possess nuclear weapons.

This started over a pakistani terrorist group killing indian soldiers in Kashmir, India retaliated  by bombing a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. It has since escalated to jet fighter aircraft. Kashmir is a disputed territory between Pakistan and India when the UK pulled out and partitioned them based on religion (muslims in Pakistan, and Hindus in India) . Kashmir was muslim but decided they wanted to stay with India, and has been a source of friction between them since the late 40s with both sides claiming territory there.

Perhaps coincidental the recent movement by US to pull out of Afghanistan may pivot attention (pressure)  from Pakistan's northern border (with Afghanistan) to the south (with Kashmir). This is an unfortunate development as relations had been improving over recent years with India and Pakistan even playing a cricket match together. 

JR
It looks like Kashmir is heating up again...  The fact that India and Pakistan are both nuclear powers and have gone to war over this region in the past a couple times already, means this could get serious. 

India has shut down their special quasi independent status. Hopefully calmer minds will prevail.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #103 on: February 28, 2020, 04:04:47 PM »
It has been a while since I tagged this base...

For any expecting peace to break out in Syria after we pulled troops from the region sorry...  Assad is still trying to mop up (wipe out) his last remaining opposition up in Idlib near Turkish border. Unfortunately they just killed 33 Turkish soldiers in an airstrike attributed to Syria.  Presumably all military movements in that area are coordinated with Russia who controls the airspace there, since the US disengaged.

===

The Iranian elections were relatively uneventful but the ruling clerics only allowed their hand picked approved candidates to run for office, pretty much eliminating any chance of serious reforms. The clamp down was so bad they even prevented some candidates who were already in office from running for re-election because they didn't like their policies.    :o

In no great surprise vote turnout was weak.  First time it dipped below 50% since the 1979 revolution.  I guess that is one way to make history.   ::)

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #104 on: February 28, 2020, 05:19:53 PM »
It has been a while since I tagged this base...

For any expecting peace to break out in Syria after we pulled troops from the region sorry...  Assad is still trying to mop up (wipe out) his last remaining opposition up in Idlib near Turkish border. Unfortunately they just killed 33 Turkish soldiers in an airstrike attributed to Syria.  Presumably all military movements in that area are coordinated with Russia who controls the airspace there, since the US disengaged.

===

The Iranian elections were relatively uneventful but the ruling clerics only allowed their hand picked approved candidates to run for office, pretty much eliminating any chance of serious reforms. The clamp down was so bad they even prevented some candidates who were already in office from running for re-election because they didn't like their policies.    :o

In no great surprise vote turnout was weak.  First time it dipped below 50% since the 1979 revolution.  I guess that is one way to make history.   ::)

JR

FWIW, Turkey fight alongside ISIS in Idlib (and not only).

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #105 on: February 28, 2020, 09:06:17 PM »
FWIW, Turkey fight alongside ISIS in Idlib (and not only).
It is clear that Turkey has a long running dispute with the Kurds, who were instrumental in removing ISIS from Syria/western Iraq. Not sure how helping ISIS would play with NATO who for now are behind Turkey. 

I suspect it is all a little more complicated than just A+B  vs C+? , but Putin is enjoying stirring the pot and gaining stature in the region.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #106 on: February 29, 2020, 12:11:06 PM »
Peace agreement signed with Taliban in Afghanistan today...  I would like to be optimistic, but multiple agreements have broken down before, so fingers crossed. It would be nice to finally disengage.

Just like Syria I don't expect peace to spontaneously break out just because we withdraw.  Sadly multiple generations of Afghans have never known peace, and Afghanistan is not a wealthy enough nation to afford to police itself so will probably return to former patterns of governance, a weak central government barely securing Kabul, and warlords reigning over the rural rest of the country.

The objective is to motivate these disparate groups to resist providing sanctuary or base of operations for terror groups (like ISIS, etc.)

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #107 on: March 01, 2020, 06:39:51 PM »
It is clear that Turkey has a long running dispute with the Kurds, who were instrumental in removing ISIS from Syria/western Iraq. Not sure how helping ISIS would play with NATO who for now are behind Turkey. 

I suspect it is all a little more complicated than just A+B  vs C+? , but Putin is enjoying stirring the pot and gaining stature in the region.

JR

Here's a summary of what's been happening in the last dew days. Or at least one side of the coin.

https://ejmagnier.com/2020/03/01/erdogan-idlib-is-mine/

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #108 on: March 01, 2020, 11:58:55 PM »
Here's a summary of what's been happening in the last dew days. Or at least one side of the coin.

https://ejmagnier.com/2020/03/01/erdogan-idlib-is-mine/
I didn't read every word of that report but Erdogan also seems to be threatening flooding the EU with refugees from Syria... The Syrians have suffered massively from the civil war that will not end quietly.  Several thousands on the border trying to get out, millions inside Turkey. Many sneaking into greece from Trukey. 

There needs to be a safe space in the middle east so the EU is not the only target destination for refugees but we are years (decades?) away from that.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

Rocinante

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #109 on: March 02, 2020, 01:19:27 AM »
Boy oh boy this is stuff is so complicated. Okay when I was in Greece just a year ago the feelings on the street went from every direction; there were a lot of Syrian refugees and  far more than what the Greek government was accounting for. The economic strain which was hitting a country that went from a first world country to a third world country, with every Greek citizen knowing it at the time was debilitating.  I tried to go into Turkey and actually was denied.  It was "for my best interest" as they said i would be stuck in a hotel and not allowed to leave. They were highly resentful against Americans.  And its understable. I changed tack and went to Cyprus but before I left I got to play guitar and dobro and mandolin with several street musician Syrians and Roma. We had a blast and i ended up staying 3 more days. Boy oh boy I love those people.  Almost as much as I adore Central and South Americans whom are so far the most giving, humble, open, cultures i have ever run across. Beautiful people. The wave of friendliness during the morning call to prayer in Istanbul is something i will never experience again. Same as the restaurant owner in south/east Costa Rica who treated every kid in the village as his own. Beautiful people. Beautiful people I feel so fortunate to have met and played music with.
Oh and in both Istanbul and Costa Rica the food was exceptional.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 01:24:31 AM by Rocinante »
If there's a harder way to do this, I haven't found it yet.


fazer

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #110 on: March 02, 2020, 09:32:53 AM »
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Boy oh boy I love those people.  Almost as much as I adore Central and South Americans whom are so far the most giving, humble, open, cultures i have ever run across. Beautiful people. The wave of friendliness during the morning call to prayer in Istanbul is something i will never experience again. Same as the restaurant owner in south/east Costa Rica who treated every kid in the village as his own. Beautiful people. Beautiful people I feel so fortunate to have met and played music with.
Oh and in both Istanbul and Costa Rica the food was exceptional.

Thanks for this story.   It gives me hope for The world outside of the media’s Daily  version.

scott2000

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #111 on: March 02, 2020, 09:45:48 AM »
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It gives me hope for The world outside of the media’s Daily  version.

I have a similar story but, uninterestingly enough, it's when I had a short stay in another state up north.... Like another world to me tbh...

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #112 on: March 02, 2020, 10:51:33 AM »
I tried to go into Turkey and actually was denied.  It was "for my best interest" as they said i would be stuck in a hotel and not allowed to leave.

You were denied by whom?

cyrano

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #113 on: March 04, 2020, 05:31:31 PM »
I didn't read every word of that report but Erdogan also seems to be threatening flooding the EU with refugees from Syria...

He's not threatening. The gates have been open for more than a week. Of course, Greece closed it's border.

Once again, the refugees are the ones that suffer most.
Why is it people love to believe and hate to know?

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #114 on: March 04, 2020, 07:05:08 PM »
He's not threatening. The gates have been open for more than a week. Of course, Greece closed it's border.

Once again, the refugees are the ones that suffer most.
Sadly this is a negotiation between Erdogan, EU, and Putin....  We all lose.

I repeat, we need to create a safe space in the ME so all these people don't have to literally run for their lives.

The US has provided no fly zones before (like above the Iraqi Kurds when Saddam was gassing them), but this needs to be a regional policy. I suspect there are many minorities that get zero respect from different countries. Of course this is not just protection from military attacks, but that is a start.

One important characteristic of the us constitution is protection for all individual rights.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.