European views on ISIL

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:49 pm

Some would say yes, and some would say no. That's the thing about interpretation of religion. The answer depends on who you ask. Shrugging

I think Monty Python illustrated it pretty well.


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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:54 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:if you will pardon my ignorance on the subject, hundreds of years ago in Muslim Spain when people supposedly lived in peace and tolerance, was just an aberration and wasn't true Islam? I don't remember reading of mass throat cuttings and of burying children alive, or murdering of Coptic peoples. But maybe the Muslims of al Andalus weren't true Muslims

I don't think one can argue this unless they are prepared to callf Christians who reject Old Testament style punishment untrue Christians.  Remember, Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18 -- "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished."  You can find abhorrent shit in plenty of religious texts; most religious people just read them selectively.  Doesn't make them false except in the eyes of extremists (who are called extreme for a reason).

Of course, it's worth noting that the Islamic Golden Age (roughly 800-1250), including al-Andalus, was only an example of toleration compared to some of their contemporaries (including medieval Europe).  They weren't massacring and expelling Jews left and right, for example, but their society wouldn't be considered egalitarian by modern standards.


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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:10 pm

Monty Python had the right idea. pity humour gets left out of things.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:04 pm

Read about a third of it and bookmarked it to read the rest later- very good analysis so far it seems.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:27 am

Mrs Figg wrote:thanks for the abstract Halfy.

if you will pardon my ignorance on the subject, hundreds of years ago in Muslim Spain when people supposedly lived in peace and tolerance, was just an aberration and wasn't true Islam? I don't remember reading of mass throat cuttings and of burying children alive, or murdering of Coptic peoples. But maybe the Muslims of al Andalus weren't true Muslims

All that matters is that the argument about bringing back 'true' Islam is good enough to get some people excited about it. ISIL doesn't need to convince all Muslims, just slightly more than than their losses. And if IS is seen to be successful, more will be convinced.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by bungobaggins on Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:28 am


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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:08 am

how long are we going to sit back and allow genocide? got deja vu.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:12 pm

Trying to fight ISIL to death will just add to their legitimacy, increasing recruits.  Better to just starve them to death, or just hold the borders and let them demonstrate an inability to expand. The below article (an op-ed that accompanies the main article in the Atlantic) suggests our resources are better served just making the middle east in general a happier place, largely by changing longstanding western failed policies.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/02/on-the-impossibility-of-fighting-isis/385530/

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:22 pm

And a counterweight to the above:

http://www.juancole.com/2015/02/todays-about-daesh.html

I think the Atlantic article does a good job of explaining the psychology of ISIL, the above does a good job of putting its real impact in context.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Eldorion on Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:35 pm

That was a good article.  The point about territory and the international presence was particularly important.  I was bothered by The Atlantic claiming that ISIS rules more land than the UK, especially when they're own map accompanying the article showed how absurd that claim was.

Also, much of ISIS' success in Iraq last year was because of their alliances with Sunni tribal forces working together with their own "in-house" fighters.  Those alliances have been broken before (during "the Surge" when Petraeus bought off the Sunni militias), and could well be broken again for various reasons.
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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:10 pm

good article, because ISIS depends on spreading terror and making Westerners feel afraid in their own homes, that's letting ISIS win. If we allow then to scare us they have won the propaganda battle. we allow them to win by us falling for their propaganda. like that rubbish about them invading Rome. we shouldn't give them air time or advertisement on tv we should treat them like the losers they are. shut down the messages they are sending out to the West. Not one person should change their lifestyles because of them. we the public should ignore them.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:14 pm

Backlash against the Atlantic piece:

http://thinkprogress.org/world/2015/02/18/3624121/atlantic-gets-dangerously-wrong-isis-islam/

But what I think is missed is that it doesn't matter if ISIL's interpretation of Koran is 'right' or 'wrong'. What matters is if their argument convinces enough people to keep it going - which doesn't have a whole lot to do with truth.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:27 pm

An analysis of how ISIS can be called non-islamic even when they can back up their actions from the Koran:

http://www.salon.com/2015/02/20/this_stupidity_needs_to_end_why_the_atlantic_ny_post_are_clueless_about_islam/

A paragraph that gets to the point concerns the "chain of interpretation" where texts are put into context before being interpreted:

"When ISIS claims book “A” written by author “B” says “C,” any Muslim can find that book, and see if it does. If this new interpretation appears credible, then readers are often stumped — because they, like ISIS, have generally not been through a seminary education that would put such books into context, according to the systems of transmission mentioned above. While it is welcome for all sorts of reasons that religious authorities stand up and say “ISIS is not Islamic and these actions are forbidden” and the like, that doesn’t address the basic issue. The question is: Why is ISIS not Islamic? And that comes back to credibility and pedigree in interpretation."

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:12 pm



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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:23 pm

The comparison of Islam and Christianity at the same stage in development (600 year lag) has been noted many times before, but he seems to bring some depth to it. I'd like to see David Carrier apply his Bayesian approach to that hypothesis.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:39 pm


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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:55 pm

A very interesting and encouraging analysis of how ISIS's ideology undermines its military strategy.

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/23/8085197/is-isis-losing

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:09 pm

Ive been saying for a long time we should be pouring resources into the Kurds in the north- they have always been our best allies in the region and we have in the past treated them like shit- now we have a chance to show them who their friends are.

I thought that the invasion of Iraq by the Bush led coalition was a terrible mistake that should never have happened.

But now is the time when boots on the ground is legitimate in my view- we should be supporting the Iraq and Kurdish forces in numbers.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:48 am

Only slightly related, but a leaked report from 2012 shows that Mossad (Israeli intelligence service) thinks that Iran is "not taking the steps necessary to produce [nuclear] weapons".  This shouldn't be a particularly shocking revelation though because US intelligence came to a similar conclusion at around the same time, except they actually stated their doubts publicly.

Not that that stopped the chickenhawks from continuing to squawk for war with Iran like they've been doing for years, and the Mossad report won't either, but it's something more people should be aware of.


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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:52 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Ive been saying for a long time we should be pouring resources into the Kurds in the north- they have always been our best allies in the region and we have in the past treated them like shit- now we have a chance to show them who their friends are.

I thought that the invasion of Iraq by the Bush led coalition was a terrible mistake that should never have happened.

But now is the time when boots on the ground is legitimate in my view- we should be supporting the Iraq and Kurdish forces in numbers.

The Iraqi (Shia) and Kurdish forces don't even agree on what they want (particularly with regards to Kurdish separatism), so there's a limit to how much we can support them both at the same time.  And sending troops back in would be a massive would be a massive propaganda coup for ISIS and would help shore up their local support for years to come, despite their dogmatism.  That's the main reason ISIS has been so desperately and flamboyantly trying to provoke a US military response.


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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:57 am

Eldorion wrote:Only slightly related, but a leaked report from 2012 shows that Mossad (Israeli intelligence service) thinks that Iran is "not taking the steps necessary to produce [nuclear] weapons".  Shocked by this revelation?  Well you shouldn't be, because US intelligence came to a similar conclusion at around the same time, except they actually stated their doubts publicly.

Not that that stopped the chickenhawks from continuing to squawk for war with Iran like they've been doing for years, and the Mossad report won't either, but it's something more people should be aware of.


Shocking to me that the Israeli leadership continues to insist Iran is building a bomb....echoes of the Iraq War, anyone? Except that our intelligence supported the idea of bomb making at the time. I'm more inclined to think Mossad has it right since they are saying what their leaders don't want to hear.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:00 am

American politicians of every stripe take it for granted that Iran is trying to build a bomb, and the media hardly ever question it. I don't think we can say this is an exclusively Israeli problem.

And when you can't even convince your own spies to go along with your nationalistic fear-mongering ... yeah, I'm actually gonna listen to the spies on this one.
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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Sinister71 on Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:40 am

I don't think this qualifies as the main topic, but since its about European views... I got a question.

How easy is it to move to say somewhere like England or Scotland? What's the job market like for skilled labor? and what's the weather like? I've been seriously thinking about moving across the pond so to speak

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:50 am

sending troops back in would be a massive would be a massive propaganda coup for ISIS- Eldo

Its only a coup if there is anyone left- I am not talking about piddling about- support troops ect- I am talking a full on coalition, not thousands, tens of thousands. A serious attempt to just wipe them out utterly. Not a half hearted gesture but a full on war.

Strangely enough given the Ukraine situation one of our biggest allies in this is Russia. A major strategic weakness of Russia is that it has a soft underbelly of terrorism and extremists. The have had far more trouble with that then other European nation has- we've had sporadic hits, Russia has had all out military confrontation within their own borders- its one area where we have a lot in common.
Its also true of many other muslim countries- as ISIS is primarily a threat to moderate muslims, not to the West.
They occasionally blow some of us up but they are wiping out entire Middle eastern communities over there.
We also have allies in this with Saudis who can afford to fund such a war. And Egypt and even Iran. Isis are a threat to them all. And having a large muslim military presence in such endeavour would be crucial.

But there comes a point when a war can and has to be justified. We sat back and watched Germany do this before, tried to manage it, and look that where that got us.

And I dont think ISIS are trying to provoke the US into military action in such a coalition- they are trying to provoke the US into colouring it as Muslim v Christian war- hence all the recent atrocities on Christian communities. They want the US to call them Muslim terrorists as the hope is that if the US paints it in those terms it will force more moderate muslims into a defence of their religion and towards the ISIS cause.
And its a strategy that has traction - the right in America is constantly going on at Obama for not calling them muslims, not referring to Islam and not calling it a Holy War- but to do so would be to give them exactly what they want.

Right now ISIS is being forced back in lots of areas, now is the time to finish them off.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:03 am

How easy is it to move to say somewhere like England or Scotland? What's the job market like for skilled labor? and what's the weather like?- Sin

Ah those are three tricky questions!

Its harder than it used to be. That entirely depends on where you are in the country and what the skills you have are. The south of England has the most work and is where most of the money is. If you have skills in the oil business then the east coast of Scotland is the place to be, but now is a bad time with the collapse in the oil prices. Scotland is also a decent bet if you have skills in forestry.

And the last one is the trickiest of all- the weather!- there is a reason Brits talk about the weather a lot- its because if you wait five minutes you get a different type! Its also very different north to south, both because the north is well, north and so colder and because of the shape of the land, the northern parts of the UK being mountainous and the south flat. Then you have the difference between west and east. The gulf stream comes up the west coast- which is why even where I am you can grow a palm tree, and why in the south of England you can have vineyards at the same latitude Canada has polar bears. The east coast is colder as the sea temperature is much colder.

However we don't tend to get extremes- no hurricanes or typhoons or anything like that- gets a bit breezy at times 100mph gusts and stuff (usually about December to March) but thats about the worst of it.
And it rains. A Lot. No seriously a lot- which is why there are at least 50 different words for types of rain in the UK.
In Scotland there are huge regional variations however in rain fall- where I am is pretty damn wet, which is why its so green and lush-

'Rainfall totals vary enormously across Scotland with the western highlands being one of the wettest places in Europe with an average annual rainfall of 4577mm. The east coast tends to be much drier with some parts receiving only 550mm of rain - putting it on a par with Morocco, Sydney and Barcelona.'- BBC

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