European views on ISIL

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:48 am

America has a pretty sorry record in the Middle East lately, but Iran has not exactly been scoring a lot of successes against ISIS either.  Google News actually comes back with a couple of sources suggesting that Suleimani is going to be relieved of his position due to his perceived failure in the eyes of his bosses.

I kind of wish we still had Petraeus around.  He may have been a philanderer, but he understand the principles of counter-insurgency in a way that few other people in the military did at the time.  Hopefully his successors took his lessons to heart.
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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:36 am

Yeah, the whole episode that got him thrown out was kinda stupid. I understand you don't want people who can be blackmailed in such positions, but once it's all out, he can't be blackmailed anymore. Problem solved, let the man do his job.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:45 pm

I was struck by this passage from a report of British recruits to ISIS which is otherwise so thin I don't see the point of even referencing it:

"One thing that is striking about these jihadis is that some of them are religious novices. Two fighters who came from Britain reportedly purchased copies of "Islam for Dummies" on Amazon. So they don't necessarily have a sophisticated understanding of Islamic theology. They are drawn to the idea of being warriors."

Which rather relates to Figgy's old point about women not starting wars. Though women in positions of power may be somewhat less inclined to start a war (look at the poll numbers of support for war among women, typically only about 15% below men), there's little doubt that if recruitment for combat is offered, men are far more inclined to take the bait. Actual fighting is largely (not exclusively) a guy thing. Not that IS would welcome female warriors anyway...

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by David H on Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:04 pm

Interesting! I'm almost tempted to order "Islam for Dummies" and "The Anarchists Cookbook" from Amazon with expedited shipping, just to see how fast it takes the agents to get here. pirat

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:19 pm

halfwise wrote:I was struck by this passage from a report of British recruits to ISIS which is otherwise so thin I don't see the point of even referencing it:

"One thing that is striking about these jihadis is that some of them are religious novices. Two fighters who came from Britain reportedly purchased copies of "Islam for Dummies" on Amazon. So they don't necessarily have a sophisticated understanding of Islamic theology. They are drawn to the idea of being warriors."

Which rather relates to Figgy's old point about women not starting wars.  Though women in positions of power may be somewhat less inclined to start a war (look at the poll numbers of support for war among women, typically only about 15% below men), there's little doubt that if recruitment for combat is offered, men are far more inclined to take the bait.   Actual fighting is largely (not exclusively) a guy thing.  Not that IS would welcome female warriors anyway...

I didnt say women never start wars, are never violent or bloodthirsty because obviously we are ALL capable of violence. I wasnt trying to insult men. I think thats what pissed me off, because I wasnt trying to make it seem like women dont become involved in fighting, I too would fight to the death for my country if isis came into my town. I would have no hesitation of defending my family with deadly force. But it is true war is generally a mans game, warriors are generally men, these isis people are all men, its tribal cultural historical religious whatever, they rule the situation, the women are just chattels in a lot of the Middle East. Its flying in the face of logic to deny wars are started generally by men. I am not trying to insult men, its just got to be faced up to, either its nature or nurture, biology or culture, 90% of violent crime of it is done by blokes, 90% of spouse Killing is done by blokes, idem wars.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:44 pm

Naw, we're not starting that up again. Like most arguments I think everyone's on the same page on this issue, just slight shifts in logic chopping make similar viewpoints look different.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:38 pm

good

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Orwell on Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:18 am

Where Women are seen as having equal rights, you tend to have stable countries not all that prone to violence as Nations. Look at Russia at the moment, and most of the Middle East. Repressive cultures and with generally violent (male) National dispositions. Women like Thatcher coud have violent tendancies but only when feeling particularly threatened. The Falkland Islands was Thatcher showing her Motherly protective side. I don't think she was aggressive generally. I don't think Women have the aggressive tendancy any where near as much as modern cavemen do or Religious-men (read Religious cavemen) do. In the Middle East women are almost always victims. They are repressed and may as well be called slaves (chattels) because largely that's what they are under old fashioned Relgious Rule. It was like that in Western countries before Christianity (Patriarchy) was brought to heel.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by David H on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:08 am

Orwell wrote: In the Middle East women are almost always victims. They are repressed and may as well be called slaves (chattels) because largely that's what they are under old fashioned Relgious Rule. It was like that in Western countries before Christianity (Patriarchy) was brought to heel.

I posted this before, Orwell,  but I think this woman is worth mentioning again. She's an Iranian citizen who was educated in the Iranian university system and was given permission to come to the USA for her PhD.  She's achieved something that few men and no other women from any nation have been able to.  


Iranian is first woman to win 'Nobel Prize of maths'
AFP
August 13, 2014 1:14 PM


Seoul (AFP) - An Iranian-born mathematician has become the first woman to win a prestigious Fields Medal, widely viewed as the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

Maryam Mirzakhani, a Harvard-educated mathematician and professor at Stanford University in California, was one of four winners announced by the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) at its conference in Seoul on Wednesday.

"This is a great honour. I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians," Mirzakhani said in a press release from Stanford University where she is a professor.

"I am sure there will be many more women winning this kind of award in coming years,"
she added.

The award recognised Mirzakhani's sophisticated and highly original contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems, particularly in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces such as spheres.

Although her work is considered "pure mathematics" and is mostly theoretical, it has implications for physics and quantum field theory, as well as for the study of prime numbers and cryptography.

"Fluent in a remarkably diverse range of mathematical techniques and disparate mathematical cultures, she embodies a rare combination of superb technical ability, bold ambition, far-reaching vision, and deep curiosity," the ICM said in a statement.

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani offered his congratulations to Mirzakhani in a letter.

He added: "Today, Iranians can be proud that the first woman to win the fields medal is their fellow compatriot. Yes, the best deserve to be on top and be appreciated.

"Every Iranian no matter where she/he is in this world, is a national asset for this country and I as the representative of Iranian nation pay my respect to you. I wish you a life filled with happiness and success."


Mirzakhani was born in Tehran in 1977 and earned her PhD in 2004 from Harvard University.

She has previously won the 2009 Blumenthal Award for the Advancement of Research in Pure Mathematics and the 2013 Satter Prize of the American Mathematical Society.


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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Orwell on Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:26 pm

"Reading Lolita in Iran."  Great read. Written by another intelligent Iranian woman. Intelligent enough, in fact, to live in America now. (More women in Iran should be given a go, methinks). Very Happy

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by David H on Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:07 pm

Yep. There's a lot more like them, both over there and over here, with a lot to say about what needs to be done to put their house in order. The civil unrest in the Middle East isn't unlike America in the 1960's and 70's (if the rest of the world had been continually arming and militarizing both the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panthers for there own little proxy wars. Rolling Eyes)

If only we could pull back all the guns, bombs and nukes we've been dumping into the region for the last half century and let these people get on with sorting things out, I think these women would be quite capable of speaking for themselves. The ones I've met have impressed me.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by halfwise on Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:58 pm

Where I work is basically overrun with Iranians, close to half women. For all the repressive theology, at least Iran lets them go, which is worth something. The Iranians seem to see the home theocracy as a damn nuisance they have to work with, not an identifying feature of their culture. Not even close.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:21 pm

I guess a lot of Iranians remember how it was under the Shah. it reminds me of that animated film called Persepolis. it was very moving.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by David H on Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:32 pm

Yes, but the Shah was not well loved. I've been told that within limits there's more democratic freedom under the Ayatollah than there ever was under the Shah. Though the Ayatollah doesn't seem to be well loved, he's seems to be accepted as a necessary part of a coalition to keep civil order. Looking at some of the other failed states in the region, I see their point.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:40 pm

Yes that was a very good film Mrs. Figg. I liked Waltz for Bashir at least as much, actually a bit more.

What is ISIL?

Islamic State In L-something?

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:46 pm

David H wrote:Yes, but the Shah was not well loved.  I've been told that within limits there's more democratic freedom under the Ayatollah than there ever was under the Shah. Though the Ayatollah doesn't seem to be well loved, he's seems to be accepted as a necessary part of a coalition to keep civil order.  Looking at some of the other failed states in the region, I see their point.

but the Shah wasnt a religious nutter. Women were allowed freedom.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:49 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:Yes that was a very good film Mrs. Figg. I liked Waltz for Bashir at least as much, actually a bit more.

What is ISIL?

Islamic State In L-something?

Is Loonytunes. probably

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Eldorion on Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:56 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:What is ISIL?

Islamic State In L-something?

There are a lot of different ways of translating the name of the group.  Probably the most sensible one is "the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham", because "al-Sham" doesn't have an exact corresponding term in English, but that's a bit cheesy because the name isn't fully translated and most English-speakers won't recognize the word.  So a bunch of people went with "the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria", which lets the acronym continue to spell something, but is not the most accurate translation.  So others went with "the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", which is where we get ISIL from.  "The Levant" is probably the best approximation of "al-Sham" that we have in English, but unfortunately it makes the acronym spell nothing.  In an attempt at compromise, a small number of people have chosen to use "the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria", which combines accuracy, spelling, and use of English words, but also requires the rules of acronymization to be bent.

Of course, the group itself is now calling itself just "the Islamic State", but a lot of Western organizations have ignored that change because they don't want to even implicitly offer any legitimacy to the group's self-proclaimed Caliphate.  Oh, and sometimes you'll see the group called Da'ash, Daish, or something similar.  That's the Arabic acronym for the full name ("Iraq and al-Sham" included).  I don't know why it's used in English language reporting at all, but I've seen it crop up a number of times.
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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by David H on Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:03 pm

SAVAK was a scary organization under the Shah. Free speech would get you disappeared before you could say, "KGB in Stalinist USSR"  Shocked  
I think our CIA bears a lot of responsibility for that, but it was the Cold War and ethics were considered an expensive luxury.

Edit: I just looked them up. They were as bad as I remembered. It's pretty grim stuff so I won't post it, but if you're curious just google something like "SAVAK torture". Or not. Evil or Very Mad

OK, here's a family friendly quote from Wikipedia: One well known writer was arrested, tortured for months, and finally placed before television cameras to 'confess' that his works paid too much attention to social problems and not enough to the great achievements of the White Revolution. By the end of 1975, twenty-two prominent poets, novelist, professors, theater directors, and film makers were in jail for criticizing the regime. And many others had been physically attacked for refusing to cooperate with the authorities.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Orwell on Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:44 am

Orwell wrote:"Reading Lolita in Iran."  Great read. Written by another intelligent Iranian woman. Intelligent enough, in fact, to live in America now. (More women in Iran should be given a go, methinks).  Very Happy


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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:26 pm

Not saying the Shah wasnt a murderung tyrant, but these days murdering tyrants are starting to look quite cuddly in comparison to todays lot.

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by David H on Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:03 am

Mrs Figg wrote:these days murdering tyrants are starting to look quite cuddly

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Forest Shepherd on Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:43 am

Erm.. What? That is an excellent (but awful) example of mis-remembering of the past if I've ever seen it. Also hyperbole.

Suspect Sofa

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:27 pm

probably Very Happy

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Re: European views on ISIL

Post by Forest Shepherd on Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:25 am

Well, unpleasant bunch anyway, from the sound of things.

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