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Samizdata quote of the day

A well-armed peshmerga and renewed investment in proven intelligence techniques will be critical to combating extremists inside and outside of Iraq. America can stand tall with the Kurds, cripple Iran’s paramilitary capability, and destroy the Islamic State, but must act decisively and creatively – today.

Robert Caruso

23 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Mr Ed

    but must act decisively and creatively – today.

    Ah, there’s the problem.

    And yet, the UK ‘terror threat’ has been raised, even though there is no intelligence to suggest that an attack is imminent. Nothing to do with Mr Carswell’s decision.

  • Fortunately Obama has no strategy.

  • Rob

    Shall we run that one past Turkey, our NATO allies, first or will we just send the stuff now, via guaranteed next day delivery?

  • The stuff is already arriving. Moreover Turkey has been buying and transporting Kurdish oil straight from Irbil, much to Baghdad’s annoyance, so I don’t think Turkey is really a problem for Kurds, or at least Barzani’s Kurds. Pro tip: bet on an announcement soon ‘normalising’ relations with various other Kurdish groups.

  • Rob

    Turkey isn’t a problem for Kurds, but what about Kurds being a problem for Turkey?

  • One day perhaps, yes. But for now, if the Kurds play things smart, there could end up being a Proto-Greater-Kurdistan from northern Syria to the Iranian Kurdish border, in which sunni extremists are about as welcome as smallpox.

  • Paul Marks

    The Islamists are what Edmund Burke called an “armed doctrine” – they make no secret of the fact that (like the Jacobins and Nazis and Marxists) they seek to spread their system by force – all around the world.

    Peace is not an option – because the enemy exists and the the peace they are interested in is complete submission.

    One can debate tactics (for example I was AGAINST intervention in Iraq in 2003), but a Rothbardian denial of the existence of the enemy (a pretence that it is all a “neocon plot” or whatever) is insanity.

  • Jacob

    Turkey is indeed the key to what happens there. As far as I read, Turkey’s Islamist regime supports the sunnis, that is – the IS. Along with our good friends the Saudis and Qatar – all sunnis.
    On the other hand – the Saudis support Sisi in Egypt, which the Turks hate passionately….
    So, it’s really complicated. Turkey isn’t what it used to be ( a secular, sane state). As to hanging all the hope of Western civilization on the Kurds – well, it might be to hope for too much.

  • Turkey’s Islamist regime supports the sunnis, that is – the IS

    My understanding was the Turks initially played footsie with IS because they were anti-Assad, but then very much changed their mind, hence made many subsequent constructive moves towards the anti-IS Kurds. Indeed a Kurd I know thinks it is *possible* this might actually end up driving an accommodation between the Turkish Kurds and the Turks, but he also said there are several things that could also go wrong there.

  • Jacob

    The best thing would be for the Turks to re-establish their empire over eastern Syria and North Iraq (minus Kurdistan). The Turks have a long history of dealing with these nuts, and ruling over them. It could even be arranged as a UN sanctioned protectorate. Maybe the dismembering of the Turkish Empire in 1917 was a mistake…

  • Well if that happens, Jacob, I don’t imagine they would envisage a certain province of that empire being called ‘Israel’ any more.

  • Jacob

    Well, the extent of the new Turkish empire will have to be modified somewhat from what it was in 1917.

  • Well, the extent of the new Turkish empire will have to be modified somewhat from what it was in 1917.

    Really? Why? If all that matters is ‘stability’…

  • Paul Marks

    The romantic view of the Ottoman Empire is one of the great myths of modern times.

    I wonder what Gladstone would say about modern people who live under the delusion that the Ottomans were “tolerant” and so on.

    The education system (and the media) have managed to convince people (and themselves?) that slave Empire who raided Europe for centuries (and whose very rulers were the products of a slave harem) was nice.

    Why?

    Perhaps because private ownership of land (the bedrock of Western civilisation) was almost unknown in the Ottoman Empire.

    I am reminded of a Radio Four programme (years ago) – about the 1683 siege of Vienna.

    The academics seemed unhappy that Ottoman Empire had not taken over Europe – after all they were a more Progressive civilisation (not dominated by reactionary aristocratic land owners……).

  • lucklucky

    Well today people call Saddam Iraq “stable” after and Iraq-Iran war of 10 years with more than 1 million deaths, and invasion of Koweit, attacks against Kurd and Shiites.

    “The academics seemed unhappy that Ottoman Empire had not taken over Europe – after all they were a more Progressive civilisation (not dominated by reactionary aristocratic land owners……).”

    The academics hate their own civilization. It is a staple of a Marxist academy.

  • Indeed lucklucky, that one always has me going “WTF?” The notion any of the Ba’athists Socialists (Iraq and Syria) were a force for stability is truly epically bizarre. What made Islamic State possible? No, not Bush and Blair, it was decades and decades of Ba’athist Socialist repression.

    And as for the Ottomans, has the phrase “the gates of Vienna” been forgotten? I think people are confused what the word ‘stability’ actually means.

  • Mr Ed

    The romantic view of the Ottoman Empire is one of the great myths of modern times.

    In 1990, I went by train from Munich to Istanbul. In Greece, I shared a portion of the journey with an American academic, on his way to Istanbul to study some Ottoman texts. It was not a fast train, at the Greek border station was a 3-legged dog, who seemed a suitable mascot for Greek railways, and by the time we crossed the border bridge, painted halfway blue and white then red and white, I had learned plenty from my companion. I particularly recall that he said that in the Balkans, the great event was the liberation from the Turk, the closer in time, the greater the celebrations.

    Mind you, the food in Istanbul was better than Thessaloniki, cold moussaka no thank you very much.

  • You can find some excellent food in Greece, especially in Thessaloniki. It would not be Greek food though, but rather Jewish Sephardi. Other than that, Turkish food is greatly superior to the Greek.

    There is nothing inherently good or bad about stability, it depends on the situation that is stable (or not), whether it is good or bad.

  • Jacob

    Who said the Turks were “nice”? Au contraire. They were very brutal and corrupt. Just what was needed to deal with the Islamist crazies. Turkey, with the strongest army in the ME, by far, and important NATO member, could liquidate the crazy ISIS if they only wanted.
    The other possibility is to create a fund subscribed by the Saudis, the US and EU, and hire some private army or mercenaries.

  • Who said the Turks were “nice”? Au contraire. They were very brutal and corrupt. Just what was needed to deal with the Islamist crazies.

    Nice is not the issue, but a resurgent Turkish empire would (a) destroy Israel (b) own the world’s largest supplies of oil (c) probably also become increasingly ‘Islamists’ even if hopefully not Salafist style crazy.

  • Plamus

    The romantic view of the Ottoman Empire is one of the great myths of modern times.

    Surely anecdata.

  • Mr Ed

    Mr Cameron has found the answer, combat these ‘brainwashed’ fanatics with, er, compulsory brainwashing to ‘de-radicalise’ British fanatics on their return to the UK.

    Presumably LGBs aren’t reliable enough to eliminate the threat in situ then.

    It takes the likes of Mr Cameron to come up with a response to liver-munching, head-severing fanatics that is both sinister and laughable.

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