By the Atlas of prejudice

Middle East explained


When @JeremyCorbyn talks more sense on #Syrianbombing than @NZGreens

#WomensBoatToGaza @MaramaDavidson silent on Hamas rocket attacks


Would ceasefires have shortened WWII? The American Civil War? #Syrianconflict

Edward Luttwak in his essay Give War a Chance speculated that if there was a United Nations in the 1860s, there would still be UN peacekeepers stationed between the warring Union and Confederate troops on the Mason Dixon line as of this day.

If you can work out a way in which ceasefires would have shorten World War II in either the European or Pacific theatres, you have got a better crystal ball than me.

There were long interludes on the Western front; several years in which the Nazis fortified the French beaches while the Allies built up their invasion force in England. For all practical purposes, there is a land-forces ceasefire from Dunkirk to D-Day across the English Channel.

Luttwak wrote that cease-fires permit space for both sides to heal while only intensifying and prolonging the struggle once the cease fire ends — and it almost always ends.

This was true in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-1949. It is true of the dozen of ceases fires in Gaza negotiated by the Security Council. It was true of all the cease-fires that failed in the fall of Yugoslavia with Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians who negotiated month-long cease fires where

all opponents used the pause to rest, train, and equip additional soldiers for combat, both prolonging the war and widening the scope of its killing and destruction.

John Stevenson studied 170 ceasefires. He pretty much vindicated the position that each side uses the lull in the fighting to regroup, rebuild and reinforce when for when the fighting starts again.


Source: Cease-fires and peace talks make it worse: International community needs a new approach to humanitarian intervention.

Ceasefires are perplexing in the many sided civil war in Syria. Aside from the Kurds, it is hard to work out who you want to win.

The Kurds just want to be left alone with their own country.

But Turkey is not happy about that prospect nor is Iraq.

You can work out who you want to lose territory but as for who might replace them, maybe the free Syrian army is a bit of an improvement.

There will be a bloodbath in reprisals if any of the other sides win apart from the Kurds. The Kurds are only willing to fight as far into Syria as they need to defend their own territory.

@NZGreens very sane compared to @DrJillStein @GreenPartyUS

Jill Stein managed to denounce American imperialism without mentioning the invasion of the Crimea and Russian intervention in the Syrian Civil War to prop up the old regime.

Stein is what Orwell called a renegade liberal. Progressives hunt the world for dictators to worship. As George Orwell said in 1941

Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’.

Sue #corbyn 4 crimes against peace – not making best argument against 2nd Iraq war

This idea of suing ministers for abuse of public office has appeal given the gap between many left-wing policies and sound economics.

Anti-war MPs such as Jeremy Corbyn should be sued for abuse of public office and crimes against peace for not making the knockdown argument against the 2nd war against Iraq.

Instead, Corbyn said he did not like war without explaining how this was different from appeasement and surrender. The easiest way to stop a war is to surrender. The easiest way to start a war is to look weak to an aggressor.

That knockdown argument against the 2nd Iraq war argument was right under the noses of the peace movement. It was yes, Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.


Source: The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons – The New York Times

It is madness to invade a country that has weapons of mass destruction because they might use them especially if the objective is regime change. Iraq may not have had nuclear weapons, but the potential for Iraq to have biological and chemical weapons secreted away was real.

No one is mad enough to invade North Korea. They will use chemical and biological weapons on Seoul and Tokyo. Syria has chemical and biological weapons to make sure no one invades it.

From what I read, in the current Civil War, Syria uses chemical and biological weapons when it is on the retreat but does not use them to advance and claim new territory.

The reason why the renegade left could not possibly make this obvious argument against the war in Iraq, which was it could be a massive disaster if these chemical and biological weapons were used in desperation, was these peace activists would have to admit nuclear deterrence works. To stop a war by having to admit that weapons of mass destruction deter war was too much for the peace movement to swallow.

An admission that nuclear deterrence works would invalidate the entire political activism of the peace movements in the Cold War. The practical effect of those peace movements was, of course, to undermine the one factor preventing a nuclear war, which was nuclear deterrence.

Since 1945, at least seven or eight wars have occurred where one side had nuclear weapons. In 1973, Israel had nuclear weapons it could have used.

The reason for the non-use of nuclear weapons in those seven or eight wars including the 1973 Yom Kippur War was none were wars of annihilation. Nuclear weapons were more likely to be used if the suspected intention is to invade or occupy a country.

The Yom Kippur war was launched with a plan by President Sadat to reclaim the Sinai then after a few days agreed to an internationally brokered ceasefire. He was intending on reclaiming lost territory, not invading Israel proper continue and risk nuclear retaliation.

Saddam destroyed his nuclear, biological, and weapons but not his weapons development capability soon after he lost the first Iraq war. Saddam played a double strategy: make sure he was not caught with contraband but play a fine game of bluff making everybody think Iraq still has them so he remains a regional strongman.

Saddam could have produced biological and chemical weapons within weeks if he chose to do so but was probably 5 years away from a nuclear weapon. Chilcot’s recent report concluded:

The ingrained belief that Saddam Hussein’s regime retained chemical and biological warfare capabilities, was determined to preserve and if possible enhance its capabilities, including at some point in the future a nuclear capability, and was pursuing an active policy of deception and concealment, had underpinned UK policy towards Iraq since the Gulf Conflict ended in 1991.

The 2nd Iraq war started because Saddam fooled his enemies into thinking he had chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. He certainly had the Japan option. This is having in place the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction such as chemical and biological weapons quickly if he wanted.