“Good vs Evil”

Reducing Foreign Policy to Good vs Evil

Last year in March Dr. Stuart Bramhall published a Film Review by Adam Curtis (BBC).

At the moment I was mostly interest in what it said about Good vs Evil. I copy it here:

“Reducing Foreign Policy to Good vs Evil

Like Ronald Reagan, George W Bush attempted to reduce the US role in Afghanistan to a simple battle of good vs evil. The political reality was far more complex. US and Saudi intervention during the Soviet occupation brought corrupt warlords to power who supported their fiefdoms through Afghanistan’s heroin trade.

The Taliban, consisting mainly of Afghan orphans raised in Pakistani Madrassa, were primarily driven by a desire to end the heroin trade and this endemic corruption, which they (rightly) blamed on the interference of western imperialists in their country’s domestic affairs.”

A simple battle of good vs evil? Certainly not. I think it still has not become clear to us what is at spiel. It still is not simple, on the contrary, it seems to become more and more complicated. See here:

Brexit,Trump, Syria and the Fabricated War on Terror

I reblogged the avove!

” . . . . but what comes next?”

Australia sends its warplanes into Syria – but what comes next?

Denis Dragovic, University of Melbourne

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced an expansion into Syria of Australia’s military operations against Islamic State (IS), joining the US, Canada and several Arab nations. Long-term success will depend upon the government investing equally in regional diplomacy and reconstruction to secure any military gains.

Remarkably, the preceding public debate has largely been muted – with a few exceptions. These have included reports suggesting that Abbott had initiated the request from US President Barack Obama for Australia’s involvement and off-hand remarks by Vice-Admiral David Johnston, chief of joint operations, that acquiescing to the US request would add little value.

Former foreign minister Bob Carr came out in support of expanding operations into Syria for moral reasons.

The decision to expand operations is justified on operational grounds. To effectively carry out its ongoing mission in Iraq, a limited expansion of military operations into Syria was necessary. Such an expansion – a legal grey area – will allow Australian aircraft to pursue IS personnel fleeing across the border and to attack their command-and-control structures used for attacks in Iraq.

Making the announcement on Wednesday, Abbott emphasised that the aircraft would be targeting IS and not the Assad regime, “evil thought it is”. Airstrikes are expected to begin with the next week.

The widening of the area of operations will not increase Australia’s current troop deployment. This is made up of 400 personnel supporting aerial missions over Iraq, 200 SAS soldiers training Iraqi counter-terrorism units and a further 300 soldiers training Iraqi forces at the Taji training base north of Baghdad.

Why now is the right time

While presented as a limited expansion driven by operational needs, the announcement is also a timely commitment with wider strategic consequences. The decision recognises a rapidly changing landscape.

In late August, Turkey began military operations against IS while continuing its rapproachment with Saudi Arabia. This coming together of two regional powerhouses, along with some European countries considering committing to the fight, makes Australia’s announcement part of a growing international consensus to act.

Additionally, Syrian-Kurdish military groups have had considerable success against IS in recent months. They have cleared key towns in northern Syria. This has left only a small area, between the Euphrates River and the town of Azaz, under IS control.

IS uses this last remaining area along the Turkish border to traffic oil and historical artefacts, resupply food and ammunition and welcome thousands of new foreign recruits.

Australia’s decision, while not committing to supporting a planned US and Turkish effort to expel IS from this northern border area, will add legitimacy to the international community’s collective action while applying military pressure to IS’s eastern operations.

What comes next?

In August 2013, Abbott cautioned against military action in Syria:

We should be very reluctant to get too involved in very difficult conflicts which we may not be readily able to influence for good.

Whether military intervention can now influence the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars for good depends upon there being an accompanying diplomatic strategy that seeks to find a durable long-term solution. Military power alone cannot address the political and ideological motivations driving IS’s successes.

The Syrian civil war is in its fifth year. More than 200,000 civilians have been killed. One-third of the country’s population – seven million people – are internally displaced. Another four million are refugees.

What was an ethnically diverse country pockmarked with different histories, cultures and languages is now uniformly divided. In the west, along the coast, are the Alawites, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s supporters. In the north are the Kurds. In the east are the Sunnis. Interspersed within these three are the minority Druze, Christians and Shia.

Nearly five years of war has effectively redrawn the borders, pushing people to move to what have become self-governed regions. As such, the international community should shift its efforts away from reviving a long-lost idea of a united Syria and instead push for peace by recognising the redrawn ethnic boundaries.

We can look to the experience of the multi-ethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina following its five-year war to see how a previously integrated and heterogeneous society became segregated through conflict, and yet managed to establish a tenuous but peaceful co-existence by establishing autonomous regions.

Similarly, we must learn from the current catastrophe in Libya and the post-invasion debacle of Iraq. In both circumstances, the international community ignored the need to commit resources after the war to sustain the peace – with devastating consequences.

For expanded military operations against IS to succeed, Australia must additionally commit non-military resources, diplomats, stabilisation and reconstruction specialists as well as financing. It must have a realistic view of the end goal and start planning to stabilise and rebuild any territory taken from IS.

The Conversation

Denis Dragovic, Honorary Fellow, University of Melbourne

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

What is the Fate of Europe?

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/08/07/us-is-destroying-europe.html

U.S. is Destroying Europe,
an article by Investigative historian Eric ZUESSE | 07.08.2015

This is what it says towards the end of this article: “By weakening European nations, and not only nations in the Middle East, Obama’s war against Russia is yet further establishing America to be “the last man standing,” at the end of the chaos and destruction that America causes.”

I do not copy the whole article, but here is a bit more about what the author reckons is the weakening of European nations:

” . . . Libya has become Europe’s big problem. Millions of Libyans are fleeing the chaos there. Some of them are fleeing across the Mediterranean and ending up in refugee camps in southern Italy; and some are escaping to elsewhere in Europe.

And Syria is now yet another nation that’s being destroyed in order to conquer Russia. Even the reliably propagandistic New York Times is acknowledging, in its ‘news’ reporting, that, “both the Turks and the Syrian insurgents see defeating President Bashar al-Assad of Syria as their first priority.” So: U.S. bombers will be enforcing a no-fly-zone over parts of Syria in order to bring down Russia’s ally Bashar al-Assad and replace his secular government by an Islamic government — and the ‘anti-ISIS’ thing is just for show; it’s PR, propaganda. The public cares far more about defeating ISIS than about defeating Russia; but that’s not the way America’s aristocracy views things. Their objective is extending America’s empire — extending their own empire.

Similarly, Obama overthrew the neutralist government of Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine in February 2014, but that was under the fake cover of ‘democracy’ demonstrations, instead of under the fake cover of ‘opposing Islamic terrorism’ or whatever other phrases that the U.S. Government uses to fool suckers about America’s installation of, and support to, a rabidly anti-Russia, racist-fascist, or nazi, government next door to Russia, in Ukraine. Just as Libya had been at peace before the U.S. invaded and destroyed it, and just as Syria had been at peace before the U.S and Turkey invaded and destroyed it, Ukraine too was at peace before the U.S. perpetrated its coup there and installed nazis and an ethnic cleansing campaign there, and destroyed Ukraine too.

Like with Libya before the overthrow of Gaddafi there, or Syria before the current effort to overthrow Assad there, or the more recent successful overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych, it’s all aimed to defeat Russia.

The fact that all of Europe is sharing in the devastation that Obama and other American conservatives — imperialists, even — impose, is of little if any concern to the powers-that-be in Washington DC, but, if it matters at all to them, then perhaps it’s another appealing aspect of this broader operation: By weakening European nations, and not only nations in the Middle East, Obama’s war against Russia is yet further establishing America to be “the last man standing,” at the end of the chaos and destruction that America causes.

Consequently, for example, in terms of U.S. international strategy, the fact that the economic sanctions against Russia are enormously harming the economies of European nations is good, not bad.

There are two ways to win, at any game: One is by improving one’s own performance. The other is by weakening the performances by all of one’s competitors. The United States is now relying almost entirely upon the latter type of strategy.”