Friday, August 25, 2006

Political Problems

I was thinking out loud at Winds of Change and came up with this thought:

The #1 problem with taking out Syria is not military. It is political. What comes next?

Does Israel want to turn Syria into what we have seen for the last 3 years in Iraq?

These regimes will crumble if they can be contained long enough. Can they? I doubt it.

What the current battles in this war are showing is that military victory is easy. Political victory hard.

Syria's threat to Israel is: if you attack us or force us to attack we will lose badly. The regime will fall. Then what?

If we can foment internal revolutions in Iran and Syria, that would be much better.


The political difficulty is that you lack a common culture or political philosophy around which you can unify the nation. You have a lot of fragments jockeying for power the old fashioned way. Violence. A defeated France is easy to administer. The machinery of state is in place. More difficult are the places made up of fragments held together not by common interest or culture, but at the point of a gun.


How do we turn tribes into nations, relatively peacefully?

How do you get people to stop killing over points of religious dogma?

Update: 25 Aug '06 0241z

The Sand Monkey may have an answer. He looks at this report from Indonesia:

Religious leaders say some programs - like one that disclosed an alleged affair by a son of a former president and another that claimed a famous Olympic-winning athlete had an illegitimate child before marrying - are sinful because they are slanderous or exploit people's shameful secrets.

The generally moderate group, Nahdlatul Ulama, is considering issuing a fatwa against such shows - another sign, critics say, of the inroads of Islamic conservatism in the world's most populous Muslim nation, which has a tradition of moderation, tolerance and secularism.
So the answer may be Jerry Springer. Or for the slightly more refined Oprah. The Sand monkey concludes with:
I love asian muslims. They make arab muslims look Good!
You know we may be on to something here.


Anonymous said...


The Saudis were pushing Assad's take-down. They want to strip the Allawites, who are Shi'a, and only 10% of the syrian population, of their powers.

Israel's not stupid.

But the saudis got Bush to push. And, Condi landed on Olmert. When truth be told, Olmert's gonna come out as a wise diplomatic politician who did NOT do the White House bidding. And, during the 3 weeks' war, he had the IDF seize a lot of nasrallah's "toys" ... so that now the truth is OUT. Russia was supplying the latest in anti-tank weaponry. And, a very sophisticated listening post was operated behind syrian lines.

And, yet, the IDF came home with computers, hardware, software. And, code books. It's not easy to replace this stuff.

And, yes, Bush still has his military problems. Iraq can't be turned into a democracy. Beause the Shi'a want the koranic Shi'ira laws. And, they're all ZOMBIES. With manifestations of this in europe, too.

Israel just has to wait.

That was the best outcome.

And, by going in as soon as the soldiers were kidnapped, Olmert co-opted what nasrallah wanted. Which was a repeat of the Ron Arad textbook. Nasrallah also thought he'd steal Metulla. And, his forces were repelled.

Israel is keeping this secret? YES! Every time the "win" wars the demands start that they return PROPERTY. Here, by going along with the story that the MSM and nasrallah won, the enemy can go ahead, and think what they want.

While in time a majority of Israelis will recognize the HOKUM that nearly happened. On par with the lying russian woman saying NOW that Katzav raped her. That's why she wanted money. And, a high paying job.

Let's see how far Mazuz gets with this bull. Or that if he can change how sex works in the market place, and in the work places, too.

Anonymous said...

I think Israel is too preoccupied with the Hezbollah crisi that it will probably take them time to think about Syria and the threat it poses, unless Syria joins in the conflict then Israel may want to deal with them directly. Syria is one of the most volatile nations in the region and their neighbors are very wary of them.

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago, when the subject came up, I thought bringing Assad down would be a nightmare.

Imagine a million Iraqi Sunnis stuffed into southern Syria running for their lives from the Mahdi Army, carrying god only knows what hidden baggage and heading in the general direction of Israel.

How hard can it be? Israel just did the very same thing with 200k Lebanese! Under the right conditions in Syria, the Iranians could create a situation where Israel would have no choice but to simply blast away at refugee convoys.

Carol's suggestions that the Saudis want Assad down only feeds my fears. I never liked the Saudis' cheering Israel into this war. The supposed sunni/shia divide nothwithstanding, killing Jews is still job #1 for virtually every person between the Jordan river and the Indian ocean.

Anonymous said...

Too many big hard questions here.

The Ottomans had the trick of administering diverse confessional communities more or less down. But the price was a weak central government that could not hold together under the pressure of expanding western powers.

Much of what is happening in Lebanon today, imo, is a consequence of that same culture at work. Ditto Iraq. It's just too easy to exploit the weaknesses of a government built along these lines.

You’re reading my mind with the Jerry Springer comment. Hard line conservatives (even the ones here) fear our culture because they mistakenly believe that the perversities of human nature are exacerbated by freedom. On the contrary, those perversities are actually stoked and made monstrous by cultural and sexual repression, etc … all good liberals know this stuff but the Mullah’s haven’t read the homework. But I don’t think you can just pass out Freud and expect a new dawn in Syria.

On the contrary, Hezballah is already following a tried and true model that has worked in the Mediterranean since the Peloponnesian wars. An army in search of a state is nothing new in the world and this one is well positioned to gain from the fall of any state nearby.

Remember that Jordan only exists as a state because of Black September. Otherwise it would be Palestine.

Anonymous said...


Another day. Another thought.

While we keep focussing on lebanon. And, syria (which is a basket case). We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that America is NOW the biggest player. Because our economy is strong. And, we are importers of oil.

Exporters of democracy? To despots. You're kidding me.

But just as a surgeon has to decide where he's gonna cut; and the ONLY REASON nasrallah got punched out this summer; brings some details to the table. We should look at them.

Nasrallah wanted to co-opt the table for the Shi'as. He wanted Metulla. And, did not get it. He got, instead, 2 kidnapped soldiers. While Israel refuses to play by the Ron Arad book of games. So at least we know what nasrallah was thinking. And, it's probably true he just can't glue back together again, the pieces he lost "in his victory." As the fake news also continues.

In Israel, Bibi's tried to usurp Olmert's PM chair. But he just doesn't get to 61 signatoree's who want to blow their minister's portfolios. And, their chairs. To another Bibi game plan. No matter how hard the settlers try. (The settlers represent 20% of the Israeli population.) Lots of Israelis are alert to the "old tricks."

While Bush? You mean he's developed a new trick? Where he wants to spit in Olmert's eye? HOW SO? We know Olmert did a minimum of damage; BUT THE IDF COLLECTED A LOT OF INTEL. And, info. (Including what's needed to do a "call up" of the reserves. Where troop training fell down, severely, under Mofaz. And, Ben-Eliezer. Israelis aren't stupid. This is not a great pick up card for Bibi. Sorry.

And, I don't think syria's a target, either. I think Iran is a target, now.

And, it's only a matter of time. Bush probably doesn't want to upset the apple cart before November 7th, IF THEN! He may prefer to wait for the new CONGRESS, that forms in January 2007. As he'd then prepare the groundwork, too, for the GOP's race to the White House in 2008. (And, Bush has factions to contend with; as does Olmert.) That's politics.

IF nasrallah dares send ONE MISSILE into Israel, now, IRAN BLOWS. GONE. Not all over. But the missile sites will be UNUSABLE. And, that's all the UNSTABLE EXTREMIST REGIME'S GOT.

Yeah. Russia's the ugly bitch in all of this. But Israel's not short of Russian speakers. And, Russian black-marketeers. Those are the people who are making the russian decisions, now. So it's very short-term crapola. In my book.

Thinking things through is all we can do. And, watch. Everything unfolds, eventually. While Olmert, I notice,is doing well enough, holding on. And, he's not even photogenic. But was Begin? Or Shamir? Israelis don't pick beauty contest winners. Meaning Bibi gets no edge.

And, for some reason, brain dead, Arik Sharon still breathes. Proving there are no modern medical miracles. Just ways to interfere with life's time stamps. Go figa?

Anonymous said...


It seems to me when Olmert was willing to go along with #1701, that lebanon is not on Israel's radar screen any longer. She busted up a lot of nasrallah's stuff. (And, she still have 5,000 men in the field, there. Collecting data.) While no missiles are flying into Israel.

And, the EXTORTIONISTS in the knesset never really do amaze me. Though I think what they do is very dumb. There seems to be an attempt to take out Katzav, and share his Presidential toys among a few left wing nutters. THEY WON'T GET TO THIS AT ALL.

Israeli men are none too happy with the idea that sex between adults can get called "rape" by an unscrupulous prosecutor. But they're all lawyers. Lawyers have no ehtics. And, what they do is the same things whores do. They exchange garbage for money. But I don't see Katzav falling on his sword. I actually see that the attacks on him are INCREASING A BROAD BASE OF SYMPATHY.

As to the attacks on Olmert. This is all Bibi's doing. And, how far does he get? He managed, against a very unattractive Olmert to lose more Likud seats than anybody has ever done before.

He's not rebuilding anything. Instead, he's still pitting the settlers against the majority. Group "think" stinks.

Israel's next target is iran. And, you just have to wait till you see Bush give the green light. Since the way iran has to fall is by IMPLOSION. Where the ZOMBIES, coming back to consciousness; after all their religious mullet bombardments, might want to rest control of government agencies for MIDDLE CLASS GROWTH AND PROFIT.

It's do-able. But it's not yet a policy that has jelled. I still don't see Olmert's government falling. And, I do see the separation lines in the IDF, falling where the settlers are running in to do mischief. Dull and dumb. Not a successful policy for many reasons. Including their limits on the media. What have they got? Carline Glick and Arutz Sheva? All together they couldn't get a group larger than a minion. When they need to fill a MAINSTREAM hall.

Things are calming down in the usual manner. When adults stop listening to the children.

linearthinker said...

Carol said:

"IF nasrallah dares send ONE MISSILE into Israel, now, IRAN BLOWS. GONE. Not all over. But the missile sites will be UNUSABLE. And, that's all the UNSTABLE EXTREMIST REGIME'S GOT."

Not sure I agree with Carol's "ONE MISSILE" scale, but any heavy strike on Haifa or Tel Aviv could be applicable. Risking a nuclear holocaust over a kassam torching an orchard is a stretch. Does Olmert have the cojones? Shall we pray?