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Upsetment
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Turkey’s Tomb Raiders

Turkey’s Tomb Raiders | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It was a story that mystified many non-Turks. On the night of Feb. 21, Turkey sent a military convoy into Syria to rescue 38 of its soldiers…
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Once again we see how muddled the Middle East is and always has been. To think this particular military operation has its roots in a deal stuck between the Turkish government and France in 1921. Even stranger is that the figure involved goes back to the beginnings of the Ottoman Empire.in the thirteenth century. And it is likely that the Kurds and Turks cooperated; now that is even stranger.

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U.S. Sending 400 Troops to Train Moderate Syrian Opposition

U.S. Sending 400 Troops to Train Moderate Syrian Opposition | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The U.S. will send 400 troops to train moderate Syrian rebels in the spring.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The madness of sending troops to Syria for whatever purpose. We should be encouraging Russia and Iran to go into this quagmire instead of making it so easy for them to simply watch us sink beneath the quicksand of another instance of Middle East civil turmoil.

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Lack of money at World Food Program leaves 1.7 million Syrians without aid

Lack of money at World Food Program leaves 1.7 million Syrians without aid | Upsetment | Scoop.it
With donor nations failing to fulfill their pledges, the World Food Program is forced to halt its assistance program.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Yet we in the developed world will still wonder why organizations like ISIS can gain such great followings.

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American fighting with Islamic State killed in Syria | Al Jazeera America

American fighting with Islamic State killed in Syria | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, was killed during weekend; had traveled to Syria this year to fight with the radical group
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is interesting to speculate on the psychological journey that radicalizes somebody so they end up fighting and dying for a cause far from home and from their roots. Was he looking for meaning in his life or did he believe that he was making a great difference in the course of history? Had he become a true believer in a particular sect or simply been caught up in a moment's caprice? We will probably never know, but my guess it is a descent into madness, a break with reality.

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Militants making headway in Iraq and Syria declare creation of formal Islamic state

Militants making headway in Iraq and Syria declare creation of formal Islamic state | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Residents said insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were still in control of the town center Sunday, despite state television claims that Iraqi forces had cleared Tikrit of militants.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Here is a picture of the man who would rule the Islamic State and presumably the Islamic world, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the self-proclaimed caliph -  a man whom even the jihadist movement rejects as too extreme.  Yes, American neo-conservatives, you have created monsters for the rest of us to tame. Do not, I repeat, do not offer advice or make suggestions.

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Obama asks for authorization to provide direct military training to Syrian rebels

Obama asks for authorization to provide direct military training to Syrian rebels | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Administration for first time asks Congress to authorize and fund direct assistance to moderate opposition.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It seems that the U.S. has learned very little over the years. We have no more role in Syria than we did in Afghanistan when the Afghans were trying to get rid of the Soviet Union. Today's "friends" will surely turn out to be tomorrow's enemies. Why can't we limit our efforts to humanitarian aid and to international efforts like getting the gas out, which we did well with Russian help (and that of other countries). Nothing sends shivers of dread up my spine like the words, "We are offering military assistance."

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Iraq militants take Syria-border post in drive for caliphate

Iraq militants take Syria-border post in drive for caliphate | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Kamal Namaa ANBAR, IRAQ(Reuters) - Sunni fighters seized a border post on the Iraq-Syria frontier, security sources said on Saturday, smashing a line drawn by colonial powers almost a century ago and potentially creating an Islamic Caliphate from the Mediterranean Sea to Iran. The militants, led by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), first moved into the nearby town of al-Qaim on Friday, pushing out security forces, the sources said. Once border guards heard that al-Qaim had fallen, they left their posts and militants moved in, the sources said. Sameer al-Shwiali, media adviser to the commander of Iraq's anti-terrorist squad, told Reuters that the Iraqi army was still in control of al-Qaim.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The one thing the ISIL fighters have forgotten is that once they have established a caliphate they will need a caliph and there are a lot of want-to-be caliphs among them. Meanwhile, Mr. Assad isn't going away. This is going to get much bloodier before there is a resolution in sight. Let's keep our American troops out of it (and the Brits, French, etc.)

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40 Maps That Explain The Middle East

40 Maps That Explain The Middle East | Upsetment | Scoop.it
These maps are crucial for understanding the region's history, its present, and some of the most important stories there today.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I chose to highlight the map above because it reflects one of my hobbyhorses, the correlation between the Pashtun as a people and support of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, all these maps are important and worth your time.

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Turkey’s Proxy War in Libya

Turkey’s Proxy War in Libya | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Why did Saqr Geroushi, the commander of Operation Dignity’s Libyan air force recently announce that the forces under his command would shoot down Turkish aircraft...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

One thing the Euro-American alliance and all the non-Islamic countries of the world must keep in mind is that Islam, particularly in the Middle East, is divided not only between Shia and Sunni but also between factions as to who will hold the caliphate. Yep, that fantasied seat of power still looms as the ultimate prize just as the Holy Grail dominated the minds of Medieval Christians. To believe that our non-believer states have real allies in that region, even those like Turkey that proclaim their non-sectarian status or those like Egypt that are dominated by their military, or those like Saudi Arabia that are quick to take our money for their oil, is to build foreign policy on fools gold.

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Russia Cannot Fix Syria Alone

Russia Cannot Fix Syria Alone | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The chances of success for the much-discussed Russian initiative to end the war in Syria seem slim at best—because Moscow has called a peace meeting with only one of the warring parties in attendance.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If the Euro-American alliance would work with the Russians instead of seeing it as us or them, there might be a real opportunity for movement.

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The curious case of the Khorasan group - FT.com

The curious case of the Khorasan group - FT.com | Upsetment | Scoop.it
There is a rule for starting a rebel group in Syria: gather a few bearded men, hang a black Islamic flag in the background and shoot a video clip. The script is usually along the lines of a pledge to bring down the regime of Bashar al-Assad in the
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In effect the infamous "Khorasan group," which was as great a threat as ISIS, didn't really exist. It was created as an excuse for America to bomb an Al Qaeda related group that were fighting the Syrian regime. Do we really want to "own" the civil war in that country? Do we in fact have any idea what to do there? More importantly, should our government be engaging in such lies instead of being more transparent in its actions? For my part, I will keep saying it: The Military-Industrial-Espionage Complex is a much greater threat to the U.S. than ISIS or Islam or Russia or any external threat because it is changing our core values as a country.

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Syria's female refugees facing poverty, harassment and isolation

Syria's female refugees facing poverty, harassment and isolation | Upsetment | Scoop.it
UN report reveals toll of war on women as the sole providers for a quarter of the families who have fled the fighting
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Wherever there is internal unrest it is the women and children who suffer most. Whether it is these hapless victims of the civil war in Syria or the children being sent by their families to escape the upheaval in Guatemala, the story of suffering and misery is in their eyes and will unquestionably come back to haunt another generation and another. Humans, we are often a disgusting species, given to killing one another for what -- so our leader can be more important than the other group's leader? Shame on us.

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U.S. Trained ISIS at Secret Jordan Base

U.S. Trained ISIS at Secret Jordan Base | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The United States trained members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Greater Syria) (ISIS) at a secret base in Jordan to combat Syrian President
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Shades of Afghanistan: Will our military-espionage-industrial complex ever learn? I doubt it. Perhaps we should disassemble the bureaucracy that brings us such idiocy.

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Questions Rebels Use to Tell Sunni From Shiite

Questions Rebels Use to Tell Sunni From Shiite | Upsetment | Scoop.it
How can the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria tell whether a person is a Sunni or a Shiite? From accounts, it seems they often ask a list of questions.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If this reminds you of the questioning of the Inquisition during the Middle Ages, that is because this is exactly the same kind of religious madness. Sadly, Islam is an adolescent religion. For Christianity that stage was passed at a time when weapons were more limited and transportation took more time. Hence a religious war could last a hundred years. Sadly for the vast numbers of peace-loving Muslims in the Middle East, today's battle is being fought with modern weapons and transportation. How sad.

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford: I could no longer ‘defend the American policy’

Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford: I could no longer ‘defend the American policy’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Mick Krever, CNN

The Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria, who left his post just a month ago, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday that he could no longer stand behind his government.

“I was no longer in a position where I felt I could defend the American policy,” he said.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The real problem, IMHO, is that the U.S. sees itself as having a role to play in a country that has historically been under Russia's ambit. We are getting ourselves into another Afghanistan; not as it is now, but as it was when Reagan was praising the rebels there as the moral equivalents of our founding fathers. Assad was "created" by the Soviet system and the Cold War. No matter who wins in Syria, Israel will be threatened, so that isn't the issue. If anything, the Israelis are better off with the devil they know. So how is it to American interest to get involved? Sure, try to get poison gas out in an international effort. Meanwhile, use the situation to point out to the world what is Russian responsibility. We do have a role in Egypt; we helped create that debacle by our involvement with their military, but Syria -- no way.

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