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Comment on #MafiMay Ice Bucket Challenge by Nadia

Blog Baladi Comments - Fri, 2014-08-22 07:36

finally someone thought about it!

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Akbar Palace

Qifa Nabki Comments - Fri, 2014-08-22 05:49

… not unlike Iraq…

Maverick,

Your phrase above is exactly the reason Obama isn’t going to lift a finger for anyone in the ME. Obama was dead set against Iraq, so why would he prove himself wrong?

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Maverick

Qifa Nabki Comments - Fri, 2014-08-22 04:42

Tamer K,

While I admit the Syrian Opposition is made up if Islamists, I refuse to follow the narrative that the regime was hoping the world to adopt , which is -accept the leadership of Bashar Assad or have a region overrun by extremist Orcs. This was the intention of the regime all along and the Americans,Israelis and most of the West bought it. “better the devil you know”. They even staged a fake suicide bombing in 2012 at Al-Midan and was since the outset using propaganda to shock the world in fearing these Extremists all the while the Shabiha massacred whole families and engaged in barbaric brutality. ( the seed was sown)

In the political sphere, the SNC and other bodies representing the Syrian opposition lacked coherence and organisation and this was detrimental as it also reflected on the ground in Syria. The FSA were too divided, too weak. There weren’t enough funds or assistance- remember the home made bombs and weaponry – and this under achievement or feeling of hopelessness also fuelled the rise of Islamic groups who had much better cohesion, and more importantly the funds were coming through. Their decisive victories helped in recruiting disenfranchised young men not only from the opposition but gradually from around the globe, culminating in the rise of the Islamic State.

There is a natural process here, an evolution if you like that that contradicts the narrative that the regime were up against Islamic radicals from the get go. We all know for the first 6 months, all we saw on our screens were massive civilian protests, largely unarmed.

Hindsight is a magical thing, but had the Obama administration aimed for a concerted effort with regional powers to back the FSA along with their political representation in assistance including funding, advisory and political, made guarantees to the Alawites and other minorities and at least drew up a map for an inclusive government – not unlike Iraq- the outcomes would have been a lot different.

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Mustap

Qifa Nabki Comments - Fri, 2014-08-22 03:57

MD,

That was a very good ramble, by the way. So, please continue making such rambles.

I totally agree.

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Mustap

Qifa Nabki Comments - Fri, 2014-08-22 03:53

On the other side of the border (well previous border), things don’t look any better for so-called army of out-going Maliki, even with the air cover provided by the US. Few days ago, the so-called army tried to gain some morale by attacking Tikrit with what it considers its most elite battalion, the so-called Golden, supported by Shiite militias called for so-called Jihad by the actual ruler of Iraq (well southern Iraq to be exact), the Iranian Sistani. The result was 4 tanks and 9 Humvees destroyed, 30 Goldens and 6 Humvees captured. And voila, the Goldens and their Jihadi comrades were again on the run, as usual.

http://www.al-omah.com/reports-and-investigations-news/sham/item/62431-2014-08-19-20-29-28

And those were not, by the way, ISIS fighters repelling the Goldens. They call themselves the tribes.

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by md

Qifa Nabki Comments - Fri, 2014-08-22 03:42

I think the unfortunate aspect to the debate about maps and men is that one can believe the premise that there is some generalizable basis for how States/Nations/Federation/Union are formed and moved. One theory in anthropological circles goes primarily towards one thing: power (see Michel Foucault). In effect, actions that would change boundaries come as expressions to control others in order to exact what one wants (‘national security interest’ is a nice catch-phrase). Hence, centuries have shown nations/countries/bounded areas ebb and flow in design over time as the powerful controller’s prominence rises and fades.

I would add to that a more traditional view of what might drive political bodies to develop changes in formal boundaries: requirements for resources. I would argue these all intertwine to create drivers that end up changing boundaries through actions, such as war or, in prior times, political marriages. I suspect if we look at the post-Roman empire landscape, the landscape across their empire shifted in regional forms over the centuries–degrees, maybe, based more/less on the extant characteristics of the inhabitants in the locale. I think that is effectively where we are now with the Middle East. If we step back and view the landscape from a millennia time frame, the shifting will probably show many changes that make it seem continuously in flux. A few decades view, probably makes things seems like the the ebbs and flows are something quite different.

In thinking about laying the odds of how the ME landscape could be moving forward over, say, the next 50 years: I would begin with the notion of exerting power from a narrow in group focus (i.e., extended families and/or tribes) and then expand from there to peoples with of common cultural elements (ancestry, religion, affiliations) that would provide the ability to exert power to ensure safety and control resources (and in Gaza/West Bank case seem like humans with freedom). If external entities stay out of the way in drawing lines, and allow the area to organically shift, I suspect the 50 year view would be one of constant change along those dimensions, and I suspect Israel, Syria, and Iraq to be three locales that have the best chance (almost certainty) of different boundaries being created.

These are just some thoughts at the moment, and sorry if I’ve rambled. I only hope I’ve added something, even if small, to the conversation.

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Mustap

Qifa Nabki Comments - Fri, 2014-08-22 03:26

Syrian pilots are now facing one of two choices: death by firing squad or death anyway if they fly. Three pilots executed by firing squad for refusing the second option:

http://all4syria.info/Archive/163309

Their warplanes are beginning to fall off from the sky.
This is due to newly acquired anti aircraft weapons developed recently by the rebels with the help of a defected electronic techie from Aleppo.

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by danny

Qifa Nabki Comments - Fri, 2014-08-22 02:18

Maverick…Ditto. However the end game from the beginning was to sabotage the other using different factions. Remember Lebanon? As far as the KSA, Qatar, Turkey, they all tried to be the kingmaker. IMO KSA and Qatar are still funding the ISIS to balance out the field. The conflict is between Iran and KSA. Turkey is a turncoat. It seems in the struggle for some kind of supremacy in the region the dumb desert folk are being “martyred”

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by tamer k

Qifa Nabki Comments - Fri, 2014-08-22 02:02

Maverick,

The Kurdish forces are of a similar ideology, faith, language and culture but most of all they have the same goal to unite them.

FSA is a coalition of islamists (different shades and goals), democracy seeking groups, Qatari funded members, Saudi funded members. It was doomed from the start, radicalism was sowed from the beginning of this conflict, it was doomed the second Qatar or Saudi had to intervene to elect their leaders.

Moreover, I implore you to reconsider your opinion just by looking at how our support was for naught when we look at Libya. All of the air cover, political and military support in the world could not save that failed state.

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Mustap

Qifa Nabki Comments - Fri, 2014-08-22 01:55

Get rid of Bashar, Nasrallah and Suleimani, all terrorism will disappear. Obama relies on a team of incompetent foreign policy advisers and he himself has no skills in this area.

Despite my initial dislike to Khatib, I must congratulate him for saying the obvious. Neverheless, he is a non-entity.

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Maverick

Qifa Nabki Comments - Fri, 2014-08-22 01:33

ohhh puleaseeeeeeee

Radicalism evolved. It was much a by-product of Regime belligerence.

I’m of the opinion that had the FSA from the outset, were aided by weaponry, funds and advisor’s, they at least would have looked more like the Kurdish forces in Iraq. There would have been many more defections as well.

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Comment on Uf Chou Laziz’s Ice Bucket Challenge by m

Blog Baladi Comments - Thu, 2014-08-21 21:05

Mr.Najib, UF concept and all the others involved the ice bucket challenge should be about ALS, and raising awareness to the subject… Uf concept managed to squeeze in their logo twice in the video (sticker and logo animation at the end) and didn’t manage to mention ALS even once. This isn’t about you guys it’s about ALS , otherwise it’s just a stupid gimmick that Kamil from t3ish w tekol gheira did decades ago… have a good day
and I hope you take the time to mention ALS when you do your part of the challenge.

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Comment on A7la Fawda … by PK

Blog Baladi Comments - Thu, 2014-08-21 17:56

It can be be read as “A7la Mouda …” kind of ? !!!

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Comment on Must-Have Breakfast in Lebanon: Zaatar and Jebneh In Tlamé Bread by Naji

Blog Baladi Comments - Thu, 2014-08-21 16:37

There’s a tlameh bakery on the main road inside Kobayyat just before getting to zouk district, recommended !

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Comment on Uf Chou Laziz’s Ice Bucket Challenge by Nadia

Blog Baladi Comments - Thu, 2014-08-21 15:05

we have a thousand homeless people on our streets who just dream of having a shower with a bucket of water! and here we are following a trend just for fun and i bet that most of the people who are doing did not donate a penny for the cause.
and just a reminder : Lebanon is short on water this year

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Comment on Fighting Da3esh In Lebanon by jack

Blog Baladi Comments - Thu, 2014-08-21 15:05

… and havr eyes,,, mayo & jani must be fukin related, R.I.P english, did u ever go to school??? back to kindergarten “mayo”

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Comment on Fighting Da3esh In Lebanon by jack

Blog Baladi Comments - Thu, 2014-08-21 15:03

R.I.P english, did u ever go to school??? back to kindergarten “jani”

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Comment on Uf Chou Laziz’s Ice Bucket Challenge by Carole

Blog Baladi Comments - Thu, 2014-08-21 14:51

Grow up guys and stop wasting water

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Qifa Nabki

Qifa Nabki Comments - Thu, 2014-08-21 14:39

BV

I was the one arguing that S-P borders are not as relevant as other factors; AIG thinks they are of first-order importance.

Just for the record…

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