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(CNN)   So...turns out al Qaeda controls more territory now than ever. So, we got that going for us   (cnn.com) divider line 52
    More: Sad, al-Qaeda, Middle Eastern, Anbar, Ramadi, Peter Bergen, Prime Minister Nuri, Idlib, Anbar Province  
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6118 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jan 2014 at 11:12 AM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-01-10 11:18:24 AM
5 votes:
So then....time for another $2 trillion dollar war to straighten it all out and expand their territory again?

ya know, create a shining becon of freedom like we did in Falluja?  Just look at the democratic paradise that we created in Falluja:


previous.presstv.ir

/send your kids today!
2014-01-10 11:40:41 AM
4 votes:
img.fark.net
How is this possible, I was told we won.
2014-01-10 11:29:22 AM
4 votes:
We should never have treated them like a military enemy. We should have treated them like we did the Cosa Nostra other organized crime syndicates. And many people were saying that at the time but the Bushies and their mouth-breathing acolytes regarded that suggestion as tantamount to treason - like they regarded all other forms of criticism.

By treating them like a military enemy, we raised them up to a level (in terms of their ability to recruit, raise fund and sell their message) that they never could have managed on their own. If we had treated them like low mobsters, on par with pimps and child pornographers and drug pushers, we'd have done a lot better.
2014-01-10 11:26:09 AM
4 votes:
What a great use of trillions of dollars and thousands of lives! Glad we didn't spend it on healthcare or any other stupid socialist program.
2014-01-10 11:24:36 AM
4 votes:
I place the blame for this squarely on every asshole who signed up for military service after it was obvious we were going to invade Iraq. While the overall strategy was flawed, without volunteers and fresh recruits, we would not have been able to mount such an invasion and squander all the goodwill and support for the Afghan war we had after 9/11.

A strong anti-Iraq war message from the people to the politicians would have done well, but that message wasn't sent as people were falling over themselves to get sent into the desert and people back home were so busy "supporting the troops" when they should have been "condemning the troops" for volunteering to fight an unnecessary and dangerous war that has ultimately made America less safe.

Who couldn't have predicted that an underground terrorist operation that recruits from the angry families of those targeted by the American military as well as those who were killed as collateral damage would have grown in ranks and power from such an invasion and lack of focus? The answer is every American who supported the troops blindly, as if there were any merit in that.
2014-01-10 11:22:06 AM
4 votes:
Military Industrial Complex seen rubbing its hands together while whispering, "goooood...gooooood..."
2014-01-10 11:19:37 AM
4 votes:
This may mean something, I have no idea, but I don't know if judging them by the square mileage they control is a good method.  Are their numbers up, more attacks, etc.?  Or do they just control a huge swath of nothing?
2014-01-10 11:14:48 AM
4 votes:
We are at war with al qaeda.  We have always been at war with al qaeda.
2014-01-10 12:37:53 PM
3 votes:

Infernalist: the money is in the banana stand: Infernalist: master_dman: War NEVER really works unless you go in with the realization that you MUST kill everything alive in the area.  The last REAL war was WWII.  You just go in and carpet bomb.

Korean war veterans think you're full of shiat.

The Korean War was a war waged between the North and the South that effectively has not ended but instead established a division between North and South Korea. With the ME, you are dealing with militant Islam whose goal is world domination, expansion, and the conversion or genocide of everyone else. If all they wanted was their little territory and be left alone, that's one thing but they will not accept any sort of negotiation. Further, there is really no cohesive "other" side to the coin to maintain equilibrium.

That's awesome.  Also completely irrelevant to my post, but okay?


Korea is relevant to the Middle East question as it relates to our biggest failure in the Middle East:  supporting a sustainable economic model.

When we fought WW II, we destroyed Germany and Japan.  But we then stayed around to help build their economy.  The Soviet Union helped East Germany.  Our work in Germany was a radical departure from what we did after WW I and we all know how well that turned out.  After WW II, however, we stayed around and helped put into place, among other things, supremacy of the rule of law, equality of all citizens before the law, and individual economic security, rather than a centrally planned economy and a system of laws that are subject to the caprices of whoever happens to be in power at the moment.  The differences between East and West Germany were stark.  After reunification, the East wholeheartedly embraced the Western model and look at the progress it has made.

Similarly with Japan, we hung around and had a great deal of influence in developing their new government.  Japan is a very successful country today because of her rule of law and economic model.

North and South Korea are another example of how a form of government based on laws, not individuals, and a free, secure economy tend to drive out elements like Al Qaeda.  This is an example of how the same culture, the same people, the same history can result in diametrically opposed results.

In the Middle East, dictators are the rule.  Economic insecurity is the order of the day.  The law is a capricious concept.  There have been glimmers of success but the terrorists and Islamicists, going back to the PLO, have squelched every opportunity.  Egypt has an opportunity to restore its sanity but I don't see a lot of hope elsewhere.

Meanwhile, in Israel, a system of government based on laws, equality, economic security, and religious freedom (yes, it's a lot easier being Muslim in Israel than it is being Jewish in Iran) function in that same region.

Where the U.S. completely screwed the pooch, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and the list goes on, is not using every ounce of influence we could muster, along with European allies, to move those countries in the direction of U.S., European, Japanese, or Israeli forms of government based on laws and not dictators.  I'm not sure it could be accomplished everywhere but if we could get a few countries in the region going, the others would be hard pressed to avoid it for long.

As it has been put so often:  We won the war but lost the peace.

When there is a vacuum, people like the Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, etc. will rush to fill it, to nobody's advantage.
2014-01-10 11:26:12 AM
3 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: I place the blame for this squarely on every asshole who signed up for military service after it was obvious we were going to invade Iraq. While the overall strategy was flawed, without volunteers and fresh recruits, we would not have been able to mount such an invasion and squander all the goodwill and support for the Afghan war we had after 9/11.

A strong anti-Iraq war message from the people to the politicians would have done well, but that message wasn't sent as people were falling over themselves to get sent into the desert and people back home were so busy "supporting the troops" when they should have been "condemning the troops" for volunteering to fight an unnecessary and dangerous war that has ultimately made America less safe.

Who couldn't have predicted that an underground terrorist operation that recruits from the angry families of those targeted by the American military as well as those who were killed as collateral damage would have grown in ranks and power from such an invasion and lack of focus? The answer is every American who supported the troops blindly, as if there were any merit in that.


Just an fyi, the vast surge of military volunteers came in the weeks after 9/11 when we were focused on Afghanistan.

But, by all means, continue to foam at the mouth, it's amusing.
2014-01-10 11:21:07 AM
3 votes:
So you're saying we can't kill our way to peace? Who would have guessed?
2014-01-10 04:58:12 PM
2 votes:

This text is now purple: Ghastly: In all seriousness, the North Korean famine in the mid 90's killed almost half as many people as the Korean War did. If the Korean War hadn't taken place, many, many more people would have died as a result.

There never would have been a North or South Korea if it weren't for Western colonial interference, just as there never would have been a North or South Vietnam.

That's true. Both would have been colonies of China.


Or Japan.
2014-01-10 11:32:06 AM
2 votes:

CruJones: This may mean something, I have no idea, but I don't know if judging them by the square mileage they control is a good method.  Are their numbers up, more attacks, etc.?  Or do they just control a huge swath of nothing?


It pretty much means nothing and, despite the sensationalist headline, the article itself only says that it seems that Al Qaeda backed groups control more territory than ever.  It then goes on to mention that AQ backed groups control parts of Iraq and Syria.  This pretty much contradicts the idea that they control more territory than ever, given that the AQ backed Taliban controlled Afghanistan, which is larger than Iraq and Syria combined.  It also states that AQ backed groups are closer to controlling a state than they ever were, which is pretty much total bullshiat, given that the Taliban actually did control Afghanistan.

This is filed under CNNOpinion for a reason.
2014-01-10 11:29:12 AM
2 votes:

Infernalist: Just an fyi, the vast surge of military volunteers came in the weeks after 9/11 when we were focused on Afghanistan.

But, by all means, continue to foam at the mouth, it's amusing.


I have no problem with those folks. None at all. In fact, anyone who signed up between the 9/11 attacks and the beginning of the war drumming in Iraq I count as heroes. Unfortunately they got stuck in a position where they were required to participate in something they really didn't sign up for.
2014-01-10 11:26:02 AM
2 votes:

under a mountain: Thanks Obama!


"Decimated."
2014-01-10 11:25:53 AM
2 votes:
All part of the plan. al Qaeda kills more Muslims than we ever could.
2014-01-11 02:06:58 AM
1 votes:
www.thelibertybeacon.com
"The Taliban, Is Not Our Enemy"
---VP Biden
2014-01-10 03:05:38 PM
1 votes:

Ghastly: flak attack:
Good call.  It's not like more people have died as a result of the hilariously incompetent North Korean government than died in the entire Korean war or anything.

In all seriousness, the North Korean famine in the mid 90's killed almost half as many people as the Korean War did.  If the Korean War hadn't taken place, many, many more people would have died as a result.

There never would have been a North or South Korea if it weren't for Western colonial interference, just as there never would have been a North or South Vietnam. Both countries should have just been left to run their governments the way they seem fit. Without an ever present antagonist and economic sanctions Korea would likely have experimented with communism and like China and Vietnam found it doesn't work and transitioned naturally towards a free market economy.

America ends up making its own enemies because big money uses its military might to bully other countries into doing what they want.


Please, please, please tell me that you don't actually believe this garbage.

Without Western interference, Kim Il Sung still would have risen to power, still backed by the USSR and China.  His family would have still developed an iron fist on the regime based on the support of China and the USSR.  Even if things had turned out somewhat differently, let's not pretend that the China route, filled with it's own record of starvation and rampant human rights abuse, is near as good as the route SK went.
2014-01-10 02:12:36 PM
1 votes:

Maul555: The middle east sometimes makes me wish that we still carpet bombed...    I hate to say it, but the only ultimate solution might be to completley wipe out the places that produce pieces of shiat like the taliban.  but that would be a crime right?


Have you considered cultural genocide?  If the girls are playing with Barbie Dolls and the guys are watching porn, they're NOT launching suicide attacks.  I've seen some well-written articles that suggest that that was (part of) Bush's goal.  Invade Iraq in order to pull a Germany/Japan after WW2-equivalent, and then seduce them to our side via showing that it could be a success.  It'd take a generation (Heck, we're still in Germany and Japan.  We just don't call it an occupation any more), but a thriving, semi-secular Middle East is less of a threat than a poor, prideful, failed Middle East.
2014-01-10 01:01:18 PM
1 votes:

Ghastly: master_dman:
Uh.. no.  We didn't go in and kill everything in sight.  We failed miserably.  We quit and gave up.

It shouldn't have been fought in the first place. Communism burns itself out eventually under its own corruption. This would have been accelerated without an enemy for those regimes to turn their citizens anger towards.


Good call.  It's not like more people have died as a result of the hilariously incompetent North Korean government than died in the entire Korean war or anything.

In all seriousness, the North Korean famine in the mid 90's killed almost half as many people as the Korean War did.  If the Korean War hadn't taken place, many, many more people would have died as a result.
2014-01-10 12:44:23 PM
1 votes:
I think it's a matter of more groups using the Al Qeada brand name because it sells better.
2014-01-10 12:40:52 PM
1 votes:
A significant portion of the population in that part of the world would absolutely love to backslide into 8th Century theocracy. Minus the intellectual achievements.

You just can't fix that kind of stupid, especially externally.
2014-01-10 12:28:18 PM
1 votes:

Smeggy Smurf: Ghastly: drivingsouth: [dancingczars.files.wordpress.com image 480x360]

That better be irony, Mister! That man is Al Qaeda's biggest hero. He's done more to unite and strengthen Al Qaeda than Bin Laden did.

Other than that whole, kill them where we find them bit.  Bush was pretty good about killing them.


Other than the five more springing up for every one that he killed part. All his aggression did was further radicalise the Muslim world against us. People who had probably never given a second thought about the world wanted the US dead after their wedding party was interrupted by a cruise missile.
2014-01-10 12:25:32 PM
1 votes:
Maul555:
no.  they hate our culture and our very way of life.

Okay, now we're getting deep into the cliche territory that leads me to believe you are a troll. Well done sir, you got me to bite but you should have quit while you were ahead.

31.media.tumblr.com

2014-01-10 12:24:07 PM
1 votes:

Ghastly: drivingsouth: [dancingczars.files.wordpress.com image 480x360]

That better be irony, Mister! That man is Al Qaeda's biggest hero. He's done more to unite and strengthen Al Qaeda than Bin Laden did.


Other than that whole, kill them where we find them bit.  Bush was pretty good about killing them.
2014-01-10 12:23:22 PM
1 votes:

Ghastly: Maul555:  We are dealing with people that would wipe out billions of us if they could just press a red button.

No. No we're not. We're dealing with people armed with IEDs, old soviet surplus RPGs and AK-47s who simply want us the fark off their holy ground and to stay the hell out of their domestic politics.

The other side of this conflict are a bunch of rich business men who are using the US military as their own personal security guards to protect their oil interests.


no.  they hate our culture and our very way of life.  They advocate killing us all, just like the jews.   these are religious extremists who believe they are doing the work of god, and they are willing to kill themselves and their children to achieve their goal.
2014-01-10 12:19:45 PM
1 votes:
Maul555:  We are dealing with people that would wipe out billions of us if they could just press a red button.

No. No we're not. We're dealing with people armed with IEDs, old soviet surplus RPGs and AK-47s who simply want us the fark off their holy ground and to stay the hell out of their domestic politics.

The other side of this conflict are a bunch of rich business men who are using the US military as their own personal security guards to protect their oil interests.
2014-01-10 12:10:54 PM
1 votes:

mike_d85: Infernalist: master_dman: War NEVER really works unless you go in with the realization that you MUST kill everything alive in the area.  The last REAL war was WWII.  You just go in and carpet bomb.

Korean war veterans think you're full of shiat.

It wasn't what he meant, but the Korean war was where we started seeing these "shadow wars" where it wasn't 2 major powers going head to head (which might have caused WWIII immediately).  Instead we had the US fighting "Korea" who were largely communists from all over east Asia in Soviet equipment.

Repeat this with Vietnam, Afghanistan round 1 (reverse equipment and army), a handful of conflicts in Africa and South America (sometimes with no direct army), and a few other cold war conflicts that kept the world from being nuked but produced mediocre spy movies.


And China was openly operating in Korea.  While they weren't exactly operating with modern equipment, they were a major military power, even back then.  Korea saw lots of major conventional military actions between true national armies.
2014-01-10 12:07:22 PM
1 votes:

Hobodeluxe: yakmans_dad: mike_d85: Carn: We are at war with al qaeda.  We have always been at war with al qaeda.

Yeah, they declared war on us years ago.


1948? 1953?

when we put bases in Saudi Arabia. 1979 or so?


I have a hard time believing that, given that AQ wasn't founded until 1988.  A better date would be 1992, when they launched attacks on US soldiers in Yemen en route to a famine relief operation in Somalia.  That attack failed, though, since the soldiers weren't staying where AQ thought they were.  An argument could also be made for 1993, when the first WTC bombing happened, or in 1996, when Bin Laden issued a Fatawa against the US (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fataw%C4%81_of_Osama_bin_Laden#1996_fat w. C4.81) and AQ operatives attempted to assassinate President Clinton.
2014-01-10 12:06:52 PM
1 votes:

Infernalist: master_dman: War NEVER really works unless you go in with the realization that you MUST kill everything alive in the area.  The last REAL war was WWII.  You just go in and carpet bomb.

Korean war veterans think you're full of shiat.


The Korean War was a war waged between the North and the South that effectively has not ended but instead established a division between North and South Korea. With the ME, you are dealing with militant Islam whose goal is world domination, expansion, and the conversion or genocide of everyone else. If all they wanted was their little territory and be left alone, that's one thing but they will not accept any sort of negotiation. Further, there is really no cohesive "other" side to the coin to maintain equilibrium.
2014-01-10 12:04:41 PM
1 votes:
dancingczars.files.wordpress.com
2014-01-10 11:58:27 AM
1 votes:
War NEVER really works unless you go in with the realization that you MUST kill everything alive in the area.  The last REAL war was WWII.  You just go in and carpet bomb.
2014-01-10 11:50:43 AM
1 votes:
don't ya love articles by thinktanks instead of reporters?
2014-01-10 11:47:30 AM
1 votes:

EdNortonsTwin: More Al Qaeda seems to guarantee only one thing - more dead Muslims.


That's the game plan.
2014-01-10 11:47:06 AM
1 votes:
So everybody place your bets on if the republican front runners in 2016 will run a platform of "declare war and invade Iraq again".  If you think they cant possibly win the election on such a platform, you are part of the problem.
2014-01-10 11:44:46 AM
1 votes:

Infernalist: AverageAmericanGuy: I place the blame for this squarely on every asshole who signed up for military service after it was obvious we were going to invade Iraq. While the overall strategy was flawed, without volunteers and fresh recruits, we would not have been able to mount such an invasion and squander all the goodwill and support for the Afghan war we had after 9/11.

A strong anti-Iraq war message from the people to the politicians would have done well, but that message wasn't sent as people were falling over themselves to get sent into the desert and people back home were so busy "supporting the troops" when they should have been "condemning the troops" for volunteering to fight an unnecessary and dangerous war that has ultimately made America less safe.

Who couldn't have predicted that an underground terrorist operation that recruits from the angry families of those targeted by the American military as well as those who were killed as collateral damage would have grown in ranks and power from such an invasion and lack of focus? The answer is every American who supported the troops blindly, as if there were any merit in that.

Just an fyi, the vast surge of military volunteers came in the weeks after 9/11 when we were focused on Afghanistan.

But, by all means, continue to foam at the mouth, it's amusing.


Not to mention all that certainty about how Iraq had WMD. I won't fault anyone who enlisted under those false assumptions.

Average, you're dangerously close to blaming the victim here.
2014-01-10 11:43:16 AM
1 votes:
So thousands of lives, trillions of dollars, and more than a decade of fighting and it's still this easy for them to take over? Maybe warring harder will make us win!
2014-01-10 11:42:37 AM
1 votes:

The Madd Mann: So you're saying we can't kill our way to peace? Who would have guessed?


If we could somehow graph out "likelihood of peace in the coming 12 months" as a function of "# of people to kill", it'd probably look like an upside-down bell curve.

Sometimes, taking out one or two key people is enough. Sometimes, nothing short of genocide is required for "complete" victory. But as far as simple killing goes, the middle ground is "lengthy military campaign/occupation/power-sharing agreements" (the "messy" part).

// note that I'm not advocating any of the above
2014-01-10 11:38:46 AM
1 votes:
From around Aleppo in western Syria to small areas of Falluja in central Iraq, al Qaeda now controls territory that stretches more than 400 miles across the heart of the Middle East, according to English and Arab language news accounts as well as accounts on jihadist websites.


Suuuure they do. Just like they have massive underground cities in Tora Bora.

i.imgur.com


And back in reality:

i.imgur.com
2014-01-10 11:32:05 AM
1 votes:
More Al Qaeda seems to guarantee only one thing - more dead Muslims.
2014-01-10 11:27:08 AM
1 votes:
Maybe if we change our name to the United States of Al Qaeda they will become confused and start sending us money.
2014-01-10 11:23:37 AM
1 votes:
Did they not get the "Mission Accomplished" memo? Did we not tell them we won? Jesus, just fax it to them-- I'm sure that'll put an end to all this.
2014-01-10 11:22:57 AM
1 votes:
Getting the feeling that the current policy is to just back out and stop pouring money down the hole.

Let them find out how great it is, then maybe the people left alive will abandon the madness.

Nah, they'll be swinging swords at each other on horseback in a generation.
2014-01-10 11:22:35 AM
1 votes:
There was no AQ in Iraq before we invaded them.

This would have been hilarious unless 6 millions + total lives were not lost and trillions of dollars were not wasted.

/Those responsible are still drawing pictures and shooting people on the face
2014-01-10 11:22:14 AM
1 votes:
That still counts as change
2014-01-10 11:21:18 AM
1 votes:
Throw all the shoes at George Bush. ALL OF THEM!
2014-01-10 11:20:32 AM
1 votes:

BadAndy23: ISIS is also operating in Syria.

Well at least there's a chance they'll royally screw it up.  If ODIN was operating there, then we'd have problems.


I laugh every time I see a reference to ISIS.  They really need to change their name.

/I didn't pass out, I took a power blackout
2014-01-10 11:18:41 AM
1 votes:
At least they're all number 3s or lower
2014-01-10 11:17:29 AM
1 votes:
ISIS is also operating in Syria.

Well at least there's a chance they'll royally screw it up.  If ODIN was operating there, then we'd have problems.
2014-01-10 11:15:21 AM
1 votes:
Maybe the Muslim extremists are right and this is God guiding the to victory.
Allah be praised!
2014-01-10 11:13:46 AM
1 votes:
I guess we forgot to kill them in our "War on terror"
2014-01-10 11:13:46 AM
1 votes:
Thanks Obama!
 
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