The Jihadist goal of a pan-Islamic nation, Friedman's "New Caliphate" federation, is well documented. After the Taliban established the prototype state in Afghanistan, the Saudis first appreciated that they, themselves, were at risk. Core Al-Qa'ida may be seen as a Saudi "ex-patriot" movement, in which context what has happened, and is happening, makes sense.
The objective is to control Middle-Eastern (and beyond) oil and use it to strangle occidental (Western) secular modernism as enemy of Islam (think "Crusades" here). If it weren't for Saudi ties to the West, OPEC would have done it years ago. Thus is democracy branded an "infidel institution." Indeed, there IS an inherent conflict between personal freedom and fundamentalist theocracy (read "burqa"). The West worked through that in the 16th century, as I recall. It's about power, is what.
WMD were an obvious pretense for a move into Iraq. There was a certain irrationality to it at the time, as the UN inspectors were about to conclude they didn't exist. But, as Friedman points out, that move was strategic: it's no coincidence that BOTH Iran and Saudi Arabia become "surrounded" as consequence, not to mention the actual oil reserves there.
There are larger issues, of course, key among them being the legitimacy of the abstract "cause" of each side. However, 9/11 sealed the engagement for America; we're in it now, and the enemy is tangible....
Very interesting, and, I believe, accurate.
What, if I might ask, is your occupation?Originally Posted by Zilch
IRS says I'm an InventorOriginally Posted by mikebake
Am I too wordy?
It's old stuff, actually. More here.
After 9/11, Al-Qa'ida said: "America, ask yourself why this happened."
It'd be good if more of us tried to figure it out....
I am not interested in starting a political debate and will drop out if this thread takes that turn. I just want to point out a problem that I have with articles of this type. It is all assertion with no evidence. Its premise is that the current administration is playing a "much deeper game" with the war in Iraq but provides absolutely no evidence of who developed this game plan, who the current players are, and most importantly, any documentation that such a game plan existed before the war began. It would have you believe that an administration that has publicly disavowed Realpolitik as part of the previous administation's failed foreign policy, is actually a master of the craft. Not to mention that this approach is 180 degrees opposed to the current administation's stated vision of moral clarity in foreign affairs. Again, all of this without a shred of evidence. That the article makes no mention of the fact that book's author and company are considered to have strong right-wing and corporate ties, does little to aid its objectivity.
I have no problem with discussion and debate on the the merits of the war in Iraq and believe an honest discussion would be very healthy (although not here). I do have a problem with thinly disguised spin being portayed as objective analysis.
I'm surprised of the awareness outside the 52 states, well I suppose there is some relevance
The article reads like a documentary to upstage 60 minutes, not exactly fact and plenty of fiction.
The Australian doesn't exactly employ award winning Journalists as a rule. Recommended newspapers are The Financial Review and The Age.
This is our real threat on the next month or so
Friedman's web site at $440/yr is darn expensive and it is interesting that people would pay that much.
The Internet has certainly changed the availability of information for anyone who wants to tune in.
For what it's worth, a friend's brother who is a Major General and is directly involved says similar things as the article.
I'd bought Friedman's book a couple of weeks back and the article has prompted me to move it from the category of books one ought to read to actually reading it. His description of the US intelligence bureaucracy/muddle is pretty amazing.
I have taken my response to email since it enters the realm of politics. I would suggest that anyone entertaining the same thoughts take the same approach.
Ian,Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie
I once corresponded with the rep from Canada about where I could find Mike's Hard Lemonade in the US. She said it was imported into "all 52 states".
Since Canadians and Australians think we have added states since Alaska (49th) and Hawaii (50th), perhaps it is time to add some more. Let's hope they're not from the middle east.
Guess the Aussies and Canucks must be considering Guam and Puerto Rico to be 'de-facto states' or something... it's not a big stretch, I would think...
This Is Gordon's Page: www.geocities.com/gordonwaters
I want stir the pot any further.
If the Aussies and Canucks wanna consider themselves states, that's fine.
IRS will be in touch shortly.
[They don't get ta vote, tho....]
Ut, oh. This is getting POLITICAL!
As a Canuck I (and just about every fellow Canadian I know) am fully aware that there are 48 states. - That's a jokeOriginally Posted by GordonW
Seriously, if you were to take the average Canadian and the average American and quizzed them about the background of their neigbouring country, I guarantee that the Canadian will know more about their counterpart. It's pretty hard not to. We are innundated with your media. Standard cable carries all of the US networks and at least 3-24hr US cable news channels (more if you subscribe to optional packages). Just as an example, how many of you can name our head of state, head of goverment and leader of the opposition? I can name your President, Vice President, majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate.
It can actually be quite comical to travel in the southern part of the US and try to explain where I am from in Canada. I was once asked in what part of Africa the country of Manitoba was located. One fairly widespread impression seems to be that there are only 12 of us Canadians and that we live in the same appartment building. On more than one occaision, when I have said I am from Winnipeg Canada, I have gotten this type of reply: "Well you must know my Uncle John in Toronto" (for those that don't know, Toronto is a city of 4,000,000 located 1500 miles away)
The question I want to know, is why would you be inundated with American media, unless there is a Canadian market for it?Originally Posted by Don McRitchie
"Just as an example, how many of you can name our head of state, head of goverment and leader of the opposition? I can name your President, Vice President, majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate."
These reason you can and most of us cannot is that in comparison to the US posts you mentioned, the Canadian posts are not as important to the rest of the world.
I wouldn't be suprised if there are people in countries around the world who don't even know the name of their own national leader, but know the US Presidents name.
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