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Total number of comments: 3 (since 2013-11-28 16:56:16)

Ihsan Alkhatib

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  • Syrian Civil War Spreads to Lebanon: Beirut Shaken by Iran Embassy Blast, kills 23, wounds 150
    • Dr. Cole this is great analysis. However, I have three comments.
      1. You call Dr. Samir Geagea a "far rightwing" Christian. I have no idea what that means. I have been following Lebanese news closely and he does not seem "far right wing." MP Aoun sounds more extreme than him- as to the Palestinians and the Syrian refugees, for example.
      2. You write that "as I can tell most of the Iraqis are mainly defending Shiite shrines in Syria in danger of being demolished by radical iconoclastic Salafi Sunnis." The protection of the shrines is the pretext for intervention in Syria by Iran's proxies. Who threatened to demolish these sites? Is that the real reason that Iran and its proxies are involved or is it used to excite the Shiite masses against an intervention they would have otherwise opposed? The original pretext was defending the Shiites who live in the border areas then the shrines issue came up. Are there shrines in Qaseer and Halab/Aleppo?

      3. You call Shaykh al Aseer of Saida/Sidon and his supporters Salafists. Shaykh Al Aseer's political stands are not Salafists- he accepts the consociational model, for example. Also, he does not identify himself as a Salafist. He specifically denied that he is a Salafist as the term is commonly understood. Not that he considers being a Salafist a charge to deny.

  • What we Lost: Top Ten Ways the Iraq War Harmed the US
    • Ihsan Alkhatib 03/18/2013 at 1:56 am

      Great article. As to # 5 it should also be noted that torture was not effective in getting reliable information and the George W. Bush administration lied repeatedly about the usefulness of so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques/torture and the popular media keeps propagating the myth that torture produces valuable intelligence. Former FBI agent Ali Soufan in the Black Banners disproved that and the Congressional Report challenged that as well. Worse yet- Soufan asserts that the W. administration had detainees tortured even when they were already cooperating.

  • The Rise of the Sunnis and the Decline of Iran, Iraq and Hizbullah: The Middle East in 2013
    • Framing the developments as a decline of Iranian influence and reach would be more accurate than framing it as a Shia/Sunni thing. Azerbaijan is the only other Shia majority country in the world and it has a completely different politics from Iran.

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