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  • UN Report: Muslim Youth going to fight in Syria mostly not Motivated by Islam
    • I've always maintained that Daesh was a bunch of gangsters who hit on the most awesomest way ever to rationalize and purify their gangsterism. 20 years ago these guys were Iraqi Baathists, 10 years ago Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. So it makes total sense that the feedstock for this infernal machine is tribally outraged bros from around the globe, not folks who had two brain cells to rub together about religious doctrine.

  • ISIL/ Daesh can be Starved of Oil Revenue: Here's How
    • HaTayyarlik min al-Burg 12/10/2015 at 10:06 am

      Every plan seems deficient in lacking a definitive what-comes-after. Assuming a collapse of Daesh, who takes responsibility for this region (euphrates valley from Ramadi to al-Raqqa more or less). Assad or the rebels seem hardly capable. the Iraqi state's malign neglect seems largely responsible for the detente of the "surge" in al-Anbar devolving into this mess and becoming a base for Daesh's birth as a state in Syria.

      To my mind some actual existing nation needs to permanently govern this Daesh-controlled (largely sunni) region, rather than hoping that bombing and starving the region will result in the emergence of a state that is not a threat to its neighbors and the world.

      I think that its worth considering that the nations that used to encompass this territory are badly broken would actually be well served by LOSING this territory to a neighbor, for the benefit of internal/regional stability and good governance of the Daesh region.

      As stated, Syria and Iraq seem hardly capable. Who else could annex this area? The options seem to be Turkey, Saudi and Jordan.

      Jordan is probably the best candidate, being already swamped with refugees, has tribal connections to al-Anbar tribes, and is a reasonably stable Sunni majority state. What if The Jordanians could be persuaded to take over the Daesh territory from Ramadi to al-Raqqa, up to around Sinjar, giving Jordanian citizenship to the indigenous people, and receiving massive international aid to do so?

      The key here is to deny the guerrilla the hospitable sea of population it swims in. A foreign occupier like the US or UN cannot do this. the IRAQIS cannot do this. Clearly the Syrians cannot do this. But maybe the Jordanians can do this, being co-religionists and co-tribalists in many cases. A strong police and internal security service is needed, but maybe the Jordanians are the least terrible one available to do the job.

      Given a well defined end point, an international force (perhaps largely led by Arab League nations with western special forces) could clear the Daesh area pretty quickly and allow the Jordanian administration to be established.

      Some have spoken about the desirability of an independent Kurdistan. I disagree that its workable to have an independent nation, especially when it takes from Turkey, which the Turks will not allow. I think that Iraqi Kurdistan should take control of the northern parts of the Daesh area (as it has been doing) and should make a federation with what remains of Iraq after the western tribes are absorbed into Jordan.

      This could also be a tipping point to a negotiated solution in Syria, as an elimination of Daesh would actually severely weaken Assad.

      These geographic borders are colonialist legacies, and George W, Assad and Daesh have already rendered them moot. Why not redraw them to something that better serves the inhabitants of these nations?

      Commenters please poke holes in this concept! I know there will be lots of objections, not least that the Jordanians, Syrians and Iraqis might never agree, but the potential up-side seems very great to me.

  • Harvard confirms antique book is bound in human skin
    • This is actually quite common for medical texts of the day. The Mutter museum of the American Academy of Physicians, in Philadelphia, has a number of volumes on display.

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