Thursday, May 30, 2013

the end of sykes-picot

lrb | When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, it changed the overall balance of power and destabilised every country in the region. The same thing is happening again, except that the impact of the Syrian war is likely to be less easily contained. Already the frontier dividing the western deserts of Iraq from the eastern deserts of Syria is ceasing to have any physical reality. In April, al-Qaida in Iraq embarrassed the rebels’ Western supporters by revealing that it had founded, reinforced with experienced fighters and devoted half its budget to supporting al-Nusra, militarily the most effective rebel group. When Syrian soldiers fled into Iraq in March they were ambushed by al-Qaida and 48 of them were killed before they could return to Syrian territory.

There is virtually no state in the region that hasn’t got some stake in the conflict. Jordan, though nervous of a jihadi victory in Syria, is allowing arms shipments from Saudi Arabia to reach rebels in southern Syria by road. Qatar has reportedly spent $3 billion on supporting the rebels over the last two years and has offered $50,000 to every Syrian army defector and his family. In co-ordination with the CIA it has sent seventy military flights to Turkey with arms and equipment for the insurgents. The Tunisian government says that eight hundred Tunisians are fighting on the rebel side but security sources are quoted as saying the real figure is closer to two thousand. Moaz al-Khatib, the outgoing president of the Syrian National Coalition, which supposedly represents the opposition, recently resigned, declaring as he did so that the group was controlled by outside powers – i.e. Saudi Arabia and Qatar. ‘The people inside Syria,’ he said, ‘have lost the ability to decide their own fate. I have become only a means to sign some papers while hands from different parties want to decide on behalf of the Syrians.’ He claimed that on one occasion a rebel unit failed to go to the rescue of villagers being massacred by government forces because they hadn’t received instructions from their paymasters.

Fear of widespread disorder and instability is pushing the US, Russia, Iran and others to talk of a diplomatic solution to the conflict. Some sort of peace conference may take place in Geneva over the next month, with the aim at least of stopping things getting worse. But while there is an appetite for diplomacy, nobody knows what a solution would look like. It’s hard to imagine a real agreement being reached when there are so many players with conflicting interests. Five distinct conflicts have become tangled together in Syria: a popular uprising against a dictatorship which is also a sectarian battle between Sunnis and the Alawite sect; a regional struggle between Shia and Sunni which is also a decades-old conflict between an Iranian-led grouping and Iran’s traditional enemies, notably the US and Saudi Arabia. Finally, at another level, there is a reborn Cold War confrontation: Russia and China v. the West. The conflict is full of unexpected and absurd contradictions, such as a purportedly democratic and secular Syrian opposition being funded by the absolute monarchies of the Gulf who are also fundamentalist Sunnis.

By savagely repressing demonstrations two years ago Bashar al-Assad helped turn mass protests into an insurrection which has torn Syria apart. He is probably correct in predicting that diplomacy will fail, that his opponents inside and outside Syria are too divided to agree on a peace deal. He may also be right in believing that greater foreign intervention ‘is a clear probability’. The quagmire is turning out to be even deeper and more dangerous than it was in Iraq.


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umbrarchist said...

THE GAME OF NATIONS: The Amorality of Power Politics By Miles Copeland

This is an interesting book though dated relative to the world today though the principles have not changed. But how does physics and 9/11 fit in all of the games? If most people in the world knew enough physics to see that it has to be a lie, then what?

CNu said...

Physics has nothing to do with piercing the propaganda enshrouding this situation. Killer-ape resource war and the history of the same is the shooting match, same as it ever was....,

umbrarchist said...

I disagree. If someone fully understands for themselves why it is laughable to even think that airliners with 10,000 gallons of fuel could totally destroy skyscrapers 2000 times their own mass in less than two hours and notice that the entire physics profession does not even discuss the motion of the tilted top portion of the south tower then it is obvious that there are fundamental problems with the psychology of Western Culture and the academia behind it.

CNu said...

Seems as though you've neglected the force of the strike itself. The mass times acceleration of those jets was entirely captured at the top end of what is a very long beam. I'm thinking a ruler "twanged" on the edge of a table here. That had to set up a vibration up and down the length of the tower of remarkable force and duration, not to mention whatever kind of profound and pervasive structural damage all the oscillating inflicted on the tower in its own right.

I remember how wind was enough to set up such an oscillation in the Hancock Tower in Boston, until such time as it was very interestingly compensated for. Windows would pop out of that tower with the consequences you might imagine for anything beneath those falling sheets of plate glass. Anyway, I say all that to say I don't sincerely find the twin towers collapse precipitated by fully fueled jetliners as beyond the pale.

umbrarchist said...

"Seems as though you've neglected the force of the strike itself."

You can believe I am that dumb if you want. The NIST report contains a graph of the impact and oscillation of the south tower. I downloaded the report and burned it to DVD 6 years ago. The building deflected 15 inches at the 81st floor where the plane impacted. The towers were designed to sway 36 inches at the top in a 150 mph wind. That means it would move 26 inches at the 81st floor. So the impact only took the building to 60% of its capacity.

There is a model demonstrating the effect of impact.

A concrete slab on one floor outside the core weighed 600 tons. The slabs were 12 feet apart and the diameter of the planes fuselage was 17 feet. So either a slab sliced up the middle of the fuselage on it hit two slabs. So the fuselage would not have much structural integrity by the time it reached the core.

Where did you get that "fully fueled" crap? People who believe in the collapse regularly say that. The fuel capacity was 25,000 gallons. But there were only 10,000 gallons on board at impact. So it was only 40% fueled.

But when do you ever hear how many tons of steel were on each level that supposedly had to weaken in 1 hour for the south tower and 1.75 hours for the north tower?

The problem with the south tower is the top 30 storeys breaking loose and tilting. How many columns had to shear for that to happen? And the the NIST report never mentions the "center of mass" or "center of rotation" of the top of the south tower. Great physics for the nation that put men on the Moon.

The north tower had a smaller portion to destroy 90 intact storeys. That is ridiculous!

Now before 2001 scientists at Sandia Labs could do a simulation of a kilometer wide asteroid hitting the Earth at 25,000 mph.

So how is it with another 12 years of computer progress we can't get an accurate simulation of a skyscraper collapse that should not exceed 300 mph?

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