March 19, 2011

Britain and France in North Africa

Obama has reiterated frequently that America is not leading the war in Libya, Britain and France are. Because, historically, Britain and France have never made anybody but friends in North Africa. They have clean hands and no track record in the region of trying to pull anything. Whoever heard of Britain and France trying to, say, steal the Suez Canal from Egypt in 1956, or de facto ruling Egypt for 60 years, or ruling Tunisia and half of Morocco, or letting a million Europeans settle Algeria and fighting an eight-year long war to hang on to it?

60 comments:

David Davenport said...

Whoever heard of Britain and France trying to, say, steal the Suez Canal from Egypt in 1956, or de facto ruling Egypt for 60 years, or ruling Tunisia and half of Morocco, or letting a million Europeans settle Algeria and fighting an eight-year long war to hang on to it?

What's your problem with any of that?

Doesn't evolution imply that a drive for more life-space is healthy?

Anonymous said...

Whoever heard of France allying with Al Quaeda in Libya to triangulate between les anglo saxons and les arabs?

Le Monde said 'Nous Sommes Americaines' after 9/11 and yet the abominable Bush actually expected France to support American actions against jihad! Even after getting a sanctimonious newspaper headline, the vile anglo-saxons actually thought Nato defended America as well as La Belle France!

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind a lot of slavers came out of North Africa. This book, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters, estimates over a million Europeans were enslaved by those vibrant folks from North Africa. Britain and France helped put an end to this.

Anonymous said...

I think they're worried that Libyan refugees will flee the country for the shores of the EU. Military action gives them a way to keep the rebels from fleeing.

It is true that the Europeans could stop the Libyan rebels from fleeing Africa, but they're not going to do that. No, it's much more respectable to keep them in Libya by smashing the local government and letting the rebels take it over.

You know, maybe if we had done the same thing in Vietnam, we wouldn't have all these southeast Asian and Hmong in America now.

Anonymous said...

Second Anonymous, go fuck yourself. The French immediately backed the US attack on Afghanistan and committed combat troops, warplanes, and an aircraft carrier to the war effort. The fact that they thought invading Iraq (which, I might remind you, had nothing to do with 9/11) was a dumb idea and tried to talk us out of it is to their credit, not blame.

Anonymous said...

We should mind our own business.

Chicago said...

Are we looking to partition Libya? Perhaps they could inform us as to who these rebels are and why we're supposed rush to their aid now that they've almost fizzled out on their own. We'll probably get some puff stories about how they treat women wonderfully, extend full rights to gays, love the black Africans, and how they all hunger for freedom. Since the USA had to move fast the usual propaganda lead-up to these affairs was short in this case and so will be developed as things move along.

Anonymous said...

"The fact that they thought invading Iraq (which, I might remind you, had nothing to do with 9/11) was a dumb idea and tried to talk us out of it is to their credit, not blame."

Actually they were stealing oil. Remember that? No?

ok

Whiskey said...

Damn Google/Blogger.

Short bit -- France was the victim of Muslim slavery up until they conquered much of North Africa, after the US second Barbary War showed how weak the Muslim powers were. Heck not even Charlemagne could kick out Muslim occupiers from Southern France who lingered there until around 1000 or so. Britain got into the Med fighting with Napoleon.

Whiskey said...

Worrying about Muslims liking us or not is what ... Obama worried about. He's an idiot. Jonah Goldberg was completely correct about making an example of some small country every ten years. Putin did this with Georgia and it had its effect (he was wise to do this).

Pakistan is a major nuclear power, they have more nukes than the UK and France combined (>100 vs. around 50 for the Europeans combined). Their people are a seething mass of stupid jihadis who hate Westerners, weak/effete Swedes and Americans alike. Iran will soon have nukes. Deterrence rests on making explicit examples to not very smart, not very abstract, tribal peoples who doubt our capacity and willingness to use force.

Nailing Khadaffi will if nothing else deter Iran from ambitions in Saudi and the rest of the Gulf. We are long past anything but deeds with them now. An explicit example will gain us about ten years of deterrence, from which we can use our time wisely.

Until our cars run on rainbows and unicorn farts, this is reality.

jack strocchi said...

Steve S. said:

Whoever heard of Britain and France trying to, say, steal the Suez Canal from Egypt in 1956, or de facto ruling Egypt for 60 years, or ruling Tunisia and half of Morocco, or letting a million Europeans settle Algeria and fighting an eight-year long war to hang on to it?

You forgot Italy. We are part of the UN humanitarian bombing campaign. We don't want to miss out on any of the fun.

Italy has a long and glorious history of disastrous military campaigns in Libya, not to mention East Africa and Ethiopia. What Italy needs now is a revival of the Roman Empire and "turn the Mediterranean into an Italian lake".

Forza Italia!

Sid said...

It seems like Sarkozy has taken a, "Kick out the world, invade the world" policy. The North African political storm has blown Arab and black immigrants to Europe, and it seems the European powers are antsy about that, since they're starting to lash back against multicultural ideals.

Anonymous said...

Right you are Steve.
France, in particular, has very dirty hands in the Maghreb - an the not unconnected nightmare of untold millions of resentful, surly, useless and horrible Maghrebi immigrants on French soil.
In fact the whole French project of colonizing Algeria way back in 1834 has been nothing but a disaster from start to finish - the irony is hat the ultimate endgame is that Algeria colonized France!
That said the Fench rather nastily and duplicitously refused to give their defeated stooge Ben Ali of Tunisia asylum in his hour of need (might inflame the banlieu beurs, you know).
Anyhow the joker in the pack is Algeria run by a viciously brutal French backed dictatorship (much worse than anything Gaddafi ever did)that has illegitmately denied the democratically elected Islamist FIS Party power, but strangely enough we nary hear a peep about this.
That absurd strutting bantam-cock Sarkozy is a dick.
Surely he must know that a Gaddafi defeat will ony serve to embolden FIS and provoke conflict in Algeria.France is petrified of Islamists running Algeria, to the point of putting ground troops there.How this will play out with the other absurdist French policy of mass Maghrebi immigration, I do not know.
And as for Britain's David Cameron,well it's just grandstanding, strutting, preening, chest-puffing stuff.Since Thatcher's Falklands victory (and semi-mythological poll-boosting), every British PM since has puffed up the idea of a 'nice winnable little jingoistic war' as the sure-fire remedy to sagging poll ratings.

Ross said...

I think the UK is hoping for a Kosovo like war where a bit of bombing is sufficient to win the conflict.

SFG said...

Strikes me as one of these places where the EU and American interests diverge. The EU's worried about hordes of refugees, but America has no reason to care one way or the other. But our elites...

Sort of like the way the Anglophilic ruling class dragged us into WWI.

Un Rosbif said...

Obama has reiterated frequently that America is not leading the war in Libya, Britain and France are.

So Obama says to his domestic audience that he's not GW Bush. He doesn't want to remind voters that he was the messiah who going to bring peace on Earth, and yet Americans are still getting killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Whoever heard of Britain and France trying to, say, steal the Suez Canal from Egypt in 1956, or de facto ruling Egypt for 60 years, or ruling Tunisia and half of Morocco, or letting a million Europeans settle Algeria and fighting an eight-year long war to hang on to it?

Ha! The Obama team knows that the people who are likely to vote for Obama are likely to know little or nothing of anyone else's history. But they will know the USA is an eveeel racist empire.

England is where the Queen comes from and France is made of cheese.

Also, maybe Obama's team are worried that word might get out that this time we're siding with the eveeeel racists:
http://davidrothscum.blogspot.com/2011/03/libyan-insurgents-begin-to-reverse.html

Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic, Cameron and Sarkozy need the approval of President Morgan Freeman...Nelson Mandela...Obamarama...some saintly black dude, not only to show to their domestic audiences that they're not evil imperialists, but also the USA must be seen to be on board so this doesn't turn into another Suez type f*ck up and bring Cameron's and Sarkozy's political careers crashing down to Earth.

Lets not forget Obamaramas grandaddy was a maumau terrorist.

If I was Cameron, I certainly wouldn't trust obama until he demonstrated he wasn't going to screw it up for those nasty euro-imperialists.

Everyone's a winner - except Ghadaffi and those Black 'mercenary' dudes from the South.

Popcorn?

Anonymous said...

"steal the Suez Canal"

I think you'll find that it was the Egyptians that stole the Suez canal from Britain and France and then we took it back before you stabbed us in the back so you could be pally with the Communists... Bitter? Me? No...

dearieme said...

"steal the Suez Canal from Egypt in 1956": you've got that one backwards. Egypt had stolen the canal from them.

Hail said...

Anonymous wrote:
they're worried that Libyan refugees will flee the country for the shores of the EU

Sarkozy encourages Interracial Marriage ("Racially mixing is an obligation, otherwise we are finished").

I don't see why he would have any serious problem with Libyan refugees. They would be new blood to help energize France. Diversity is Strength!

Anonymous said...

Egypt and France did not try to "steal" the Suez Canal from "Egypt." They simply took it back from a dictator who had stolen it for himself -- until their theoretical ally stabbed them in the back, creating much of the French anti-Americanism that still exists.

That may have been the single worst policy decision the U.S. has made since WWII (though our failure to nuke China after that country's unprovoked attack on our forces in Korea was probably worse).

Still, the Suez thing embittered France and ended all chance that our allies would be some of the costs of policing the savage world. It also emboldened crazy people in the Middle East to "stand up" to us, making both the OPEC crises and the Iranian revolution possible. Also, no failure at Suez and there's a much higher chance that the Arabs realize that there's no possible victory over Israel, so they just accept it.

Robert said...

President Peace Prize sure do like killing folks.

MQ said...

It's smart to let the EU take the lead in this stupid war.

And agreed on second anonymous (whiskey?) being a fool -- France was trying to help us by keeping us out of Iraq. Chirac -- who actually fought Muslims in North Africa, unlike the armchair imperialists around here -- knew exactly what he was talking about.

France was the victim of Muslim slavery up until they conquered much of North Africa, after the US second Barbary War showed how weak the Muslim powers were.

Whiskey showing his usual penetrating acuity here -- France was the victim of Muslim slavers until the 19th century? Until after Napoleon conquered Egypt? Ummm, uh, right, something was missing from my history books there.

Of course, in the past Whiskey has informed us that Spain is still today under threat from a violent invasion from Morocco, so I guess it's all consistent.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading a while back now that a German lead consortium planned to a massive scale solar energy project in the Sahara Desert, with the aim of supplying Europe with electricity.The idea was to cover vast swathes of desert with solar arrays an pipe the juice to Europe.
Cooperation with the Maghrebi states was a prerequisite, and this would have been easy mony for them.
With the Japanese nuclear disaster (what happened to that?), still ringing in our ears, the matter couldn't be more apt.
How does the Libyan unrest play out with this scheme?

Daybreaker said...

jack strocchi: "Italy has a long and glorious history of disastrous military campaigns in Libya, not to mention East Africa and Ethiopia."

It also had a crushing success, from building a fence (a real one with barbed wire, not a "virtual fence"), followed by mass expulsions.

Anonymous said...

"We should mind our own business."

We should. But, we won't.

The GLOBAL MIND is here. The US can't seem to even entertain the idea that global involvement should be slowed down or reduced by some fractional amount. If this were poker, the US would be known as the player that's all in EVERY hand. Not a winning strategy.

Anonymous said...

Arab League denounces air campaign by Western powers

See what they suckered us into?

Why the hell can't our overclass leave well-enough alone?

Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

Pakistan is a major nuclear power, they have more nukes than the UK and France combined (>100 vs. around 50 for the Europeans combined)."

This is an assinine statement, even by your standards, Whiskey. Britain and France are currently estimated to have around 500 nuclear warheads between them. Plus they have sophisticated delivery mechanisms like air-to-ground missiles, and nuclear ballistic-missile submarines (which the mighty Pakistani juggernaut does not have).

I suppose perhaps Pakistan does have more motor-boats - a mighty fleet of them which they are saving up for the great Jihadi motor-boat invasion of 2011. Our foolish military has permitted this deplorable motor-boat gap.

JSM said...

"Until our cars run on rainbows and unicorn farts, this is reality."

Wyoming Powder River Basin coal that has been sent through the Fischer-Tropsch process is not unicorn farts.

The Nazis, finding themselves cut off from ME oil by Allied blockade, fought a war on 2 fronts using their domestic coal sources to make gas and diesel.

Of course, since Hitler did it, it must be eeeeeeeeeevillllllllll.

RobertB said...

Actually, "Whiskey"is sort of right vis-a-vis European slaves being sold into north Africa. It is you who are ignorant of this.

Short list: during the Caliphate's rule of Spain, no less than two Papal Bulls were declared decrying the selling of Christian slaves into N. Africa via Spain. This is one of the reasons why the Spaniards were so brutal in expelling certain groups after 1490, those groups were complicit in the slave trade.

In the Eastern Caliphate, Slavs were the pet species of "slaves" (get it, Slav=slave) for the Turks.

The Barbary Pirates were slavers--

Adams paid them tribute to leave the American ships alone (passengers and crews sold into slavery), Jefferson ran for president on a platform that called for no more tribute to be paid and instead, a fleet to be built and a Marine Corps raised to invade Tripoli and kill them all--"From The halls of Montezuma to the SHORES OF TRIPOLI......". You know, the Marine Corps Anthem?

Different scholars have different estimates, but the figures run from 3 millions to 6 million slaves of European ancestry sold into N. Africa over the course of 1000 years or so. Nothing hotter than a blond concubine--male or female, to the Arab.

Suggest you read a little history before engaging your derisive tongues in error.

BTW, I agree with the poster who pointed out that our greatest post WW2 diplomacy disaster was forcing England and France to back off re the Suez Canal. Nasser would have been over thrown and much that we have dealt with ever since would not have happened.

Anonymous said...

True enough, but Britain and France today are not what they once were, no more than Germany today is Germany of the Nazi era.
Of course, there is a great irony here. France bombed the hell out of Algeria, killing 10,000s of people. Total Algerian dead in that war may have reached over a million. So, how odd that France is now bombing Libya in the name of saving/protecting the peole from Gadfly.
On the other hand, times do change. There was no love lost between Japan and rest of Asia during WWII and much of Cold War. Today, China and South Korea are sending rescue workers and aid to China.
US imported black slaves from Africa and denied equal rights to blacks in the past. Since the 60s, US has been at the forefront of pro-black causes. In the 80s, US even imposed sanctions on South Africa.

Europe used to be openly antisemitic. Today, it is, after the US, the most philosemitic place on Earth. So, the very people who used to historically badmouth Jews as leeches and 'Christ-killers' have instituted laws banning anti-Jewish speech.
So, history never remains the same.

But, it would still be naive to say West is acting primarily out of good will in LIbya. This may be its opportunity to get even with Gadfly, a deeply loathed figure for many decades. In the past, Western nations made deals with Gadfly on the premise that most Libyans more or less supported him or were too afraid to rise up against him. Yet recent events have shown otherwise. Indeed, if Gadfly didn't have superior arms, he would have been toppled weeks ago by the majority of Libyans. So, the people of Libya are mostly against him.
In Iraq, though US invaded the country in the name of liberating the people from Hussein, most Muslims saw an unprovoked American/Christian/Zionist attack on a Muslim nation.
But, the West was smart to wait out the events this time. IF it had intervened too early, the narrative could have turned into 'West attacks Muslims'. But the West waited until it was clearly Muslim masses vs a Muslim tyrant. It's etched into the minds of people all over the world--even Muslims--that Gadfly is killing his own people who are crying out for help. And so, military actions by the West seem morally justified.
In history, what is most crucial is not so much WHAT but WHEN. Timing is crucial. It's like comedy. Bad timing kills the joke. Good timing brings the house down.
We'll have to see how this plays out, but so far, it's good that the West hovered like a vulture and let things develop on the ground to a crisis point before finally swooping in to carry off with the kill. It's preferable to what US did in Iraq, tearing in like a hawk and opening up a hornet's nest and getting all stung. Bush and Neocons did find the ripe opportunity after 9/11, but they rushed in without much thought.

As I see it, it would be foolish for the West to go in with ground forces unless it can be guaranteed the liberator's welcome. It's better to manipulate events from above, like a puppet master.
The real danger is not Gadfly vs the rebels, but the possibility of rebels vs rebels, which is what tore Afghanistan apart after the defeat of the USSR. And Yugoslavian disaster happened as a result of liberation from communism, unleashing inter-ethnic warfare. And the biggest headache from the Iraq War was the Sunni-Shia conflict.
I don't know much about Libyans. Do most Libyans identify themselves as 'Libyans' or is the nation divided along tribal and regional differences?

Whiskey said...

What is particularly bad about how Obama got into this, as HotAir noted, is that he has accepted the notion that the UN can order the US into military action to "protect" various people. That there is an open-ended ability by the UN to order US military personnel to "protect" various populations for whatever reason.

Reason # 5,324 that Obama is the worst President ever. Apparently the argument by Susan Rice and Susan Power and Hillary persuaded Obama to order the attack on Libya.

Showing successful force (like say, three weeks ago when Khadaffi was reeling) is useful if for nothing else to deter Iran from mischief in the Gulf (where most of the world's oil is pumped). Now it is much harder, Obama is driven by the UN, any rational fear is gone. [Predictably the Arab League went from endorsing a No Fly Zone and action against Khadaffi to being against it, because they abhor Obama's weakness fetish. Being weak is a disaster.]

Svigor said...

Keep in mind a lot of slavers came out of North Africa. This book, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters, estimates over a million Europeans were enslaved by those vibrant folks from North Africa. Britain and France helped put an end to this.

Under the auspices of North African governments, no doubt. :)

(The lesson being, if you want to get away with slavery, be a basketcase with no governmental continuity. Oh, and enslave white people.)

Svigor said...

Nailing Khadaffi will if nothing else deter Iran from ambitions in Saudi and the rest of the Gulf.

Yeah, cuz, Kuwait/Iraq/Afghanistan was too subtle.

I'm curious, how can Goldberg be right about his "once every 10 years" thing, when you're advocating, what, once every 3? Probably an exaggeration, but surely we're well ahead of the once every 10 years quota once you throw in Somalia, Iraq Attaq 1 and 2 (and shouldn't the no fly period take the years in question off the table?), Afghanistan, and now Libya?

You guys can't both be right.

How come you don't give a shit about Korea? Nuts with nukes, but too far from the Jews to be any real trouble?

Graham Asher said...

What's with the anglophobia and francophobia, Steve? I'm sure you knew that Britain and France attacked Egypt in 1956 to retrieve their own property. So - assuming you did know that - why the distortion? It's not what we normally expect from you.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes those resourceful Egyptians who came up with the idea of the Suez canal only to have those wiley Euros steal it away from them.

Anonymous said...

Sort of like the way the Anglophilic ruling class dragged us into WWI.

And who dragged Britain in?

Anonymous said...

From No Fly Zone to No Gadfly Zone.

Laban said...

Berlusconi was paying Gaddafi $200m a year for boat patrols and a certain amount of physical discouragement, to prevent illegal immigrants heading to Lampedusa. An Italian firm, Finmeccanica, was going to construct a radar system to monitor Libya’s desert borders.

“As part of a reparation deal with Italy worth $5 billion, Qaddafi agreed in 2008 to tighten border controls. That led to the number of Libyan migrants to Italy falling to fewer than 3,000 in 2010 from a record 37,000 two years earlier. In Malta, the influx dropped from a 2008 high of 84 boats bringing 2,775 people to 2 boats carrying 47 in 2010.”

Yesterday, BBC news : "23:44:Libyan state television cites a senior security source as saying that Libya has decided to "absolve itself from taking responsibility for stemming illegal immigration to Europe"."



Interesting fact 1 - the French Total oil company apparently managed to keep its plant and product going in Algeria right the way through one of the nastiest wars there's ever been - the Algerian war of independence.

Interesting fact 2 - an Australian investment fund manager wrote the following on his blog two weeks ago :

"...it comes as a big surprise to see Total (ahem the French Government) recognizing the Libyan rebels as a legitimate nation and exchanging ambassadors. France does not sell arms to rebels or terrorists. Recognition of the rebels as a nation is a basis for supplying them weapons. France has gone further and is the major proponent of a no-fly zone. It has also advocated bombing Libya.

Given the very substantial French oil interests in Libya it is absurd to think that Sarkozy did this without either the tacit acceptance of Total or without Total's interests in mind. France is not keen to go to war (even with jets and no casualties) in support of American oil companies. They think differently about their own oil companies."



Re Algeria - the Europeans had been there for over 100 years. When de Gaulle pulled out he signed the Evian accords.

"Then French president Charles de Gaulle wanted to maintain French interests in the area, including industrial and commercial primacy and control over Saharan oil reserves. In addition, the European French community (the colon population) in Algeria was guaranteed religious freedom and property rights as well as French citizenship with the option to choose between French and Algerian citizenship after three years."

In practice the Europeans were massacred and driven out, in some cases while nearby French forces stayed in their barracks. Only the clause about the oil was adhered to.

"No effort was made to stop the massacre either by the Algerian police or by the 18,000 French troops of General Katz who were still in the city at that time. Orders from Paris were "do not move," leaving Europeans in Oran unaided"

Anonymous said...

"Until our cars run on rainbows and unicorn farts, this is reality."

Flippant. How cute.
The fact is gas is going to run out sometime and how many wars do we want to go through to get it?

I'm sure Mr. Whiskey would be happy to go through any number of them. He's gonna sit there and watch other people die and ask himself "What's it to me."

Lovely human being.

Anonymous said...

Since absolutely every factual statement Whiskey makes is false and I don't have time to correct them all, I'll just pick a couple:

"Britain got into the Med fighting with Napoleon."

The Brits acquired Minorca in 1708 and Gibraltar in 1713. From the start these were used as naval bases for wider Mediterranean operations, basically for "ruling the waves" of the Mediterranean.

"...making an example of some small country every ten years. Putin did this with Georgia and it had its effect..."

Saakashvili started that war. Putin only reacted.

Anonymous said...

Reply to ROSS;

What did the U.K. "win"? Kosovo is a corrupt mafia-like state that is known mainly for drugs and human sex-slavery traffic. Some "win".

Anonymous said...

Something funny about this. France vehemently opposed the American effort in 2003 to get rid of Saddam Hussein who was many times more cruel and murderous than Khaddafi. Hussein killed many more people.
France opposed what it saw as unprovoked aggression by American hegemonists. French position was, yes, Hussein is bad, but he hadn't done anything to justify foreign intervention. Bush's popularity among the French was less than 10%.

Obama attacks Libya and prepares for a ground invasion, yet the French approval of him is over 80%. And I see no anti-war protests in France and US concerning the latest military actions and plans by so-called 'coalition forces', which are essentially NATO--US and former colonial powers of Europe. Why was it wrong to take out Hussein, the murderer of 100,000s, and why is it necessary to take out Khaddafi who, thus far, may have killed 100s or 1000s at most? Besides, Khaddafi has been fighting rebel forces, not indiscriminately killing civilians--something Hussein did to Kurds and Israel did to Gazans.

Are we to assume that France's main objection to the Iraq War was really due its treatment as a junior partner by the unilateralist Bush regime? Now that Obama 'respects' France as an equal partner, the French are more than willing to bomb a nation that didn't attack them? So, it was all about national ego than right and wrong? So, Shock and Awe is cool as long as it's Shockois and Awois as well?

David Davenport said...

... Because, historically, Britain and France have never made anybody but friends in North Africa. They have clean hands and no track record in the region of trying to pull anything. ... or letting a million Europeans settle Algeria ...

Steve, I have not been cheering for Shock and Awe V.2.0. I don't expect that this thunder from above stuff will make Libya safe for peace, love, and democracy.

However, your line of talk seems to imply that we palefaces should go home to the Olde Worlde and give America back to the Indians and Mexicans, does it not?

Steve, your ethics seem to be turn-the-other cheek Christian ethics, if I interpret you correctly.

There may be nothing wrong with idealistic Christian ethics, but perhaps you ought to sort of come out of the closet about your personal philosopy.

Anonymous said...

So the us is being drawn into a third world civil war that france helped start, where have we seen this before?

Anonymous said...

Steve -

Way off topic, but it looks like the JPPPI traitors are working overtime to keep themselves in the good graces of their would-be Chicom overlords:


Hollywood remake of Red Dawn spends $1m to change villains from Chinese to North Koreans... so as not to offend Beijing
By Paul Thompson
Last updated at 10:23 PM on 20th March 2011
dailymail.co.uk

...Studio bosses took the decision because they were afraid having China invade the U.S. would not go down well at the box office in Beijing.

China is one of the biggest emerging markets for Hollywood and bosses at MGM studios didn't want to risk offence....

TGGP said...

Whiskey's praises of Putin reminded me of a discussion earlier when he claimed that in contrast to Yeltsin's weakness, Putin's levelling of Grozny stopped terrorist attacks in Russia. Of course he was absolutely dead wrong, and comparing casualties Yeltsin comes off better.

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't evolution imply that a drive for more life-space is healthy?"

I think you mean "Lebensraum".

Anonymous said...

"What's with the anglophobia and francophobia, Steve? I'm sure you knew that Britain and France attacked Egypt in 1956 to retrieve their own property. So - assuming you did know that - why the distortion? It's not what we normally expect from you."

I think Steve was more taking a swipe at Obama's ahistorical view. It's as though he sees anything B.O. (Before Obama) as ancient history.
Gilbert Pinfold.

Anonymous said...

Fairly obvious reasons, Steve. After Irak & Afghanistan, US publicly taking the lead might be perceived as a further invasion rather than what is meant to be. Besides humbug Bush not in power (good riddance!), Libyans HAVE ASKED for the no-fly zone. True Kurdish sought help against Saddam Hussein, but the US goals then & there were certainly not supporting civilians.

I really hope the flame ignited in Tunis keeps spreading & Arabs finally get rid of dictators. Dunno if the outcome will be democracy or not, but they've earned the right to have a say. It's about politics not religion.

How about trying to grasp their point of view & stop transposing western views?

BTW, I'm a European Spanish, from the former Al-Andalus, under Arab dominion for circa 700 years; my mother tongue is full of Arab words and many local customs are linked to that past. Slavery? Which society didn't enforce it at those times? Aren't there many cultures in the world which don't even consider outsiders/Others as human beings?

In 1492, besides the Cristopher Columbus voyage, Spaniards finished the "Reconquest" and expelled Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula; shortly to be followed by Jews (Sephardim). Crusades were a war of religion & the Ottoman empire expanded later on. Please remember the numbers we use are of Arab origin, though paradoxically in North Africa they use Indian numbers; many agricultural systems were developed by them, and after the fall of the Western Roman Empire they preserved the works of Aristotle and many others which would have otherwise been destroyed.

Arabs & Ottomans are part of European history, same as Europe is part of theirs (Istanbul is Europe yet). How about trying to keep a balance & stop re-producing discourses of fear amplified by media and which only respond to partisan interests?


Obama is just being cautious, a change in US foreign policy I certainly appreciate.

Fred said...

"Whoever heard of Britain and France trying to, say, steal the Suez Canal from Egypt in 1956..."

I think you have that backwards. The British and French owned the canal (the French built it; the British bought a stake on the cheap later). Nasser stole it from them.

Felix said...

Pakistan is a major nuclear power, they have more nukes than the UK and France combined (>100 vs. around 50 for the Europeans combined).

Whiskey is such a clown. Britain and France have a total of EIGHT nuclear ballistic missile submarines between them, each of which is capable of carrying about 100 MIRVs to nearly anywhere in the world without even leaving port. Combined, the UK and France possess ~500 fusion warheads, all of which can be delivered by highly advanced ballistic missiles with no chance of interception.

In contrast Pakistan has a couple dozen puny fission devices (1940's tech) that may or may not work if the day comes, deliverable only by iron bombs from F16s, and thus highly vulnerable even in a purely regional scenario. Given any involvement by the US air force, those bombs may as well be deliverable by camels. Whiskey is the biggest "Scotch Irish" douche I ever came across.

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't evolution imply that a drive for more life-space is healthy?"

I think you mean "Lebensraum".

Manifest Destiny?

Anonymous said...

JSM:

The Nazis, finding themselves cut off from ME oil by Allied blockade, fought a war on 2 fronts using their domestic coal sources to make gas and diesel.

Didn't 90% of their oil come from co-belligerent Romania?

Anonymous said...

RobertB:

Different scholars have different estimates, but the figures run from 3 millions to 6 million slaves of European ancestry sold into N. Africa over the course of 1000 years or so. Nothing hotter than a blond concubine--male or female, to the Arab.

How many of the Arabs' slaves were Northern Europeans, and how many of them were co-racial Southern Europeans?

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, go easy on the whiskey.

JSM said...

"Didn't 90% of their oil come from co-belligerent Romania?"

Not after the Allies bombed their fields out of existence.





http://www.signaengineering.com/news/2004/romania.htm

"On August 1, 1943, United States bombers heavily bombed Ploiesti, severely damaging Adolf Hitler’s last supply of oil in Europe....the following year that the Allies completely destroyed these oil fields. "

http://www.velocys.com/docs/Microchannel_FT_White_Paper_Sep08.pdf

"During the 20th century,
these fuels were derived from coal in situations where
petroleum was not readily available, such as Germany
in WWII and South Africa during Apartheid"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_Campaign_of_World_War_II

The Ministry of Economic Warfare agreed with the March 1944 "Plan for Completion of Combined Bomber Offensive", which was both a "statement of the enemy oil position" and a "proposed attack on the fourteen synthetic plants and thirteen refineries" of Nazi Germany.[21] The plan estimated Axis oil production could be reduced 50% by bombing—33% below the amount Nazi Germany needed[6]

Anonymous said...

JSM:
"Didn't 90% of [Nazi Germany's] oil come from co-belligerent Romania?"

Not after the Allies bombed their fields out of existence.

http://www.signaengineering.com/news/2004/romania.htm

"On August 1, 1943, United States bombers heavily bombed Ploiesti, severely damaging Adolf Hitler’s last supply of oil in Europe....the following year that the Allies completely destroyed these oil fields. "

The August 1943 Ploesti raid (Operation Tidal Wave [not Tsunami]) was a worse disaster for the Allies than the Axis. Its only real value was morale-boosting propaganda, much like the Doolitle raid on Japan the year before, displaying the long reach of American airpower.

The Germans and Romanians quickly repaired the severe damage to their oilfields and refineries, and activated the reserve capacity of the latter.

Ploesti, contrary to common myth, was heavily defended, with elaborate security and repair facilities. The Allied 1942 and 1943 raids were no surprise to the Axis, and did little real damage. The Allies had to wait until late 1943, to secure and build up an airbase in southern Italy, before they could pound Ploesti in earnest.

By the time the Allies "bombed those fields out of existence", in mid-1944, Russian ground troops were within sight; and indeed captured Ploesti in August.

The war was almost over at that point, and the commies were getting ready to collectivize the Romanian oilfields. One wonders if the real Western Allied objective was to scare the hell out of the Russkies (as in Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.)

Chicago said...

That "Arabs and Ottomans are part of European history" is true in the sense that getting raped is also a part of one's history. Not something to wave a flag about. The numbers we use are Indian in origin, not created by Arabs. Whatever muslims have gotten credit for has always turned out, upon close inspection, to have been the product of others subjected by them, often converts to islam. The translations of Aristotle were done by Christians and muslim converts, racially non-Arab people. The more you look at all that's credited to Arabs and Turks you'll find precious little intellectual accomplishment by them but comes from the people who ended up in their service.

newt0311 said...

Whoever heard of Britain and France trying to, say, steal the Suez Canal from Egypt in 1956, or de facto ruling Egypt for 60 years, or ruling Tunisia and half of Morocco, or letting a million Europeans settle Algeria and fighting an eight-year long war to hang on to it?

Yeah. And these were the best times North Africa ever had. Both Egypt and Algeria owe Europe a huge debt of gratitude.

Anonymous said...

There are 15 Diktators in Afrika. The people need help. In Arabia Rommel brought the war at last. The whole antisemitic war in Arabia is caused by Adolf Hitler. England was the only Nation, which developed human rights, when whole Europe was taken by a stranger.