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Comment: Re:Jerri (Score 1) 517

There are ways to prevent wars between hostile groups. The more obvious one is redrawing the border such that each gets its slice, and in disputed areas, allocating them one way or another and forcibly resettling the population (as was done in the aftermath of WW2). It sucks, but it's better than a genocide later.

And why is it a good thing exactly?

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 517

As for the alliance - it was very seriously discussed by all sides from March to about July 1939 (UK and France kept talking after that, but Soviets weren't really listening anymore). So they were quite willing to make a deal with a devil. They - well, the Brits specifically, the French were more appreciative of the danger - just didn't want to go all the way in and "provoke" the Germans, especially since most everyone assumed that Soviets would be the next after Poland, so any committed allies of theirs would be dragged into war alongside.

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 517

remember that the continental royal families still had fresh memories of their Russian relations being massacred despite offers to secure their exile?

The Brits (or rather specifically George V) actually explicitly refused to shelter Nicholas after abdication. So did the French (granted, not a royal family, but a WW1 ally nevertheless). I'm not aware of any other offers.

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 517

How about actually allying with the Soviets against the Germans before WW2 began, and striking together as soon as Poland was invaded?

It was a very likely possibility, and USSR has actively explored just such an alliance. But it demanded a firm commitment to such a joint military action, with full involvement by all sides, that Brits weren't willing to sign up for (because they didn't think that a full-scale European war was inevitable even if Poland were to be invaded). So Soviets walked away and signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact instead.

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 517

They don't need to develop nuclear weapons, merely acquire them. That's much easier given that e.g. Pakistan already has them, and its military and intelligence services have been infested by Islamists for many years now. Granted, those are mostly people affiliated with al-Qaeda, but who's to say some of them won't switch their allegiance to ISIS? It already happened for large parts of the Pakistani Taliban.

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 517

The problem is no-one actually understood what the hell "stabilizing the situation" even means, and most certainly what American forces were doing there wasn't that. Instead, it was all make-pretend that they could actually establish a democratic government run by the locals. But such a thing, built on as shaky grounds as it was, in a country that is by its very nature split, would never have held for long. In other words, with the way this was done from day 1, it wouldn't matter if American soldiers left when they did, or 5 years later, the end result would have still been the same.

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 517

Finally, someone uses their brain. Sure, we could send a big army over there and stomp them into the ground. But then what?

Then you occupy the country for 20 years or so. No games with grassroots democracy, just old fashioned military administration, rebuilding the infrastructure and de-radicalizing the society and enforcing stability by force, until it can actually have a stable government and economy on its own.

Which, yeah, is basically colonialism. Except for the part where you don't extract resources, so it's also crazy expensive (and remember, 20 years!). So about the only country that might be interested in anything similar is Iran, on the grounds that it can simply annex huge parts of Iraq on a permanent basis.

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 517

It could be stopped by allying with USSR before the latter allied with Germany. USSR did in fact explore the option of an alliance with UK and France first, specifically over the issue of providing protection guarantees for Poland. The USSR specifically wanted a clear and firm guarantee that if Poland were to be attacked, the Western countries would enter the war with Germany alongside with the Soviets in more than a token effort (i.e. they didn't want to end up being the only ones facing the Germans there). As the Phony War has shown later, it was not an unreasonable fear. The French were interested in exploring such an approach, but the Brits still believed the war was not imminent, and refused on the fear of being dragged into a war on behalf of someone else.

Additionally, Soviets wanted to extend the agreement beyond just Poland, and in particular to prevent the then-independent Baltic states from openly allying with Germany by treating such an act as German aggression that would trigger the joint military intervention provisions of the agreement.

While Soviets were already in talks with the Germans, it was the collapse of the tripartite agreement talks that prompted them to switch gears and seek a full fledged treaty with the Germans, which resulted in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

The run-up to WW2 was really quite a mess in terms of who was supporting whom. Most people do remember the pact, but fewer are aware of the fact that Poland has participated in the partitioning of Czechoslovakia in 1938 on Nazi side, for example.

Comment: Re: Jerri (Score 1) 517

it's about "your soldier raped an Iraqi girl" or "soldier ran over Iraqi kid" - will it be tried in military courts or the Iraqi civilian ones

Of course it should be tried in the civilian court of the country in question, how else? For it to be otherwise would mean that the country doesn't exercise effective sovereignty on its territory, and the military in question is an occupying force in all but name, not even subject to the laws of the country that it occupies.

Comment: Re:Jerri (Score 1) 517

There's no way there can be a grassroots-organized local government that's stable enough for this to work out. Someone from the outside has to step in and, to put it bluntly, basically occupy the place well and good, with an occupation administration in place running things the way they need to be run (including forcibly suppressing revolts that are bound to happen on account of said occupation) for at least a decade, and possibly more.

It doesn't have to be the West. It can also be Iran, for example, or Turkey. It could also be all of those (occupation zones, like Germany post WW2). Or an organized multinational force under the aegis of UN. Or aliens from outer space.

It won't happen, though, because in the past few decades, we have placed national sovereignty and self-determination (and pretend that Iraq is even a single nation to begin with!) over preventing collapse of a stable society and civil wars.

Comment: Re:Jerri (Score 1) 517

And how many recruits are they actually getting? The numbers right now are somewhere in the thousands, all across the West - that's several hundred million people. So if we assume that ISIS recruiting rate == radicalization rate == failure to give people a stable life and/or treat their mental problems, we're talking about 0.001% rate here. Pretty good, compared to the local rate in places like Iraq, where it's easily into double digits in some localities.

Comment: Re:Jerri (Score 1) 517

You might even have had a full-on Iranian invasion to support the Shiite majority, causing a union of those two countries. Now that would be worse than ISIS.

And why would that be worse than ISIS, exactly? Iran has a stable government and a fairly high standard of living for the region (if you account for wealth distribution and not just wealth). It doesn't go around waging wars of aggression. And while it is an authoritarian regime, it's not genocidal - there are plenty of Sunni and Christians and even Jews living in Iran who, while not having all the same rights that Shia enjoy, can live and worship their gods in peace without having their head cut off.

I would dare say that letting Iran take over Iraq (at least the Shia-majority parts of it) is the most realistic way of actually stabilizing the damn thing for more than a few years.

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