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Middle Eastern Conflict [General]


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Bah, the UN loves to throw the word "sanction" and "curse" a lot, and yet they do absolutely nothing noteworthy.

 

Al Qaeda didn't abandon ISIS? Okay, I knew that I said earlier that mainstream media is not 100% credible due to political bias, but Time, BBC, CNN, and even RT reported that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of Al Qaeda had severed all ties with ISIS. Just Google "Al Qaeda disowns ISIS".

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Alhalish, you are absolutely correct that al-Qaeda has completely abandoned ISIS, and the two groups even fought each other on different sides of the internecine inter-rebel fighting. I don't think anyone is denying that here.

 

I also agree with Spaghetti Cat that the split had nothing to do with ideology or violence, and was all about power and territory. Here's a good Wikipedia article that explains the split and reasons behind it in more details.

Edited by D- Ice
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I actually used to really respect the Nobel Peace Prize until they gave one to Obama. I started questioning their judgement, and researching past recipients didn't really improve my confidence in the Norwegian Nobel Comittee's judgement.

 

 

 

They gave it to Kissinger... Enough said. :D

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ISIL turned to Kurds,taking cities in their areas:

 

http://news.yahoo.com/jihadists-seize-iraqi-town-sinjar-kurds-110159527.html?.tsrc=emul

 

 

The Islamic State's capture of Sinjar raised fears for minority groups that had found refuge there and further blurs the border between the Syrian and Iraqi parts of the "caliphate" which the IS declared in June.

"The (Kurdish) peshmerga have withdrawn from Sinjar, Daash has entered the city," Kurdish official Kheiri Sinjari told AFP, using the former Arabic acronym for the IS.

"They have raised their flag above government buildings," the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party official said.

Other officials confirmed the fall of the town between the Syrian border and Mosul, which is Iraq's second city and has been the IS hub there since it launched a major onslaught on June 9.

Edited by acmilano
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Thanks for the update acmilano.

 

While ground fighting might have reached a stalemate, or the IS might even be gaining some ground, the IS is utterly defenceless against ISF aviation due to lack of sophisticated anti-air defences. Combined with the IS' recent change to open conventional warfare with high-visibility targets, the ISF air-force, with recent help from Russia and Iran, can bomb IS targets unimpeded. They have even started untargetted bombing of occupied areas, with no regard to civilian casualties, with the aim of destroying any semblence of society that exists there, again weakening the IS.

This is interestingly exactly what happened/is happening in Syria, with Assad's air-force (again helped by Russian and Iran) bombing Homs so much that only some rebels remained, and who later left with only light weapons after a deal.

The IS' only hope is to take over the ISF air bases before something similar happens to them. Though that seems very unlikely with ISF, Shia militias and Iranian Special Forces putting a complete halt to their southwards advance.

 

The IS is also brewing resentment amongst the locals in the areas under their control. Most notable is the destruction of perhaps the most sacred site for Sunnis - the tomb of prophet Jonah (leaving some Quans in the building, which were burnt, creating more controversy). Their interpretation of Islam and intolerance to local religious customs is also creating a lot of hostility. However, resentment amongst civilians won't immediately create armed resistance - their treatment of existing armed groups will. The IS is notorious for forcing the other armed groups to assimilate under threat of attack, and for carrying out assassinations of leaders of other armed groups. It is this which sparked the ISIS-Rebel fighting in Syria.

 

However, none of those same problems in Syria have really resulted in the defeat of the IS. So while logic does dictate that the IS should be crumbling sooner rather than later,previous experience hasshown them to survive - and even become stronger - under similar circumstances. So I am really not sure what will happen now.

Edited by D- Ice
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They believe that they are fighting for a just cause,God,their people,against Assad and Maliki teror,US, Iran...We from outside can see that what they are doing is wrong and too extreme,but in their heads its justified to execute people to bring their version of Heaven on earth. They are for a rude awakening when ties turn around but until then that entire area will stay devastated.

D-Ice, I saw in other thread that you are from Iraq. Hope that your country will find peace finally after decades of devastation. My uncle was working there in late 70's and describe it as a nice country back then.

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That is very true bro - the biggest motivation for people to fight is the benefit of humanity as a whole, second comes the motivation for personal gain. The IS is not different from any other faction involved in fighting. The biggest issue with the IS, however, is the fact that the vast majority of people in the areas they control disagree with their ideology, and furthernore, see it as a threat to their well being.

 

Yeah, I was born in Iraq, and spent most of my life there. However, luckily I'm now livng in the UK, though I still have a lot of family and relatives in Iraq. I'm sceptical that Iraq will ever achieve the much needed peace in it's current state. The country of Iraq was created by the Sykes-Picot agreement following the First World War, using completely arbirary land divisions and borders that gave no consideration to ethnic, political, religious, or tribal affiliations - e.g. the tribe I belong to (from my father's side) is now spread across at least four countries! I think the best way is for the country to be split up, like the former Yugoslavia. However, all Arab countries have been created using similar capricious divisions, so splitting up Iraq might result in a domino effect where the entire Arab world needs to be reorganised.

 

Iraq was far better under Saddam's rule. The reason he managed to keep Iraq stable is that his authoritarian dictatorship only punished people who were proven to be opposed to the ruling Ba'ath party. They didn't punish people based on ignorant and bigoted associations between their religion or ethnicity and opposition to the ruling party - which was one of the very first things the Maliki regime did with "de-Ba'athification", which essentially targetted random (mostly the more well-off) Sunnis.

Saddam's regime also undertook far greater efforts in bridging differences within Iraq and creating unity, while Maliki's regime - until now - seeks to benefit from divisionism as a means of guaranteeing Shia support, and distracting attention from his regime's massive amounts of corruption (which IMO is even worse than that under Saddam).

Edited by D- Ice
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A war has been waged against Arab Nationalism and Pan-Arabism in the past 50 years or so. Both are considered more strategically dangerous for the West's interests in the region.

Islamic extremism is far "easier" to deal with in the great scheme of things cause you can easily delegitimise (or dehumanise) it in the eyes of the public opinion.

Problem is it can get out of control pretty quickly...

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A war has been waged against Arab Nationalism and Pan-Arabism in the past 50 years or so. Both are considered more strategically dangerous for the West's interests in the region.

Islamic extremism is far "easier" to deal with in the great scheme of things cause you can easily delegitimise (or dehumanise) it in the eyes of the public opinion.

Problem is it can get out of control pretty quickly...

Very true bro - both Arab Nationalism and Pan-Arabism were largely non-aligned or mildly pro-Soviet Union during the Cold War, while the Arab monarchies stringently pro-NATO.

Ideologically, Arab Nationalism and Pan-Arabism aim to unite Arabs everywhere, merging the Arab countries, or at least creating a close-knit union similar to the EU. With the closer identities and cultures of the people compared to the likes of the EU, and the unifying language spoken by all, it would be more feasible to create and maintain such a union compared to the EU.

Such a large and powerful union would be the nightmare of any foreign interests looking to influence and/or exploit the region.

 

However, in reality, Arab Nationalist and Pan-Arab leaders never cared for the ideologies - only their own personal gain. That is why you had Syrian Ba'athists supporting Shia Islamist, Ahwazi Arab-oppressing, Persian Iran against their fellow Iraqi Ba'athist Arabs.

I actually think all major post-Ottoman Arab ideological movements have been led by people who can't care less for their supposed causes.

Edited by D- Ice
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However, in reality, Arab Nationalist and Pan-Arab leaders never cared for the ideologies - only their own personal gain. That is why you had Syrian Ba'athists supporting Shia Islamist, Ahwazi Arab-oppressing, Persian Iran against their fellow Iraqi Ba'athist Arabs.

I actually think all major post-Ottoman Arab ideological movements have been led by people who can't care less for their supposed causes.

 

 

Yes indeed. Corruption of local leaders is always part of the equation.

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BREAKING NEWS 9:30 P.M EST

 

WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama says he has authorized the U.S. military to launch targeted airstrikes if Islamic militants advance toward American personnel in northern Iraq. He also has announced that the military carried out airdrops of humanitarian aid Thursday to Iraqi religious minorities threatened by the extremists

Obama Authorizes 'Targeted' Airstrikes in Iraq

 

President Barack Obama authorized "targeted airstrikes" to protect U.S. interests in Iraq and airdrops of meals and water to refugees trapped on a mountaintop in northwest Iraq.

 

In a nationally televised address, Obama said Thursday night that he had long warned the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, not to threaten the strategic city of Erbil. With ISIS fighters nearing Erbil on Thursday, Obama said he had approved "targeted strikes against [iSIS] convoys should they approach the city."

 

"These innocent families are faced with a choice descend and be slaughtered or stay and slowly die of hunger." Obama said, adding that he had also authorized targeted airstrikes to help break ISIS' siege trapping about 40,000 Christians and members of a religious sect called the Yazidi on Mount Sinjar near Mosul. "We can act responsibly to prevent an act of genocide."

 

"Today, America is coming to help," Obama said while also stressing that U.S. troops wouldn't be returning to Iraq.

 

After attempts by the Iraqi military to airdrop supplies to the refugees failed to provide relief, a senior U.S. defense official told NBC News on Thursday that "a number of U.S. military aircraft" had already successfully delivered food and water and had "safely exited the immediate airspace."

 

The U.S. has been flying F-18 attack aircraft, B-1 bombers and MQ-1 Predators over Iraq for several weeks on surveillance missions. These could be used for air cover for the airdrops or to protect U.S. assets in the area in the event of a direct ISIS attack on Erbil, where about 40 U.S. military personnel are operating at a joint operations center.

 

The USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier strike group which includes four destroyers, at least one cruiser, an amphibious assault ship and a dock landing ship also is in the Persian Gulf and could participate in any military operations.

 

So far, the U.S. has sent about 800 troops to Iraq to advise the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad, and it has increased delivery of Hellfire missiles to the Iraqi military.

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/iraq-turmoil/obama-authorizes-targeted-airstrikes-iraq-n175201

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We're doing it again? Lordy. I wish we could deal with our own problems rather than playing world police.

 

We can thank our government for Iraqs current situation..

 

Thats what happens when you leave a power vacuum..

 

 

Someone had to take control of Iraq even if its the wrong person/group.

Edited by Mv6
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I'm not really against this move at all. Airstrikes and humanitarian aid? Sure. I hope the US helps the Kurds, would be the best thing they can do outside of the airstrikes.

 

 

They should have done this before IS took control of Baghdad

Edited by Mv6
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I cucked Alex Jones

This... will not end well.

People will be killed in US airstrikes, people won't be killed in US airstrikes. Do you think we should just let ISIS slaughter people.

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No. IS aren't threatening Baghdad yet.

 

To all the nay-sayers; the difference here is that the Iraqi government asked for direct military assistance from the US. This isn't a unilateral act but a response to a request for air support. Given that the Iraqi air force is rather under-funded and geographically over-stretched it isn't surprising they're asking for assistance in CAS and aerial intelligence/reconnaissance.

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You contradicted yourself, Nipperkins....

 

Well, I did say that I wanted a swift end to ISIS, if this is what it takes, so be it. Hope that the Obama administration won't take advantage of the situation.

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The U.S. has bombed ISIS (or ISIL or IS) artillery:

Rear Adm. John Kirby @PentagonPresSec

US military aircraft conduct strike on ISIL artillery. Artillery was used against Kurdish forces defending Erbil, near US personnel.

https://twitter.com/PentagonPresSec/status/497725099970031616

 

''WASHINGTON (CNN) — Two U.S. F/A-18 jet fighters bombed artillery batteries of Sunni Islamic extremists in Iraq on Friday, escalating America’s military involvement more than two years after President Barack Obama brought home forces from the country.

Obama authorized “targeted airstrikes” if needed to protect U.S. personnel from fighters with the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. The U.S. military also could use airstrikes to prevent what officials warn could be a genocide of minority groups by the Islamic State fighters.

The U.S. aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a “mobile artillery piece” used by ISIS at about 6:45 a.m. ET Friday, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said. The commander of U.S. Central Command made the decision to strike under authorization granted him by Obama, Kirby said.''

http://fox6now.com/2014/08/08/u-s-airstrikes-begin-on-isis-militants-in-iraq/

Edited by poklane
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Interesting development.

While the IS massively oppresses people under their control and commits atrocities, so do the forces loyal to the Maliki regime, which is also Iranian-backed (not US-backed as the article states). So I cannot see it being good for the Iraqi people - especially the Sunnis and cultural and religious minorities in the centre of Iraq - it either side wins. I exepect even greater oppression of the Sunnis if Maliki's regime regains control of the north.

I think the US has already made it clear they won't really be aiding the Maliki regime - especially since their official line is for him to step down. This is aid to the KRG, as it is in response to the IS closing in on Erbil, the KRG's capital. However, tbh I expected it to be Turkey to defend Erbil, since it is the one with a massive economic stake in the city.

 

I can see one potential pitfall that the US can fall into if they are not careful, and that is alienating the non-IS Sunni civilians and rebel factions in the central regions of Iraq.

While the IS does seem to be leading a lot of the offensives, this is far from solely being their fight. It began as a Sunni peaceful protest movement against the long-term oppression they faced under Maliki - the gunning down of masses of people at a protest camp in Anbar by SWAT forces transforming it into an armed resistance, initially by local tribes only. Now you also have other Islamist, tribal and Ba'athist groups fighting against Maliki, with various degress of tolerance or hostility against the IS. If the US were to alienate them by undermining their struggle or killing civilians, the anti-US sentiment produced would only strengthen the likes of the IS.

 

Side-Note: I personally try to steer clear of discussing any ethical implications in war, as I believe they are largely irrelevant, and it's very difficult to determine the utilitarianism of past military actions - let alone ones that haven't even properly commenced yet. So sorry to anyone expected me to discuss those.

Edited by D- Ice
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The U.S bombed ISIS/ISIL/IS again.

''The United States launched another round of airstrikes against an ISIS target in Iraq on Friday, U.S. officials told NBC News. According to officials, the strikes occurred on a target northwest of Erbil. The strikes came a day after they were threatened by President Barack Obama.''

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/iraq-turmoil/second-strike-u-s-warplanes-drop-more-bombs-isis-forces-n175941

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Most frustrating thing about terrorists in Middle East, is that they use Islam as a way to bash everything in the world. For example, take a look at that f*cking Daesh, they rape people, while Islam is completely against that, even about enemies.

The Al-Qaida abused the term 'Jihad' in Quran and did everything they wanted in Middle East.

Taliban makes people explode themselves in a bazaar and kill lots of other humans, for what? For the sake of god.

 

No religion in the world is completely supporting killing and terrorism, but ME terrorists have changed face of Islam to do what they want.

Worst example of religious rampages, is what Israelis did using Jewish Religion.

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It's f*cking sickening that innocents are being wiped out or chased to mountains to face starvation simply because they were born into a different religion. You struggle to believe this is the 21st century when seeing/hearing/reading the acts that these savages are committing. The interjection on Obama's part is long overdue as far as I'm concerned, and let's hope the airstrikes put a halt to this borderline genocide of religious minorities, if not force it into a retreat.

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It's f*cking sickening that innocents are being wiped out or chased to mountains to face starvation simply because they were born into a different religion. You struggle to believe this is the 21st century when seeing/hearing/reading the acts that these savages are committing. The interjection on Obama's part is long overdue as far as I'm concerned, and let's hope the airstrikes put a halt to this borderline genocide of religious minorities, if not force it into a retreat.

To be completely fair, the IS has no intention of wiping out entire religious minorities just because they are different. Just like their official line and the actions of their predecessor the ISI, they offer non-Muslims a choice between conversion to Islam, paying a special tax, or leaving. Killing outside of combat is usually reserved for making an example of those who defy them, and capital offences under their (Wahhabi) interpretations of Sharia law.

So far, despite people's fears and the fear-mongering of their planned genocides, no civilian mass-executions have thus far been seen.

 

Regarding the US intervention, I believe, in line with official White House statements, that it is primarily to protect American interests - specifically the city of Erbil - not to protect the religious minorities. This is further proven by the fact that all US airstrikes, and the order from Obama for the airstrikes, are to prevent an advance towards Erbil, none have been done around Sinjar (and Mount Sinjar).

The IS have been proven to have committed far worse atrocities against Sunni and fellow Wahhabi Muslims in Syria, yet no US military intervention came there, as the group did not directly threaten US interests like they are doing right now with Erbil.

 

2 F/A-18's? Yeah that will show them...

The IS generally lack any anti-air capabilities, and are currently using high-visibility conventional warfare tactics, so air-strikes against them are like shooting fish in a barrel.

My personal guess is that the main limiting factor in US airstrikes right now is the minimisation of civilian casualties, so air-strikes seem to be limited to absolutely proven military targets.

The US also opposes Iranian hegemony and influence in the region, so I doubt they will aid the Iranian-backed central Iraqi government (without assurances of Maliki stepping down, and increased Sunni and tribal representation in the Iraqi parliament).

Edited by D- Ice
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'We Need Army': Iraq Refugees in Erbil Urge Obama to Do More

Refugees who have managed to reach shelter in Iraq's third-largest city, Erbil, say U.S.-led airstrikes on ISIS militants aren't nearly enough. President Barack Obama's promise of no boots on the ground isn't what they want to hear. "Not only plane to bomb from the sky," one of them told NBC News. "We need army."

More: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/iraq-turmoil/we-need-army-iraq-refugees-erbil-urge-obama-do-more-n176921

 

U.S. Launches Four More Airstrikes Against ISIS in Iraq

The U.S. military said it launched four airstrikes Saturday against Islamist militants who were firing on civilians trapped on a mountain in Iraq, in a new round of attacks since President Barack Obama authorized the use of air power to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

More: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/iraq-turmoil/u-s-launches-four-more-airstrikes-against-isis-iraq-n176926

 

Lots of info here, regularly updated: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/iraq-turmoil

Edited by poklane
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  • 2 weeks later...

Taking this to this thread from here: http://gtaforums.com/topic/724596-military-crisis-in-ukraine/page-65

 

I don't really disagree with you but I feel like you deserve a response.

 


Thanks. My assessment is simply based on the fact tha modern US/NATO air-power offer a near-monopoly on any battle-field (I think there might be some new Russian air defence that can down NATO fighter jets). Regardless of how advanced the stuff they capture, it is all ground-based, and thus completely defenceless and vulnerable to US air-power.

It will be very interesting to see how the IS will respond - turning into an underground insurgency will mean losing all the ground control they gained. Continuing the way they are will mean losng fighters, equipment and morale as they are destroyed by air-raids. I can only see a lose-lose situation for them now.

 

That only really applies if the US/NATO starts to use their air power more extensively though. So far it's been fairly limited. At the moment they are really at the mercy of the US/NATO. But then again, every country on Earth is, considering the enormous military might, especially of the US. I agree it's a lose-lose situation for them right now because there's no way the world is going to allow them to achieve their goals. The question is really how far they will be allowed to go, and as of yet, I think the answer is pretty damn far. There is of course the possibility that the IS will seize arial capabilities as well, but even if they took over Iraq's entire airforce, they would be no match for the US. But at any rate, they have become much stronger than they were. Even if they are pushed underground to become a more conventional terrorist organization, they will come out of this with many members, a lot of battlefield experience and advanced weaponry.

 

 

 

Syria is being bombed into oblivion precisely because of Assad, and his forces using highly inaccurate barrel-bombs in crowded urban areas. Thus blaming the current distruction solely on the rebels is unfair.

Also, it was Assad's (and his father's) oppression during such peaceful times that brewed the discontent that erupted into the peaceful protests.

Syria was peaceful before as there wasn't a civil war, not because of Assad's credentials in pacifism. If the rebels got to rule Syria as a dictatorship with no opposition, rebels, or a civil war (as Assad did previously), I'm sure it would be just as peaceful.

 

Yeah, Assad's government is the primary cause of the conflict. I blame the current destruction more on him than on the rebels. The uprising started as a very legitimate cause and it's too bad it didn't succeed in its early stages like some of the other countries in the "Arab spring". Although most of them also arguably turned into failures. I didn't mean to make any claims as to who deserved credit for the stability before the revolution. I simply meant that the situation before it was clearly much better than the situation now, and that Assad regaining full control of the country is preferable to the IS taking full control of it. The lesser of two evils, if you will, even if this "better evil" is the prime cause of the conflict in the first place. Assad has claimed that he would step down and hold elections after the rebels are defeated. This is probably insincere and even if it's true, the elections would likely be a farce, but it's a far cry from the rethoric that the IS is crapping out.

 

 

That is very true. What I meant that "fundamentalism" is an inaccurate term, as most religious people believe that they are observing their religious rules stricter and better than other sects and interpretations. The difference is that some people interpret these laws as mild and forgiving, while others harsh and extreme. So, for example, a mainstream, or "moderate", Muslim will believe that they are following Islamic teachings better and stricter than any hard-line Wahhabi - they just interpret the teachings as being about tolerance and peace.

I'm no expert in Quranic teachings either - from what I remember learning in school, it's mostly vague refrences to Biblical stories (Old and New Testament), with the message of worshipping God for rewards, and not worshipping him for punishment.

But personally IMO, I think what the Quran, Bible, Torah, or any other religious texts say is largely irrelevant. How people interpret them is.

 

You're exactly right. This is why I felt it was important to add "or rather; interpretations of religions" in parentheses. Also, I said "I'm not sure to what extent that is actually written in the Quran, usually these books are very contradictory." I don't know to what extent, but I do know that some terrible stuff is written in the Quran. But because these books are so contradictory, you're very right in saying that it's really the individual's interpretation that matters. There could be one page that can be easily be interpreted to tell you to kill as many Jews as you can, and another page that tells you it is forbidden to kill anyone and to treat followers of other Abrahamic religions as your brothers and sisters. I think both of these things are actually present in the Quran, but I'm not entirely sure. Similar things are definately written in it though, and the same goes for the Bible and the Torah.

 

 

Regarding oppression, if you look at history - or even the world today - you will see that it is/has been justified using virtually every ideology (even Buddhism, i.e. in Burma). Also, very few ideologies directly callfor oppression. Thus, I don't see them as condemnations of the ideologies themselves, rather the people carrying out the actual oppression.

 

Yeah, and it doesn't even have to be religious ideology. Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were all secular, and they were some of the worst killers of the 20th century. They happened to adhere to ideologies that do call for oppression directly. But all religions are peaceful in their common interpretations, or they would have been abandoned a long time ago. Some of them have been around for thousands of years, whereas the ideologies of the secular villains I named above were effectively abandoned mere decades after they were thought up.

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