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Middle Eastern Conflict [General]


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Why would Israel send weapons to ISIS? They're at greater risk of Qutbist/Takfiri terrorism than anyone else. The mortar shell in question could have come from quite literally anywhere; I'm really not sure what led anyone to concludes it was Isareli made over US, French, South African or any other producer of 60mm mortar rounds. Even Iran stamp their munitions in English; in fact there are images of almost identical 60mm rounds and boxes that had been captured by the Israeli coast guard and were thought to be bound for Hezbollah.

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Why would Israel send weapons to ISIS? They're at greater risk of Qutbist/Takfiri terrorism than anyone else. The mortar shell in question could have come from quite literally anywhere; I'm really not sure what led anyone to concludes it was Isareli made over US, French, South African or any other producer of 60mm mortar rounds. Even Iran stamp their munitions in English; in fact there are images of almost identical 60mm rounds and boxes that had been captured by the Israeli coast guard and were thought to be bound for Hezbollah.

It's a conspiracy theory. There is no legal or logical basis for it to stand on. With this murdered journalist, is there any effort to bring him home or such? Any talks of new, more powerful strokes against ISIS? I really hope that there are more strikes and Special Forces strikes on ISIS. Even though I don't agree with America being the "World's police force" action needs to be taken against those who pose a significant risk to our allies in the region.

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Yes, I agree. It is extremely unlikely Israel supports ISIS considering they have no interest to do so. But I guess people enjoy the narrative that the jews are responsible for everything bad. This conspiracy tends to be coming from Iranian news sources that fabricated it. They also claim it is based on a Wikileaks cable release and an interview with Snowden which are both fabricated or nonexistant.

It is well known though that international jihadism is strongly supported by elements within our ally states in the region like Qatar or Saudi-Arabia, and something should be done about that.

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Why would Israel send weapons to ISIS? They're at greater risk of Qutbist/Takfiri terrorism than anyone else. The mortar shell in question could have come from quite literally anywhere; I'm really not sure what led anyone to concludes it was Isareli made over US, French, South African or any other producer of 60mm mortar rounds. Even Iran stamp their munitions in English; in fact there are images of almost identical 60mm rounds and boxes that had been captured by the Israeli coast guard and were thought to be bound for Hezbollah.

It makes sense if you think about what will happen if the us invades Iraqi to combat the Isis then Israel gains an friend in the Middle East

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It makes sense if you think about what will happen if the us invades Iraqi to combat the Isis then Israel gains an friend in the Middle East

 

You are not making any sense.

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So, thoughts on the PKK?

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I knew it, they would have nothing to gain from doing that.

 

You know, even though people die everyday, it's still terrifying to think that a man will be beheaded (Steven Sotloff) and there's nothing that you can do to help him. I don't know what IS were thinking, killing an American citizen won't stop the US from bombing them, and it will only serve to fuel the already high anti-Muslim sentiment among American citizens.

But hey, animals aren't supposed to be capable of rational thought after all..

Edited by Alhalish
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Why would Israel send weapons to ISIS? They're at greater risk of Qutbist/Takfiri terrorism than anyone else. The mortar shell in question could have come from quite literally anywhere; I'm really not sure what led anyone to concludes it was Isareli made over US, French, South African or any other producer of 60mm mortar rounds. Even Iran stamp their munitions in English; in fact there are images of almost identical 60mm rounds and boxes that had been captured by the Israeli coast guard and were thought to be bound for Hezbollah.

It makes sense if you think about what will happen if the us invades Iraqi to combat the Isis then Israel gains an friend in the Middle East

 

Not really, given that the current Iraqi regime was ambivalent at worst towards Israel and the likelihood of any US-instigated regime being any more pro-Israel after another bloody military intervention would basically be zero.

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The only regimes the United States supports in the region are all military dictatorships and US puppet states: Saudi-Arabia, the gulf states, and Egypt. It is unlikely that it is possible to establish such a regime in Iraq under current circumstances. I don't see any movement in Iraq which could establish such a regime there. They used to support Saddam, but he proved to be unreliable when he invaded Kuwait.

Edited by gtaxpert
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Israel are probably already supporting the Kurds. They've got more to lose from a rampant and expansionist Sunni militant group than anyone.

 

I'm not entirely sure I buy the notion that the only regimes that the US supports are authoritarian/juntas or puppets. Unless of course you're claiming that Tunisia, Algeria, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and Turkey are all either military or US puppets, which seems frankly absurd to me. It's also with pointing out that the US armed and equipped both Iran and Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, so the notion that the US backed Saddam isn't entirely true.

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You have a good point with Turkey. I guess I forgot about them because they are also European. Tunisia and Algeria aren't really part of the Middle East, so I didn't really mean to reference them. Tunisia is in a transition phase and it remains to be seen where they are heading. This is not a good sign though I guess: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/tunisia-media-mosques-closure-freedom-20148395113720226.html Algeria had a military coup in the 90's where the party with major popular support was outlawed, similar to Egypt now, but doesn't seem to depend on US aid and support primarily, so it would be inaccurate to call them a US puppet state.

Jordan and the Gulf states you mentioned do seem to depend on US equipment and support for the stability of their current undemocratic regimes, so that does seem to make them US puppet states. The Gulf state regimes all depend on trade with the US, and if they wouldn't have that, it would remain to be seen whether they'd last. I'm only aware of the strong support of Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war, but if there would have been US support of Iran then I would certainly be interested to know about it.

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I don't think you can claim that a strong military relationship with the US makes Oman, Jordan et all "puppets". It strikes me as a false assumption, especially as many of those military arrangements are a product of Cold War tensions. Plus places like Kuwait are, in the context of Middle Easten, and actually global for that matter, politics fairly free. It's also worth pointing out that the largest and most influential state to much of the Gulf is Saudi Arabia, who aren't as clearly aligned to US strategic interests as one might think and are, by virtue of that, anything but a puppet.

 

The most obvious example of US assistance to Iran during the conflict with Iraq is Iran-Contra. I always found it somewhat ironic that so many of the helicopters supplied to Iraq by the US were shot down by Iranian Hawk missiles supplied to Iran by the US. US aid to Iran was routed via Israel during much of the Iran-Iraq war including many of the munitions sold during Iran-Contra. Israel, at least partially the behest of the US, destroyed the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.

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Then when do these states according to you qualify as puppet states? Their stability is completely dependant on United States support. What more do you need to qualify them as such? So their national security which depends on US equipment and funding was historically related to the cold war in some of these countries you claim. How is that relevant to my point?

Please explain to me how Kuwait is free according to you. You establish this without reasoning. The evidence is strongly against it. http://www.hrw.org/middle-eastn-africa/kuwait
If you look into it you'll find out there is very limited free speech, consistent crackdown on opposition and increasingly limited right to protest. What is free about it?

Where does Saudi-Arabia get the money to pay the security forces to keep the population at bay? Who do they buy the weapons from? Who's support do they completely depend on? Does this qualify them as a puppet state? Yeah, I do think so. The regime vitaly relies on US support. You are entitled to your own opinion on this, but I don't have to agree with it.

I don't think you believe the arms deal with Iran in exchange for hostages was comparable to US support to Iraq, which supposedly was a multi billion dollar aid deal (and included chemical weapons used to attack Iranians and Kurds). The destruction of that nuclar reactor in Iraq by Israel happened before the United States normalized relations in 1982 and 1983 and removed Iraq from the list of terrorist states.

Edited by gtaxpert
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Then when do these states according to you qualify as puppet states? Their stability is completely dependant on United States support. What more do you need to qualify them as such? So their national security which depends on US equipment and funding was historically related to the cold war in some of these countries you claim. How is that relevant to my point?

 

Please explain to me how Kuwait is free according to you. You establish this without reasoning. The evidence is strongly against it. http://www.hrw.org/middle-eastn-africa/kuwait

If you look into it you'll find out there is very limited free speech, consistent crackdown on opposition and increasingly limited right to protest. What is free about it?

 

Where does Saudi-Arabia get the money to pay the security forces to keep the population at bay? Who do they buy the weapons from? Who's support do they completely depend on? Does this qualify them as a puppet state? Yeah, I do think so. The regime vitaly relies on US support. You are entitled to your own opinion on this, but I don't have to agree with it.

 

I don't think you believe the arms deal with Iran in exchange for hostages was comparable to US support to Iraq, which supposedly was a multi billion dollar aid deal (and included chemical weapons used to attack Iranians and Kurds). The destruction of that nuclar reactor in Iraq by Israel happened before the United States normalized relations in 1982 and 1983 and removed Iraq from the list of terrorist states.

 

I think you're very right, what it boils down to is that America (and the rest of the world) needs a reliable and cheap source of oil. The way they get it is by making sure favorable governments are in place in the countries that produce it. Those governments don't have to be good to the population. In fact you can speculate that it's more in America's interest if the population isn't fairly represented, because they might demand a higher price for their oil and a different foreign policy.

 

But let's not forget Europe's role in this. We profit from it too. We might show a little more concern for the fairness of those governments, but we wouldn't want to pay more for oil either. Though thankfully, we're taking bigger steps towards renewable energy sources. I am very interested to see what happens in the Middle East when the price of oil goes down because its uses have largely been replaced by something better. Honestly, I'm pessimistic about that if it happens within 50-100 years.

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The Gulf states are not dependent on the US in any way for continued stability. You simply cannot claim that purchasing large amounts of military equipment from the US makes states their puppets. They UK is the largest military exporter to Oman; is Oman therefore a British puppet state? The same argument could be made with France and much of North Africa. What about the Eastern Bloc and sub-Saharan Africa which were almost solely supplied by the Soviet Union and then by Russia? If the only prerequisite to "being a puppet state" is "obtains large amounts of materiel from one nation" then Russia must control most of the world by now!

 

Please excuse me from quoting verbatim from Wikipedia, but in its geographical context Kuwait is abnormally free:

 

In Reporters Without Borders and Freedom House rankings of the world's freest countries, Kuwait ranks among the freest countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. In 2013, Kuwait was ranked the freest country in freedom of press in the Middle East region (#77 out of 179 countries). In 2014, Kuwait was ranked #91 of 180 by Reporters Without Borders in the Press Freedom Index, thus Kuwait was again the freest country in freedom of press in the Middle East and North Africa region. In 2011 and 2012, Reporters without Borders ranked Kuwait the freest Middle East country in freedom of press in the Press Freedom Index (#78 out of 179 countries).

 

In 2000-2014, Freedom House ranked the country as "Partly Free" in the annual Freedom in the World survey. Kuwait is the only GCC country that is ranked partly free, the rest of the GCC is ranked not free thus Kuwait has the best freedom ranking (civil liberties and political rights) in the GCC.

Where does Saudi Arabia get its money for weapons from? Not the US, for one. In fact, according to the OEC statistics (http://atlas.media.mit.edu/profile/country/sau/) the US doesn't even rank in the top 20 export partners for Saudi Arabia. China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and India make up about 65% of all Saudi exports by value- not a "Western" country in sight there (though two staunch Western allies). You can think what you want, but when your claims have no basis in economic reality I reserve the right to point that out.

 

Iran-Contra continued until October 1986. Remind me again, exactly when were the US hostages in Tehran released? Early 1981? That's nearly 6 years of continued arms supplied to Iran after the release of the hostages. Whilst the volume was lower than that supplied to Iraq, the fact remains that the US armed and supplied both sides during the Iran-Iraq war. It's also worth pointing out that the US didn't supply chemical weapons to Iraq directly (or even indirectly), but the US State Department did sign off on the supply of over 700 orders of dual-use materials from US companies to Iraq.

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gtaxpert, you make some good points, and I am inclined to agree with you that much of the Gulf Monarchies are indeed US/Western puppet states. Much of the dynasties were installed by the West (or at least greatly helped in their ascent to power). For example, the Saudi Dynasty and their Wahhabi militias were equipped by the British with game-changing bolt-action rifles (also less detailed here) to fight, and later win against, the House of Rashid, who were generally ambivalent to the Arab uprising against the Ottomans at the time. Their on power has since been aided by the West ever since.

However, sivipacem is also correct in that now their strategic interests now aren't as aligned to those of the West. The US was happy to do business with the democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, even cuttng some aid to the Saudi-sponsered mlitary coup government (thus IMO the current Egyptian government is a puppet of the Saudis).

 

The actual definition of puppet is rather vague, and it's more a spectrum between being a good ally and a complete puppet state, rather than being a binary choice. IMO the line which divides the two is if the government serves the interests of another country more than those of their own citizens, in which case undemocratic, socially and politically oppressive monarchies in the region seem to fit the bill.

 

(Sorry, might have taken it a little too far with all those hyper-links :p ).

Edited by D- Ice
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What about undemocratically, socially and politically oppressive governments that don't serve the people at all? Surely in cases such as those then any foreign trading partner meets the criteria of a puppet-master? :p

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I can't put it better than this:

"The material prize of oil production is not just from energy. It’s also from many other things. Take Saudi Arabia or the [united Arab] Emirates. They have huge construction projects paid for by petro-dollars which recycle back to Bechtel and other major construction companies. A lot of it goes right back to U.S. military industry. So these are huge markets for U.S. military exports and the military industry in the United States is very closely linked to the high-tech economy generally. So it’s a sort of a cycle–high prices for oil, the petro-dollars pour back to the U.S. for major construction projects for high-tech industry, for development, for purchasing treasury securities which helps bolster the economy–it’s a major part of the economy and of course it’s not just the United States. Britain, France and others are trying very hard to sell them the same things and sometimes succeeding. There was a big bribery scandal in Britain recently because of efforts to bribe Saudi officials into buying jet aircraft and so on. So the basic idea of the energy system is that it should be under the control of loyal clients of the United States, and they’re allowed to enrich themselves, become super rich in fact, but the petro-dollars are basically to cycle back to the West, primarily the United States in various forms. So that’s a secondary concern."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2007/03/09/noam-chomsky-connects-the-dots/

So I see you are right that Saudi Arabia controls their own oil production pretty much completely these days. I think their oil production does likely depend on foreign engineering innovation though, but the profits flow back to the United States and other United States allies through the economic ties formerly mentioned. The stability of the dollar also depends on the fact that most oil production is in dollars. So even if most of the oil exports are to countries that are not the United states, because the United States is almost self sufficient in energy production, the currency it is in is the dollar.

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What about undemocratically, socially and politically oppressive governments that don't serve the people at all? Surely in cases such as those then any foreign trading partner meets the criteria of a puppet-master? :p

 

Very good point there.

I guess the autonomy of the regime in question should also come into question, though that can be difficult to acertain (though no more than working out the interests served). Also, technically, even the least autonomous regimes are still choosing to blindly follow their masters, so I'm really unsure now.

Out of interest, how would you define a puppet regime?

 

EDIT: I think the definition which you and gtaxpert have been using - of a regime brought and/or maintaned in power by another nation - is best. Though I think political influence for such aid should also come into question - but that brings us back to questions of relative political representation of people versus outside powers, and autonomy...

Edited by D- Ice
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I can't put it better than this:

 

"The material prize of oil production is not just from energy. Its also from many other things. Take Saudi Arabia or the [united Arab] Emirates. They have huge construction projects paid for by petro-dollars which recycle back to Bechtel and other major construction companies. A lot of it goes right back to U.S. military industry. So these are huge markets for U.S. military exports and the military industry in the United States is very closely linked to the high-tech economy generally. So its a sort of a cyclehigh prices for oil, the petro-dollars pour back to the U.S. for major construction projects for high-tech industry, for development, for purchasing treasury securities which helps bolster the economyits a major part of the economy and of course its not just the United States. Britain, France and others are trying very hard to sell them the same things and sometimes succeeding. There was a big bribery scandal in Britain recently because of efforts to bribe Saudi officials into buying jet aircraft and so on. So the basic idea of the energy system is that it should be under the control of loyal clients of the United States, and theyre allowed to enrich themselves, become super rich in fact, but the petro-dollars are basically to cycle back to the West, primarily the United States in various forms. So thats a secondary concern."

Which is a perfectly valid interpretation, but focuses very extensively on the US and rather ignores the fact that, generally speaking, in a "free market" economic environment the nations with the largest GDP and thus economic power will be the largest external financial investor in foreign interests. That's common sense in my view, and seems rather like an attempt to create a mountain out of a molehill. Especially if we actually take into account the largey import partners to Saudi Arabia. Yes, you've got the US sitting in second-from-top spot, but China beats them by some significant margin in terms of import values despite being- economically speaking- significantly smaller than the US. I simply don't buy the notion that Saudi Arabia is a puppet state propped up by America when their largest export and import partner, and the US trails Europe on both import and export value, the latter by a huge margin.

 

The idea that "petrodollars recycle back to the West...in various forms" is correct, but entirely misses the point. Given that the West- in fact, the US an Europe alone, excluding Japan, Canada, Australia and various other places that are usually included in discussion on the "West" but aren't strictly speaking part of it- represent getting on for half the entire world's nominal GDP. Logically, assuming that there's a direct proportional link between the size of a country's economy and the amount of money given to or received from foreign nations, this is entirely understandable. With more than half the world's entire GDP being comprised of Western or prosperous Western-allied nations, is it really surprising that they often represent the "final destination" (if one believes such a thing exists) of capital?

 

Nice little dig at the UK and the BAE bribery scandal too; all but implying such kind of business activity is unique to the West when in reality, especially compared to the corporate practices of many of the other rapidly expanding great powers, it represents and exception rather than a rule. I do appreciate that publications like Counterpunch and people like Chomsky give thought provoking analyses on subjects, but the problem with writing with the intent of challenging accepted wisdom is that, sometimes, accepted wisdom is accepted because it's right.

 

 

The stability of the dollar also depends on the fact that most oil production is in dollars. So even if most of the oil exports are to countries that are not the United states, because the United States is almost self sufficient in energy production, the currency it is in is the dollar.

Equally, you could interpret the exact inverse; that the reason that the dollar is used extensively in not just petrochemicals but in basically every single industry in the world in which international trade takes place is a product of its stability and the size of the US economy compared to other states'.

 

 

Out of interest, how would you define a puppet regime?

I would define a puppet regime as one who puts the interests of a foreign third party above rational self-interest. That way, you don't risk categorising nations that deal extensively with extremely wealthy other nations due to geographical positioning, common language, common political or cultural ideals et cetera, and also don't run the risk of accusing states of being "puppets" because their self-interest happens to align with that of other powers.

 

A regime brought to power by, and financial maintained by, a third party is only a puppet of that party as long as they place the interests of that relationship above self-interest. There have been cases, particularly during the Cold War, of regimes being brought to power by the actions of either the Soviet Union or US and then once a point of relative internal stability has been reached basically turning against their "masters".

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So, thoughts on the PKK?

They're fighting ISIS aren't they? If they are, I support them. With them in Turkey, the Kurds should have a semi-autonomous state like in Iraq. That would make them a lot happier and quell the terrorist activities of the PKK.

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So, thoughts on the PKK?

They're fighting ISIS aren't they? If they are, I support them. With them in Turkey, the Kurds should have a semi-autonomous state like in Iraq. That would make them a lot happier and quell the terrorist activities of the PKK.

 

 

The PKK is dodgy and has been involved in terrorism in the past. But that's what tends to happen when people are opressed like the Kurds were for a really long time. The PKK's cause is justified, their methods in the past have sometimes not been.

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make total destroy

But... Aren't they communists?

Yes. They were formerly Marxist-Leninist, and have a pretty murky history from what I can tell, but after their leader was imprisoned, the PKK moved more towards a libertarian socialist platform. They're basically the antithesis of the IS.

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But... Aren't they communists?

Yes. They were formerly Marxist-Leninist, and have a pretty murky history from what I can tell, but after their leader was imprisoned, the PKK moved more towards a libertarian socialist platform. They're basically the antithesis of the IS.

 

 

Economically socialist and socially libertarian? My favorite!

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Out of interest, how would you define a puppet regime?

I would define a puppet regime as one who puts the interests of a foreign third party above rational self-interest. That way, you don't risk categorising nations that deal extensively with extremely wealthy other nations due to geographical positioning, common language, common political or cultural ideals et cetera, and also don't run the risk of accusing states of being "puppets" because their self-interest happens to align with that of other powers.

 

A regime brought to power by, and financial maintained by, a third party is only a puppet of that party as long as they place the interests of that relationship above self-interest. There have been cases, particularly during the Cold War, of regimes being brought to power by the actions of either the Soviet Union or US and then once a point of relative internal stability has been reached basically turning against their "masters".

 

Thanks for the great explanation mate, it certainly sounds like the most logical classification IMO.

Regarding rational self-interest, surely this means that of the populace as opposed to that of the leadership? Even the most extreme stereotypical caricature of a puppet state that I can imagine would be serving their own leadership's self-interest by serving their masters more than their people.

 

So I kinda feel we are somewhat back to a leadership which serves the interest of (foreign or domestic) third parties more than that of their people (national self-interesst). I think the great example you gave of the completely unrepresentative government beng a puppet of foreign trading partners would hold true based on that - if the terms the government places on such trade serves the interests of the foreign trading partners more than those of the people (i.e. the "Banana Republics").

 

I do completely agree with you regarding a government's installation in power by a third party does not necessitate puppet status to the latter.

 

Finally, I'm happy to continue this in PMs if you feel this is getting too off-topic.

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Edward snowden/french newspaper report leaked documents on isis that is funded by mossad MI6 and CIA

 

http://m.imgur.com/dDI0q29

 

I want community input on this

"The IRNA story appears to build on, or may have even started, an Internet rumor that has assumed truthlike proportions through multiple reposts and links. No mention of a “hornet’s nest” plot can be found in Snowden’s leaked trove of U.S. intelligence documents, and even though Snowden has not publicly refuted the claim, it is safe to assume that the quoted interview never took place. (IRNA has been known to report stories from the satirical Onion newspaper as fact.) Yet Iranian government officials and independent analysts in Iran alike cited IRNA’s report as definitive proof of ISIS’s American and Israeli origins."

 

http://time.com/2992269/isis-is-an-american-plot-says-iran/

 

It is a big Iranian hoax. It is like Israel saying that Hamas is like ISIS. It is a popular strategy to lump all your political opponents into one axis of evil for propaganda purposes.The person he is speaking with supposedly is called Abu Youssef and is not Baghdadi.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6X9peQCZII&t=1m32s

 

http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dabu%2Byoussef%2Bmccain%26sa%3DX%26espv%3D2%26biw%3D1680%26bih%3D949&rurl=translate.google.nl&sl=fr&u=http://breizatao.com/2014/08/17/desinformation-mc-cain-na-pas-rencontre-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-preuves-en-video/&usg=ALkJrhiOF7Lp41Sc2WP2_lXS8yKRvk55jA

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To be honest, I feel like the best thing we can do at this stage to combat the threat of ISIS is to work with the new Iraqi government, the Peshmerga, the Syrian Rebels, and the Assad Regime. In Iraq, the Kurds and the Iraqis are pushing ISIS back. But once they hit the border, they can't go any further and ISIS will regroup in Syria. If we support those opposing ISIS in Syria (Assad and rebels) they will be pushed in Syria until they are squeezed too much and destroyed. I know this isn't the "right thing to do" in terms of Assad during the Civil War, but what other options do we have?

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