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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday October 08 2014, @05:47AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the tell-me-of-the-waters-of-your-home-world-Usul dept.

Water has long played a role in armed struggle, from the Allied bombing of German dams during World War II to Saddam Hussein’s draining of Iraq’s southern marshes in the 1990s to punish residents for an anti-government rebellion. Now Erin Cunningham reports in the Washington Post that Islamic State militants are increasingly using water as a weapon, cutting off supplies to villages resisting their rule and pressing to expand their control over the country’s water infrastructure. The Islamic State “understands how powerful water is as a tool, and they are not afraid to use it,” said Michael Stephens. "A lot of effort has been expended to control resources in Iraq in a way not seen in other conflicts."

The White House was so alarmed in August when Islamic State fighters briefly seized the Mosul Dam — located on the Tigris River that runs through Baghdad — that it backed a major operation by Iraqi and Kurdish forces to wrest it back. “If that dam was breached, it could have proven catastrophic, with floods that would have threatened the lives of thousands of civilians and endangered our embassy compound in Baghdad,” said Obama. Last month, the Islamic State used its control of the Sudur mini-dam north of Baghdad to cut off water to Balad Ruz, a predominantly Shiite area of Diyala province. According to the town’s mayor, the militants lined the roads to the dam with improvised explosive devices, and the government was forced to hire trucks to bring potable water to the residents. “They can threaten many parts of the country if they control the water,” says Abdul Majid Satar. "They want to control it at any price."

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  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday October 08 2014, @07:07AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 08 2014, @07:07AM (#103467) Journal

    “They can threaten many parts of the country if they control the water,” says Abdul Majid Satar. "They want to control it at any price."

    Translation: they aren't stupid, even if I doubt they really want it "at any price".

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 0, Troll) by albert on Wednesday October 08 2014, @07:13AM

    by albert (276) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @07:13AM (#103469)

    We know how to deal with the situation. We're just too wimpy.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by janrinok on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:09AM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:09AM (#103475) Journal

      So killing the people that we are trying to help while killing the bad guys seems like a good solution to you does it? Or do you have the inside scoop on a super-secret selective neutron bomb that we are not being told about?

      --
      It's always my fault...
      • (Score: 2) by mtrycz on Wednesday October 08 2014, @09:16AM

        by mtrycz (60) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @09:16AM (#103503)

        It really worries me that comments like the GP are running. It's like you're out of reality.

        Have these facts:
        Tens of thousands of combatants from Daesh (or ISIS or ISIL or IS, don't know how to call it anymore), already conquered a territory the size of Belgium, while killing thousands and provoking mass refugee movements; still more than eight million civilians live in those territories.

        If you want to drop a bomb on 8.000.000 people to kill 50.000, well, you have problems.

        --
        In capitalist America, ads view YOU!
        • (Score: 2) by mtrycz on Wednesday October 08 2014, @09:19AM

          by mtrycz (60) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @09:19AM (#103506)

          Oh and religion has basically *nothing* to do with it. It's jsut an excuse (good as any other) for establishing their dominion.

          --
          In capitalist America, ads view YOU!
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 12 2014, @02:35PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 12 2014, @02:35PM (#105056)

            Bullshit. There are lots of people travelling to join them solely because they believe in the religious ideology of ISIS. How loudly do ISIS have to proclaim it is a religious movement before you will actually believe them?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @10:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @10:18AM (#103511)

      Well, according to that logic, why not just blow up the entire planet? That would certainly put an end to all wars, and all other human problems as well.

    • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Wednesday October 08 2014, @01:43PM

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @01:43PM (#103566)

      How is making the dam radioactive going to help?

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 2) by Alfred on Wednesday October 08 2014, @01:45PM

      by Alfred (4006) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @01:45PM (#103567) Journal

      Wait! What? I don't remember posting that.
      Oh, nevermind, carry on.

      Pardon my possible ignorance but do neutron bombs even exist? I have heard about them for years but I have never heard of a time they were used or any other proof they actually exist. And the effects of using one differ depending on who is telling you about them.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by TheRaven on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:29AM

    by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:29AM (#103486) Journal
    Hydraulic despotism [wikipedia.org] dates back to some of the earliest civilisations.
    --
    sudo mod me up
  • (Score: 2) by NoMaster on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:36AM

    by NoMaster (3543) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:36AM (#103490)

    And?

    It's an ancient military tactic. The Romans did it, the Egyptians did it, and much more recently the Libyans and Israelis have done it.

    I would be extremely surprised if it wasn't a standard option in the handbook of US military tactics.

    --
    Live free or fuck off and take your naïve Libertarian fantasies with you...
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:42AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:42AM (#103494)

      And?

      AND IT'S DESPICABLE!

      • (Score: 1) by ticho on Wednesday October 08 2014, @10:20AM

        by ticho (89) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @10:20AM (#103514) Homepage Journal

        It is also off-topic for this site. Where's the technology angle? Or is SN turning into another generic news aggregator?

        • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Wednesday October 08 2014, @12:34PM

          by Sir Garlon (1264) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @12:34PM (#103540)

          Water infrastructure and dams are technology. Indeed, providing clean drinking water is an ongoing technology challenge in many parts of the world.

          --
          [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
          • (Score: 1) by ticho on Wednesday October 08 2014, @12:50PM

            by ticho (89) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @12:50PM (#103544) Homepage Journal

            So... "man's cellphone stolen in subway" is also story suitable for SN?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @01:45PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @01:45PM (#103568)

              Only if the one who stole it was a terrorist. Ideally a Jihadist. ;-)

              • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday October 09 2014, @12:08AM

                by bob_super (1357) on Thursday October 09 2014, @12:08AM (#103848)

                And then again, only if it gets tangled in his beard.

        • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Thursday October 09 2014, @03:27PM

          by urza9814 (3954) on Thursday October 09 2014, @03:27PM (#104070) Journal

          It is also off-topic for this site. Where's the technology angle? Or is SN turning into another generic news aggregator?

          Soylent News is not, and never has been, focused exclusively on techology news. You're thinking of Slashdot. This isn't Slashdot.

  • (Score: 2) by gallondr00nk on Wednesday October 08 2014, @10:13AM

    by gallondr00nk (392) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @10:13AM (#103509)

    Jihadists are used as a gravy train by commentators in the West.

    Gaining control of the water supply, what a terrifying and novel idea! These Islamic State jihadists really are the worst threat we've ever faced.

    • (Score: 1) by SacredSalt on Wednesday October 08 2014, @07:15PM

      by SacredSalt (2772) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @07:15PM (#103727)

      They have moved on from just raising the bonko alert (keep the fear rolling guys!) over the water supply. Now they are trying to link I.S. to Ebola, and every day they paint a broader brush.

      I call it the ISIS-EBOLA-VOMIT-CNN-ZOMBIE-ATTACK!@! Panic now! More fear, more fear, more fear! Muahaa...

      ISIS has a website up for a few minutes -- now they are cyber terrorists! ISIS could have gained access to Assad's chemical weapons! ISIS has stolen a couple missiles -- now they are regional chemical weapons terrorists!@! Keep the fear going! ISIS could extract Ebola from dying Ebola victims!@! ISIS *could* send over Ebola victims and cause a pandemic in Europe/Asia/North America! ISIS *could* have a former French NATO officer working for them -- so we are going to launch 100 million USD worth of missiles at him to try to kill him, and fail! Oh now, ISIS *could* penetrate NATO and *could* be familiarized with our tactics!@! More fear!

      I saw a really humorous story on CNN where the DHS official said "Ebola is the ISIS of viruses! We have to treat Ebola the same way we treat ISIS." So its ringing in my head; we are going to launch cruise missiles, bomb the hell out of west Africa, and demonize west Africans as ISIS-EBOLA-ZOMBIES!@!?

      Aside from these guys generally being A-holes and trying to initiate another crusade -- the real threat is to investors in Kurdish territories ("The other Iraq!), pipelines, utilities -- and all kinds of other services that we so helpfully privatized for the Iraqi people whether they wanted it or not. ISIS is seeking to nationalize those resources (why does this sound familiar, eh?), thus they have to be removed. Its not about a few people getting their heads on pikes for display. They are perfectly willing to use fear as a weapon, and our press here is perfectly willing to sell it.

      • (Score: 2) by gallondr00nk on Wednesday October 08 2014, @11:00PM

        by gallondr00nk (392) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @11:00PM (#103823)

        ISIS is seeking to nationalize those resources (why does this sound familiar, eh?), thus they have to be removed.

        A good bit of history is the 1953 Iranian coup [wikipedia.org], where the elected leader was killed by UK/US agencies at the behest of oil companies who objected to his plan to nationalise the oil industry.