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Critical Thoughts On ISIS Defections (1), US Contemporary Politics (Incl.Presidency of Obama & Fiorina-Sonnenfeld Fued) & On The Value of Child-Bearing Today


This post is a brief discussion (a la critical thinking) on;

  • Rethinking ISIS Defection: a point I strongly argued – and urged – in support for our western policy-makers thinking as best option than bombing, for weeks now; even before the recent newly published ICSR Report recommendation on similar lines.
  • On Contemporary US Politics, including a brief discussion of President Obama’s presidency and the continuing ‘private-to-public feud’ between Carly Fiorina and Jeffrey Sonnenfeld.
  • Finally, sort of though of the day, I ask what is the value of child-bearing in modern society? (Mumsnet best forum of debate)
  1. On Rethinking ISIS Defection:

I can briefly say, even though I came out first with enthusiasm, I think it wont have any real value to western powers, as the most beneficial parties to such an action will be the lesser extreme Jihadists especially Jabhat Nusra and it’s dominated coalition (Jaish al-Fath). One can expect, when one undertakes serious critical analysis, to see ISIS defectors from all levels (top to mid to rank-n-files) transferring/defecting themselves towards these groups or coalition. And from such analysis and observable events one can argue the most well-placed benefactor of every action at the present (from within own group and external parties actions and effects e.g. bombings etc) will be Jabhat Al-Nusra.

In short, we must rethink hard on championing defection of ISIS fighters as a centrepiece strategy.

2. On Contemporary US Politics; Incl. Obama Presidency & Fiorina-Sonnenfeld Feud

On Contemporary US politics the most visible [new] trend is of course the seemingly reduction of complete American political life-cycles to electoral campaigns (the big money-making auctions of candidates). Within every four years of elections now we have in between these by-elections and most important caucuses elections for respective parties; seemingly eclipsing national politics and governance.

On President Obama’s presidency I personally think – though he seemed to have started his presidency with some ‘live-firing of realpolitiks’, meaning finding himself limited of powers as a result of real powers of specific institutions (mainly on security, economics and foreign policies) – he did come alive and ‘almost bravely of independent-minded’ during just after his re-elections and he did scored great foreign policies goals in helping a ‘sound-level’ US foreign policy; Iran, on playing ‘on fence’ on Syria with limited ‘kinetic’ actions and so forth.

In short, I think President Obama will, in future, be remembered though not as [among] the greatest of American presidents but rather among the bravest and almost-honest American presidents (on level with JFK); which might be enough to put him on the ‘hall of fame’.

3. On Fiorina-Sonnefeld Feud

I discussed this in some lengths [as accorded to twitter limits] on twitter.

I mainly limit my discussion or rather to be specific ‘coming in defence of Fiorina’ to an article written by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and published on Politico online (click here). I made use of two very significant articles which appeared on The New Yorker in defence of Mx. Fiorina; click here and here. The first article link (‘Kona Files’) defeats almost all of Messr.Sonnefeld attacks against Mme.Fiorina by showing the state of internal drama (politics) at HP the company which Mme Fiorina was CEO. For example it defeated Messr Sonnenfeld argument that…

  1. She ‘refused to learn’; as observable from the article, one can see that she was never allowed a chance to do so as every one was out to take her down due to internal politics as well as her ‘Hollywood-like Diva-ish personality’ as the article states.
  2. On the issue of ‘Misleading Metrics’ placed on her by the author, these claims are unsubstantial and can not be supported and also the author fails miserably to appreciate the fluidity of the industry environment at one moment ‘good’ (so one announces ‘good performances’) and another ‘very bad’ (so one is forced to revisit his/her ‘good performance’ reports); this is the defence of the second article from New Yorker (‘When CEO Comebacks Fails’), which shows what every student of management and business, also economics, would appreciate, that it does not matter if leadership is competent or not as when the environment is not good for ones company then this is beyond the fortunes of talented leadership to do anything. This is the case for many talented CEOs including Fiorina who found herself taking charge of a corporation already in deep struggle and troubles (new young Silicon competitors etc); fortunes similar to Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer today (though talented and with bright future she might fails as a result of Yahoo ‘destined-to-doom business model?).
  3. On ‘Irresponsible Decisions’. This section appeared very amateurish and personal [attack] by comparing her ‘travel expenses’ and using these as bases of ‘evidence’ in supporting such an argument…just amateurish and poor approach.
  4. On supposedly Mme Fiorina’s ‘intolerant to dissent’ and her ‘personal attacks’ on colleagues, the later example is provided based on her behaviour of ‘poking fun of others’ fashions’ etc, expected from her as a fashionista not as ‘terrible CEO’, and ‘intolerant to dissent’ she actually was happy to discuss, it seems, such voices but was overwhelmed by not ‘dissent’ but outright ‘designed plots’ against her from her co-executives at HP.

In short, Messr. Sonnenfeld shows poor academic and professional positioning and argument in his case against Mme. Fiorina as apparently ‘terrible CEO’.

4. On The Value of Child-Bearing Today?

So finally for my brief thought of the day or mostly an intelligent and philosophical enquiry; what is the value of child-bearing in modern society?

Child-bearing in the past had value as extra labourers (income-generators). As manpower for the fields (farms) or factories or even battlefields (from combatants to support staff, to even ‘comfort sex’ for ancient-times paedophiles or slaves to trade and the likes etc). So my question again is what is the value of having children today, especially for those who can not afford child rearing in modern unequal societies? For the rich, children continue to serve as symbols of wealth as well as heirs to their businesses empires (even though today this ‘family-managed business model’ is rare with so many talented outside help with MBAs etc). I would love some comments on this issue. Thanks in advance.

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About s.s.salim: Geopolitical Analyst

Political & Strategy Defence & Security Intelligence & Communications

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