< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 272 OF 272 ·
|May-12-16|| ||Boomie: <visayanbraindoctor> I'm not sure why my relationship to the news is important to you. To simplify, since apparently my description of myself did not register, I don't believe any source of news. I do believe some history. That is, news that has stood the test of time. You apparently aren't aware that the Assad dictatorship, including his father, has routinely suppressed any hint of opposition. " In both the Syrian presidential election, 2000 and subsequent 2007 election, Bashar Assad received votes in his favor in the upper 90th percentile in uncontested elections where other candidates were not permitted to run against him." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basha...). That's all you need to know about Assad. If you don't like that Wiki article, you can rewrite it. Otherwise acknowledge that Assad and his father were brutal dictators. That is what history says about them.|
|May-12-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Boomie>
Your last post looks to me as if you do not know what you're talking about when it comes to Syria.
Before you accuse me of the same, I suggest that you scroll the several pages of discussion that I and <twinlark> have already posted on Syria above.
I'm going to pass debating with you here. If you wish to further discuss the situation in Syria, I would request that you follow my suggestion, and <twinlark's>, and read alternative sources first. (I do not mean politically loaded articles in Wikipedia.)
|May-13-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff just gotten impeached. What's happening there?|
|May-13-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: https://www.rt.com/news/342983-syri...|
The contrast between the perspectives these two articles represent is obvious.
<Boomie> rather than debate with you on Syria, I would suggest that you read articles like former.
If I must say so, most of what you have posted in the past several months look as if they are essentially copy-pasted from MSM sources, and carry the same politico-psychological line as the latter article above. If you read nothing but these sources, you might end up with the conclusion that Assad is the bad guy, and some sugar coated Wahabbi sects are the good guys.
I'm not trying to offend you here. Just trying to tell you that there are other viewpoints out there, and that you should also read them.
|May-13-16|| ||Boomie: <visayanbraindoctor: most of what you have posted in the past several months look as if they are essentially copy-pasted from MSM sources>|
I wasn't aware that Wikipedia was MSM. There are 307 citations in the article on Assad. I suppose one would have to trace them back to their sources to see how MSM the article is. Apparently, you have some magic intuition about it since you could immediately tell it was MSM from just one statement. So you are saying that Assad did not run unopposed in his "elections"? Or what? If there is something you know is wrong in Wikipedia, all you have to do is edit.
My opinion about Syria is nobody knows what is going on there. It is way too complicated and chaotic to say anything meaningful about it. None of the news sources can be trusted. They all have hidden motives. The three most important words in science are "I don't know". That's my position on all of these chaotic situations.
The article you cited about the atrocity seems fairly straightforward. The group claimed responsibility, therefore they are by definition terrorists. I wonder why that's so hard for some people to admit? The group had apparently duped some into thinking they were supporting the ceasefire. Well, we know better now, don't we? Man up and admit your mistake! Gawd, these bureaucrats are stupid.
|May-13-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Boomie> Risking sounding like a broken record, please start reading the alternative sources that <twinlar> and I have recommended. Maybe you'll find out for yourself why there are certain groups that are banned in Syrian politics. Here's a clue- perhaps some of the banned groups and politicians are related or part of the same movement that did the massacre in the RT article.|
Also please ask yourself, how could such genocidal groups 'dupe' the US government? I believe that the US leadership knows exactly what they are. The US leadership has been supporting such groups beginning I believe in the late 1960s.
Anyway I hope you begin reading an alternative source after reading each MSM article.
|May-14-16|| ||twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff just gotten impeached. What's happening there?>|
Colour revolution via "constitutional" coup. This has been happening a long time with the intention of rolling back the "Pink Tide" (cf Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay and now Brazil with major efforts to destabilise Correa in Bolivia), and fracturing BRICS.
The new "all-white men" cabinet of the interim President is indicative, and they're very likely to quickly re-align the country with the US and impose austerity measures, and reinstating oil exploration rights in the Amazon.
The aim is to undo the last 13 years of work done by the Workers' Party and destroy Roussef and especially Lula (Latin America's Mandela), thereby discrediting this movement for the next generation or two. The people taking over are all under investigation for corruption, but these investigations are likely to disappear now the coup is almost complete. Edouardo Galeano ("Open Veins") would be saddened to see that the progress Brazil has made after 5 centuries of colonialism is being so thoroughly white-anted by this conservative coup.
Neo-colonialism 21st century style employing "hybrid warfare" to break the independent alliance, and to take the B out of BRICS.
|May-14-16|| ||twinlark: <Boomie>
My background is very similar to yours, and I still register on the political compass as fully libertarian-left.
The problem is that the Left has become irrelevant in the West, fractured and fractious, with the right wing nationalists stepping into the space abandoned by the Left, which is ironic seeing the extent to which Marx's writings are being re-examined in the wake of the GFC and the new cold war.
In the States, it's ironic that someone like Sanders is seen as a radical lefty, when at best he's a centre-left social democrat at home, but as full blown right wing as anyone else on foreign policy. And he'll throw his support behind Clinton rather than having the gumption to run as an independent candidate.
For the sake of the US, I was hoping Sanders would win the nomination and the presidency, but for the sake of the rest of the world, maybe Trump is the better option, even if his misogyny, racism and random buffoonery would be disastrous for the US. Hillary ("we came, we saw, he died *laugh*") Clinton is good for neither, just more aggressive Bush/Obama policies.
If you guys have the misfortune to have Trump installed as president, then maybe an isolationist US would suit the world just fine. Although Sheldon Adelson (Israel's big man) tossing a hundred mill into his campaign might mean his policy in the Middle East remains orthodox hard line. It's also possible Trump is Adelson's muppet.
Neither <visayanbraindoctor> nor myself argue in this forum. this is a place for constructive information-building discussion rather than rogoffing. We're not giving you the bum's rush, but suggest you apprise yourself of alternative viewpoints and try and understand the world view of Russians, Iranians, Syrians, Chinese and anyone else who isn't Western-oriented.
Maybe they're not the deluded clowns or aggressive fanatics the West thinks they are, and are trying to chart their own destinies free of western corporate interference and domination.
Finally, are you familiar with the historical treatises by the likes of Howard Zinn, Edouardo Galeano, Ronaldo Takaki, Rodolfo F. Acuna and even Oliver Stone dealing with the settlement and exploitation of the Americas?
|May-14-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark: fracturing BRICS.>|
When I first became aware of BRICS, the sheer audacity of it befuddled me at first. It's almost like a declaration of war on institutional and corporate USA. (Which is different from the American citizen, who typically doesn't know what goes on deep inside the leadership circles.)
I guess such an act is to be expected sooner or later.
We might end up seeing BRICS transformed into RC in the next several years.
|May-15-16|| ||twinlark: <We might end up seeing BRICS transformed into RC in the next several years.>|
Indeed. The strategy is clearly to pick off the outliers, isolate the RC and destroy or dismember it.
The sheer hypocricy of switching on the missiles defences in Romania and then treating the Nordics to a dinner and speech about Russian aggression would be breathtaking if it weren't so utterly routine.
I'm sad to see the proud Nordics have lost their independence.
|May-15-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Might interest you. A politically loaded song won in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.|
Note the official logo:
I guess that doesn't apply to Russians.
|May-15-16|| ||twinlark: <Visayanbraindoctor>|
Also, politically loaded songs are expressly forbidden under the Eurovision rules. Not this time it seems.
|May-15-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark>
I've made some corrections and revisions on the sci fi novel I'm writing in <Annie's> page. I would welcome some comments from you (",)
|May-17-16|| ||twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>|
On another note it seems that yields on Russian bonds have dropped to pre-sanction lows...http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-...
|May-18-16|| ||Boomie: The recent Frontline on the evolution of ISIS showed various blunders by the US. |
To start, they had the founder of IS, Zarqawi, targeted in Northern Iraq before the invasion. The CIA considered Zarqawi to be a high level target. But Bush and company didn't want to tip off Hussein about the impending invasion. This cost thousands of lives later when IS started its bombing and assassination campaign in Iraq, targeting Shiites.
Next, the invasion itself created the kind of chaos that movements like IS thrive upon. How many lives were lost due to that bonehead invasion?
Finally, the decision to dismiss the entire Iraqi army led to a country full of soldiers in search of a job.
The program may not add anything to your knowledge, but the testimony of various players sheds some light. The CIA agents expressed dismay that their recommendations were being ignored. They knew that Hussein and al-Qaeda were bitter enemies. If he had known Zarqawi had a camp in Iraq, he would have sent his army after him. Yet the NSA contends that Hussein was in league with his enemies? Apparently, the NSA led by Rice was calling the shots. I keep sensing evidence that these guys are not very smart.
|May-19-16|| ||twinlark: <Boomie>
<The CIA considered Zarqawi to be a high level target. But Bush and company didn't want to tip off Hussein about the impending invasion.>
Makes you wonder why they didn't send in a delta squad to quietly off the guy one night, and avoid a costly and messy war.
<Next, the invasion itself created the kind of chaos that movements like IS thrive upon. How many lives were lost due to that bonehead invasion?>
If that's the case, why did Powell did provided all that "proof" of Iraqi WMDs? How was this relevant to Zarqawi?
<Finally, the decision to dismiss the entire Iraqi army led to a country full of soldiers in search of a job.>
Not just the Army but the entire Ba'athist bureaucracy. This Ba'athist structure became the Ba'athist insurgency, many of course joining various militant groups including ISIS, al Qaeda, al Nusra and the alphabet soup of competing insurgencies stoked by sectarian divide-and-rule tactics initiated by the occupation forces.
<They knew that Hussein and al-Qaeda were bitter enemies.>
<If he had known Zarqawi had a camp in Iraq, he would have sent his army after him.>
One of the strengths of the Hussein regime was that it was a secular government...the fate of secular governments in the Middle East has been an unfortunate set of events...Libya, Syria. Starts to look like a pattern.
<Yet the NSA contends that Hussein was in league with his enemies? Apparently, the NSA led by Rice was calling the shots. I keep sensing evidence that these guys are not very smart.>
Comes back to the "evidence" provided by Powell at the UN "proving" that Iraq had WMDs. They were smart enough to trump the CIA's intel as well as the intel of every other agency to conform with the desires of Rice, Bush and Cheney, ie to take Iraq and take out Saddam Hussein.
My impression is that the US actually achieved all of its goals...namely the destruction of an independent secular regime, seizure of its resources, destruction of its civil society, destruction of opposition to Israel and US imperial interests, and chaos on the borders of its other enemies Syria and Iran.
Since then Syria has been all but destroyed, as foreseen by almost everyone since 2005, while the official emphasis on the greatest existential dangers to the US has just shifted from ISIS to Russia, China and...Iran.
Look at the trail of bodies left since the fall of the Iron Curtain and especially since 9/11 - Yugoslavia in its various increasingly shrink-wrapped forms, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Ukraine.
What do all these countries have in common?
I find that a useful filter for understanding events is the geopolitical struggle between the US and independent governments around the world, the biggest of course being the BRICS countries and Iran. Brazil has just fallen, India is virtually ungovernable, Russia and Iran are under sanctions, and South Africa is paralysed politically, years after agreeing to ditch its socialist agenda and retain the infrastructure that served the apartheid regime and its western clients so well.
|May-19-16|| ||Boomie: <twinlark>
<If that's the case, why did Powell did provided all that "proof" of Iraqi WMDs? How was this relevant to Zarqawi?>
Frontline interviewed Powell. The CIA had edited the UN speech to conform with what they knew about the situation. None of their edits survived. Zarqawi is mentioned many times in the speech. The White House was trying to connect Hussein with Zarqawi and Zarqawi with al-Qaeda. The CIA not only found no connection between Hussein and Zarqawi, they also knew that al-Qaeda had essentially disowned Zarqawi. Zarqawi wanted to incite a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites. al-Qaeda did not want any part of that.
|May-19-16|| ||twinlark: It doesn't make sense, the dots just don't connect.
- Zarqawi was supposed to be in northern Iraq
- he was a senior member of al Qaeda, the organisation created in Pakistan by Pakistan and the US using its asset Osama bin Laden
- bin Laden was blamed for 9/11 on the basis of no real evidence, otherwise the FBI would have had him on their wanted list for the crime
- nevertheless, the US invaded Afghanistan despite offers by the Taliban to hand bin Laden over if the US had any actual evidence, destroying the country and yet still failed to catch bin Laden
- for some reason, al Qaeda/bin Laden through Zarqawi was then linked to Saddam Hussein, again in the absence of evidence, especially given that al Qaeda had disowned Zarqawi and that Saddam and al Qaeda were bitter enemies
- Powell lied to the UN about evidence of WMDs in Iraq, with Blair's connivance with these lies with his own "sexed up" report
How does all this connect with the decision to invade Iraq? It reads as an incoherent set of lies.
If Iraq wasn't responsible for 9/11, had no WMDs as attested by Hans Blick, the Chief of the UN WMD inspections team (Iraq had destroyed all its WMDs in the years since Gulf War I), and had no truck with al Qaeda or Zarqawi, what was the US's actual reason for invading Iraq?
I don't see how Frontline's report actually throws any useful information on what happened. It seems to actually muddy the waters even further.
Why were Afghanistan and Iraq really invaded?
|May-19-16|| ||Boomie: <I don't see how Frontline's report actually throws any useful information on what happened. It seems to actually muddy the waters even further.|
Why were Afghanistan and Iraq really invaded?>
The report concerned the creation of ISIS. Zarqawi started ISIL which was specific to Iraq. I guess Frontline reviewed the invasion to show its effect on ISIL. The invasion essentially created ISIL. They wouldn't have got anywhere without it. I'm sure Frontline covered the invasion in a different segment.
The invasion of Afghanistan, on the other hand, made sense in the context of 9/11. Many of the hijackers trained there. Zarqawi also had a training base there.
Speaking of state sponsored terrorism, congress passed a bill to allow 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government. It will probably not get much further as Obama promises a veto, but it does put the Saudis on notice that we are keeping an eye on them.
|May-20-16|| ||twinlark: Did Frontline talk about the financing and resources if ISIS? |
For it to grow it needed to recruit members and to attract major sponsorship.
|May-20-16|| ||Boomie: <twinlark: Did Frontline talk about the financing and resources if ISIS?>|
Not so much that I remember. That would be a rather large omission. Perhaps I just forgot the mention of financing. Most of their income seems to be made the old fashioned way, they steal it. The sale of stolen oil has brought in 10s of millions alone.
I just stumbled on a Wiki article specific to ISIL finances: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finan.... It lists various criminal activities and donations from the Saudis and foreign sympathizers. I suspect ISIS finances are similar. Different leader, different country but same folks.
The main Wiki on ISIL is enormous. Almost 800 footnotes...heh. It has a section on resources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam...
|May-20-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: A comment on <the financing and resources if ISIS?>|
Everything I have read and know indicates that the money trail mostly goes back to Sunni Islamist Arab Gulf States.
Some of the trails are hidden, Some are not. My half Pakistani uncle for example tells me that in the 1950s, Pakistan was a lot more secular than it is now. Then the government began to accept Saudi aid. Along with the aid came missionaries preaching Wahabbism in Pakistan's madrasas and mosques. All quite legal and open BTW. Now you see serious quasi Wahabbi movements in Pakistan that have triggered lots of the more recent sectarian violence.
It looks like the same story everywhere AFAIK. Madrasas and mosques controlled by Wahhabi or quasi Wahabbi Islamists are the main recruitment centers for jihadists and their mass base; and they're financed big time by oil money. I don't think this is any secret at all.
We can't expect the US government to seriously try to stop this system of mass base recruitment. US economy is tied to the petrodollar and its Gulf States allies.
|May-21-16|| ||Boomie: ->
Here's a link to the Frontline web site featuring the recent ISIS program: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/
I don't pay much attention to TV news. But the PBS programs seem to be the best of the lot. At least they try to do real journalism.
A search of "ISIS" on the Frontline site (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/?...) produces an astonishing 40,000 hits in Frontline pages. They have been all over that story.
Searching "Iraq invasion" (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/?... invasion) produced another bushel of hits.
|May-29-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Do you have access to facebook?|
|May-29-16|| ||twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>|
Only that which is universally accessible. But I don't have an account nor have I ever logged in.
btw, sorry about the delay in my critique. A lot of our time is taken up with house hunting in the Canberra market, which is difficult at the moment but something which has become urgent for us.
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