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Act of war..Saudi Arbia

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5 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

People can leave China, can't they? At one point there were big protest demonstrations, apparently that got settled (relatively)

If anybody hasn't gotten the memo, it's Republicans

- DSK

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/china-and-tibet

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34592336

And you're right, the protests got settled when the chinese military killed hundreds of protesters.  

And Hong Kongers are not feeling like they have any say in how they are governed.  The chinese certainly aren't asking for their consent.

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4 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I understand and appreciate your comment w/r/t revolutionary governments being strengthened by external disapproval, but, I don't think that that's a good thing, as it indicates that the revolutionary government isn't acting on the interests of its citizens, and is tightly controlling them.   

Not sure that I understand what you mean by the bolded part.  Think back to '79 - who was the viable political opposition, and how did post-revolutionary sanctions and war ( Iran/Iraq war?) force them out?  

Neither sanctions nor war have forced out the mullahs. Indeed, they've probably kept them in power.

As for 1979,

  • Prehistory: we overthrew Iran's democratically elected government. They overthrew our satrap.
  • The Iran Hostage Crisis was from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981. Except for the failed rescue mission, no one died.
  • The Iran Iraq war started September 22, 1980 with Iraq invading Iran.
  • Saddam started using WMDs against Iran in 1981.
  • Reagan removed Iraq from the State Department terrorism list in February 1982, despite objections from Congress.
  • Reagan started backing Saddam in June 1982.
  • While condemning both sides for using chemical and biological weapons, Reagan (and later Bush) orchestrated WMD sales to Iraq.
  • Saddam laid an Exocet into the USS Stark incident May 17, 1987, killing 37 and wounding 21.
  • The war finally ended August 20, 1988 in a stalemate.  Probably 1M+ casualties and a $1T damage.

Is there anything in that list that makes us look good?

1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I too am curious about that. As far as I know, and friends of mine were THERE when it happened, the USA basically said "meh" to the mullahs taking over until the hostage taking.

That papers over a LOT of history, though. We overthrew Mossadegh. We installed and defended the Shah for decades. It's hard to interpret our "meh" after that history.

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5 hours ago, Battlecheese said:

I've met refugees too. A lot of them are whiners. That's why they aren't back making their home country a better place.

Yeah, like like all those Syrians and Africans flooding Europe and all the central Americans flooding the US.  They should be back home making their home country a better place instead of running away.

Oh and I forgot those whiners in Manaus and East Lorengau.  Fucking whiners should be fixing their own shit too.  

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2 minutes ago, Olsonist said:

Neither sanctions nor war have forced out the mullahs. Indeed, they've probably kept them in power.

As for 1979,

  • Prehistory: we overthrew Iran's democratically elected government. They overthrew our satrap.
  • The Iran Hostage Crisis was from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981. Except for the failed rescue mission, no one died.
  • The Iran Iraq war started September 22, 1980 with Iraq invading Iran.
  • Saddam started using WMDs against Iran in 1981.
  • Reagan removed Iraq from the State Department terrorism list in February 1982, despite objections from Congress.
  • Reagan started backing Saddam in June 1982.
  • While condemning both sides for using chemical and biological weapons, Reagan (and later Bush) orchestrated WMD sales to Iraq.
  • Saddam laid an Exocet into the USS Stark incident May 17, 1987, killing 37 and wounding 21.
  • The war finally ended August 20, 1988 in a stalemate.  Probably 1M+ casualties and a $1T damage.

Is there anything in that list that makes us look good?

No argument w/any of that O - you've heard me lament how much unnecessary harm selfish western meddling has caused in Iran.   That said, I'm not sure how any of that contributed to what Cheesy said "A viable political opposition was forced out due to american sanctions/war."     Who was the viable political opposition?   

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10 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/china-and-tibet

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34592336

And you're right, the protests got settled when the chinese military killed hundreds of protesters.  

And Hong Kongers are not feeling like they have any say in how they are governed.  The chinese certainly aren't asking for their consent.

It won't penetrate, because you are ignorant fuckwhit, but many - dare I say most - Chinese are reasonably happy with their government. Crackdowns in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong haven't produced much outrage against the government at home, indeed have strengthened the governments hand.

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8 minutes ago, Olsonist said:

Neither sanctions nor war have forced out the mullahs. Indeed, they've probably kept them in power.

As for 1979,

  • Prehistory: we overthrew Iran's democratically elected government. They overthrew our satrap.
  • The Iran Hostage Crisis was from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981. Except for the failed rescue mission, no one died.
  • The Iran Iraq war started September 22, 1980 with Iraq invading Iran.
  • Saddam started using WMDs against Iran in 1981.
  • Reagan removed Iraq from the State Department terrorism list in February 1982, despite objections from Congress.
  • Reagan started backing Saddam in June 1982.
  • While condemning both sides for using chemical and biological weapons, Reagan (and later Bush) orchestrated WMD sales to Iraq.
  • Saddam laid an Exocet into the USS Stark incident May 17, 1987, killing 37 and wounding 21.
  • The war finally ended August 20, 1988 in a stalemate.  Probably 1M+ casualties and a $1T damage.

Is there anything in that list that makes us look good?

That papers over a lot of history. We overthrew Mossadegh. We installed and defended the Shah. It's hard to interpret our "meh" after that history.

I am well aware of the long term history. The USA has attacked Canada in the past, but no one took a shot at me the last time I was in Canada nor held me hostage. Likewise I walked all around downtown Berlin without fear of someone getting their revenge on me for all that bombing we did. We (USA) were content to ignore Iran until the hostage taking.  If Iran thinks the Mossadegh thing is a free pass to do anything to harm the USA they can for ever and ever, then they really are headed for a war they'll lose sooner or later.

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7 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Yeah, like like all those Syrians and Africans flooding Europe and all the central Americans flooding the US. 

Don't worry your pretty little ethno-nationalist head, your boy Shitstain's stopping the bolded.

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2 minutes ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

It won't penetrate, because you are ignorant fuckwhit, but many - dare I say most - Chinese are reasonably happy with their government. Crackdowns in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong haven't produced much outrage against the government at home, indeed have strengthened the governments hand.

But you're missing the point... the statement was:
"governments who govern without the consent of the governed don't last long". 

China seems to be the exception to this rule.  The governed there certainly are not consenting.

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2 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

No argument w/any of that O - you've heard me lament how much unnecessary harm selfish western meddling has caused in Iran.   That said, I'm not sure how any of that contributed to what Cheesy said "A viable political opposition was forced out due to american sanctions/war."     Who was the viable political opposition?   

He's absolutely right. Go back to September 11, 2001. You may recall that Saudis flew airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The President of Iran at the time, Khatami, was relatively liberal and world minded. He even offered to help the United States in Afghanistan. That offer was spurned and your boy W labeled Iran one of the Axis of Evil in his 2002 SOTU speech. Consequently, Khatami was followed by Ahmadinejad.

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9 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

But you're missing the point... the statement was:
"governments who govern without the consent of the governed don't last long". 

China seems to be the exception to this rule.  The governed there certainly are not consenting.

I'm not missing your point, I'm stating it's fucking wrong. Most Chinese consent to the governance they get. They are largely happy with it. It's not the choice I'd make, but it's the choice they've made. I'm not sure what's so fucking hard to understand about that? Is it like the NRA where you are so wedded to a narrative nothing will replace it in your mind? Again - China is 1+ billion people. Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong are a tiny drop in the bucket.

damn, no wonder you fall for all the dumb bullshit about China. you don't know the first fucking thing about it.

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2 minutes ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

I'm not missing your point, I'm stating your fucking wrong. Most Chinese consent to the governance they get. They are largely happy with it. It's not the choice I'd make, but it's the choice they've made. I'm not sure what's so fucking hard to understand about that? Is it like the NRA where you are so wedded to a narrative nothing will replace it in your mind? Again - China is 1+ billion people. Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong are a tiny drop in the bucket.

Whatever you say, skippy.

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1 minute ago, Olsonist said:

He's absolutely right. Go back to September 11, 2001. You may recall that Saudis flew airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The President of Iran at the time, Khatami, was relatively liberal and world minded. He even offered to help the United States in Afghanistan. That offer was spurned and your boy W labeled Iran one of the Axis of Evil in his 2002 SOTU speech. Consequently, Khatami was followed by Ahmadinejad.

 Appreciate the reminder, and I was aware of this.  While Khatami didn't seem to be as personally beholden to the Supreme leader, neither Khatami nor Ahmadinejad were "opposition parties", were they?  Hence my question to BC.

Additionally, It seemed that BC was talking about a time prior to that, so , not arguing, just trying to ask questions to better understand what BC intended to share. 

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15 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I am well aware of the long term history. The USA has attacked Canada in the past, but no one took a shot at me the last time I was in Canada nor held me hostage. Likewise I walked all around downtown Berlin without fear of someone getting their revenge on me for all that bombing we did. We (USA) were content to ignore Iran until the hostage taking.  If Iran thinks the Mossadegh thing is a free pass to do anything to harm the USA they can for ever and ever, then they really are headed for a war they'll lose sooner or later.

The Iranian revolution ended February 11, 1979 and the hostage crisis started November 4, 1979. So at the time, it wasn't long term history.

Compared to what we've done to them (overthrew Mossadegh, backed Iraq in their border war, shot down their airliner, sanctioned the hell out of them), remind me again, what have they done to us? Because I actually think our policy is driven by the Saudis.

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10 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

But you're missing the point... the statement was:
"governments who govern without the consent of the governed don't last long". 

China seems to be the exception to this rule.  The governed there certainly are not consenting.

Yep

I made that statement, and I know what it means... certainly not a JZK-like absolute.

Think about it for a second, what does "for long" mean in the context of Chinese history?

- DSK

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1 minute ago, Steam Flyer said:

Yep

I made that statement, and I know what it means... certainly not a JZK-like absolute.

Think about it for a second, what does "for long" mean in the context of Chinese history?

- DSK

I dunno.  How long have they governed without the consent of the governed?  

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4 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

 Appreciate the reminder, and I was aware of this.  While Khatami didn't seem to be as personally beholden to the Supreme leader, neither Khatami nor Ahmadinejad were "opposition parties", were they?  Hence my question to BC.

Additionally, It seemed that BC was talking about a time prior to that, so , not arguing, just trying to ask questions to better understand what BC intended to share. 

No. Khatami was in every sense an opposition party to the conservative clerics. Ajad was a hardliner who very much backed and was backed by the clerics.

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8 minutes ago, Olsonist said:

The Iranian revolution ended February 11, 1979 and the hostage crisis started November 4, 1979. So at the time, it wasn't long term history.

Compared to what we've done to them (overthrew Mossadegh, backed Iraq in their border war, shot down their airliner, sanctioned the hell out of them), remind me again, what have they done to us? Because I actually think our policy is driven by the Saudis.

This is kind of like a time machine problem. The hostage taking was a huge mistake by Iran. At the time the USA was not doing anything to them nor did we care all that much about them. Sanctions and airliners were far in the future at that point.

Also you may want to read this:

https://www.amazon.com/Beirut-Rules-Station-Hezbollahs-Against/dp/1101987464

The Iranians are absolutely drenched in blood. They can sit there whistling "We never would hurt a fly" while their proxies run around committing every kind of atrocity. I am not in favor of a war with them, but they are very far from put-upon innocents.

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1 minute ago, Shootist Jeff said:
3 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I made that statement, and I know what it means... certainly not a JZK-like absolute.

Think about it for a second, what does "for long" mean in the context of Chinese history?

 

I dunno.  How long have they governed without the consent of the governed?  

Personally, in my judgement, they're not. Things have changed a LOT in China over the past twenty years, and from I've seen the majority are consenting just fine. Shucks, I know a lot of Chinese people who emigrated to the US in decades past who are seriously considering moving back.

I suppose you think this is some sort of libertarian-like absolute and includes prisons etc etc. Real life is not that simple, but in general, authority is exerted by social assent. People are herd critters. Exceptions tend to fail, often they implode spectacularly (ie "burning that bitch down")

- DSK

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1 minute ago, kent_island_sailor said:

This is kind of like a time machine problem. The hostage taking was a huge mistake by Iran. At the time the USA was not doing anything to them nor did we care all that much about them. Sanctions and airliners were far in the future at that point.

Also you may want to read this:

https://www.amazon.com/Beirut-Rules-Station-Hezbollahs-Against/dp/1101987464

The Iranians are absolutely drenched in blood. They can sit there whistling "We never would hurt a fly" while their proxies run around committing every kind of atrocity. I am not in favor of a war with them, but they are very far from put-upon innocents.

No one said the Iranians were pure as driven snow. Neither are we. But give me a list of what they've done to us because we've done some really shitty things to them. Again, I think this is purely driven by the Saudis.

That list won't include the Khobar Towers bombing. We blamed that on Hezbollah as favor for the Saudis.

https://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/14/world/al-qaeda-is-now-suspected-in-1996-bombing-of-barracks.html

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40 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

How about blowing up our embassy and marine barracks in Beirut? Is that enough to put them on the naughty list?

No one knows who did the Marine barracks bombing. Weinberger said "We still do not have the actual knowledge of who did the bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut Airport, and we certainly didn't then". The Embassy bombing (a loss of 17 Americans) was probably Hezbollah who live there and not in Iran. If you recall, Reagan sent those Marines to Lebanon during a civil war in order to ... something. They were targets, unprotected targets. Then Reagan followed up the Beirut bombing (October 23, 1983) with the invasion of Grenada (October 25, 1983).

Two fucking days later, Reagan invades another country in order to distract us from the 241 service members we lost for no reason. We lost another 19 invading ... Grenada.

No, that stupidity doesn't get Iran on the shit list.

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9 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Whatever you say, skippy.

The chinese people largely consented to the semi-explicit quid pro quo of economic growth in exchange for civil freedoms post Tiannamen. Given your enthusiasm for ethno-natinalist authoritarians, I'm not sure why you find this so troubling.

If you wanted to pick a clear example - North Korea would be a much better choice. But you mouthed off and now you'll double down forever, cuz that's what the elk do.

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40 minutes ago, Olsonist said:

No one knows who did the Marine barracks bombing. Weinberger said "We still do not have the actual knowledge of who did the bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut Airport, and we certainly didn't then". The Embassy bombing (a loss of 17 Americans) was probably Hezbollah who live there and not in Iran. If you recall, Reagan sent those Marines to Lebanon during a civil war in order to ... something. They were targets, unprotected targets. Then Reagan followed up the Beirut bombing (October 23, 1983) with the invasion of Grenada (October 25, 1983).

Two fucking days later, Reagan invades another country in order to distract us from the 241 service members we lost for no reason. We lost another 19 invading ... Grenada.

No, that stupidity doesn't get Iran on the shit list.

Just like Benghazi, oh wait, the RW cared about those 4 guys.

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2 hours ago, Olsonist said:

No one knows who did the Marine barracks bombing. Weinberger said "We still do not have the actual knowledge of who did the bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut Airport, and we certainly didn't then". The Embassy bombing (a loss of 17 Americans) was probably Hezbollah who live there and not in Iran. If you recall, Reagan sent those Marines to Lebanon during a civil war in order to ... something. They were targets, unprotected targets. Then Reagan followed up the Beirut bombing (October 23, 1983) with the invasion of Grenada (October 25, 1983).

Two fucking days later, Reagan invades another country in order to distract us from the 241 service members we lost for no reason. We lost another 19 invading ... Grenada.

No, that stupidity doesn't get Iran on the shit list.

You may want to read the book, your knowledge is outdated or the author made up a ton of highly detailed lies and fake sources. No one thinks Iranians physically go all over committing terrorism, they most certainly do farm it out to the locals and exactly who did it and how it was organized, funded, and supplied is detailed in the book.

Also note the same bunch blew up an Israeli Army outpost at least once, maybe twice. The Israelis were rather feckless in Lebanon in the book, they really didn't seem to live up the right-wing fantasy of their abilities and were more like kicking over anthills to see what might happen and acting surprised at all the ants.

 

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15 hours ago, Olsonist said:

No one said the Iranians were pure as driven snow. Neither are we. But give me a list of what they've done to us because we've done some really shitty things to them. Again, I think this is purely driven by the Saudis.

That list won't include the Khobar Towers bombing. We blamed that on Hezbollah as favor for the Saudis.

https://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/14/world/al-qaeda-is-now-suspected-in-1996-bombing-of-barracks.html

You should read "Gideon's Spies".

 

Mossad knew that the barracks bombing was coming. They knew the make and model of the truck, they knew where it was and they knew it was loaded with explosives. They escorted it to the US barracks. They deliberately didn't warn the US as they reasoned it "wasn't their responsibility".

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4 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

But you're missing the point... the statement was:
"governments who govern without the consent of the governed don't last long". 

China seems to be the exception to this rule.  The governed there certainly are not consenting.

Xi was extremely popular until about a year or so ago. He was taking action on both dirty air and corruption, two concerns that most Chinese were concerned about. More recently, people have become less sanguine about the government. The big complaint is rising prices, in particular for food items. It is becoming a big problem for people on relatively fixed incomes. In general, all the average Chinese person wants from their government is competence. If they get a sense that the leadership is not competent they become restive. They are not restive - yet, and nothing that is happening in HK or Xinjiang is changing that.

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3 hours ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

The chinese people largely consented to the semi-explicit quid pro quo of economic growth in exchange for civil freedoms post Tiannamen. Given your enthusiasm for ethno-natinalist authoritarians, I'm not sure why you find this so troubling.

If you wanted to pick a clear example - North Korea would be a much better choice. But you mouthed off and now you'll double down forever, cuz that's what the elk do.

He finds this troubling because the notion that a populace which is not armed to the teeth is perfectly capable of evicting a government is not the sort of idea he wants to see spread around.

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2 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

You may want to read the book, your knowledge is outdated or the author made up a ton of highly detailed lies and fake sources. No one thinks Iranians physically go all over committing terrorism, they most certainly do farm it out to the locals and exactly who did it and how it was organized, funded, and supplied is detailed in the book.

Also note the same bunch blew up an Israeli Army outpost at least once, maybe twice. The Israelis were rather feckless in Lebanon in the book, they really didn't seem to live up the right-wing fantasy of their abilities and were more like kicking over anthills to see what might happen and acting surprised at all the ants.

That's a lot like what we do. What were the Contras? What were we doing giving Stingers to the mujahideen? Seriously, our military shouldn't have been there. It literally accomplished nothing. Let's list the extenuating circumstances:

  • it was a civil war and we put Marines there doing nothing without force protection as per the rules of engagement
  • we were backing Iraq at the time in a real war against Iran
  • we backed Israel's Peace for Galilee campaign
  • we don't even know what happened

Here's the CIA review of Beirut Rules. It rakes the book over the coals.

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol-63-no-1/beirut_rules.html

BTW, Kerr would be Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr's father. Steve Kerr was born in Beirut. I'm absolutely a huge Steve Kerr fan.

This does't get Iran on the shit list. Iran ain't perfect but I'd trade them (I've said this before) for any of our 'allies' in the Middle East. Fuck the KSA. Fuck Israel. We've already fucked Iraq so they're not on the menu.

Love ya, Kent. But we're gonna hella disagree on this.

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1 hour ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

Xi was extremely popular until about a year or so ago. He was taking action on both dirty air and corruption, two concerns that most Chinese were concerned about. More recently, people have become less sanguine about the government. The big complaint is rising prices, in particular for food items. It is becoming a big problem for people on relatively fixed incomes. In general, all the average Chinese person wants from their government is competence. If they get a sense that the leadership is not competent they become restive. They are not restive - yet, and nothing that is happening in HK or Xinjiang is changing that.

I think some Uighurs are concerned about things a bit worse than rising prices...

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2 minutes ago, Hypercapnic Tom said:

I think some Uighurs are concerned about things a bit worse than rising prices...

There are something like 10 million Uighurs in China out of a population north of 1.3 billion, so less than 1% of the population. I was talking mainly about the Han population, along with most ethnic minority groups in the country.

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42 minutes ago, Olsonist said:

That's a lot like what we do. What were the Contras? What were we doing giving Stingers to the mujahideen? Seriously, our military shouldn't have been there. It literally accomplished nothing. Let's list the extenuating circumstances:

  • it was a civil war and we put Marines there doing nothing without force protection as per the rules of engagement
  • we were backing Iraq at the time in a real war against Iran
  • we backed Israel's Peace for Galilee campaign
  • we don't even know what happened

Here's the CIA review of Beirut Rules. It rakes the book over the coals.

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol-63-no-1/beirut_rules.html

BTW, Kerr would be Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr's father. Steve Kerr was born in Beirut. I'm absolutely a huge Steve Kerr fan.

This does't get Iran on the shit list. Iran ain't perfect but I'd trade them (I've said this before) for any of our 'allies' in the Middle East. Fuck the KSA. Fuck Israel. We've already fucked Iraq so they're not on the menu.

Love ya, Kent. But we're gonna hella disagree on this.

They really hated the style, but they did not point out too many factual errors that substantially changed the narrative. To my mind I don't care overmuch if Iran did something literally with their own hands or paid for it. You may be misunderstanding my reasons pointing this out though. Iran is not uniquely bad for that part of the world and and is much less dangerous than the KSA on a larger scale. Saudi Wahhabism  support is a planet-wide issue, Iran plays in their own neighborhood. The point is *from the viewpoint of the US Government* which is staffed by people who remember the hostages and the dead in Lebanon, they have ample reason to dislike and distrust Iran. It isn't like someone suddenl;y decided to throw a dart at a map and get pissed at whatever country it landed in.

My takeaway from the book is the USA and Israel both blundered into a mess they had very little understanding of. Kind of like sticking your hand in a hornet's nest and acting all surprised to be stung by hornets. From the viewpoint of Iran, we probably looked like a JV high school team trying to play in the NFL and crying about being tackled :rolleyes: The USSR understood the place much better, depending on which source you read they either castrated or beheaded the family members of Hezbollah leaders. That worked a treat and  Hezbollah apparently left the Russians out of their schemes from then on. We on the other hand jsut put a bunch of Marines in a hard to defend spot and made ANOTHER easy target on top of the lightly defended embassy.

 

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1 hour ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

They are not restive - yet, and nothing that is happening in HK or Xinjiang is changing that.

Do the events in HK even get mentioned on the news broadcast to the rest of the country?

How quickly does any discussion get removed from their domestic internet?

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1 minute ago, bpm57 said:

Do the events in HK even get mentioned on the news broadcast to the rest of the country?

How quickly does any discussion get removed from their domestic internet?

They certainly are mentioned but in the 'gangs of lawless hooligans' kind of reporting. Certainly the protest would not be covered in a 'fair and balanced' manner.

It depends on how skilled the people are in how they talk about things. I think the social media (and it is immense in China) censors tend to be key word based so if you are careful you can say what you want so long as you don't mention Hong Kong or Winnie the Pooh. The largest newspaper in Canada is the Toronto Star and I could read it in Beijing when I was there last. The Star's Raptor beat reporter has a blog on the newspaper site and I could not get it. I guess is was because is was called a blog, certainly not because of any mention of China, unless it was something nice about Yao Ming.

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6 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

They really hated the style, but they did not point out too many factual errors that substantially changed the narrative. To my mind I don't care overmuch if Iran did something literally with their own hands or paid for it. You may be misunderstanding my reasons pointing this out though. Iran is not uniquely bad for that part of the world and and is much less dangerous than the KSA on a larger scale. Saudi Wahhabism  support is a planet-wide issue, Iran plays in their own neighborhood. The point is *from the viewpoint of the US Government* which is staffed by people who remember the hostages and the dead in Lebanon, they have ample reason to dislike and distrust Iran. It isn't like someone suddenl;y decided to throw a dart at a map and get pissed at whatever country it landed in.

My takeaway from the book is the USA and Israel both blundered into a mess they had very little understanding of. Kind of like sticking your hand in a hornet's nest and acting all surprised to be stung by hornets. From the viewpoint of Iran, we probably looked like a JV high school team trying to play in the NFL and crying about being tackled :rolleyes: The USSR understood the place much better, depending on which source you read they either castrated or beheaded the family members of Hezbollah leaders. That worked a treat and  Hezbollah apparently left the Russians out of their schemes from then on. We on the other hand jsut put a bunch of Marines in a hard to defend spot and made ANOTHER easy target on top of the lightly defended embassy.  

I agree with most of that. I don't think the Sovs understood any better than we did. They were just more ruthless than we were. I remember the story about after one of theirs was kidnapped (murdered?) they tracked down who did it, castrated him and sewed his balls into his mouth and delivered the body. That's ruthless but it doesn't show any depth of understanding. It doesn't get you anything except maybe left alone. Along those lines, Obama did well by concentrating on hunting down on OBL and feeding him to the fishes. W's feckless suck up to the KSA+Israel didn't get her done.

As for the Israelis, I ran into one in my travels who reveled at how little we Americans understood about Lebanon. He was right. I didn't understand Lebanon but I already knew that. However I didn't come away with any confidence that he/they understood it at all. He just knew more than someone who didn't know anything. Wow.

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5 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

 Appreciate the reminder, and I was aware of this.  While Khatami didn't seem to be as personally beholden to the Supreme leader, neither Khatami nor Ahmadinejad were "opposition parties", were they?  Hence my question to BC.

Additionally, It seemed that BC was talking about a time prior to that, so , not arguing, just trying to ask questions to better understand what BC intended to share. 

You were all excited about a story which appeared to indicate there had been enough communists in Iran that when they (presumably the politically active ones) left 10 years after the revolution they made an identifiable refugee population in Canada. I suggest if Iran hadn't been assailed with sanctions and a proxy war by their neighbour, then the ultra-conservative religious elements would not have achieved such a grip on the country.

I note that these people also appear to have managed to leave ok.

 

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20 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Looking at the map, I'm beginning to have some doubts that the Houthis actually did this.  Looking at google earth and doing some ruler stuff..... its about 400+ nm from the Yemen border to the refinery.  That's a LONG LONG way for a small drone to fly.  OTOH, the closet point to the attack site is 150nm from Iran proper.  Or little further to the Iraqi southern border

59fe5ae7-9fef-4eaf-9bb1-a79f6a954489-AP1

There's no way in hell those little prop drones of the wreckage they found at the attack site had enough range to be launched from Yemen.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/09/more-evidence-points-to-iranian-cruise-missiles-drones-in-attack-on-saudi-oilfield/

  The article says they were turbo-jet Quds-1. Not conclusive though. Could have been launched from somewhere within the Saudi desert.  

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1 hour ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

There are something like 10 million Uighurs in China out of a population north of 1.3 billion, so less than 1% of the population. I was talking mainly about the Han population, along with most ethnic minority groups in the country.

10 million may not be many people but they're still concerned about stuff a bit more serious than rising prices.

1 hour ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

It depends on how skilled the people are in how they talk about things. I think the social media (and it is immense in China) censors tend to be key word based so if you are careful you can say what you want so long as you don't mention Hong Kong or Winnie the Pooh.

The censorship applies to Han Chinese and I view it as a sign of weakness and lack of what I would call consent of the governed.

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2 hours ago, Hypercapnic Tom said:

I think some Uighurs are concerned about things a bit worse than rising prices...

They've been repressed for a decade and you didn't give a shit - probably because your boys at Reason have their head up their ass feeding you confirmation bias and you didn't know - stupid crap like this dogshit https://reason.com/2010/04/15/happy-golden-lucky-is-it-over/. Few in China give a shit about Xinjiang.  Most of mainland China doesn't give a shit about Hong Kong. Now, when the increasing surveillance state that was pioneered in Xinjiang and moved to Hong Kong goes to the Mainland, we might see the final answer. Or not.

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26 minutes ago, Hypercapnic Tom said:

The censorship applies to Han Chinese and I view it as a sign of weakness and lack of what I would call consent of the governed.

:lol: let me redefine shit so I get the answer I want. pure dogballs dipshittery. they mostly don't care, which is unfortunate, but it's true. they don't want google because of the information that's censored from baidu/whatever, they want it because it works better.

if you've never been to China you should know Xinjiang is like another country, culturally & geographically to most Chinese. It's analagous to maybe Alaska without oil & cruises - a faraway place few have ever been to and not many want to go to.

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2 hours ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

It depends on how skilled the people are in how they talk about things. I think the social media (and it is immense in China) censors tend to be key word based 

have you followed citizenlab's work investigating how censorship works in China? does it match your experience? Here's a recent piece https://citizenlab.ca/2019/07/cant-picture-this-2-an-analysis-of-wechats-realtime-image-filtering-in-chats/

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8 hours ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

have you followed citizenlab's work investigating how censorship works in China? does it match your experience? Here's a recent piece https://citizenlab.ca/2019/07/cant-picture-this-2-an-analysis-of-wechats-realtime-image-filtering-in-chats/

That is an interesting paper, a bit too techy for me in places. I was not aware that WeChat is censored differently in China and elsewhere. My wife uses WeChat a lot. I have an account but rarely use it. I know one thing that is concerning to Chinese is the growing use of facial recognition software to do all sorts of monitoring. China is getting into user-separated recycling and being China they are really getting into it. In one test (Shanghai?) they are using facial recognition software to make sure that people are putting the right recyclables in the right bins. They are also using it to catch people littering. 

I think the next five years will be crucial for China and, in particular, for Xi. For the past 30 years or so people's attention has been diverted by their ability to get rich in a way that has never existed anywhere in the world. Now the economy is slowing down (no one believes the 6.9% GDP growth - the statistical people pretty much produce the growth numbers the government want) and a lot people are feeling the pinch - with higher prices, losing out to inflation (no one believes the official figures there either). There are also concerns about retirement income and healthcare - pretty much what we in the West deal with but these are new thoughts in China. I am doing a revision of one of my books and found that China is the largest recipient of foreign remittances - something like $84 billion a year. Not a large part of the GDP like the Philippines but I suspect this might grow if more Chinese emigrate both to rich countries and all the LEDCs. When we were off cruising we found Chinese people in every place we went except Pitcairn Island. Had a long chat with a guy who ran a store in a very remote part of Lesotho. He was saving every penny and was going to buy a house for himself and one for each kid - and have retirement income when he returned to Fujian at some semi-distant point in the future (I think he was in his early 50s).

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looks like the good ole USA is sending more troops and equipment to the middle east. This wont end well.

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21 hours ago, Keith said:

looks like the good ole USA is sending more troops and equipment to the middle east. This wont end well.

It's always worked splendidly in the past.

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