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Act of war..Saudi Arbia

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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You may want to read the book, your knowledge is outdated or the author made up a ton of highly detailed lies and fake sources.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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