JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2017, 10:49:10 AM »
"parsing semantics"?

When the entire world is united in condemning something for being illegal, with the exception of two states, it's hardly difficult or ambiguous. Although I suppose it depends on what your moral compass is.
Questioning my moral compass because I don't want to argue with you is a clear example of why I don't want to argue with you. Many say sinking to personal attack means you are losing the argument, but we never really engaged about this (this time around) and you go there already.

JR 

John Roberts
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JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2017, 04:22:32 PM »
While not exactly middle east there is an election coming up in Ecuador, so Julian Assange might need to hope his patron remains in power.

I wonder if he has any wiki dirt on the opposition there?

JR
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JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #42 on: March 27, 2017, 08:19:15 PM »
OK for something actually happening in the ME, Pakistan is working on a wall to secure their disputed border with Afghanistan... Of course since both are poor nations, it will be a fence not a wall...

JR
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mattiasNYC

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #43 on: March 27, 2017, 11:28:44 PM »
Questioning my moral compass because I don't want to argue with you is a clear example of why I don't want to argue with you.

Quite frankly I stopped caring about your thin skin a while ago. You don't have a problem being cheeky yourself, so whatever. Additionally, you voted those xenophobia peddling nutcases into the white house, and you're not the one on the receiving end of that xenophobia, so forgive me if my compassion is running low these days (that plus I spent two days mixing a special for CNN on the music vs. the US civil rights movement, with a focus on MLK, so I'm in a pissy mood).

Many say sinking to personal attack means you are losing the argument,

Who cares about what you think about that when you don't want to talk about the most important and damaging conflict in the mid-east since the second world war in the first place!?

Something tells me that you are ok with this colonization. Hey, as long as it's the right people at the receiving end of this crap it's something that's "complicated"..... Let's just talk about ISIS instead, something everyone can agree on......

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #44 on: March 28, 2017, 10:26:42 AM »
Quite frankly I stopped caring about your thin skin a while ago. You don't have a problem being cheeky yourself, so whatever. Additionally, you voted those xenophobia peddling nutcases into the white house, and you're not the one on the receiving end of that xenophobia, so forgive me if my compassion is running low these days (that plus I spent two days mixing a special for CNN on the music vs. the US civil rights movement, with a focus on MLK, so I'm in a pissy mood).
Yup, must be my fault...  BTW MLK was a great man.
Quote
Who cares about what you think about that when you don't want to talk about the most important and damaging conflict in the mid-east since the second world war in the first place!?
I thought global warming was the most important thing? (cheeky?)

OK seriously "most damaging?

According to wiki   75,000-85,000 casualties in Arab-Iraeli conflict and that covers conflicts with Israel and  8-10 different countries.

The north Yemen civil war (62-70) claimed 100,000-200,000 casualties
Kurdish-Turkish conflict (still ongoing)  30,000-100,000  casualties
Iran-Iraq war  (80-88)  1M to 1,25M casualties
1991 uprising in Iraq  50,000-100,000 casualties
Iraq war (2003-2011) 110,000-650-000 casualties
Syrian Civil war  250,000-470,000 casualties

This list ignores the numerous conflicts with lesser numerical casualties, and the millions of casualties from conflicts prior to WWII.
Quote
Something tells me that you are ok with this colonization. Hey, as long as it's the right people at the receiving end of this crap it's something that's "complicated"..... Let's just talk about ISIS instead, something everyone can agree on......
I don't think ISIS agrees...

STOP trying to put words in my mouth, and stop poking me, I don't want to wrestle with you about Israel and neighbors now (we have discussed that here before, I doubt replaying it will change your mind or mine) .

Perhaps the personal criticism is a troll-like strategy (I'm not calling you a troll) to get me angry enough to engage. Not how to make me receptive to listening to you. 

JR

PS: I always find discussions are calmer when talking about facts and not speculating about what each other "thinks".
John Roberts
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mattiasNYC

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2017, 04:03:38 PM »
Yup, must be my fault...  BTW MLK was a great man. I thought global warming was the most important thing? (cheeky?)

It's a Chinese hoax. Coal will make the US rich again and will get Americans back to work thanks to Drumpf. You must have missed the memo.

OK seriously "most damaging?

According to wiki   75,000-85,000 casualties in Arab-Iraeli conflict and that covers conflicts with Israel and  8-10 different countries.

The north Yemen civil war (62-70) claimed 100,000-200,000 casualties
Kurdish-Turkish conflict (still ongoing)  30,000-100,000  casualties
Iran-Iraq war  (80-88)  1M to 1,25M casualties
1991 uprising in Iraq  50,000-100,000 casualties
Iraq war (2003-2011) 110,000-650-000 casualties
Syrian Civil war  250,000-470,000 casualties

Yes, but the difference here is first of all that the above haven't spanned the same amount of time as this conflict, with one exception as far as I know, and secondly that they are either internal conflicts (civil war) or state-on-state actions of limited duration. The notable exceptions are, not without noted curiosity, the Iran/Iraq war where the US supported Iraq, and the current conflict, which the US helped create by invading Iraq. It's curious because the US is also sponsoring the colonization you don't want to talk about.

This list ignores the numerous conflicts with lesser numerical casualties, and the millions of casualties from conflicts prior to WWII.

Not everything can be evaluated with just a number. And of course the list should ignore issues from before WWII, since Israel didn't even exist then.

STOP trying to put words in my mouth, and stop poking me, I don't want to wrestle with you about Israel and neighbors now (we have discussed that here before, I doubt replaying it will change your mind or mine) .

Perhaps the personal criticism is a troll-like strategy (I'm not calling you a troll) to get me angry enough to engage. Not how to make me receptive to listening to you. 

Like I said, you don't seem at all inclined to change your mind. It would have been easy enough for you to condemn colonization but you chose not to. That says something in my opinion. I condemn both it and terrorism, regardless of who is committing such atrocities.

The way it relates to this section and current events was the way POTUS talked about this conflict, and is because of the recent decision to build 6,000 new home for colonists in occupied foreign territory.

It's peculiar that whenever the discussion concerns Iran it's fine to drag Israel into it by claiming Iran is arming or sponsoring anti-Israeli terrorism, yet we supposedly ignore that deeper issue completely. It's all very.... .convenient.

PS: I always find discussions are calmer when talking about facts and not speculating about what each other "thinks".

I didn't think "parsing" statements or claims "for literal accuracy" was necessary.... was I mistaken?

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #46 on: July 01, 2017, 07:28:48 PM »
It's been a while since we dropped in on the ME... They have continued without us watching and commenting on the play by play.

As we approach the end game in Mosul it is worth looking at what happens next.  ISIS was able to get established there so easily because the mostly sunni region was not happy with the new democratic rule that gave most of the power to the more populous Shia in iraq.

While the Mosul residents, still alive, will appreciate being rescued by shia Baghdad with the help of iraqi Kurdish fighters, I do not expect a group hug anytime soon....

Similarly the coalition is advancing on Raqqa Syria to finish of what is left of ISIS there... That is a little tangled up right now with having to deconflict air missions with Russian air force that has declared a no fly zone after the US downed an Assad flyer attacking coalition forces and offered a willingness to target US planes if we stray too far west.

I dismissed the idea the first time I heard it over a decade ago from then Senator Joe Biden at senate hearings about Iraq. He suggested breaking Iraq into three countries. One large one for the Shia (central-south) , one smaller one for the sunni (west) and one for the Kurds (up north).  This wouldn't work back then for so many reasons and I dismissed it then.   But now I just saw an editorial from John Bolton, briefly UN ambassador under Bush 43 (a neocon?) , and not sitting in the same church pew as Biden.  Bolton suggested creating a sunni nation encompassing the western Iraq, eastern Syria region that will be a new power vacuum after ISIS is defeated.

Iran has long desired a solid Shia controlled arc from iran all the way to hezbollah controlled Lebanon, running through Iraq and Syria. Planting a Sunni nation in the middle of that party would upset the iran game plan. The Sunni nations in the region (like the Saudis) would gladly offer support to this new sunni region, but Nation building has a horrible track record, especially when the west in involved.. Maybe if regional sunni nations are working the plan, we (they) might stabilize that region and end the exodus of Syrian and Iraqi citizens migrating out of the area, running literally for their lives. .

or not...

JR

PS: Venezuela keeps getting stranger and stranger...reportedly a police operative hijacked a helicopter and flew around trying to stir up revolution... meanwhile Maduro consolidates more government power. Some think the hijack was staged, and nobody was hurt as compared to protesters routinely killed by armed pro-maduro thugs.
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
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JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #47 on: October 16, 2017, 11:40:41 AM »
Recent developments in the Kurdish region of Iraq seem newsworthy.

As the Iraqi military approaches clearing all ISIS fighters from territorial Iraq (still some in Syria), they have turned inward to re-establish their governance over the kurdish region.  The Kurds recently held a vote to declare independence from Baghdad, but not only has the Iraq central government pushed back, but regional neighbors (Turkey and Iran) have massed military on the Kurdish region borders, and all flights have been cancelled in and out of kirkuk airport..

Now the iraqi military has pressed into the kurdish region taking a major oil facility. The regional kurdish government has a long standing dispute with baghdad over their right to sell local oil (Turkey is buying Kurdish oil through a pipeline).  The income from this oil is a pretty big deal for both the Kurds and Baghdad. (In the middle east it often comes down to who gets the oil).

The peshmerga (kurdish fighters) are world famous for their brutal effectiveness, while the iraqi military have come a long way with their fighting effectiveness honed by years of fighting ISIS. I would hate to see these two groups square off and have a prolonged fight with each other.  An independent Kurdish state is strongly opposed by their nearby neighbors (with kurdish minorities), and Baghdad.

Interesting. I was hopeful fighting together against their common enemy ISIS, would lead to more durable cooperation.  This is not the only unconventional alliance made against that common enemy. 

JR
John Roberts
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tands

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #48 on: October 16, 2017, 05:54:32 PM »
John Bolton is a neocon???

1.56 Billion in weapons is a lot of weapons.

https://twitter.com/kenklippenstein/status/920024264157421568

tands

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #49 on: October 16, 2017, 09:50:03 PM »
Obama was an excellent stooge. Trump is just some schmuck.

But, I don't think the people getting shot or burned are making too many distinctions between them.


JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #50 on: October 17, 2017, 11:47:38 AM »
It is perhaps of historical interest that then senator Biden argued for breaking up Iraq into three autonomous regions (shia, sunni, kurd). The current administration is publically trying to stay neutral but the Kurds have been strong allies for a long time. The original no fly zone in Iraq enforced against Saddam was to protect the kurds from Saddam who used poison gas against them.
======

Hundreds of ISIS fighters are surrendering (in Raqqa, Syria), instead of fighting to their death like they famously promised. It will be nice to close this chapter but it is far from over as this cancer has spread all around the world.  A truck bombing in Somalia has just caused some 500 casualties.  I expect a lot of the rats in the middle east will sneak back to EU (probably already there)... ISIS has been regrouping in Libya for several months to have a portal to access the EU. 

JR

PS: Bo Bergdahl just plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior... I hated seeing him with sergeant stripes. The 5 senior Taliban traded for him are supposed to still be under house arrest in Qatar.
John Roberts
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tands

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #51 on: October 17, 2017, 05:04:22 PM »
Nobody is going to give the kurds sh*t, and no US imposed three autonomous state plan is going to ever be accepted by those living there. It's the same old goofy horsesh*t the neocons have been spewing at us since rumsfeld and the dim son. The people living there didn't ask what Biden wants, lmao.

Blah.

https://twitter.com/SusanofTexas/status/920312492361953280
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 05:16:44 PM by tands »

tands

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #52 on: October 18, 2017, 04:00:34 PM »
Blowback, I guess, is the goal? Looks like we need to sell Somalia some weapons quick, huh, Biden? Hey, let's ask Bolton!

https://twitter.com/AbbyMartin/status/920703905998176256

Quote
    Investigators believe the attack on Saturday may in part have been motivated by a desire for revenge for the botched US-led operation in August.

    Al-Shabaab has not claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack but a member of the cell detained by security forces has told interrogators the group was responsible, one security official told the Guardian.

    Following the raid, in which three children aged between six and 10 died, local tribal elders called for revenge against the Somali government and its allies.

    Not only was the bomber from the specific community targeted by the raid, but the investigation is also uncovering a series of other links to the town where it took place.

While the Somali government at the time apologized for what they described as a "case of mistaken identity" and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said it was "conducting an assessment" of the joint raid, local villagers called it nothing but a "massacre" of innocent farmers and young boys:

"These local farmers were attacked by foreign troops while looking after their crops," the deputy governor of the Lower Shabelle region, Ali Nur Mohamed, told reporters in the wake of the killings. "The troops could have arrested them, because they were unarmed, but instead shot them one by one mercilessly."

Critics of the U.S. military presence in Africa, and in Somalia specifically, have long argued that the so-called "war on terror"—as it has elsewhere in the world—is actually making the problem of terrorism worse, not better.

According to a comprehensive United Nations study published last month, evidence shows that in "a majority of cases, state action appears to be the primary factor finally pushing individuals into violent extremism in Africa."

Of more than 500 former members of militant organisations interviewed for the report, the Guardian noted, 71 percent pointed to "government action," including "killing of a family member or friend" or "arrest of a family member or friend" as the incident that prompted them to join a group.

"State security-actor conduct is revealed as a prominent accelerator of recruitment, rather than the reverse," the UN report stated.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/17/carnage-somalia-was-revenge-children-killed-us-raid-report
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 04:03:42 PM by tands »

tands

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #53 on: October 19, 2017, 04:02:10 AM »
Quote
Iran Doesn’t Have a Nuclear Weapons Program. Why Do Media Keep Saying It Does?

Adam Johnson

When it comes to Iran, do basic facts matter? Evidently not, since dozens and dozens of journalists keep casually reporting that Iran has a “nuclear weapons program” when it does not—a problem FAIR has reported on over the years (e.g., 9/9/15). Let’s take a look at some of the outlets spreading this falsehood in just the past five days:

    Business Insider (10/13/17): “The deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), aims to incentivize Iran to curb its nuclear weapons program by lifting crippling international economic sanctions.”

    New Yorker (10/16/17): “One afternoon in late September, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called a meeting of the six countries that came together in 2015 to limit Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

    Washington Post (10/16/17): “The administration is also considering changing or scrapping an international agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

    CNN (10/17/17): “In reopening the nuclear agreement, [Trump] risks having Iran advance its nuclear weapons program at a time when he confronts a far worse nuclear challenge from North Korea that he can’t resolve.”

The problem with all of these excerpts: Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. It has a civilian nuclear energy program, but not one designed to build weapons. Over 30 countries have civilian nuclear programs; only a handful—including, of course, the US and Israel—have nuclear weapons programs. One is used to power cities, one is used to level them.

If you are skeptical, just refer to a 2007 assessment by all 16 US intelligences agencies (yes, those 16 US intelligence agencies), which found Iran had “halted” its nuclear weapons program. Or look at the same National Intelligence Estimate in 2012, which concluded again that there “is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.” Or we can listen to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, which concurred with the US intelligence assessment (Haaretz, 3/18/12).

more huh?

http://fair.org/home/iran-doesnt-have-a-nuclear-weapons-program-why-do-media-keep-saying-it-does/

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #54 on: October 23, 2017, 11:19:47 AM »
sorry about all the detritus...

ISIS has lost another major oil field in Syria... without oil revenue they will lose capability and must depend on contributions. If Assad can recover the revenue stream from Syrian oil that will help him survive his civil war.

I do not expect the Kurds to quietly go away, so they will continue to be a source of tension in the region. Baghdad and the Kurdish region need to get along. Tillerson is trying to get the Saudis more involved with Baghdad to counter Iranian influence there. 

The ballistic fighting is the relatively easy part. Keeping the peace afterward will be harder.

JR
John Roberts
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JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #55 on: June 14, 2018, 05:55:49 PM »
at this point ISIS is almost old news but they are working to establish beachheads in other regions so far from a done deal.

 A subtle development in Afghanistan is that the central government has declared a cease fire with the Taliban but not ISIS. To refresh memories the taliban originally gave al qaeda  shelter in southern Afghanistan (before 9/11). Now ISIS is the larger global threat while perhaps the taliban can coexist with Afghan government  (ignoring their unpleasant culture). 

There is no love between the central government and Taliban, but even less love for ISIS.

I'll be watching this. There was recently a suicide bombing (on the day of the cease fire), but so far nobody has taken credit for that one.

JR

 
John Roberts
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JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #56 on: June 16, 2018, 01:41:10 PM »
at this point ISIS is almost old news but they are working to establish beachheads in other regions so far from a done deal.

 A subtle development in Afghanistan is that the central government has declared a cease fire with the Taliban but not ISIS. To refresh memories the taliban originally gave al qaeda  shelter in southern Afghanistan (before 9/11). Now ISIS is the larger global threat while perhaps the taliban can coexist with Afghan government  (ignoring their unpleasant culture). 

There is no love between the central government and Taliban, but even less love for ISIS.

I'll be watching this. There was recently a suicide bombing (on the day of the cease fire), but so far nobody has taken credit for that one.

JR

[edit] they just popped a drone on a top Taliban bad guy in northern Pakistan so don't know what that says about the cease fire, but one less bad guy is OK (he was apparently a really bad guy). [/edit]
John Roberts
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boji

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #57 on: June 16, 2018, 04:45:15 PM »
I was enjoying the banter (and education on foreign policy/horrors ) until this:

Quote
"It would have been easy enough for you to condemn colonization but you chose not to."

The ad hominem + post hoc ergo propter hoc combo just got me all twisted into a lulz-grimace.

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #58 on: June 17, 2018, 11:16:04 AM »
I was enjoying the banter (and education on foreign policy/horrors ) until this:

The ad hominem + post hoc ergo propter hoc combo just got me all twisted into a lulz-grimace.
I remember some latin from over 50 years ago, but don't think lulz was in that vocabulary lesson. I've also looked at common logical fallacies more recently, but without any fallacies we'd have almost nothing to say.  :o [/humor]

Since your quotes don't identify who you quoted I had to search back a while to find it. It is pretty easy to avoid being irritated by former members (no longer here), just don't read their old rants. I guess I am partly to blame for posting to an old thread but I didn't want to start a new one about the same old subject that will probably be with us a lot longer.

I seem to attract some inflammatory  posters, if they bother you try to ignore them (like I try). If the radio station keeps playing the same lame music every time, why keep tuning in? I'm sure some ignore me and that's just fine.

JR 
John Roberts
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JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #59 on: September 20, 2018, 10:23:20 AM »
I still follow ME news and in a perhaps ironic event , Syrian anti-aircraft shot down a Russian plane.  ::)  They are both blaming it on israel who surgically took out some Iranian assets (in syria) but were in and out before the syrians could react leading to downing the russian craft.
===

in sort of good news Turkey has negotiated with Russia for a no-fire zone for the region threatened by attack from syrian military. While I try to be optimistic, such agreements have been made and broken before. Lets hope this one holds (a few million people are at risk).

JR

PS: Of course things are still blowing up in ME, ISIS is gaining strength in Libya, Afghanistan is trying to negotiate peace with Taliban, while ISIS and al qaeda remnants are still stirring the pot.

PPS: John Kerry publicly admitted to privately counseling Iran government to wait until Pres Trump leaves office.  This is arguably in violation of the Logan Act, but only two people have ever been indicted under that law, and zero convicted.
John Roberts
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