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Election 2016
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Mechalich
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Joined: 04 Nov 2015
Posts: 661

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Maxus wrote:
Trump is easy to manipulate if you can flatter his ego, lead him the right way.

The problem is he'll spread his cheeks for whoever else is willing to sweet talk, so he won't stay manipulated.


Yeah, I think that's about right. Trump appears to have a narcissists need for constant adulation, and so his primary approach to, well, just about anything, is to try and tell his audience what he thinks they want to hear. Since he has no real convictions of his own he is completely untroubled by saying contradictory things or taking diametrically opposed positions. Clearly this was good enough to fool just enough of the US electorate (which, depressingly, isn't really all that surprising), but at some point its going to blow up in his face.

As far as the Republicans go though, I think they're betting that they can manage to control Trump large enough to pass a giant tax cut and they know that revoking such a move is almost impossibly difficult (because saying 'I'm going to raise taxes' is a political lead balloon in the US) and they really just don't care about much else. People like Paul Ryan and the crazies in the 'Freedom Caucus' believe that government is inherently dysfunctional and they simply want to eliminate as many functions as possibly while pocketing all the leftover money for the rich. Notably the small faction of Republicans who actually have something resembling a coherent ideology left, like McCain and Lindsey Graham, are the ones who are most willing to oppose Trump among the GOP.
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tussock
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:
tussock wrote:
Also, if you let North Vietnam win, they South Vietnamese will forever be caught in absolute misery and poverty and ... oh, wait, that's not, huh. Funny their war ended so they got on with being a better place to live after a while, because without a constant enemy at the door you just have to. Or it's random and who the fuck knows.

GDP's per capita, according to the CIA World Factbook:
North Korea: ~2000 USD
Vietnam: ~6000 USD
South Korea: ~36,000 USD

Here, let me make a handy diagram for you (to scale!):
Code:
0 N   V                             S


If it makes you feel better, life expectancy is a little nicer to you. Vietnam's smack in the middle of the two.

There is a rather large advantage to being handed gigantic amounts of free money from the richest country in the world, yes. The US is somewhat less picky about trade these days, but it used to be a big thing where countries that got to trade with them were rich and everyone else was poor. That was the whole, first world (trade with US), second world (trade with USSR), third world (haha, fuck you guys).

Growth, of course, is now a bit sad in the US and their allied countries, and good in China. With the latter well on it's way to renewable energy security, and the former sticking it's fingers in it's ears about ever needing that. That's not going to make China the good guys in the future, just the rich ones. Ditto for the past. There are rich countries that are also terrible places to live (the US still rates poorly in a lot of ways, even after the Obama healthcare reforms), and poor countries where people are very happy, it just usually works the other way.

Quote:
tussock wrote:
But fanatic militias that took over countries, the history there is super bad. Pol Pot bad. That's not a good plan.

I feel the need to point out that "fanatically ideoloigical militias sponsored by foreign powers overthrow local government" is a description of the American Revolution.

I would nitpick, of course, that there was no local government. The whole deal was that US colonials had no representation there.

Independence movements are, on the whole, much less bad like that. Very reliable rule of thumb there.

Quote:
When you say shit like "but that never works," I am going to have to ask you what you think the goal of the U.S. intervention was, what that goal should have been, and how that goal could have been better accomplished. To be blunt, everytime one of you fuckheads talks about the latest round of bullshit in the Middle East, my suspicion grows that you don't even really have the basic primer on "what the fuck happened," and I feel increasing compelled to just ask you to talk about it and watch you fumble that fucking ball like your fingers are made of lukewarm butter.

So talk, please. The U.S. did a thing. There are other things the U.S. could have done. What should those things have been? What would have happened had the U.S. done those things?

Let's start with the start, shall we, I mean, skipping Sykes-Picot I guess, and that thing where you overthrew the old socialist government in Iraq in favour of what turned out to be Saddam, or played both sides in the Iran-Iraq war, so just the recent horror with Bush2.

1: Don't sack everyone. They're in the Baath party because they have to be to have those jobs. Do not sack every judge and policeman and lawyer and civil servant in the country all at once. That is just a terrible idea.

Those people eventually sided with the US, to oppose the fundamentalist terrorists that sprung up in the vacuum of law and order. But it was too late, the terror groups got really big and very influential and totally became the de-facto government in outlying areas, including within parts of the refugee population.

2: Those 3 million Iraqi refugees in Syria, pay for that shit. It is crazy expensive, but just pay for it. That is on you, those refugees.

Those people broke the government of Syria, they ran out of food and the ability to buy more food on the open market. There was also a 3-year drought, and some trade sanctions for teh LOLs, but they just had too many refugees from the Bush2 war on top of that. Food aid is something the US can do at any time in any place, that would have prevented the war. Not doing so was a choice.

3: When shit kicks off in Syria as a result of the government failing the food security thing, and you notice that the major parties opposed to the government are mostly allied to the same fucking groups who oppose the new government of Iraq, oppose the Kurdish autonomous government, oppose the west in every way, and are a bunch of suicide-bomber terrorists that that hate modernism, like, the main thing you're trying to defeat ... don't try to find some good groups among that to fund, just support the government in crushing them.

Like, with ISIS on one side, whatever you want to call them, you don't fucking well spend ten years fighting those guys and then, hey, you know what, maybe we just sort of support their allies for a while and try to get terrorist militias to take over Syria. FUCK NO. THAT IS WORSE THAN BUSH2.

4: Hey, you know how people over there fucking hate the United States of America and mostly of late it's because of those drone strike things that just never fucking end?

Stop it. Stop murdering tens of thousands of people with automated guesswork. Maybe you're killing some people who talked to some people who talked to some people who talked to a terrorist once (yes, they really do use 3 steps removed as evidence, that isn't a joke) but also you are blowing up people's weddings and funerals and casual luncheons because lots of people call each other on the way to those things and it just looks exactly the same as a terrorist meeting.

People come from countries thousands of KM away to join ISIS, because unlike on the US news, their news is full of the bits of children that were torn apart at the latest wedding reception that got mistaken for a terrorist meet up by Obama's semi-automated murder patrols. There's no end to that, it makes more terrorists than it can ever kill.

5: Saudi Arabia. This thing where they fund Wahabbism. Which is the branch of the local religious crazy talk that keeps on spawning new terror groups, because it is just that fucked up. I get that's who they are, right from day one, they are the beheading and amputating branch of fundamentalist Islam in the Arabian peninsular, family Saud. I get that they are also starting to slowly back away because of it biting them in the ass at home all too often.

But you know how some governments are supported, and armed, and trained, and given intelligence on their foes, and others are opposed, and disarmed, and intelligence on them is given to their foes, just put Saudi Arabia in with the bad ones.

Or at least the neutral ones. Or at least ask them to stop funding so much crazy. I mean, Trump's going the other way in the US, supporting religious instruction in schools and shit, because LOL, but you know, things that should happen rather than things which will happen.
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Kaelik
ArchDemon of Rage


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mechalich wrote:
People like Paul Ryan and the crazies in the 'Freedom Caucus' believe that government is inherently dysfunctional and they simply want to eliminate as many functions as possibly while pocketing all the leftover money for the rich.


Not exactly. They can also see which government programs actually work, which is why their specific targets right now are ACA, Medicare, Social Security, not just because they really hate health insurance, but because those are the programs that work best, and those are the programs that incompetent and/or actively oppositional executives will have the most problems ruining.

They know medicare puts the lie to their words that government healthcare would be inefficient, that's why they need to kill it to make sure that no one can point to it as a success. They know Social Security is an effective redistribution program that everyone loves, which is why they have been trying to kill it for 12 years, and are going to cut benefits until people don't like it as much.

tussock wrote:
With [China] well on it's way to renewable energy security.


Oh look, tussock is wrong about something. I mean, actually he's wrong about everything, but for the purposes of this I just wanted to single out this small bit of hyper wrongness.
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DSMatticus
Prince


Joined: 14 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

tussock wrote:
I would nitpick, of course, that there was no local government. The whole deal was that US colonials had no representation there.

Independence movements are, on the whole, much less bad like that. Very reliable rule of thumb there.

You are now aware that Syria is a Shi'a minority government ruling over a Sunni majority population with substantial backing from the Shi'a government in Iran. It's amazing how stupid what you don't know can make you look.

Also, kind of fucking dumb that you're trying to split the difference between a regime in which you have no representation but the leader is inside some arbitrary lines on a map and a regime in which you have no representation but the leader is outside those same arbitrary lines. That's stupid, here's an alternative theory: revolutions are shitty things that kill lots of people and create power vacuums, by definition. They should be avoided when possible, but it is not always possible, because some leaders are assholes who will kill you when you ask them to be less of an asshole.

Quote:
3: When shit kicks off in Syria as a result of the government failing the food security thing, and you notice that the major parties opposed to the government are mostly allied to the same fucking groups who oppose the new government of Iraq, oppose the Kurdish autonomous government, oppose the west in every way, and are a bunch of suicide-bomber terrorists that that hate modernism, like, the main thing you're trying to defeat ... don't try to find some good groups among that to fund, just support the government in crushing them.

First off, I just want to say that it is incredibly offensive how any voice of dissent in the middle east gets labelled with terrorism. The original protests in Syria were peaceful, and they would remain peaceful for several weeks while Assad occasionally murdered some of them and arrested a bunch more. Those protesters would eventually militarize, but it is still incredibly fucking racist to call them "terrorists" because they decided not to let Assad murder them for calling bullshit on his government.

But oblivious casual racism aside, I was right; you know absolutely fuck all about the Syrian civil war. Take this bit, for example:
Quote:
Like, with ISIS on one side, whatever you want to call them, you don't fucking well spend ten years fighting those guys and then, hey, you know what, maybe we just sort of support their allies for a while and try to get terrorist militias to take over Syria.

So, there's this group called the Free Syrian Army. It's... not a real thing. There's no organizational capacity or command structure there, it's just a label. Groups wearing that label range from democratic secularists to some pretty scary dudes. The U.S. supports some of the more moderate ones, and they are not ISIS's allies, in the sense that people who are trying to kill you are not your allies. There's also this group called the Syrian Democratic Forces. It actually is a real thing, and not just a label you write on a sticker and then put on your shirt. The U.S. supports it. It spends the vast majority of its resources fighting ISIS, because it has basically no border with Assad's forces, and a huge border with ISIS.

ISIS actually has basically no fucking allies, and as such we could not support ISIS's allies even if we wanted to. The closest thing they have to an ally is Assad. Yes, really. The two have a lucrative commercial relationship concerning the region's natural resources, and there are even examples of Assad letting ISIS march troops through his territory to attack anti-Assad rebel groups because "fuck yes you can kill my enemies for me." And even then the two do occasionally clash; pretty sure one of their conflicts just made the news, and right now there are probably a bunch of world leaders waiting with bated breath to see if the relationship between ISIS and Assad is finally going to sour. But as it stands, the two have spent the last big chunk of the war looking at one another simultaneously thinking "I have bigger problems to deal with." This is simply not a two-side conflict the way you are imagining it.

Now, the relationship between Assad and ISIS is obviously not sustainable; Assad's government is Shi'a ruled, ISIS are a bunch of extremist Sunni's. They are eventually going to go all out on one another. You could make the case that if we helped Assad crush the rebel groups quickly and decisively, we could then use him as an ally in the war against ISIS.

But you know what? It's really fucking weird to see "help Assad murder the rebels, many of whom are just legitimate protesters who picked up weapons when they were getting beaten to death and shot at their own protests" immediately followed with "you know, the way you murder all those people with your drone strikes kind of pisses people off." Seriously, did following "support Assad" with "stop murdering so many people" not set off any fucking alarm bells when you were writing those two things literally back to back, or did you just kind of forget that the rebels are THE SAME FUCKING PEOPLE YOU SUPPOSABLY WANT US TO STOP KILLING?!

STEP 1: KILL GANDHI

STEP 2: BE LESS CASUAL ABOUT THE USE OF LETHAL FORCE

STEP 3: THIS MADE WAY MORE SENSE BEFORE I SAID IT OUT LOUD

STEP 4: FUCK WHY DOES NO ONE LIKE ME


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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm going to put this in the election thread, because even though it doesn't really apply to 2016, it applies to all future elections and we don't have a thread for that:

North Carolina lost the Governorship, because unsurprisingly, being a terrible party that does terrible things has some blow back occasionally. And the state election boards, the chair (effective tiebreaking vote) is given to the party with the governor position.

However, since NC relies entirely on voter suppression and gerrymandering to keep republican legislatures in power while the fuck up the state, they couldn't let filthy Democrats control the election boards just because the laws indicate it.

So what they did is they came up with a brilliant plan. "Let's make our election boards 'bipartisan' " they said.

And what did they mean by that? They meant that the chair would go to Democrats half the time, and Republicans half the time, how fair. And you know, to be totally fair about it, and not at all biased, we give it to Democrats in the odd years, and Republicans in the even years....

Literally 100% of North Carolina Elections for President, Senate, House, Governor, State Senate, and State House all fall on only ever even years. They literally just said "You can run the elections for some school boards and mayors, and we will just run the state from now until eternity." If this law passes, there is no democracy in NC anymore. (I mean there already kind of isn't, in that people who evaluate fairness of districts say that basically 7 of 50 senate districts even can be competitive ever on a state level, and we all know what Repubs do to US House Districts.)
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maglag
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:

But you know what? It's really fucking weird to see "help Assad murder the rebels, many of whom are just legitimate protesters who picked up weapons when they were getting beaten to death and shot at their own protests"


You mean the glorious rebels that build improvised mortars so inaccurate they're nicknamed hell cannons for all the civilians they kill as collateral damage?

The glorious rebels that behead kids, and more kids?

The glorious rebels that are totally not armed and trained by USA forces?

The glorious rebels that hunger for your warm human flesh?

The glorious rebels that are so shameless about all of the above they record in all on video and post it online out of their volition?

Sure, you may claim there's a lot of different rebels, and technically there are. But doesn't change the fact they're still all seeking to crush whatever rule of law there is in Syra and are perfectly fine fighting side by side with cannibal child-beheaders and giving no fucks about any civilian casualities their supposed allies (or themselves) cause.

Really, if your definition of "peaceful protest" is "behead their children, mortar the cities, eat their hearts", I'm afraid to even imagine what you would take for you to consider something a "violent protest".

So now it's your time to tell us what would you've done if you were in Assad's seat and a bunch of cannibal child beheaders and hell engineers armed with glorious gifts from the USA start killing people and taking human shields and imposing Sharia law all over Syria.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So maglag, supporting brutal dictators is bad, but supporting people opposed to brutal dictators is ALSO bad so long as there are other people who are also opposed to the brutal dictator in question who are bad. Do I have your ridiculous tu quoque fallacy world view right?

Here's a question: in your dumbass hipster world view, what could the US do or not do in response to the situation in Syria that you would actually approve of? Name a single set of actions or inactions that would not result in you slinging one of your ridiculous both sides accusations and we can talk. If you can't do that, you can shut up forever.

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MGuy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's simple. Not be involved at all. That is not involved in the past nor present. maglag, like PL, is staunchly opposed to seeing things as anymore complicated than 'these things happened and the US was involved at some point along the line (even indirectly)'. I mean look at what he just wrote.

Quote:
Sure, you may claim there's a lot of different rebels, and technically there are. But doesn't change the fact they're still all seeking to crush whatever rule of law there is in Syra and are perfectly fine fighting side by side with cannibal child-beheaders and giving no fucks about any civilian casualities their supposed allies (or themselves) cause.

Really, if your definition of "peaceful protest" is "behead their children, mortar the cities, eat their hearts", I'm afraid to even imagine what you would take for you to consider something a "violent protest".
Here he admits that there are different rebel groups but 'fuck' distinguishing one from another. He has evidence that some group or another did things and that makes them ALL culpable. I mean, obviously since they are all doing something similar they must all be ok with everything each one is doing and aren't desperate people who don't have perfect control over their various situations.

Also you can see his logic here. When told "There were peaceful protests" his mind is completely incapable of processing this. So of course he turns 'peaceful protests' into 'violent child beheadings' because that supports his narrative in a way that actually looking up protests prior to the violent rebelling wouldn't. I mean sure it's something you could easily look up in literally seconds but as I said before maglag and others are not here to actually win any arguments. They are here to score points. They are impervious to details or logic because actually changing anyone's mind or actually considering that they might be mistaken is not on the agenda.
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nockermensch
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

TRIGGER WARNING: Utopia ahead.

The "Right" thing for USA and the other nations of the West to do in Middle East is twofold: First, they should admit that the way the Nations there were drawn is a colonialist legacy mess and start diplomatic talks to redraw borders. Which will never happen because literally every actor there is crazy about their rightful clay.

Second, the West should stop supporting and start sanctioning Saudi Arabia until the Saudis close the money flow to the Salafist preachers that keep modern islamic terrorist energized. This is probably only slightly less of a pipe dream than the first Right action, because the close (and surely, totally ethical and legal) ties between Saudis and powerful political dynasties in USA and UK.

Everything else is different shades of Wrong. A less wrong way to act would be to ignore the two main problems mentioned above but at very least to own up that the current mess there is a direct consequence of America's Gulf War II blunders and do a proper nation building mission in Iraq. But proper nation building missions envolve hundreds of thousands of boots on the ground there, which at the current military-industrial complex prices would cost all the money. Besides not having the resources for that, such a mission would cause a lot of American casualties, and everybody knows how these are poisonous to the public opinion.

With all the proper correct actions out of the table, it's really hard to figure what would consist on a proper course of action for America there. Sadly, that situation doesn't look like it'd get better with time. Much like Palestine, Iraq and Syria (and Lybia) look like time bombs right now.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

maglag wrote:

So now it's your time to tell us...


Are you still trying to talk? This is a discussion - a chance for opposing view points to discuss facts and their interpretations of them to help educate and enlighten everyone that participates. It's okay to be involved in a discussion if you don't have many facts - you can ask questions and still come away more enlightened than when you started. It's also okay to make mistakes - you might believe something that is factually wrong. As long as you can admit when you're wrong, the discussion can continue.

Now, being wrong about a fact doesn't necessarily mean that your conclusions are wrong. If I said 'all Muslims are terrorists' (false premise) and conclude 'therefore he is a terrorist' there is a chance that that particular individual is a terrorist. It happens. So let's assume for a moment that your conclusions COULD be right even though they were based off an assertion that was wrong. Even then, you still have to be capable of admitting when you were factually wrong for the discussion to continue in a positive way.

What period of 'hundreds of years' did Russia 'mostly' stay in its borders?

All you have to do is provide a factually true statement to support your position or admit that you were wrong, then to proceed to show how other factually true positions support your position.

But if you can't do that, you shouldn't be posting at all.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Maglag shouldn't be posting at all because his formal position on the Syrian rebels is "all those brown people look alike." He's a fucking racist shitbag who refuses to understand that there are more organizations opposing Assad than there are braincells in his skull, and will condemn all opposition to Assad based on sensationalist anecdotes he read online that one time.

And also nevermind that Assad is quite literally in business with ISIS, providing them access to international markets for all the natural resources they've taken over, but apparently that's okay, because it's okay to fund the good guys, and ISIS are clearly the good guys, right?

Seriously, fuck him. The last post does not leave a lot of room for interpretation; his vision of the middle east is as a sea of cannibalistic savages.


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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How hard is it to understand the simple fact that you cannot indiscriminately bomb a nation into freedom.

And that's an observation of empirical results after your murderous nation has tried that "experiment" multiple fucking times and spectacularly failed.

It's almost as if the "for their own good/freedom!" bullshit is, oh I don't know fucking bullshit and you keep bombing these nations into the stone age to fulfill longstanding well known US goals of crushing all that oppose your will in the middle east, protecting the interests of your favored murderous regimes and maintaining a constant state of war to prevent stability and growth in larger nations like Iraq and Iran.

Arming violent rebels to take over the nation and install a strongman is how you got the current dictators you've decided are past their used by date due to defying your instructions in various ways (alarmingly often to do with oil and gas pipelines and pissing on Russia and Iran's cornflakes). Doing it again only with more bombing of hospitals won't install a free democracy this time for sure and everyone except a chump knows that.

This is not about high minded pacifistic idealism at all costs. This is about the most basic progressive ideals of not murdering tens of thousands of people and destroying a nations infrastructure because you want a more co-operative murderous dictator than the current one and a less stable an independent middle east. And then the most basic realist demands of not doing that again because you are historically and consistently spectacularly shit at it.
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Shatner
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are still 62 electoral votes outstanding but as of now Trump has >270 and is the official president-elect. Thus far there have been 6 protest votes from faithless electors, 4 democratic and 2 republican, as well as several electors who abstained and were replaced. Unusual in the history of the Electoral College but not any kind of meaningful demonstration.

While this outcome isn't surprising, I will admit I'm sad all the sound and fury of the last month has signified nothing.
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tussock
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:
tussock wrote:
I would nitpick, of course, that there was no local government. The whole deal was that US colonials had no representation there.

Independence movements are, on the whole, much less bad like that. Very reliable rule of thumb there.

You are now aware that Syria is a Shi'a minority government ruling over a Sunni majority population with substantial backing from the Shi'a government in Iran. It's amazing how stupid what you don't know can make you look.

You are aware that the reason the armed forces that oppose Assad are often so well armed and trained is that despite being Sunnis, they were totally just the army and the police and the judges and the school teachers and everything else? It's not anything like an actual colonial government. Very different. Having support from allied governments just shows that they are not insane.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/85/SyriaMilitaryInvolvment.svg/250px-SyriaMilitaryInvolvment.svg.png

That's a good one, by the way. This whole thing is very much East vs West. You hear nice stories about the rebels because you live in a country that support the rebels.

Quote:
Also, kind of fucking dumb that you're trying to split the difference between a regime in which you have no representation but the leader is inside some arbitrary lines on a map and a regime in which you have no representation but the leader is outside those same arbitrary lines.

You should look up colonialism. It was a thing, and once the leaders actually starting living in the countries they ruled over, it got much less bad very quickly. It was so important to the US independence folks they put it in their new constitution, that the leader must be from inside the borders (or effectively so), because they had recent experience of the other option and it was surprisingly bad.

Quote:
First off, I just want to say that it is incredibly offensive how any voice of dissent in the middle east gets labelled with terrorism.

Yes. Obviously the government itself was a shit government, is a shit government, and will be a shit government. But part of their violent repression is fighting a history of murderous religious fanatic uprisings full of terrorism with murdering politicians and so on, because the country has many old problems and also Saudi Arabia sponsors anti-government terror campaigns there. Also, many of the people who opposed it in recent times were decent people and ... realistically unlikely to be any better as a government, but not much worse either.

But ISIS, those guys are explicitly an apocalypse cult which uses terrorism to try and get western nations to attack them so that Jesus will come back and end the world. Everything they ever do is and will be the worst kind of terrorism, they simply do not have a political wing that is in any way separate from that terrorism.

And al-Qaeda are the rebel defenders in Aleppo. You might remember them from such stories as 9/11, or the school bombings in Russia, or the thing where everyone should kill every non-Islamic person they can if they have the chance, or the thing where all Shia are heretics and must die, and as it turns out so are most Sunnis when they get a chance. They're also smart guys, typically, all tertiary educated and such.

Like, the Syrian government is, right now, militarily, fighting against terrorist groups labelled as such by the UN, by the US, by Russia, by China, by France, by the UK, and also by everyone else who cares to label such things.

And yes, who gets called terrorists and who doesn't is often a bit racist. But those guys are totally terrorists. While they do fight each other a bit, the vast majority of both groups attacks are against the Syrian government.

And yes, not everyone who opposes Assad is on the side of the terrorists, but the ones he bombs usually are. The western media doesn't much report that, but it's true, the greatest military force has been used against ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Quote:
ISIS actually has basically no fucking allies, and as such we could not support ISIS's allies even if we wanted to.

That's not correct. The sides are pretty fluid, but obviously various groups have militarily assisted ISIS and ISIS has militarily assisted various groups, by shooting at the same people at the same time. ISIS is mostly aiming to replace the governments of Syria and Iraq because that's their fucking name for themselves. al-Qaeda aims to replace everyone's government in the region with the new Caliphate also, but not in trying bring about the end of the world, so they fight a bit. ISIS calls al-Qaeda pussies, basically, for not being hardcore enough about their terrorism and not believing the holy book the right way. As you do.

The other groups fighting the Syrian government? They do quite often support al-Qaeda there, because the Syrian government mostly fights on those fronts.


Quote:
But you know what? It's really fucking weird to see "help Assad murder the rebels, many of whom are just legitimate protesters who picked up weapons when they were getting beaten to death and shot at their own protests" immediately followed with "you know, the way you murder all those people with your drone strikes kind of pisses people off." Seriously, did following "support Assad" with "stop murdering so many people" not set off any fucking alarm bells when you were writing those two things literally back to back, or did you just kind of forget that the rebels are THE SAME FUCKING PEOPLE YOU SUPPOSABLY WANT US TO STOP KILLING?!

If the US (or Saudi Arabia, mostly) stop arming the rebels, seriously, the war ends. There's no more killing, they just run out of shells and missiles and it's over, they surrender like sane people or they die a noble death and go get some virgins in heaven. That graphic at the start, when it says "supporting the rebels", that's the problem. Their manufacturing capability is near zero, end the support and the war is over.

But yes, also, stop using bullshit methods for determining automated air strike targets that produce a lot of false positives and thus a lot of newsworthy exploded children. The problem in Mosul, for instance, is the locals say when the Iraqi government and US air support turn up to run the place they get shot and bombed pretty much at random, and when ISIS turns up to run the place about the same number get killed to inspire terror but at least ISIS has rules and you can follow them and not die.

Whereas, with the drone strikes, with the rather shit training the new Iraq military seems to have found itself with (who's job was that again?) kids and everyone die and people hate that.

That is a legitimate difference to people. You might be surprised that people care if you look them in the eye and tell them why when you murder them, but they do. That is a thing for the survivors to grasp at so they don't go nuts and join the terrorists.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

tussock wrote:
You are aware that the reason the armed forces that oppose Assad are often so well armed and trained is that despite being Sunnis they were totally just the army and the police and the judges and the school teachers and everything else?

...

How? How can you fuck up so badly all the time? I don't understand. I genuinely don't understand. You have humiliated yourself on these forums so many times I cannot count them. Even you - thick as you are - have to be aware on some level that you have said a lot of stupid shit. How is it that that awareness has not catalyzed into a much needed filter, one with which you sanity check your own posts before you hit submit and they humiliate you further? Do you really limp away from our little exchanges without the slightest bit of shame? How is that even possible? What is the secret to your seemingly complete lack of self-awareness and introspection? Are you a rock?

Ugh. Let's get this over with.

British Indian Army.

And it's done. It took me about as many seconds to think of that as it did words to say it. As usual, the hardest part of arguing with you is finding ways to express my ever-growing disdain. You are impenetrably stupid, tussock, and I hate you for it; the 'impenetrably' part most of all. Ordinarily, when people realize they are shitting the bed they slink away quietly in shame, or get angry that someone had the audacity to call them out on it, or endeavor not to shit the bed in the future, or something, but you... you just truck along unphased, like some kind of unflappable wise old man whose wisdom happens to come from a long life of eating paint chips; the Yoda of fucking up and accomplishing nothing. "Head up your ass you must put, young Skywalker."

I could continue; there are certainly more words in that post, even if the overall quality holds steady at nil. But I could also do literally anything else - like stand on a bunch of thumb tacks and do jumping jacks. So let's play this game a little differently going forward; I want to make you swallow each and every stupid thing you say one at a time. So you admit that your "Sunnis in the army/government" point was fucking stupid, what with counter-examples trivial to find in the British Empire, and then we can move on to the next stupid thing you said (which I believe is a discussion on the relative merits of colonialism vs authoritarianism, because as we all know while colonialism has a shitty track record authoritarianism's is just fucking grand).
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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh for fucks sake stop pretending the US is there to bomb the naughty authoritarian general population until they install a democracy.

1) We know you are lying about that.
2) It doesn't work.
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tussock
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm not quite sure what his point was there, he seems to think Syria is run by a colonial government from Iran, which is an odd thing to think.

He seems to think that being on the same side of a war as al-Qaeda and ISIS is a dandy idea, because that's the side his country is on, which is obviously not right.

He seems to think that thing where the western powers supported the less, you know, al-Qaeda and ISIS factions to take over Libya has turned into anything other than a hell hole of constant terrorism and violence and wandering warlords who are mostly al-Qaeda and ISIS and is somehow not vastly worse for the general population of Libya than the preceding authoritarian government, such that doing the same thing all over again in Syria will work even better. Which is another really strange thing to think.

Not to mention Afghanistan, where that whole supporting al-Qaeda in the 80's against the USSR-backed local government has turned the country from a basically secular somewhat progressive for the times and socialist nation state into a constant terrorist nightmare scape that exports terror and war to it's neighbours. Even the great US army can't change that back into a proper country now.

Or Iraq, where dismantling the government with no real plan for replacing it in an organised way turned the country into a warring sectarian terrorist nightmare that killed millions.

Like, it's pretty recent fucking history, consistent with older history, that siding with or near terrorists to dismantle governments without having a massively funded nation-building campaign behind it is OBVIOUSLY A WAR CRIME.

Like in the books and stuff. For reals. Failing to provide for the security of the civilian population in a country in which you overthrow the government, is a war crime. It's such a bad thing to do that you're not even allowed to do it during wars.

--

If a want a decent argument, there's some interesting points to be made about how easy it is to sponsor the rise of large terrorist organisations within authoritarian states during economic recessions, in relation to terrorism being primarily correlated with hopelessness and powerlessness, and relating that to how people feel about the thousands of drone-strike extra-judicial murders carried out by various powers in the region, and occupying armies that are hyper-focused on not getting shot at, and military campaigns composed almost entirely of high altitude bombing.

But it seems you don't really want a decent argument at all, so maybe not. Sad
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

tussock wrote:
I'm not quite sure what his point was there, he seems to think Syria is run by a colonial government from Iran, which is an odd thing to think.

No, I think Syria is an authoritarian minority government with significant backing from a foreign power, which is a perfect description of the sort of thing people mean when they say colonialism in 2016, because the UN list of formally recognized colonies is 16 entries long and barely adds up to two million people. Hey, remember Iraq's Coalition Provisional Authority? Undemocratic government ran basically out of the United States Department of Defense? Granted foreign contractors complete exemption from being sued or charged with crimes? Cut taxes, privatized everything? It was, unsurprisingly, never recognized as a formal colonial government, despite being everything people think of when they think colonialism.

Syria is not as colonial as that, but it is an undemocratic minority government with significant military support (as in, boots on the ground) from a foreign power whose economy is ten times larger. Spoiler: Iran does not see Syria as a strategy ally. They see Syria as a strategic asset, an asset which they are currently in danger of losing. Because, again, the U.S. are not the only people in the world who can be dicks to foreigners. Colonial bullshit did not stop happening after WW2, we just started calling it different things and using different enforcement mechanisms in an attempt to be more subtle about our assholery.

But you know what? This is all still you dodging the bullet. I mean, you're dodging into another bullet, so not a great job of it, but no. I made a point about the Syrian government being exactly the sort of thing people talk about when they think modern colonialism, and you responded by pointing out that Sunni's (the non-ruling denomination in this authoritarian one-party state) were not being excluded from military service or government jobs. And I gave you an example of a literal fucking colonial government in which the disenfranchised locals were not excluded from military service or government jobs. You fucked up. Your argument was shit. Even if you somehow won the broader argument about to what extent it's fair to describe Syria as a colonial power, the specific argument you made about "b-b-b-ut Sunnis in the army!" will not magically stop being stupid.

And you also won't win the broader argument about to what extent it's fair to describe Syria as a colonial power, because 1) you're an idiot, and 2) fuck you, it is pretty god damn fair to describe South Africa's apartheid government as colonialist. South Africa earned the right to self-govern in 1934 and became a formally sovereign nation in 1961. Apartheid would last until the 90's. That is 30+ years of a local white minority ruling (cruelly) over a majority non-white populace. Modern colonialism does not look the same as it did pre-WW2 but it's still a very real force in the world.

tussock wrote:
He seems to think that being on the same side of a war as al-Qaeda and ISIS is a dandy idea, because that's the side his country is on, which is obviously not right.

Actually, I think that being on the same side as al-Qaeda and ISIS is literally impossible, because the two have formally declared war on one another and are currently trying to kill eachother.

Look; you are a stereotypically ignorant westerner with a bunch of casually racist ideas about the Middle East who does not know enough to realize how racist those ideas are. That is one of the reasons it's so fucking funny depressing that you spend so much time bitching about U.S. involvement in the region, because... you (like maglag) absolutely do not even know enough about the Syrian conflict to know who's fighting who, and the things you do say are often straight-up offensive as a result. It's "those brown people all look alike, how am I supposed to keep them straight" territory.

I would be happy to teach you all about the sides in the Syrian Civil War, who's fighting who, and who the U.S. is supporting, except...

1) It would require you to read a map, so you're fucked it can't be done. We tried that before and it just didn't work.

2) I'm still going to need you to own up to how stupid the "but Indians Sunnis served in the British Indian Army Syrian Army!" comment was. I've already fudged the rules too much. Finish the crow you've got before you ask for seconds.

tussock wrote:
But it seems you don't really want a decent argument at all, so maybe not. Sad

And don't start trying to be cheeky. Your posts are hard enough to read without the world's most lackluster sass; you bring the stupid, I'll bring the entertainment.
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maglag
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:

tussock wrote:
He seems to think that being on the same side of a war as al-Qaeda and ISIS is a dandy idea, because that's the side his country is on, which is obviously not right.

Actually, I think that being on the same side as al-Qaeda and ISIS is literally impossible, because the two have formally declared war on one another and are currently trying to kill eachother.

As a matter of fact, USA-supported forces trying (and succeeding) to kill each other is something that just does happen.

Maybe one side believed that you need to behead children with your left hand, maybe the other thought eating human meat on sundays is heresy. I don't give a shit at this point, they're crazy fanatics that'll turn their USA-supplied weapons at anyone for virtually any reason.

I could easily debunk your other arguments, but since it's at least the third time in this thread I need to point out the above, I don't bother since you've shown to be a true believer as simple facts no longer can shake your faith.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

maglag wrote:

I could easily debunk your other arguments, but since it's at least the third time in this thread I need to point out the above, I don't bother since you've shown to be a true believer as simple facts no longer can shake your faith.


No, you can't, because you've shown that you don't recognize simple facts. Which period of 'hundreds of years' did Russia remain 'mostly within their existing borders'?

You are such a dumb ass. You literally are the dumbest person I've ever met who is capable of forming coherent sentences.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

maglag wrote:
DSMatticus wrote:

tussock wrote:
He seems to think that being on the same side of a war as al-Qaeda and ISIS is a dandy idea, because that's the side his country is on, which is obviously not right.

Actually, I think that being on the same side as al-Qaeda and ISIS is literally impossible, because the two have formally declared war on one another and are currently trying to kill eachother.

As a matter of fact, USA-supported forces trying (and succeeding) to kill each other is something that just does happen.

Maybe one side believed that you need to behead children with your left hand, maybe the other thought eating human meat on sundays is heresy. I don't give a shit at this point, they're crazy fanatics that'll turn their USA-supplied weapons at anyone for virtually any reason.

First off, your "brown people are a bunch of savage animals" tirades continue to be disgustingly racist. I get that you apparently refuse to believe that the "lesser races" are capable of civilization, but it turns out there are a bunch of democratic secularists fighting and dying in this conflict. In fact, let's talk about your link. It describes a conflict between Turkey-backed Syrian rebels and the SDF. Turkey is our ally, the SDF is our ally, ergo our allies are clashing. What's up with that?

Well, some background; Turkey is a formerly democratic secularist nation, to the point that until about ten years ago it was pursuing EU-requested reforms while negotiating for membership. Then the right-wing AKP put Abdulluah Gul and Recep Erdogan in power. Those two men are best described as what happens if you forced Donald Trump and Ted Cruz to spawn offspring with one another. They are far-right authoritarian theocrats who rode populist strongman rhetoric into power. In 2007, they turned the police loose on the government and military to investigate and dismantle a coup - which would seem almost plausible at first, given Turkey's history of military coups and that the military had spoken out against the AKP prior to the election, except it turns out they fabricated a bunch of the evidence and that the purpose all along had been to purge the government of dissent so they could restaff it with loyalists. And that is how Turkey's gradual progress reversed and the country is now descending back into authoritarian shitholery.

So, there are these people called the kurds. They're an ethnic group, and you can find them in Turkey and northern Syria (and other places, but those are the two places relevant to this story). In Turkey, kurds are the victims of some really shitty discrimination, to the extent that political parties which speak up on their behalf often end up being outright banned. It's fucking awful. And as a result, Turkey has spent a long time dealing with peaceful protests and outright rebellions by Kurds and Kurds-affiliated groups. And both of those things - even the attending peaceful protests bit - can get you arrested for terrorism against the state. Well, guess fucking what? The SDF are a bunch of primarily (but not exclusively) Kurdish democratic secularists. Turkey correctly understands that having a bunch of Kurdish democratic secularists on its southern border will make it harder for them in their own domestic battle to shit on Kurds, democracy, and secularism, and as such they absolutely 100% do not want the SDF to exist. If the SDF win in Syria, there's a good chance that either a similar coalition will emerge in Turkey to resist Erdogan or the SDF fighters will just outright spill into Turkey.

Meanwhile, the U.S. likes the SDF because they are fighting Assad, al Qaeda, and ISIS; literally a who's who of the people we don't like. Turkey and the U.S. are technically "allies," but they do not see eye-to-eye on this conflict and going forward we're probably going to see eye-to-eye on less and less. As far as Turkey is concerned, a democratic secularist neighbor (the SDF) is exactly as bad as a militant wrong-kind-of-Islam neighbor (ISIS), because both would look at an authoritarian Islamicist like Erdogan and think to themselves "he's next."

maglag wrote:
I could easily debunk your other arguments

No you couldn't, tussock2. You and the horror from which you were cloned are among the least intellectually intimidating figures here.


Last edited by DSMatticus on Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mask_De_H
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I would like to see DSM's primer of the Syrian Civil War.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I used to worry that I was one of the more ignorant people here. That feels like so long ago.
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Shatner
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mask_De_H wrote:
I would like to see DSM's primer of the Syrian Civil War.

Seconded.
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...You Lost Me
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Tussock, say something about the Syrian civil war.
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Again, look at this fucking map you moron. Take your finger and trace each country's coast, then trace its claim line. Even you - and I say that as someone who could not think less of your intelligence - should be able to tell that one of these things is not like the other.
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