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Former UK ambassador says Syrian Chemical Attacks were Staged - BBC interview.


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#41 George Rowell

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 04:33 AM

View PostRich T Bikkies, on 08 January 2019 - 03:01 AM, said:

"Turn back, O Men, forswear your foolish ways".
I promise. I will.
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#42 drdredel

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 07:26 PM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 08 January 2019 - 04:33 AM, said:

I promise. I will.

I think that if you start with the fact that nothing that in any way connects to Putin happens by accident or coincidence and that the entire KGB operation is a well-oiled machine of disinformation then everything rapidly falls into place from there.

And if you don't accept the above as fact then you've been played (though in defense of all those who have been played, they've been played by an organization which has spent decades honing these tactics and who have tons of money and the entire media apparatus of Russia at their disposal (not to mention many witting and unwitting repeaters of their corruptive message in positions of power across the globe, including our very own DJT).

But just keep in mind that everything that helps Assad helps Putin (at least for now) so any time you hear information that is in any way favourable to Assad you have to see if Putin's fingerprints are anywhere near that messaging. Putin would have you believe the everything may or may not be a conspiracy. Nothing is knowable. Everyone is out to get you.

If you examine all evidence from this perspective you will see that J-CA is almost certainly correct.
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#43 George Rowell

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 10:12 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 08 January 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

I think that if you start with the fact that nothing that in any way connects to Putin happens by accident or coincidence and that the entire KGB operation is a well-oiled machine of disinformation then everything rapidly falls into place from there.

And if you don't accept the above as fact then you've been played (though in defense of all those who have been played, they've been played by an organization which has spent decades honing these tactics and who have tons of money and the entire media apparatus of Russia at their disposal (not to mention many witting and unwitting repeaters of their corruptive message in positions of power across the globe, including our very own DJT).

But just keep in mind that everything that helps Assad helps Putin (at least for now) so any time you hear information that is in any way favourable to Assad you have to see if Putin's fingerprints are anywhere near that messaging. Putin would have you believe the everything may or may not be a conspiracy. Nothing is knowable. Everyone is out to get you.

If you examine all evidence from this perspective you will see that J-CA is almost certainly correct.
Let me do a bottom up reply.

[Anything that helps Assad helps Putin]

I am not particularly concerned about Assad or Putin. The plight of the Syrian people concerns me greatly. We have no right to be having a proxy war in Syria that is killing hundreds of thousands. The thought of helping Putin should not be an issue. I find it astonishing that many media outlets have voiced this. I am not sure what to call it, arrogance, ignorance, brutality maybe. It is not happening in America or Britain so it is all right. This mind set is just plain wrong.

[And if you don't accept the above as fact then you've been played (though in defense of all those who have been played, they've been played by an organization which has spent decades honing these tactics and who have tons of money and the entire media apparatus of Russia at their disposal (not to mention many witting and unwitting repeaters of their corruptive message in positions of power across the globe, including our very own DJT).]

By 2010 the cold war propaganda quieted down. Then in March 2011 the Guardian discovered that Centcom was starting a covert plan called 'Operation Earnest Voice', the intent of which was to manipulate social media, including facebook and twitter. I remember the article was absolutely scathing, in particular they pointed out that if America did this then other countries (Russia) had no choice but to follow suit. It is interesting that although the original article can still be found much has been redacted. Now their criticism comes over only as a mild slap on the wrist. The Guardian do mention in a footnote that Centcom had interceded and requested changes and they had complied. Since then the Brits have started dedicated propaganda battalions too. I refer to Battalion 77 psy ops which started in 2013 and employ up to 3,000 personnel. We now hear that Russian troll factories have started up. I just laugh.

I think Russian propaganda is hopeless. Maybe that is the impression they want me to have, who knows. It contradicts itself, is whinging and whining and just so, so bad. I really can imagine ex KGB Putin groaning out loud when he reads about the cock-ups. It makes me smile just to think about it. Look at the Skripal affair, that was so badly managed, a comedy of errors. To say it is a well honed and oiled machine is flattering.

Let us go back to 'if you do not accept this then you have been played'. Do you see the problem I have with this? You have accepted this so it is difficult for me to accept your opinion as unbiased. I call it 'group think'

Despite what J-CA thinks about me or my intentions I just want an end to American wars of hegemony. I think players in the US are using the media to brainwash people and I think they have been largely successful. That is a well oiled machine, and damn smart too. And AI is coming on line. I am concerned that people here and indeed Russia (China has already largely succumbed) will be mind slaves to the 0.01%.

I have to add that I am also aware that social platforms are extremely dangerous. If the masses discover that their will is being ignored it can lead to protests, riots and destabilization. Sometimes governments have to enact unpopular measures and maybe use benign propaganda to achieve this - and rightly so. I believe brainwashing cum propaganda IS necessary. The problem is who has the keys.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#44 George Rowell

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 06:31 AM

View PostTraveler, on 05 January 2019 - 10:05 AM, said:

And they pretty much nailed Ghouta. You are to be commended for citing an article that pretty well counters your previous assertions.
I looked at Bellingcat's evaluation of the Ghouta and Douma attacks. The first thing that comes over is the sad plight of the Syrians. One of the first news reporters at Douma was from the German channel ZDF. It is all in German but the local people said the building was actually a Jihadi head quarters. They said they faked the attack by waiting for helicopters to appear and letting off the Chlorine bombs. But critics say the witnesses were scared of Russian soldiers in the area. I suppose the Jihadis could have hacked a hole in the roof too. I cannot say I was convinced either way, but I just lost my appetite for my supper.

And so it goes with the fog of war. Here is the ZDF report I found in the comments.

https://www.zdf.de/n...syrien-100.html
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#45 drdredel

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 09:08 PM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 08 January 2019 - 10:12 PM, said:

Let me do a bottom up reply.

[Anything that helps Assad helps Putin]

I am not particularly concerned about Assad or Putin. The plight of the Syrian people concerns me greatly. We have no right to be having a proxy war in Syria that is killing hundreds of thousands.

While there is indeed a proxy war in Syria I fail to see any "we" in it. If you want to start compiling a list of external interests that are responsible you will find the U.S. very far down on the list. And yes, the people of Syria are indeed the losers in all this but there's nothing to be done about that. Putin, on the other hand, is stoking those flames pretty effectively. and so...


Quote

The thought of helping Putin should not be an issue. I find it astonishing that many media outlets have voiced this. I am not sure what to call it, arrogance, ignorance, brutality maybe. It is not happening in America or Britain so it is all right. This mind set is just plain wrong.

[And if you don't accept the above as fact then you've been played (though in defense of all those who have been played, they've been played by an organization which has spent decades honing these tactics and who have tons of money and the entire media apparatus of Russia at their disposal (not to mention many witting and unwitting repeaters of their corruptive message in positions of power across the globe, including our very own DJT).]

By 2010 the cold war propaganda quieted down. Then in March 2011 the Guardian discovered that Centcom was starting a covert plan called 'Operation Earnest Voice', the intent of which was to manipulate social media, including facebook and twitter. I remember the article was absolutely scathing, in particular they pointed out that if America did this then other countries (Russia) had no choice but to follow suit. It is interesting that although the original article can still be found much has been redacted. Now their criticism comes over only as a mild slap on the wrist. The Guardian do mention in a footnote that Centcom had interceded and requested changes and they had complied. Since then the Brits have started dedicated propaganda battalions too. I refer to Battalion 77 psy ops which started in 2013 and employ up to 3,000 personnel. We now hear that Russian troll factories have started up. I just laugh.

I think Russian propaganda is hopeless. Maybe that is the impression they want me to have, who knows. It contradicts itself, is whinging and whining and just so, so bad. I really can imagine ex KGB Putin groaning out loud when he reads about the cock-ups. It makes me smile just to think about it. Look at the Skripal affair, that was so badly managed, a comedy of errors. To say it is a well honed and oiled machine is flattering.


Let us go back to 'if you do not accept this then you have been played'. Do you see the problem I have with this? You have accepted this so it is difficult for me to accept your opinion as unbiased. I call it 'group think'

Getting you to call it "group think" is precisely Putin's game (it was also the KGB's game and the Nazis' game before that). You take all the experts and honest brokers and call them biased, corrupt, elitist (and let's throw in "Jews" cause pretty much everyone hates those). Then you tell 7 different stories over the course of 5 days and then throw your hands in the air and say "who can possibly know what the truth is in this mess of opinions".

But it's not groupthink. It's actually the scientific method and it works like this:

First I have my own first-hand experience as an ex-Soviet citizen with the practices of that government and people. I take this personal knowledge and apply to it all the most honest brokers of investigative journalism (that Putin hasn't yet killed) who are putting their lives on the line digging up all the shit that VP's organization has been up to. I follow them in the original Russian as well as their Western counterparts who have been doing some absolutely amazing research. They all arrive at the same conclusion -- namely:
They unanimously say that what Russia is doing (specifically over the last 5 years using Twitter and Facebook and other forms of social media) is historically entirely unprecedented (for any country), extremely sophisticated, amazingly coordinated, fantastically effective and is, in fact, covert warfare.

If you want to hear stuff that will make your spine tingle listen to this.

And yes - there are cockups but it's actually unclear to me if they are accidental or intentional. I can easily imagine that this is raw meat thrown precisely to feed [your] narrative. Obviously I have no way to know if that's the case - but their rate of success is astonishing and obviously, these mistakes don't have much negative effect on their ability to kill journalists and throw anyone who opposes them in gulags on trumped-up charges.

America and UK don't do stuff like this and to compare them in *any way is to play directly into Putin's hands.

Finally, the reason to really worry about all this, is that what Putin is doing is mucking with the gears of discourse and the free and fair exchange of ideas upon which the Western world functions. He seeks to tear it all down because as he is incapable of dragging Russia up from being a third world banana republic his only other move is to drag the rest of the world down to Russia's level. Stoking nationalism, promoting ethnocentric hate, and convincing Joe London, Sally Paris, and Mike Los Angeles that all news sources are corrupt liars and the only thing they can trust is their own fear of the "other" is what gets us there and if you look around at the world today you will see his fingerprints on precisely all these tactics taking hold.

Putin's play in Syria is to make life there unlivable and take advantage of the EU's generous (possibly naive) openness to the hordes of poor fucks streaming across their borders in search of salvation. He understands what happens when you reach a critical mass of uneducated brown people into homogenous White countries and he's counting on Europe returning back to 1935. *Nothing would make him happier than a rise of white nationalists in Hungary, Poland, Germany, France and if gets REALLY lucky, Scandinavia. And if those nations band together and attack Russia?! whoa Nellie - that's the wettest dream of all for him because you know what Russians love to do more than to eat bread dipped in distilled anti-freeze and complain about their lot in life? That's right - it's throwing themselves by the millions in front of machine guns in the name of protecting mother Russia.

You and I haven't spoken before and I'll confess to leaning towards the dramatic for the sake of comedy but nothing in the above statement is hyperbole; nor is it a product of my active imagination. Everything above is derived in one way or another from what Putin has said or done over the last 20 years.

Quote

Despite what J-CA thinks about me or my intentions I just want an end to American wars of hegemony. I think players in the US are using the media to brainwash people and I think they have been largely successful. That is a well oiled machine, and damn smart too. And AI is coming on line. I am concerned that people here and indeed Russia (China has already largely succumbed) will be mind slaves to the 0.01%.

I don't see any meaningful evidence of this - but then again it's possible that I'm not paying attention. To me, it seems like there are clear financial incentives for all the social harm being done by the likes of Facebook and the media (read: news) publications that are on the brink of collapse and, as a last-ditch measure, make all sorts of unfortunate deals with all sorts of unfortunate devils in order to stay afloat. But that's not a concerted plan to keep the .01% at the top. It's just the way unregulated markets work sometimes.


Quote

I have to add that I am also aware that social platforms are extremely dangerous. If the masses discover that their will is being ignored it can lead to protests, riots and destabilization. Sometimes governments have to enact unpopular measures and maybe use benign propaganda to achieve this - and rightly so. I believe brainwashing cum propaganda IS necessary. The problem is who has the keys.

I flatly disagree with this. I have enough faith in the unwashed masses to not act, en masse, on ideas that are calamitous (not including really long term problems like climate change). Now - what the unwashed masses are TERRIBLE at is telling the wheat from the chaff in their news sources when those sources intentionally lead them astray along bad-faith arguments spun by special interests. It is indeed very easy to coerce them through said messaging into all sorts of horrible villainy (see WWII and/or Soviet Russia). But the antidote to this is untainted good faith free expression and time and not mild brainwashing by "well-meaning" government forces.
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#46 George Rowell

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 10:26 PM

Thanks Drdredel. Some of my far flung family are 'Cosak', Jewish, and Polish (and Chinese). I am talking WW2 experience here but the two Jewish-Polish ladies caught up in the war had lovers who were German officers, one after the war and one during the war. The one who married a German officer after the war was unfortunate enough to have been forcibly sterilized and experimented on by German doctors but still did not hate them. Their hate was reserved for the invading Soviet army, and lasted till the day they died. One of the men in my family was a decorated polish officer who escaped being buried in the woods of Katyn. I do not have to add anything about his views. The soviet system was wonderful in concept and evil in practice, nobody knows more than you, being ex-Russian. I am sure there are many unpleasant hang-overs from the soviet era too.

Incidentally I am glad you got out! I would not like to live there either, even if they gave me a free mansion and food for life.

I will give you a decent response to your points a bit later but I will say this now. Despite my screaming about mind control, free will, AI , psyop battalions and propaganda on the home-front, I am equally worried about the huge potential for fast moving information, on social media, to cause instability and chaos, maybe attempted revolution. Just look at the gilet jaune problem. That is caused by perceived injustices spread on social media and main media. I know as an ex-Russian the very thought of mind control will revolt you, but I believe the alternative could be far, far worse. I see a problem but I have no solutions.




Edited. It does help to limit the dissemination of destabilizing material on social media. I am convinced that this has already been achieved in part. I do not like it but I cannot say it is not necessary either.

Edited by George Rowell, 10 January 2019 - 12:44 AM.

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#47 George Rowell

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:49 AM

View PostJ-CA, on 07 January 2019 - 11:10 PM, said:

Lapping. It. Up.
And finally here is another high ranking government officer, my fifth : Sir Andrew Green, who was also an ambassador to Syria. Baron Andrew Green was ambassador to Syria for 3 years and here are his comments about "animal Assad' after the first chemical attacks in 2013.

'For a long time, the talk was of "removing Assad", as if he was some kind of dictator in the mould of Saddam Hussein. I have met both Bashar al-Assad and his father, Hafez, from whom he took over as president. His father was terrifying - utterly ruthless and a conspirator to his finger tips. His own staff fidgeted nervously in his presence. He was indeed like Saddam - except that his cruelty was not random. It was calculated and targeted at anyone who dared to cross him.
The young Assad, Bashar, is nothing of the kind. Those who knew him well when he was training at an opthalmologist in Britain report a pleasant, well-mannered and quietly professional young man. Back in Damascus, after his father's death, he was not much more than a figurehead president. To meet, he was, before all these troubles, sensible, reasonable and courteous.
So the only effect of "removing Assad" would be to have him replaced by one of the ruthless generals that have held the Syrians in their grip for 40 years.'


Baron Green has since been criticized by the present government for not condemning Assad but has remained steadfast. There seems to be a disconnect somewhere between the narrative of those who really know and the neocon war hawks.

https://www.telegrap...n-the-fire.html
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#48 drdredel

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 02:55 PM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 09 January 2019 - 10:26 PM, said:

Thanks Drdredel. Some of my far flung family are 'Cosak', Jewish, and Polish (and Chinese). I am talking WW2 experience here but the two Jewish-Polish ladies caught up in the war had lovers who were German officers, one after the war and one during the war. The one who married a German officer after the war was unfortunate enough to have been forcibly sterilized and experimented on by German doctors but still did not hate them. Their hate was reserved for the invading Soviet army, and lasted till the day they died. One of the men in my family was a decorated polish officer who escaped being buried in the woods of Katyn. I do not have to add anything about his views. The soviet system was wonderful in concept and evil in practice, nobody knows more than you, being ex-Russian. I am sure there are many unpleasant hang-overs from the soviet era too.

Very fascinating history.

I'm not sure that the Soviet system was anything but wretched. I can't see how any system that begins by subjugating and killing a sizeable portion of the population can ever be successful. It's one thing to have a revolution (bloody or peaceful, like the U.S. or India) where you're just throwing out a foreign oppressor. But to have a revolution born of a civil war and try to move from that strikes me as unworkable. Interestingly, that does open the question of whether or not the U.S. civil war opened a wound that is ever able to heal or if it's just going to fester until it eventually tears the nation apart. My balls aren't crystal so I won't try to predict.

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Incidentally I am glad you got out! I would not like to live there either, even if they gave me a free mansion and food for life.


I wouldn't recommend it, no.

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I will give you a decent response to your points a bit later but I will say this now. Despite my screaming about mind control, free will, AI , psyop battalions and propaganda on the home-front, I am equally worried about the huge potential for fast moving information, on social media, to cause instability and chaos, maybe attempted revolution. Just look at the gilet jaune problem. That is caused by perceived injustices spread on social media and main media. I know as an ex-Russian the very thought of mind control will revolt you, but I believe the alternative could be far, far worse. I see a problem but I have no solutions.

As long as we agree on the following I don't think you need to conjure a lengthy reply.

There are two distinct problems here and I've not convinced one of them is particularly intractable.
One problem is "Social Media" writ large. It's a new and strange landscape of human communication which brings with it many positives and negatives and is currently taking a specific toll on society. However, I think that there are many solutions on the horizon and the jury is still out on whether this horse can be tamed and turned into a useful beast of burden or if this animal is inherently wild and will simply break free of its restraints and wreck havoc.

The second problem is bad faith actors taking advantage of the (already problematic) Social Media landscape and using it to systematically bring people against each other.

I'm only really worried about the second problem because that's the one where there is consideration being given by clever bad-faith actors as to how to do damage, whereas the first one is an organic byproduct of our rapid evolution and so long as we keep an eye on it there's a good chance we can keep it under control.
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#49 George Rowell

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 03:18 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 10 January 2019 - 02:55 PM, said:

Very fascinating history.

I'm not sure that the Soviet system was anything but wretched. I can't see how any system that begins by subjugating and killing a sizeable portion of the population can ever be successful. It's one thing to have a revolution (bloody or peaceful, like the U.S. or India) where you're just throwing out a foreign oppressor. But to have a revolution born of a civil war and try to move from that strikes me as unworkable. Interestingly, that does open the question of whether or not the U.S. civil war opened a wound that is ever able to heal or if it's just going to fester until it eventually tears the nation apart. My balls aren't crystal so I won't try to predict.



I wouldn't recommend it, no.



As long as we agree on the following I don't think you need to conjure a lengthy reply.

There are two distinct problems here and I've not convinced one of them is particularly intractable.
One problem is "Social Media" writ large. It's a new and strange landscape of human communication which brings with it many positives and negatives and is currently taking a specific toll on society. However, I think that there are many solutions on the horizon and the jury is still out on whether this horse can be tamed and turned into a useful beast of burden or if this animal is inherently wild and will simply break free of its restraints and wreck havoc.

The second problem is bad faith actors taking advantage of the (already problematic) Social Media landscape and using it to systematically bring people against each other.

I'm only really worried about the second problem because that's the one where there is consideration being given by clever bad-faith actors as to how to do damage, whereas the first one is an organic byproduct of our rapid evolution and so long as we keep an eye on it there's a good chance we can keep it under control.
My sentiments pretty much on everything! Little about the soviet era was good, and there are still Russians who look back in nostalgia #@$&

I believe from a social stability point of view the internet needs fixing. But it is also the last frontier of free communication, and in my view the best there has ever been. I see AI as an internet peril but it could also be it's savior. We need to have oversight on who controls the keys.
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#50 golden_valley

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 03:25 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 10 January 2019 - 02:55 PM, said:


There are two distinct problems here and I've not convinced one of them is particularly intractable.
One problem is "Social Media" writ large. It's a new and strange landscape of human communication which brings with it many positives and negatives and is currently taking a specific toll on society. However, I think that there are many solutions on the horizon and the jury is still out on whether this horse can be tamed and turned into a useful beast of burden or if this animal is inherently wild and will simply break free of its restraints and wreck havoc.

The second problem is bad faith actors taking advantage of the (already problematic) Social Media landscape and using it to systematically bring people against each other.

I'm only really worried about the second problem because that's the one where there is consideration being given by clever bad-faith actors as to how to do damage, whereas the first one is an organic byproduct of our rapid evolution and so long as we keep an eye on it there's a good chance we can keep it under control.

I hope those solutions on the horizon come into closer view soon. I also hope that people are willing to recognize the damage being done and are willing to understand intellectually what needs to be done to ameliorate and repair it without going on a pendulum swing to the complete opposite of what we currently have.

#51 drdredel

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:50 AM

View Postgolden_valley, on 10 January 2019 - 03:25 PM, said:

I hope those solutions on the horizon come into closer view soon. I also hope that people are willing to recognize the damage being done and are willing to understand intellectually what needs to be done to ameliorate and repair it without going on a pendulum swing to the complete opposite of what we currently have.

I'm working on it!
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#52 Traveler

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:31 PM

I would be interested to hear what your thoughts are.
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#53 George Rowell

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 12:55 AM

Drdredel. If I can join the queue, I would be interested on your thoughts about a post Putin Russia.
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#54 J-CA

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 12:54 AM

I find the idea that believing every wackjob that can find 10 minutes on the BBC and 3 hours on RT a month as somehow key to ending American wars of hegemony a laughable idea.
It strikes me that that if you want an end to US wars of hegemony the thing to do is face the truth of the facts on the ground and then make assessments on that that basis based on American interests, providing analysis based on historical precedents.

At this point how many wars is America engaged in to enforce their "hegemony"? Current involvement in Afghanistan is not "hegemonic" but rather a moral obligation based on investment in the past and a simple moral obligation to the poor souls that have cast their lot in with the occupiers. I mean if the Taliban takes Afghanistan over again it would be bad for the local residents, slightly embarrassing for America, it would have zero implications for American hegemony.
Same thing in Iraq, at this point the Iraqi government is actively engaged in activities that oppose American interests!
Likewise in Syria as Iraq the main issue is that if the US abandons the Kurds not only will the Syrian government forces be an issue but NATO ally Turkey will likely slaughter all the Kurds they can get away with targeting. The idea that American adventurism is bad is one that I support, the idea that as a consequence thousands of Kurds should die so the the US can pull out immediately I find offensively immoral. The Unites States of America is obliged to do right by their friends regardless of the costs - that is the proper price of making promises and keeping them - not for the purposes of gaining strategic advantage but to be good.

No longer doing stupid stuff in the future is orthogonal to not doing stupid stuff now. So, like, do both.
The good news is that simply pulling all support for Saudi Arabia's ridiculous war in Yemen doesn't have any of these moral issues, just do it - the Saudis are morally bankrupt and don't deserve the support of anyone for anything, let alone the slaughter of Yeminis.
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#55 George Rowell

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 02:18 AM

View PostJ-CA, on 13 January 2019 - 12:54 AM, said:

I find the idea that believing every wackjob that can find 10 minutes on the BBC and 3 hours on RT a month as somehow key to ending American wars of hegemony a laughable idea.
It strikes me that that if you want an end to US wars of hegemony the thing to do is face the truth of the facts on the ground and then make assessments on that that basis based on American interests, providing analysis based on historical precedents.

At this point how many wars is America engaged in to enforce their "hegemony"? Current involvement in Afghanistan is not "hegemonic" but rather a moral obligation based on investment in the past and a simple moral obligation to the poor souls that have cast their lot in with the occupiers. I mean if the Taliban takes Afghanistan over again it would be bad for the local residents, slightly embarrassing for America, it would have zero implications for American hegemony.
Same thing in Iraq, at this point the Iraqi government is actively engaged in activities that oppose American interests!
Likewise in Syria as Iraq the main issue is that if the US abandons the Kurds not only will the Syrian government forces be an issue but NATO ally Turkey will likely slaughter all the Kurds they can get away with targeting. The idea that American adventurism is bad is one that I support, the idea that as a consequence thousands of Kurds should die so the the US can pull out immediately I find offensively immoral. The Unites States of America is obliged to do right by their friends regardless of the costs - that is the proper price of making promises and keeping them - not for the purposes of gaining strategic advantage but to be good.

No longer doing stupid stuff in the future is orthogonal to not doing stupid stuff now. So, like, do both.
The good news is that simply pulling all support for Saudi Arabia's ridiculous war in Yemen doesn't have any of these moral issues, just do it - the Saudis are morally bankrupt and don't deserve the support of anyone for anything, let alone the slaughter of Yeminis.

J-CA. I agree there are many whackos out there who are fiercely anti-American especially about America's involvement in Syria.

I did my best, my very very best to only choose high ranking British diplomats and officers who have direct knowledge of the Syrian situation and are of high standing in the establishment. Of those five 2 are British Barons, one a general and the other two UK ambassadors. These people are not whackos.

You mention Afghanistan. America has a saying does it not. 'Break it and own it'. But in Iraq and Libya the US has simply bombed them back to the stone age and moved on. Afghanistan is exceptional because it was not a war of hegemony. Bush went in and had every right to do so. We can all see that the future of Afghanistan lies with the Taliban. It is called the graveyard of empires for a reason.

Regarding the Kurds, their lot is indeed tragic. But once again, America has trained and supported jihadists [2] under whatever guise they call themselves, since the end of 2012. By April 2103 this was already well reported. I remember the news in 2012 tucked away in a tiny piece about special forces going to the Syrian Jordanian border and I thought here we go again. (please just take my word for this). We helped break Syria and morally we should be helping the Kurds and all Syrians, but not with a military presence. The Syrian army should be separating the Turks from the Kurds not us. Assad has said that he will enter serious talks with the Kurds about limited autonomy and I believe that is the best hope the Kurds really have.

As for the Yemenis, well in truth I do not really understand the situation. I do know the Saudi army routinely bomb hospitals, government buildings and civic centers. It is under-reported but I recall half a million people [1] are near starvation and according to the NYT 85,000 children have died of starvation, and this is a conservative estimate. Of course I think the US should not be supporting this mayhem.

I am not anti-American. 10 years ago I started a yahoo account with the handle 'Buy Made in America' because I foresaw where we are now. I believe my views are reasonable and if I am proven wrong I will thank the teacher after I have been caned.

[1] 12,000,000 on brink of starvation. https://www.nytimes....udi-arabia.html
[2] This wording may seem to imply Kurds are Jihadists. That was certainly not my intent. My wording could be better.

Edited by George Rowell, 13 January 2019 - 10:39 AM.

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#56 Traveler

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:11 AM

George, couple of things. Libya was not bombed back to the stone age. All ordnance was directed as Qaddafi's army. They destroyed Misrata, not US bombs. As for Iraq, the bombing of Mosul was to eliminate ISIS (which Bush and Maliki gave us via Bremer, I know.) And to say Kurds are Jihadis is totally off base. So three of your perspectives are clearly mistaken, which doesn't help your cause.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#57 George Rowell

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:27 AM

View PostTraveler, on 13 January 2019 - 10:11 AM, said:

George, couple of things. Libya was not bombed back to the stone age. All ordnance was directed as Qaddafi's army. They destroyed Misrata, not US bombs. As for Iraq, the bombing of Mosul was to eliminate ISIS (which Bush and Maliki gave us via Bremer, I know.) And to say Kurds are Jihadis is totally off base. So three of your perspectives are clearly mistaken, which doesn't help your cause.

If I implied Kurds were Jihadis that was off base and I did not mean to. But upon review I see where you are coming from. The wording could be better. I have edited my post to show this.

For Iraq, I was talking about the Bush WMD campaign, not ISIS.

Lybia is now still fighting and lawless. Still divided. I might add before the bombing it was one of the best regional countries. It was thriving.
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#58 George Rowell

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 07:23 AM

BBC producer who investigated the incident on the ground has issued public statements saying the "Assad sarin attack" on Douma was "staged".

Riam Dalati is a well-known BBC Syria producer who has long reported from the region. He shocked his nearly 20,000 twitter followers on Wednesday, which includes other mainstream journalists from major outlets, by stating that after a "six month investigation" he has concluded, "I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged."

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The BBC's Riam Dalati made his verified account private in the hours after the tweets.
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#59 George Rowell

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 09:40 PM

Two days ago an engineering report on Douma by the OPCW signed by their engineer Ian Henderson was leaked from someone in the OPCW. The OPCW have confirmed the leak and are investigating. Here is the report. It concludes the bombs were placed manually.

"33. In conclusion, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that the cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered by aircraft.

Ian Henderson"

https://drive.google...CnZQXTuJ5z/view
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#60 George Rowell

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 10:17 PM

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Susan Sarandon
@SusanSarandon




This is really important. Why aren’t we talking about it?

"We may have just discovered a major piece of the puzzle explaining how seemingly independent international organizations help deceive us into consenting to wars and regime change interventionism around the world."
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