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post #101 of 1564

Can we just request a mulligan and try to redo every damn stupid post WW I treaty from the beginning? Holy shit what a mess these caused.

post #102 of 1564
Thread Starter 

The saving grace here is that the "Sarin is ready, US going to attack Syria" reports are coming from Fox news, and RIA Novosti.  Neither of which is a very reliable source.

post #103 of 1564

As far as I know it's French Special Forces that are ready to go in.

post #104 of 1564
I feel the proper thing to do is the tactics we did in Libya. I feel most of the world would join us to stop Assad since no way does anyone want to see sarin gas bombs to be used. This crap with Syria has to end cause its gone on way too long. Hell if it wasn't for China and Russia this would be solved by now.
post #105 of 1564
Thread Starter 

Who would enforce the no-fly zone?  

 

Also the Syrian regime has a lot more military capacity then Libya, and Libyan intervention did not carry with it the same threat of escalation (Chemical weapons deployment, scorched earth on rebel-held areas.)

 

There were also no Russian naval bases in Libya.

 

It's a much tougher nut to crack geopolitically.

post #106 of 1564
Yeah that's true we'll need to do more than we did in Libya but using the same type of tactics and we'll need more help internationally but it's the right thing to do since the Abbas administration is far more of a threat and the idea of using Sarin bombs on its civilians is disgusting.

This is why being stuck in Afghanistan is really screwing us over since Syria is the real issue we should worry about especially with how close they are to Isreal.

If Russia wants to make an issue with this so be it if they want to get dragged into this disaster than they will be in deep shit I'm pretty sure The last thing Russia wants to do is supporting a nation that is slaughtering its people and is willing to use Sarin gas on them. Russia the balls in your court.
post #107 of 1564
Thread Starter 

The same Russia that gassed a theater full of hostages?  Yeah, they're super-scared of human rights violations.

 

Libya had a very small potential to spark a wider regional conflict, and it was unlikely that intervention would set off WWIII.  There's the possibility of both if NATO goes into Syria.  Iran has a vested interest in the regime's survival, I don't think they would stand idle.

 

There should be intervention, I agree, but it has to be done delicately.

post #108 of 1564
Why not blow up Assad, and just make an announcement that anyone who continues to use chemical weapons will never hold power, not for one single day, that they will live out the short remainder of their lives in fear and in hiding till they too are blown up by a jet powered robot. Say that the united states has developed an invincible space age arsenal over the past decade of war, and is now prepared to deploy it against the Syrian leadership class unless there is an immediate cessation of chemical war.

With our tech I don't see why we'd really need troops anymore anyway, at least when you have a specific strategic goal like this. 
Edited by Dr Harford - 12/7/12 at 2:05pm
post #109 of 1564
Thread Starter 

Exactly.  It's certainly possible for the united states military to kill Assad without setting foot in the country, but they haven't.  Why?

 

It's a good question to ask, and I think it points to some deeper politics going on.

post #110 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

Exactly.  It's certainly possible for the united states military to kill Assad without setting foot in the country, but they haven't.  Why?

 

It's a good question to ask, and I think it points to some deeper politics going on.


It is, simply, Russia.  Over the past few decades alone, Russia has seen their sphere of influence shrink to an unacceptable level.  A perfect example of this is the shit fit they threw back in 2008 when Ukraine looked at joining NATO.  If that occurred, NATO troops would be only a bit over 200 miles from Moscow.  Combine that with the continued westernization of Turkey and the fact that it's military is on track to double it's size (its already the second largest military presence in NATO next to the US), and Russia sees nothing good on the horizon if America begins influencing yet another country that is not only a stone's throw away, but also in a strategic military location.

post #111 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

Why not blow up Assad, and just make an announcement that anyone who continues to use chemical weapons will never hold power, not for one singe day, that they  will live out the short remainder of their lives in fear and in hiding till they too are blown up by a jet powered robot. Say that the united states has developed an invincible space age arsenal over the past decade of war, and is now prepared to deploy it against the Syrian leadership class unless there is an immediate cessation of chemical war.
With our tech I don't see why we'd really need troops anymore anyway, at least when you have a specific strategic goal like this. 


Um.  Sovereignty?  International law?

post #112 of 1564

stfu you hippie.

post #113 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook View Post


Um.  Sovereignty?  International law?

What use is all this military spending if we can't deploy it for it's logical purpose? We now have the opportunity to launch a war against a specific group of people - no matter how deeply entrenched they are within an urban area -with devastating effect and total surprise, all without the messy entanglements of traditional warfare. We can realistically threaten to destroy a government (or even specific individuals) like Assad's without that country's military even factoring into the equation. No one is safe from our military robots and satellites, so why not start reminding bad actors of that fact? Assad is buoyed by the knowledge that an actual invasion would be messy and unlikely to happen. He think that means he can do what he wants without consequence - as long as he wins the civil war.

Why shouldn't Obama ring him up and tell him that he's quite right about that... quite right, except for one thing: the only Syrian we'll kill will be him. We'll blame it on a suicide bomber, and everyone who matters will grudgingly believe that story, so we're not even concerned with the political impact of such an action. See how well Assad sleeps after that, and how quickly he flees the country.

I think there is a time for America to simply say that there has been quite enough blood letting from Mr. Assad, and we're now going to facilitate his exit from the earth. Of all the extra legal actions the US has undertaken over the years, I believe a drone war in Syria would be unlikely to rank amongst the worst when the history books are written.
post #114 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

Why shouldn't Obama ring him up and tell him that he's quite right about that... quite right, except for one thing: the only Syrian we'll kill will be him. 

 

The Ryan doctrine.  Tom Clancy would be proud.

 

The thing is, we have a shit reputation in much of the world.  Doing something like you suggest would potentially solve the problem of Syria, but it would strain our relationships with every other country in the Middle East.  They already hate us, and 'imposing our imperialistic will' on yet another country over there would not go over well.

post #115 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post


What use is all this military spending if we can't deploy it for it's logical purpose? We now have the opportunity to launch a war against a specific group of people - no matter how deeply entrenched they are within an urban area -with devastating effect and total surprise, all without the messy entanglements of traditional warfare. We can realistically threaten to destroy a government (or even specific individuals) like Assad's without that country's military even factoring into the equation. No one is safe from our military robots and satellites, so why not start reminding bad actors of that fact? Assad is buoyed by the knowledge that an actual invasion would be messy and unlikely to happen. He think that means he can do what he wants without consequence - as long as he wins the civil war.
Why shouldn't Obama ring him up and tell him that he's quite right about that... quite right, except for one thing: the only Syrian we'll kill will be him. We'll blame it on a suicide bomber, and everyone who matters will grudgingly believe that story, so we're not even concerned with the political impact of such an action. See how well Assad sleeps after that, and how quickly he flees the country.
I think there is a time for America to simply say that there has been quite enough blood letting from Mr. Assad, and we're now going to facilitate his exit from the earth. Of all the extra legal actions the US has undertaken over the years, I believe a drone war in Syria would be unlikely to rank amongst the worst when the history books are written.

 

Um.  This post makes Dick Cheney and his ilk look like Mother Theresa.

 

Good lord.  If you want to go ahead and dismantle the construct of the nation state in place since the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, be my guest.  The only countries in the business of carrying out surreptitious assassinations of foreign heads of state are rogue nations.  That and terrorist groups.  Do you have any idea how incredibly destabilizing this would be for international affairs?  You can't just fucking kill heads of state willy-nilly.  Diplomacy and governing are hard.  Assad will meet his end, and if it's done correctly, i.e., either his own people throw him out of government or, better, yet, he's captured and tried in a duly configured court of law, Syria will be a better country in the end.

 

To take a recent example from Hollywood film, I mean, sure, Lincoln could have razed the South (moreso than he did), had seditious Congressmen tried for treason against the Union, and implemented needed reforms extra-constitutionally.  But he didn't.  Because he knew that the fate of the Union required correct process.

 

Same with Syria.  At best, we should assist the Syrians how we assisted the Libyans. 

post #116 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

The Ryan doctrine.  Tom Clancy would be proud.

The thing is, we have a shit reputation in much of the world.  Doing something like you suggest would potentially solve the problem of Syria, but it would strain our relationships with every other country in the Middle East.  They already hate us, and 'imposing our imperialistic will' on yet another country over there would not go over well.

It's a pickle, there is no denying, but I think history would be on our side. I wish our President luck as he weighs the options.
post #117 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post


It's a pickle, there is no denying, but I think history would be on our side. I wish our President luck as he weighs the options.

 

"Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right."

post #118 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook View Post

Um.  This post makes Dick Cheney and his ilk look like Mother Theresa.

Good lord.  If you want to go ahead and dismantle the construct of the nation state in place since the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, be my guest.  The only countries in the business of carrying out surreptitious assassinations of foreign heads of state are rogue nations.  That and terrorist groups.  Do you have any idea how incredibly destabilizing this would be for international affairs?  You can't just fucking kill heads of state willy-nilly.  Diplomacy and governing are hard.  Assad will meet his end, and if it's done correctly, i.e., either his own people throw him out of government or, better, yet, he's captured and tried in a duly configured court of law, Syria will be a better country in the end.

To take a recent example from Hollywood film, I mean, sure, Lincoln could have razed the South (moreso than he did), had seditious Congressmen tried for treason against the Union, and implemented needed reforms extra-constitutionally.  But he didn't.  Because he knew that the fate of the Union required correct process.

Same with Syria.  At best, we should assist the Syrians how we assisted the Libyans. 

Unlike Iraq my battle plan has specific small scale goals, known means for achieving them, and is aimed at keeping the united states from becoming embroiled in yet another costly middle eastern war. It would also potentially save thousands of Syrians from a death the human race has without equivocation recognized as cruel and unusual since the horrors of the first world war.

I don't think this is an issue where the fate of the union requires the correct process. I think this is a situation where the fate of flesh and blood people potentially requires immediate, surgical, violent action against the mad men who imperil their lives.

As for the legality of the situation, it's like the Goldeneye trailer says: it's a new world, with new rules and new threats. We can't be worrying about treaties from the 17th century, we just need to face the problems of our age and do our best to right what wrongs we see in a way that we can live with.

And.. Our "closest ally" routinely assassinates people and targets sovereign states. We never complain, and indeed endorse their actions. So I'm not even sure we're really even on board with that "international law" thing anymore anyway.

That last bit was sarcasm.
post #119 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post


What use is all this military spending if we can't deploy it for it's logical purpose? We now have the opportunity to launch a war against a specific group of people - no matter how deeply entrenched they are within an urban area -with devastating effect and total surprise, all without the messy entanglements of traditional warfare. We can realistically threaten to destroy a government (or even specific individuals) like Assad's without that country's military even factoring into the equation. No one is safe from our military robots and satellites, so why not start reminding bad actors of that fact? Assad is buoyed by the knowledge that an actual invasion would be messy and unlikely to happen. He think that means he can do what he wants without consequence - as long as he wins the civil war.
Why shouldn't Obama ring him up and tell him that he's quite right about that... quite right, except for one thing: the only Syrian we'll kill will be him. We'll blame it on a suicide bomber, and everyone who matters will grudgingly believe that story, so we're not even concerned with the political impact of such an action. See how well Assad sleeps after that, and how quickly he flees the country.
I think there is a time for America to simply say that there has been quite enough blood letting from Mr. Assad, and we're now going to facilitate his exit from the earth. Of all the extra legal actions the US has undertaken over the years, I believe a drone war in Syria would be unlikely to rank amongst the worst when the history books are written.

 

How about the next time you guys elect someone like Bush and start messing up the world the Chinese assassinate him? How about if Obama does this and the Russians feel their sphere of influence is under attack, members of the US government start dying from pollonium  poisoning?

 

Is that OK too?

post #120 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelios View Post

How about the next time you guys elect someone like Bush and start messing up the world the Chinese assassinate him? How about if Obama does this and the Russians feel their sphere of influence is under attack, members of the US government start dying from pollonium  poisoning?

Is that OK too?

No my criteria here involves only situations where a bunch of people are about to get gassed by a cackling James Bond villain.
post #121 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post


No my criteria here involves only situations where a bunch of people are about to get gassed by a cackling James Bond villain.

 

If only.  I think your problem here is that you think Assad is a James Bond villain.  Assad is the recognized head of state of a sovereign nation.  We haven't pulled our ambassador yet.  We still recognize him as Syria's head of state, and it'll be a while until we don't.

 

Your suggestion would lead precisely to the types of outcomes that stelios describes.  It doesn't already happen because something close to MAD keeps us in check.  But once a legitimate nation state crosses that breach, it's game over.

post #122 of 1564
I think he's a James Bond villain because he views power as a goal worth obtaining, even over a pile of gassed bodies. I think right now it's his hand on the trigger and it would be a good idea to take him out and tell whoever came next not to make Assad's mistake.

I'm not trying to wage a ideological crusade though so now that I've put my solution forward I'll leave the rest to the policy makers.
post #123 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

I think he's a James Bond villain because he views power as a goal worth obtaining, even over a pile of gassed bodies. I think right now it's his hand on the trigger and it would be a good idea to take him out and tell whoever came next not to make Assad's mistake.
I'm not trying to wage a ideological crusade though so now that I've put my solution forward I'll leave the rest to the policy makers.

 

Your grasp of current affairs and their complexity makes Princess Kate look like Colin fucking Powell.

post #124 of 1564
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure what I can add that will help, but let me try:

 

Israel, who has the military capacity, and the will to assassinate Al Assad, hasn't done anything.  

 

This is a country that covertly flew F-16's into Syria and blew up an under-construction reactor, and they won't do it.

 

They know how dangerous a precedent it would set.  They know it would be open season on every member of their government, and every Israeli abroad, and quite possibly, start World War III.

 

It's not a question of could Assad be taken out, that's immaterial.

 

And even if Assad is killed, or his regime bombed to dust, the chemical weapons stockpiles don't magically vanish too, they have to be secured, and by all means kept out of the hands of bad actors on BOTH sides of the Syrian civil war.

post #125 of 1564
If this is a crisis we need all hands on deck and all ideas on the table. I put forward my suggestion, obviously not everyone is going to agree with it. Please try and respect that my goal is only to help the people of Syria, and we're all on the same team.
post #126 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

I'm not sure what I can add that will help, but let me try:

 

Israel, who has the military capacity, and the will to assassinate Al Assad, hasn't done anything.  

 

This is a country that covertly flew F-16's into Syria and blew up an under-construction reactor, and they won't do it.

 

They know how dangerous a precedent it would set.  They know it would be open season on every member of their government, and every Israeli abroad, and quite possibly, start World War III.

 

It's not a question of could Assad be taken out, that's immaterial.

 

And even if Assad is killed, or his regime bombed to dust, the chemical weapons stockpiles don't magically vanish too, they have to be secured, and by all means kept out of the hands of bad actors on BOTH sides of the Syrian civil war.

 

Completely agree, and exactly what I was getting at.

 

If things were that easy, Assad would be six feet under by now.

post #127 of 1564
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

If this is a crisis we need all hands on deck and all ideas on the table. I put forward my suggestion, obviously not everyone is going to agree with it. Please try and respect that my goal is only to help the people of Syria, and we're all on the same team.

 

I understand the righteous indignation, I think we're all just trying to explain why your suggestion isn't workable. 

 

Any action in Syria is going to need broadly multilateral support.  A UN peackeeping force with Russian and Chinese elements enforcing a ceasefire would be ideal.  BUT, Al Assad won't even acknowledge the opposition, and Russia and China have his back.

 

Another thing to note, some of the Syrian rebels are not good people, and are as likely to use chemical weapons as the Assad government.  The last thing the West wants is to create another Bin Laden, this time one with WMDs.

post #128 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

Another thing to note, some of the Syrian rebels are not good people, and are as likely to use chemical weapons as the Assad government.  The last thing the West wants is to create another Bin Laden, this time one with WMDs.

 

Or a failed state in the most volatile region in the world with a loose arsenal of WMDs.  We already have enough basket cases to deal with (Pakistan, Iraq, etc.).

post #129 of 1564

Note much to add to the above discussion except: I think the good Doctor vastly overestimates the capabilities of the US military in regards to killing Assad. We badly wanted Saddam Hussein after we invaded Iraq, but even with all our Satellites, drones, spies, boots on the ground etc it was years before one of his own gave him up. These people aren't schmucks: they are survivors.

post #130 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook View Post

 

Your grasp of current affairs and their complexity makes Princess Kate look like Colin fucking Powell.

 

Reading Harford's responses in this thread reminded me of this:

 

 

with PK/Not PK on the petals.

 

BananaGrabber mentioned it in regards to ending Assad but I bet when the history books are written Ahmed Al-Jabari of Hamas will be recognized as the Archduke Ferdinand of World War III(IV).

post #131 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

Note much to add to the above discussion except: I think the good Doctor vastly overestimates the capabilities of the US military in regards to killing Assad. We badly wanted Saddam Hussein after we invaded Iraq, but even with all our Satellites, drones, spies, boots on the ground etc it was years before one of his own gave him up. These people aren't schmucks: they are survivors.

 

During the First Gulf War, the US knew where he was most of the time, but he was either in some pretty deep bunkers or surrounded by non-combatants. He would bring families and children to sleep around him, making a missle strike too costly for planners.

 

The second time around, he dropped most of the technology. As we have progressed militarily, we keep thinking others are going to use the same tech resources. We lost some old school skills.

post #132 of 1564

More problems between China and Japan.

 

Between Syria continuing its downward spiral, North Korea launching unstable things into space, and now this I wonder if humanity is dead set on making sure an apocalypse actually does happen on the 21st.  
 

post #133 of 1564

Could get exciting. The Japanese like surprises.

post #134 of 1564
Thread Starter 

They can't be that stupid, can they?  Sure there's probably oil there, but...

 

Nevermind.

 

Patriot missile interceptors on the Turkey/Syria border in a month, US and German crews: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/14/world/meast/syria-civil-war/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

post #135 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Warren View Post

Could get exciting. The Japanese like surprises.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB2GboGOuTI

post #136 of 1564
Thread Starter 

Looking like Russia is tacitly approving NATO going into Syria.  They're sending ships to evacuate citizens, and are now publicly distancing themselves from Assad.

post #137 of 1564
Not 100% confirmed but Syria might have launched a gas attack in the city of Homs today. Read on Huffington Post but need a better source before I can really rant about but if true horribly sad.
post #138 of 1564

It's worth mentioning that Wesley Clark (whose dubious military talents almost brought about World War 3 in Yugoslavia) claimed in his book "Winning Modern Wars" (2001) - page 130:

 

“As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.
 
…He said it with reproach–with disbelief, almost–at the breadth of the vision. I moved the conversation away, for this was not something I wanted to hear. And it was not something I wanted to see moving forward, either. …I left the Pentagon that afternoon deeply concerned.”
 
Plans to de-stabilize Syria (much in the same way America de-stabilized Chile, Nicaragua, Iran etc. before installing murderous puppet rulers), create a pretext for intervention (evil Arab dictators dousing their citizens with chemical weapons ... hmmm ... where have I heard this before?), bomb the country back to the stone age and then erect a ring of colossal garrisons bristling with high-tech weaponry (are we over 1,100 known US bases on foreign soil now?) in order to encircle Russia (who for supposed "bad guys" seem almost pacifist in comparison) and exercise complete control over the largest known reserves of oil in the world have been on the table for years. 
 
If there are any surprises here it's the length of time it's taken to execute the plan. 
post #139 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Foster View Post

It's worth mentioning that Wesley Clark (whose dubious military talents almost brought about World War 3 in Yugoslavia) claimed in his book "Winning Modern Wars" (2001) - page 130:

 

“As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.
 
…He said it with reproach–with disbelief, almost–at the breadth of the vision. I moved the conversation away, for this was not something I wanted to hear. And it was not something I wanted to see moving forward, either. …I left the Pentagon that afternoon deeply concerned.”
 
Plans to de-stabilize Syria (much in the same way America de-stabilized Chile, Nicaragua, Iran etc. before installing murderous puppet rulers), create a pretext for intervention (evil Arab dictators dousing their citizens with chemical weapons ... hmmm ... where have I heard this before?), bomb the country back to the stone age and then erect a ring of colossal garrisons bristling with high-tech weaponry (are we over 1,100 known US bases on foreign soil now?) in order to encircle Russia (who for supposed "bad guys" seem almost pacifist in comparison) and exercise complete control over the largest known reserves of oil in the world have been on the table for years. 
 
If there are any surprises here it's the length of time it's taken to execute the plan. 

 

...to paraphrase: "American Exceptionalism is a hell of a drug."

 

fuckin' Rummy, Wolfowitz, Cheney, et al ....I know it's all godwin-y but I can easily picture these neo-con assholes in nazi uniforms circa 1930's Germany

post #140 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

 

...to paraphrase: "American Exceptionalism is a hell of a drug."

 

fuckin' Rummy, Wolfowitz, Cheney, et al ....I know it's all godwin-y but I can easily picture these neo-con assholes in nazi uniforms circa 1930's Germany

 

 

Well, Prescott Bush and George Herbert Walker were, under the aegis of the Nazi Union Banking Corporation, the primary banking and financial agents for Fritz Thyssen - the wealthiest man in Germany who bankrolled Hitler's regime from the very beginning. 
 
Both were heavily implicated in the McCormack-Dickstein report (recently available in Congress after years of secrecy) over the coup attempt against Franklin D. Roosevelt which was ultimately exposed by two-time Medal of Honor hero - General Smedley Darlington Butler (second choice after McArthur turned them down). 
 
Their plan (which future CIA director Allen Dulles and his brother, the future Secretary of State and chairman of United Fruit - John Foster Dulles - sympathized strongly with) was to install a fascist puppet regime similar to that in Germany. Whilst they undoubtedly believed in the notion of racial superiority it was Hitler's ability to grease the wheels of big business that really turned them on. FDR had the temerity to tax their mega-fortunes and Hitler, with his willingness to stamp out pesky unions, environmental protections, abolishing the minimum wage etc., seemed like their ideal kind of guy (after all, what is fascism but capitalism with the gloves off?)
 
It's no co-incidence that the beginning of the Bush family fortune was when Fritz Thyssen died in the 50s in Argentina, UBC was liquidated and Prescott Bush received $1.5 million as a juicy thankyou. 
post #141 of 1564

Yeah, I remember reading about the coup plot against FDR a couple years ago. 

I am constantly amazed at the stories like this that have been largely ignored by the general populace....<cough...Howard Zinn....cough>

 

There is always Oliver Stone's "The Untold History of the United States."  : )
 

post #142 of 1564
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

Yeah, I remember reading about the coup plot against FDR a couple years ago. 

I am constantly amazed at the stories like this that have been largely ignored by the general populace....<cough...Howard Zinn....cough>

 

There is always Oliver Stone's "The Untold History of the United States."  : )
 

 

I watched the first episode - but much of it seemed to cover history I knew a good deal about. I am looking forward to the rest, tho. 

 

The US is often criticized for having a media which is largely controlled by three or four major conglomerates which tend to blot out opinions running contrary to the status quo. It's a fair assessment, but America does have a vigorous and multi-faceted public-access TV and Radio culture (with every socio-political persuasion imaginable represented - from anarchism to radical conservatism) which you just don't see in many parts of Europe.

 

It's lo-fi stuff often broadcast to only a handful of viewers/listeners. But with the advent of YouTube and file-sharing anyone in any part of the world with access to the Internet can now gain access to a wealth of archive material which is every bit as valuable as anything produced by the major corporations.

 

As mentioned earlier, I love watching old episodes of Alternative Views, which was broadcast out of Austin TX for the best part of two decades (some of the interviews on there are literally priceless). Ditto Ralph Schoenman's "Taking Aim". It's easy to look at this stuff and ignore it because it isn't getting the page views of, say, Salon magazine. But I know which services I attach greater importance to. 

 

And yes, RIP Howard Zinn. 

post #143 of 1564
Thread Starter 

First Patriot Battery in place in Turkey:

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2013/01/201314192852477582.html

 

It's odd that there was no follow up on the reports of chemical weapons attacks on the Syrian rebels.

post #144 of 1564
Thread Starter 

India and Pakistan avoided war after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, hopefully they can again after the latest skirmish:

 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/JammuSec/Pak-crosses-LoC-beheads-one-jawan-slits-another-s-throat/Article1-986762.aspx

post #145 of 1564
Thread Starter 

Civil war in Mali, with France supporting the sitting government:

 

http://www.voanews.com/content/france-to-decide-on-malis-aid-request/1581820.html

post #146 of 1564

This will probably get pretty ugly. The Somalians have also posted a picture online of the French commando killed there.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/france-bombs-islamist-strongholds-deep-north-mali-052016965.html
 

post #147 of 1564
Thread Starter 

It's escalating rapidly, France is requesting NATO (read:US Army) help too.

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mali-fighting-20130116,0,4471500.story

 

Amazing how the government in Mali just crumbled at the first sign of an organized insurgency.  They went from a role model to failed state in six months.

 

And the Senkaku Islands saber-rattling continues: 

 

http://japandailypress.com/japan-deploys-more-patrol-ships-to-senkaku-islands-1521539

post #148 of 1564
Thread Starter 
post #149 of 1564
Thread Starter 

The French intervention in Mali is hard to parse.  They're being very closed to reporters, no casualty numbers released, and it's looking like the rebels have just fled in advance of the French.  Great, but what happens if the French leave?

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/01/20131289581690704.html

 

Bonus: Paratroopers!

post #150 of 1564
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