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Politics Middle Eastern power shifts

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by Remixer, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

  2. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    What's shocking to me is that the good Christians at Fox News would be against the end times. I'm fairly certain that many of those shitheads think they're going to be among the few chosen to ascend to heaven while the rest of us burn here on earth. The US's policy towards Israel makes a lot of sense if you view it in the context of end of times prophecies (not that one need to abandon rational thinking to make sense of the USG's fealty to Israel).
     
  3. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
  4. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    Location:
    Temasek
    Not to thread jack, but does Jones really believe this stuff he is peddling, or is it just schtick to make money?
     
  5. MSD

    MSD Very Tilted

    Location:
    CT
  6. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    The UN began destroying Syria's chemical weapons capabilities today.

    It wont change the course of the civil war, but it will result in one less deadly tool in Assad's arsenal to attack innocent women and children.

     
  7. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    A new study released this week puts the number of Iraqis killed between 2003 and 2011 at nearly 500,000.

    Add to that the 2+ million permanently displaced Iraqis, 4,000+ US casualties at a cost to US taxpayers of $3+ trillion (and still growing to potentially more than $6 trillion as a result of costs of services to veterans and families), a corrupt regime with closer times to Iran and suicide bombings and sectarian violence on a regular basis and you have the results of an invasion and occupation that should never have occurred.

    The Bush doctrine at work. Was it worth it?
    --- merged: Oct 17, 2013 at 6:44 PM ---
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  8. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Here's an interesting perspective...and a great summary I think.

    I've always known that the US is not thought of in always positive terms...nor completely negative.
    We can be arrogant and giving at the same time.
    As with most humans, it has both good points and bad points.

    And especially in the context of a nation that has it in its backyard, with big guns.

     
  9. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    @rogue49

    That is a vastly misinformed article. While the author got some stances right (those relying on the US providing security and economic growth; and those wary of the future and sitting on the fence), she missed out on large pieces of the big picture.

    There are many more political/paramilitary factions, with a plethora of reasonings. Some are supported officially, some supported indirectly, some merely tolerated, some indirectly opposed, and some outright hunted by the US.

    A common denominator of almost all followers belonging to a faction: Their respective tribe leaders and family elders (all the way up to President Karzai) are part of, or strongly support, a specific faction.

    Their opinions regarding the US and its future presence are in most cases shaped almost entirely by that fact alone.

    Now we could get into the real motivators and powerplays in Afghanistan, but fuck me if anyone with actual credibility will do so publicly on the internet with the NSA watching.

    Out of all the journalists I've met in Kabul (those outside Afghanistan certainly have no inkling), only two of separate organisations actually had a proper grasp on the reality of what's going on. And they won't bloody write about it.

    Mainly because in Afghanistan they also have the ISI to worry about.

    So, until then, it shall all stay in the realm of unproven, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories in the eyes of the global audience.

    ---

    Regardless, if the US stays it will be a great thing for Afghanistan's future in political, economic and security terms. It is undeniable.

    Also, a lot of contractors would love for them to stay. Isn't that right, @Plan9 ? :p
     
  10. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Thank you for pointing that out...I'm aware of the tribal context in there...and the potential conflict of interest that causes...but I don't know if the typical reader does.
    It's a clusterfuck, to say the least.

    And it's interesting to see you say that if the US stays there, it will be a overall positive things. That's a nice confirmation. I try to not go by one source.

    But I'm curious if those two orgs won't write about it.
    Would you know of those that have a better idea that will write about it. Make suggestion?

    If I can't have the full truth, I might as well get as close to it as I can...and have a more reliable perspective.
    I never know if someone is BS'ing or not.
     
  11. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    It's not the organizations that won't write about it. They'd love to print that juicy stuff. It's the journalists themselves who refrain. Security concerns are very real over there, and there is a select range of completely taboo subjects.

    ------

    As it goes, President Karzai miscalculated his ability to utilize the Loya Jirga for his own political agenda.

    The Loya Jirga (an assembly of the country's most respected/influential elders) discussed the draft Bilateral Security Agreement for several days and on its final day gave an overwhelmingly-backed recommendation to President Karzai: Sign the pact, and do so quickly.

    If you aren't familiar with these events: President Karzai called the Loya Jirga together in order to legitimize on the global stage his stalling tactics employed to delay the signing of the pact. This Loya Jirga's attendees were handpicked to include supporters of Karzai and his faction, and it is a routine matter that prominent figures within this assembly are paid by Karzai's faction to argue one way or the other.

    To his huge displeasure, the elders quickly agreed that Karzai's stalling tactics served nobody in Afghanistan but himself. So despite the obvious party lines, the vast majority of elders united in the decision that the BSA needs to be put in effect as soon as possible in order to ensure some degree of stability in Afghanistan.

    In an immediate reaction to the Loya Jirga's recommendation, Karzai had the audacity to address them all directly and announce that he would only sign the pact when the elections next year were finalized, and only if he thought the conditions set out in the BSA were beneficial to Afghanistan and its people. He also added further conditions to the already-negotiated BSA.

    Not surprisingly, many of the elders lost their shit and denounced Karzai's refusal to quickly sign the BSA. The chairman of the Loya Jirga, a highly influential elder called Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, condemned Karzai's statement and threatened to leave the country and apply for asylum in Denmark, if the BSA is not signed within a month.

    Many in the West are unable to gauge the impact of this drama, but this entire ordeal did a lot to undermine Karzai's endeavors, de-legitimize his stance, worsen his image in the public eye, and rally his opponents together against his political brinkmanship.
     
  12. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
  13. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    I've read through the articles and was impressed by Brian Stewart's piece on the entire situation. I find his assessment in every aspect completely on point.

    Personally, I am extremely happy about a temporary deal having been reached. Local geopolitics between Sunnis and Shias (Saudi Arabia vs Iran), Jews and Muslims (in this case, Israel vs Iran), and West vs East (USA vs Iran) have long been a major headache in this region and have unnecessarily stoked the flames in the Iranian nuclear matter.

    With a temporary deal in place, both sides show they are meeting each other halfway in some aspects, which will establish a sense of good faith (if both follow through with the agreed terms) and serve as a foundation for negotiations towards a much wider and permanent deal. I have no doubt that this is a step in the right direction.

    I am thankful that my government took the initiative in this case and acted as a mediator to bring both sides together. If I was a Canadian, I would be ashamed of the bullish stance the Harper government has taken. For a country that has a global reputation for its moderation and friendliness, it is especially wondrous that there is no will to be amicable in the slightest.

    As Stewart pointed out, diplomacy is a two-way street and requires much hard work on all sides to resolve a difficult situation. To expect the other side to relinquish their position entirely and to refuse to even have talks will undoubtedly make the Canadian government look immature and simplistic in the eyes of the global audience.

    Nobody expects anything from Netanyahu and his ilk, but Harper is increasingly looking bad with his political missteps. Then again, Canada's reputation in the Middle East has been declining for some time. The most recent example being Harper's poor diplomatic handling of the UAE. Maybe your government is simply following a trend it set for itself?
     
  14. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Don't get me started on Harper.

    This will help explain the Harper government's position: How Harper’s foreign policy focus evolved from human rights to the ‘almighty dollar’ - The Globe and Mail

    Its focus on economic matters has often come at the cost of other things, and this is yet another issue.

    But, alas, in light of this and a few more scandalous issues, the PM is becoming rather beleaguered.

    In the dark or not, Harper’s badly wounded - The Globe and Mail

    The way things are looking, the Liberals are poised for a huge comeback.

    Canada's position in international affairs has been disappointing for years now. The government seems to have defaulted on support for Israel and maintaining the status quo. It really does seem as though it's to avoid causing political problems that might impede economic development.

    It's like Harper is slowly Americanizing Canada. :eek:
     
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  15. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    Location:
    Temasek

    I am often astounded at their positions on various issues... especially with regards to his unflinching support of Israel.
     
  16. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    The BSA is currently the never-ending talking point of the Afghan media. Every station has been covering and holding discussion panels on Karzai's craziness. Political dissent is growing at a much faster pace than ever before, with new pundits popping up left and right.

    Today there has been a frenzy with reports that the US has gotten extremely tired of Karzai's shit and declared that they will accept, if the Minister of Defense (Gen. Bismillah Khan, from the former Northern Alliance and not belonging to Karzai's political faction) signs the BSA in place of the President.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  17. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    This is another thing of waste & woe in the US and other countries' dealings with the Mid-East.
    The investment into infrastructure...

    Now, let's be honest...the "guest" countries built these roads for the convenience of themselves (and their military), so they can transport logistics through-out their "playground"
    However, the host countries themselves could have great benefit to them...and for quiet some time...potential for the present and the future.
    Yet, the roads and such are simply another target...another agenda.
    Corruption, incompetence, inadequate resources and training keep them from keeping them up too.
    So between the damage...and normal natural wear & tear...they are becoming worthless.

    Can the host countries ever get their act together?
    Do they really want to stay in the "stone-age"? (or act like gun-toting Quakers)
    Do they want this?
    Is this worth it?
    Should we reinvest???

    IMHO, I don't know...it's complicated...half says help yourself, tired of paying for it...other half says, if you keep at them...it will take...and hopefully stabilize.
    But how long do you invest into a corrupt self-destructive violence-prone junkie??? :confused:

     
  18. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted

    Afghanistan had less than fifty miles of paved road in 2001?

    That is an astonishing statistic, if true. But I am skeptical.
     
  19. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    Location:
    Temasek
    Why build the roads in the first place? It seems there were other pressing needs to take care of rather than things like roads.

    (I suppose it was more about moving their troops around than anything else).
     
  20. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted

    If Americans show up in a place where there are less than 50 miles of paved road in the whole country, you know the very first thing they would think of is building roads.