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13 years ago @ Original A... - Oops, Our Bad! · 0 replies · +1 points

In wars like this one, the people ARE the enemy: since when does a native of a defending country refuse a minimum of material assistance to the occupier without being considered a traitor and why would he (or she) do that without a B Plan like a Western passport and wad of cash to resettle the whole extended family abroad?

Yes, there are tribal rivalries that go back centuries in time but alas everyone remembers how the US simply forgot about Afghans once they had helped secure the downfall of the USSR. That reputation for unreliability still sticks. Still, this is okay in a multiculture landscape of tribal alliances with compositions that shift with the economic, social and meteorological weather -- but when you play it that way, you're no longer in a position to demand the sort of total loyalty Generals Petraeus and McChrystal dream of. Total loyalty is due only to people who have earned it and become considered as full members of the tribe.

Invaders come, invaders go; but the local tribes stay. Invaders are just another commodity to be exploited to the hilt whenever the tactical opportunity to do so arises.

As for rhetoric, illiterate tribes have a longer oral tradition than Westerners. Anything the West promises instantly resonates with stories as old as their hills. They've heard it all before.

Moreover, one advantage of illiteracy is that all records are kept in memory -- biological memory. Photographic memory and total recall are way more widespread among the illiterate than the literate.

In the West, we are so easily fooled by appearances: we imagine anyone looking poor "ain't smart enough to get rich" so he's "dumb and backward". This a fundamental and inordinately costly mistake of thinking in the highest echelons of the West.

13 years ago @ Antiwar Radio with Sco... - Allison Kilkenny · 0 replies · +1 points

Epppie, I'm fascinated: Iran needs no help from the US Navy to halt oil exports.

China and Russia would veto or, more likely, dilute any motions for international sancions to the point where they would be symbolic.

13 years ago @ Antiwar Radio with Sco... - Allison Kilkenny · 0 replies · +1 points

The IAEA has zero evidence of any nuclear weapons in Iran!

The price of using nuclear weapons is serious retaliation by any of several declared and undeclared nuclear powers. Only the USA could get away with using the odd tactical weapon every now and then without having the mainstream media on its back.

Otherwise, nuclear weapons are only useful a political bargaining chip: drop one and it becomes your target's trump card at the negotiating table.

If Israel launched a nuclear attack, it might well be the last country to recover from the consequences -- if it survived the social, economic and political blowback at all.

13 years ago @ Antiwar Radio with Sco... - Allison Kilkenny · 0 replies · +1 points

Yes but the Federal Reserve is privately owned and so owned by non-US citizens, so much depends on how they structure their investments. It's just a matter of timing: shifting billions out of the US dollar when the ship looks ready to sink.

Indeed, there is no evidence of even an experimental nuclear device, let alone an operational arsenal but then my Iranian friends all smile knowingly and say Iran will get a bomb "sooner or later, one way or another." That said, French ex-president Jacques Chirac said shortly before leaving office: "We can live with a nuclear Iran."

By the way, Iran need only give 90 days notice to drop out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty to recover full legal rights to build such a bomb, but then again, Washington cherrypicks what is and ain't legal.

14 years ago @ News From - US Threatens to Invade... · 0 replies · +1 points

Oh, I'm sure someone will be churning out satellite imagery of what might be North Korean missiles with Pakistani warheads there soon.

Or maybe just a teeny-weeny bioweapons laboratory in the backyard of some kindergarten so's we can add these beasties are using children as human shields too?

By the way, do the Americans still operate a electronic listening post in or around Asmara? They did in the 1960s: I almost got my a55 kicked there in 1966 because a few patrons in a local café thought I worked there. Everybody in the whole place suddenly became really warm and human as soon as I said I didn't.

14 years ago @ News From - Biden: Gitmo Will Clos... · 0 replies · +1 points

The issue is not what is closed or left open, but what happens to its, um, guests and the minimum standards of, um, hospitality to be applied at all detention centers worldwide.

Torture's prime value is not extraction of operational information, but terrorization of the population within its reach. To that end, it is very very important to publicize that most detainees are probably innocent: that way EVERYBODY feels threatened and goes to extremes to keep beneath the radar screen.

Got it now?

14 years ago @ News From - Clinton Seeks to Calm ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Mr. Biden has singlehandedly performed the second "zero reset" of Russia/US relations. (sigh)

14 years ago @ News From - Four US Troops Killed ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Yikes! THANX. Crimean War! Yes!

14 years ago @ Original A... - Beyond the Hype: <b... · 0 replies · +1 points

Yep. He was a brilliant stand-up straight man in a macabre decade-long comedy that cost the lives of at least 57,000 Americans and 3,000,000 Vietnamese. Today 4,000,000 million Vietnamese suffer from the effects of Agent Orange and its molecular kin, with more freakshow babies born daily there. How many American babies are born funny because they carry the agent orange gene too?

14 years ago @ News From - Biden Backs NATO Membe... · 0 replies · +2 points

Such a move would take the Russia and the US one step closer to mutual thermonuclear evaporation and my guess is he's looking at window between 2012 and 2015.