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Let us not forget some of the other dictatorships - I (26/03/22 18:34:34) Reply
    Just these days we heard that the mad dog muslim brigade called taliban have closed all schooling for girls in Afchanistan. These people know that they can only stay in power if they keep their girls uneducated, preferably illiterate, and powerless in a stupid and violent patriarchy.

    The USA - with GW Bush at the helm, screwed up big time. Undermining beats confrontation every time. The simplest undermining would be weaning the opiate addicts of the west from heroin, seizing all shipments, and putting the big dealers behind bars. This includes corrupt politicians, businesspeople and civil service. There is a lot of good policework ahead. Now, after Ukraine, we know that the USA have access to enormous amounts of high-quality intelligence. In future I hope they will share it, or at least close their eyes to potential leaks.
e

Saudi Arabia (30/03/22 07:43:47) Reply
    The other day

    "UN rights chief decries mass execution of 81 people in Saudi Arabia"

    "Among those put to death on 12 March, Ms. Bachelet said she understood that 41 were Muslims from the Shiite minority who had taken part in anti-government protests in 2011-12, calling for greater political participation."

    (https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/03/1113922)
e

corrupt politicians and others (31/03/22 11:51:39) Reply
    https://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/obama-hezbollah-drug-trafficking-investigation/
jm

Accepting crime as a part of politics - that's corruption, isn't it? (31/03/22 12:44:07) Reply
    We've seen so much of it - in superpower top-level politics where mass murder is a tool - and in my tiny personal worlds, where less violent tools were used.

    It's top-down politics. But the populists - if or when they come to power - are at least as bad.
e

Re: Accepting crime as a part of politics - that's corruption, isn't it? (31/03/22 16:21:51) Reply
    just an observation mind you, accepting crime as a part of politics is an ancient custom even pre-dating the roman empire.

    sad but true.

    i do hope you read all of it... carefully.

    read this afterward

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/03/28/how-putins-oligarchs-bought-london

    there is a crystal clear connection. in my mind at least...
jm

ah yeah, forgot (31/03/22 16:44:23) Reply
    my point would be that "Undermining beats confrontation every time" kind of scratched that part of my mind...

    i am not sure that in light of the articles above your statement holds true every time.
    i used to believe that. not anymore.
    the problem is deciding when to use which approach. the right tool for the job.
    i believe there are people, and nowadays "tools", that can help us decide.

    let me put it this way: the spooks are undermining and achieved nothing, the DEA went full on confrontation and could have taken down a massive drug and arms traffic for decades...

    ~~~

    i didnt know about the cassandra project.
    2 weeks ago, they aired a documentary about it on our channel 1.
    a lot of former mossad, shin bet and former politicians interviewed and they all said they begged the US to do something about it waaay before 2007.

    after seeing the second episode i realized i actually knew someone that i thought was a decent human being, but now thinking about it, he probably was laundering. so sad...

    the mr robot obligatory quote: "It's good. So good, it scratched that part of my mind. The part that doesn't allow good to exist without a condition."
jm

Re: ah yeah, forgot (31/03/22 17:25:58) Reply
    Of course I agree. There is much more to learn from a dialogue than a monologue.

    I am working on completely different fields, but it dawned upon me (and I found that people had been thinking the same before me) (just for neutrality I am using cooking terminology): You have to decide on the ingredients, what to do with them, and the actual sequence of adding them into the structure that ends up as the product.

    Starting with a confrontation means taking the theoretical preparations too lightly. Starting with the soft work may be the only way to prepare for a successful confrontation.

    Could that be a better way of saying it?

    (the last sentence was too depressive. I must ignore it.)
e

Re: Accepting crime as a part of politics - that's corruption, isn't it? - Hybrid threats (12/04/22 18:44:12) Reply
    The E.U. is investing on how to tackle hybrid threats. EU-HYBNET focuses on identifying and providing policy advice on this regard. One of their identified trends is populism: "Changing populism: what are the forms of populism? How will populism evolve and will it be a determining political movement in the future?"

    Kinetic warfare will eventually be replaced...

    rf
rf

Mediastream overload. Fact deprivation. Emotion-based outrage. (15/04/22 12:43:00) Reply
    The survival strategy for people is trekking towards top-down systems where others tell them what to say and think. Find some easily-definable minority group to blame for all the ills you need to find a scapegoat for. Trans people, gay people, woke people, atheists, heretics, wealthy, work-shy, immigrants, asylum seekers, drug addicts.

    Putin had been preparing the Ukraine aggression for years, maybe from the very beginning. Still there are people who claim that his demands be legitimate.

    So populism - yes. But populism without paid shills and useful idiots (maybe just shills in disguise) are useless for the purpose. I'd say: Go for the shills first, then the useful idiots (if any). I think populism is less of a worry: If nobody feeds it, it will dwindle and die.
e

Sweden: Extremely violent riots. Guess who pays for them. (16/04/22 18:42:38) Reply
    Paludan. s Danish provocateur has made himself a business of burning korans. Others have made themselves a business of rioting when someone burns korans. It is a burden on society.

    The last few days the level of violence has been unprecedented. Systematic attempts of murdering police officers.

    Let me make a guess: The most violent ones are kadyrov people, recruited to destabilise Sweden and occupy them with internal matters, thus weakening the will to join NATO.

    Nobody, except the murder gangs of Vladimir Putin, have anything to gain by these riots.

    So - who pays Paludan? Can you follow the money more than one step? Unlikely. So it will not hold up in court. But we know that no action is too mean for the Stalins.
e

Re: Sweden: Extremely violent riots. Guess who pays for them. (17/04/22 20:26:47) Reply
    Interesting.

    Well on an tangent, while I do understand the purpose of infiltrating and destroying from within, what Putin did was stupid. either I'm missing something or he just handed Europe relations in a silver plate to US..

    Also before the war Russian was seen as a "mighty" army. Reality is that it can't conquer a city close to its borders.
    Currently all Europe is spending exorbitants amount on military equipment for what? And more importantly I can see the happy grin on the oil & gas industry, did the climate change threat just go away?
rf

Re: Sweden: Extremely violent riots. Guess who pays for them. NATO? (17/04/22 21:11:02) Reply
    Serious question, would joining NATO from the Nordics bring any actual benefits?
    Is the threat of invasion real? Isn't the latest ping pong of threats Russia/Nordics NATO distractions?
rf

Invasion in Sweden? (18/04/22 14:55:26) Reply
    You might wish to make some strategic considerations regarding the eventuality of a Russian naval base on Gotland. You might also have a lookup - see the strategic location on the map - midway between Sweden and Latvia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotland

    Sweden has - it seems from the other side of the western border border - that Sweden never really could come to terms with not being a major European power. During WWII they coped by collaborating dirtily with Nazi Germany.

    They seem to believe, though, that they could keep neutral because of their military force.

    Their policy has been the riding of two horses.

    "Sweden was able to remain neutral throughout the war. According to Erik Boheman, the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs during the war, the main reasons were luck and the development of the war, in combination with the Swedish people's spirit to resist an invasion, and perhaps also some diplomatic skillfulness.[15]

    Sweden also sought to maintain its traditional ties with the Western democracies. The Allied blockade of Europe and the German counter blockade of the Baltic prevented all but the bare minimum of commodities such as oil reaching Sweden from the West, but despite the Allies' sympathy with Sweden's position, there was a general belief among the American and British governments that Sweden went too far in collaborating with the Nazi regime.[16]

    The Allies noted that without the Swedish iron ore, the German war effort would grind to a halt because not only was the ore being sent in large quantities but it was also of very high quality, making German steel manufacture extremely efficient. The US military was also appalled at Sweden for escorting German ships, allowing use of its own ships to transport the ore and for its failure to stop the transit of German soldiers and war materials across its territory.[17][verification needed]

    After America joined the blockade against the Axis forces and assisted in the economic warfare measures already being implemented by the British in early 1942, efforts were made to stop the Swedish iron ore trade and to reduce the practical help she was giving to Germany, although these attempts initially did nothing to reduce the German war effort.[18][verification needed]

    Later Allied pressure on Sweden
    During the last half of 1943 and the early months of 1944, the US sought to cripple Germany's ability to continue the war by carrying out a concentrated and costly bombing campaign against ball bearing production in Germany combined with trade negotiations, including preclusive purchasing arrangements, intended to cut off Swedish ball bearings to Germany. Despite the bombing, German industrial countermeasures and improvisations warded off any serious consequences, and an Allied agreement with Sweden in September 1943 to halt exports of ball bearings neglected to impose restrictions on exports of the high-quality steel used in their manufacture. This allowed Sweden to continue to provide Germany with ball-bearing steel, largely offsetting the drop in the Swedish export of finished ball bearings.

    After the tide of battle on the eastern front had irreversibly shifted following German defeats at El Alemein, Stalingrad and Kursk in the winter and summer of 1943, the Soviet Union, at the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers in October 1943, took the lead in suggesting a more active role for Sweden in the War, such as by allowing the establishment of Allied air bases in its territory. Although the Allies decided not to call on Sweden to declare war on Germany, Churchill believed that the War might be brought to an early end if Sweden (and Turkey which provided Germany with chromite ore) entered it on the Allied side in order to confront Hitler on additional fronts.

    Although Sweden did not enter the fight, they later agreed to cancel the transit of German military material and troops across Sweden, to further reduce iron ore exports, end Swedish naval escorting of German ships in the Baltic, and reduce ball bearing exports. In exchange, Britain and the US agreed to a relaxation of the blockade to allow Sweden to import certain important commodities, including rubber and oil. The ongoing diplomatic pressure, together with the deteriorating German military position gradually persuaded Sweden to reduce and ultimately end its trade with Germany by November 1944."

    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_iron-ore_industry_during_World_War_II)
e

Re: Invasion in Sweden? (18/04/22 14:58:49) Reply
    Riding the balance between EU/NATO and Russia seems unsustainable in view of the Russion aggression against Ukraine. So the Russian nibbling of neighbouring countries will continue until stopped.

    A Putinist Russia from Lisboa to Magadan - tempting, isn't it?
e

Let us not forget some of the other dictatorships - II (05/05/22 16:22:25) Reply
    I did not find the full voting details about the various resulutions pertaining to the Russian genocidal aggression against Ukraine, but there is some

    "The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Thursday calling for Russia to be suspended from the Human Rights Council.

    The resolution received a two-thirds majority of those voting, minus abstentions, in the 193-member Assembly, with 93 nations voting in favour and 24 against.

    Fifty-eight abstained from the process.


    Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Vietnam, were among those who voted against.

    Those abstaining, included India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia. "

    (https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/04/1115782)

    So we know quite a bit about other countries than Russia - and which one we should keep at least at one arm's distance.
e

So Al Jazeera does it better.  (05/05/22 16:46:48) Reply
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/8/russia-suspended-from-un-human-rights-body-how-countries-voted.

    The Sovietistans voted against. Nobody would be surprised at Zimbabwe or Iran.

    Surprising, methinks, that this was impossible for me to find at the UN website.
e

Re: So Al Jazeera does it better.  (06/05/22 09:43:05) Reply
    1. al jazeera sucks as much as the rest, if not more.

    2."So we know quite a bit about other countries than Russia - and which one we should keep at least at one arm's distance. "
    and
    "The Sovietistans voted against. Nobody would be surprised at Zimbabwe or Iran."

    you sound surprised. this voting pattern in nothing new. where have you been all these years?
    someone asked me once on this very forum if i even read all those UN resolutions about israel and palestine.
    to my surprise, he didnt believe i actually took the time to really read them. i did. and still do on occasion.

    but imo its deeper than just a voting pattern or aligning with russia.
    for example, google for "congo cobalt china" without quotes.
    sample link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-congo-china-hits-roadblock-in-global-race-forcobalt-11647081180
    thats nothing compared to the "pro bono" work the chinese are doing in africa in general.
    just ask google about china and africa.

    3. learn to search (or, have a cocktail, relax and concentrate/focus... or take your patience pills)

    your link was: https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/04/1115782

    searching google: https://www.google.com/search?q=UN+General+Assembly+votes

    second result was your link. first result was: https://www.un.org/en/ga/documents/voting.asp

    oops, we dont have a resolution symbol. so what now?
    click advanced search, youll get a list of resolutions with a very descriptive title...
    search in page for russia... and bingo is your nameo :)

    https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/3967778?ln=en [A/RES/ES-11/3] <-- resolution symbol.


    hope i helped ;)
jm

a silly idea (06/05/22 09:51:59) Reply
    get all available voting data from the UN and generate a database.
    then you can superimpose this data on a map or see a timeline for a specific countrys vote on a certain issue/topic.
    the only problem i can see is sorting by topic. unless the resolution symbol can help, but i doubt it.

    maybe its been done. ill have to remember to search it later tonight.
    oh, maybe ourworldindata has it?
jm

Thanks. (08/05/22 14:50:52) Reply
    Of course I was not surprised; only: now I could have a hardcopy. But I haven't (admittedloy) put much work into it because of my very limited real-world audience.

    With age I have become more cynical. So I try to make my grandchildren remember me as a good-natured clown. Maybe some of that behaviour will stick when I no longer can control it.
e

Re: Re: So Al Jazeera does it better??? (11/05/22 11:19:31) Reply
    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/05/11/middleeast/al-jazeera-journalist-killed-intl-hnk/index.html

    where is the body?
    where is the ballistics report?
jm

Re: Re: Re: So Al Jazeera does it better??? (11/05/22 11:25:20) Reply
    especially this:

    "I saw Shireen on the ground," said journalist Mujahed al-Saadi. "We tried to rescue Shireen and we couldn't."
    "The occupation targeted Shireen while wearing a helmet, the injury was under the ear," he added. "Shireen fell while she was wearing press (gear) and even with that the people who tried to save her were shot at, the targeting was clear against Shireen and against us as journalistic teams."

    unbiased reporting i guess...

    and...

    "Al Jazeera has accused Israeli security forces of deliberately targeting and killing Abu Akleh and called on the international community to condemn and hold Israel accountable."

    apparently "the occupation" is apriori guilty before examining the body...
jm

WS Gilbert: HMS Pinafore (11/05/22 18:03:38) Reply
    Things are seldom what they seem,
    Skim milk masquerades as cream;
    Highlows pass as patent leathers;
    Jackdaws strut in peacock's feathers.

    Captain. (puzzled)
    Very true,
    So they do.

    Buttercup.
    Black sheep dwell in every fold;
    All that glitters is not gold;
    Storks turn out to be but logs;
    Bulls are but inflated frogs.

    Captain. (puzzled)
    So they be,
    Frequentlee.

    Buttercup.
    Drops the wind and stops the mill;
    Turbot is ambitious brill;
    Gild the farthing if you will,
    Yet it is a farthing still.

    (https://gsarchive.net/pinafore/web_opera/pin14.html)
e

Return of the burqa (08/05/22 15:02:37) Reply
    If it is correct that the retro-islamist hardliners are a small minority, then now is the time for the population of Afghanistan to take ownership of the struggle against the tyranny. Outside forces were not able to do it for them. Maybe those with resources have already emigrated- and then it may be too late.
e

Failures in The Middle Kingdom (08/05/22 19:43:37) Reply
    Full and sudden closedown of Shanghai just because of omicron? It seems like an attempt of facesaving. So the rationality of the dictatorship is slipping.

    Arresting all potential dissidents will stop the economy. Letting them go free will erode the dictatorship. But we should not expect much mercy from the Tienanmen-massacrists, the Hongkong-suppressors, the East-Turkestan-suppressors, the South-China-Sea aggressors.

    But suppressing or corrupting millions of smart people might prove impossible.
e

Turkey (11/05/22 17:27:55) Reply
    Just for a start
    "Corruption in Turkey is an issue affecting the accession of Turkey to the European Union."

    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_Turkey)

    "The annual inflation rate in Turkey accelerated for the 11th consecutive month to 69.97 percent in April of 2022, the highest since February of 2002 and surpassing market estimates of 68 percent. It compares with a much lower rate of 17.14 percent a year earlier, as the lira remains weak and real interest rates remain largely negative."
    (https://tradingeconomics.com/turkey/inflation-cpi)

    And this gem (which taught me he hard way to use OCR software on Linux)

    "Corruption: The Turkish Challenge
    ZEYNO BARAN
    “When countries such as Turkey with weak law enforcement and lack of transparency undertake massive economic reforms that involve lucrative privatization deals, corruption may eat away at the system.”
    A Stanford political science professor starts her first lecture
    with this question: What is most important for developing countries—stability, participation, economic growth, equity or justice? Those who raise their hands for stability are exclusively from developing countries, while those who value participation and equity tend to be mainly from the United States or Europe. Being born in Turkey, I had also once raised my hand for stability.
    Throughout the Cold War, stability was indeed the most important consideration for the countries of the Western bloc. Human rights violations, military coups and massive corruption were not preeminent subjects for international consideration and action. During the past decade, however, as the world became more interdependent, a consensus gradually emerged that stability, without an institutionalized democratic system and the requisite checks and balances, is simply not enough. Consequently, corruption began to be viewed as the root of many political, economic and social problems. "

    (https://www.jstor.org/stable/24357692)
e

Re: Turkey (11/05/22 17:37:59) Reply
    (https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/03/10/turkey-ukraine-russia-war-nato-erdogan/)

    "Turkey faces a range of vulnerabilities from either an emboldened or a desperate Russia. Erdogan’s strategy therefore centers on supporting Ukraine without jeopardizing ties with Moscow. Over the longer term, the course of the war itself will do much to determine how Ankara maintains this balancing act. Strong, unified NATO support for Ukraine, along with Russian military setbacks, would provide the best opportunity to reinforce Ankara’s commitment to Ukraine—and to the alliance.

    Russia and Turkey have for centuries been rivals across a wide geographic space encompassing the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Black Sea, and Central Asia. Vulnerability to Russian military power throughout these regions has encouraged Turkish leaders to seek allies: Britain and France in the Crimean War, Germany in World War I, and NATO in the Cold War. When the international environment has been less threatening, though, Turkey has looked to Russia (and the Soviet Union) for economic opportunities and as a partner for boosting its own strategic autonomy.

    The Soviet Union’s collapse created a series of buffer states (including Ukraine) that shielded Turkey from Russian military power, allowing Ankara to pursue a more forward-leaning policy in Eurasia. It also opened up new opportunities for Turkish companies in Russia, which became a major source of tourists to Turkey’s Mediterranean resorts as well as a lucrative market for exporters and construction companies (many with close ties to Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party). Turkey also turned to Russia for energy, at one point getting the majority of its natural gas from Russia, and signing a deal with Russia’s state-owned Rosatom to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant at Akkuyu."
e

Re: Turkey (11/05/22 17:45:57) Reply
    I have for a long time been negative to the old saying: "He's a sonofabitch, but he's our sonofoabitch." And there might be small windows for looking the other way when other issues are burning hotter. But - in the end - it is the Turkish people who must rid themselves of Erdogan. In the meantime we can prepare to help them, and also remember to keep helping Ukraine. Keeping more than one thought alive simultaneously could - I think - be possible.

    (https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/03/russia-ukraine-war-recasts-turkish-policies-and-priorities)

    "Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, like Erdogan, has taken on an outsized diplomatic role to try to mediate an end to the Russia-Ukraine war.

    In the past, such a contest would have pushed Erdogan to a kind of one-upmanship, given the mostly miserable state of Israel-Turkey ties over the past decade.

    Not this time.

    "Jerusalem and Ankara are even believed to be coordinating their moves," regarding Russia-Ukraine mediation, scoops Ben Caspit. "This reversal stems from the major detente in their relationship since last summer, which peaked with the visit March 9 by President Isaac Herzog to Ankara and Istanbul. Erdogan pulled out all the stops in welcoming Herzog, publicly abandoning the comfort zone from which he used Israel as a punching bag whenever the need arose to firm up his political base. Judging by his statements, he is focusing, instead, on his country’s strategic geopolitical interests in light of major regional and international developments. In this arena, Ankara’s positions are far closer to Jerusalem these days than they are to many other capitals."

    Turkey and Israel have appointed a high-level team to "iron out difference," Caspit reports, although the prospect of Israeli natural gas going through Turkey, which Erdogan would prefer, is unlikely. The current plan is for Israel to work though Egypt for gas exports.

    No easy path for gas via Turkey

    While the export of Israeli natural gas though Turkey is a long shot at best, Ankara is also exploring other exporters to position Turkey as an energy hub.

    The European Union needs an alternative to Russia, on which it depends for 40% of its gas imports.

    There has been some speculation that Turkey could be the bridge for an alternative route for Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to bring gas to Europe, but in each case, there are more questions than answers, as David Byrne breaks down the options for Turkey and Europe.

    It’s the economy … and it's getting worse

    For Erdogan, it’s ultimately all about staying in power, with general elections 15 months away, in June 2023.

    Turkey’s economic crisis is his greatest political liability, and it is likely to get worse.

    "Economic instability has only grown since Erdogan assumed sweeping executive powers in 2018," explains Mustafa Sonmez. "Inflation stands out as the gravest problem, having soared to 54.4% in February. "
e

Erdogan: Putin's fifth column in NATO (13/05/22 12:59:01) Reply
    Time for a new military coup. I'd advise better preparations this time.

    "n 2013, law enforcement efforts to fight corruption, which had led to the 2013 corruption scandal in Turkey, were faulted by Erdoğan. The anti-corruption efforts were a source of tension between the Gülenists and the AKP.[87] In political analysis in the months prior to the coup attempt, the incidence of corruption was reported to be "rife" in Turkey.[88] Following the coup attempt, some coup leaders cited corruption as a reason for their actions.[89]

    Immunity bill
    On 13 July, less than two days before the coup was launched, Erdoğan signed a bill giving Turkish soldiers immunity from prosecution while taking part in domestic operations. The bill requires cases against commanders to be approved by the prime minister, while district governors may sign cases against lower-ranking soldiers. The immunity bill was seen as part of the détente between the government and the armed forces. The latter has increasingly been taking over military operations in Kurdish-inhabited areas from police and paramilitary units.[90] on which the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued a report in February 2017 detailing how operations by the Turkish infantry, artillery, tanks and possibly aircraft drove up to half a million people from their homes over a 17-month period from July 2015 to the end of 2016. Investigators for the United Nations verified a variety of human rights abuses by the security forces, among them extrajudicial killings, summary killings, disappearances, torture, rape, violence against women and the prevention of access to medical care, food and water."

    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Turkish_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat_attempt)
e


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