The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby elrodogg » Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:54 am

Quote:
I don't hold an opinion as to NASCAR or otherwise.


Now that I have real trouble believing. :rollin
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby -Papa Gino » Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:14 am

Brief clarifications.

1. Ken - you forgot to mention the D.C. gossip item of the day, General Whoozits giving Congressional testimony to the effect that U.S. will maintain current or higher troop levels in Iraq through at least 2010.

Whatever could this mean. Ho hum.

2.
Quote:
They really should let the region go (just as Russia should let go of all the regions demanding independance.)


I take it you would have supported the Confederacy, way back when...

Besides that, there really aren't any regions demanding independence from Russia these days (there are, in fact, several that want to be let back in!). Chechnya hardly counts, regardless of the Washington Post's opinion on the matter (there is very little objective reporting on the region in the West, however great Russia's missteps there have been). [It may have counted 10 years ago, depending on whether you believe that Dudaev & Friends were acting "on behalf" of anyone or for their own personal gain; the 1996-1999 period amply confirmed the latter.] Since that time, the insurgency has had little, if anything, to do with local self-determination.

Of course, assuming self-determination were still on the agenda (Khadyrov & the clans friendly to him are against it, so there you go - do you split the place between the clans who want to stay and the ones who don't?), you fall back to the underlying security question; being that the last time around, the place degenerated into anarchy with various warlords launching attacks against Russian territory. [Oil is actually somewhat of a secondary matter.]
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby Bauhaus » Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:04 am

Didn't the Soviet Union break up into:

Estonia
Latvia
Lithuania
Belarus
Ukraine
Moldovia (or did they break off from Romania?)
Georgia
Azerbaijan (?)
Uzbekistan
Kazakhstan
Turkmenistan
Kyrgysztan
Tajikistan
Mongolia (?)

Russia has certainly kept control of the Volga and outlets to the sea but I think they gave up quite a bit of territory. You may know more than I about all the "stans" but they've been fairly stable haven't they? Do you know how each region went about gaining its independance?

It's not the Civil War that's the appropriate question but the rights of American Indians.

In 50 years will there be fewer or more countries in the world? I think that there will be more and Kurdistan will be one of them. (And I haven't seen a lot of seperatist attacks in Greece as a result of the breakup of Yugoslavia, but we may yet.)

Which countries want back into the Russian Federation?
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby VectorAWX3 » Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:19 am

Wait... hang on.. I get to respond in Nidal style:

Quote:
Nidal might see this as the system "working". I'd think he was touched in the head, that it's clearly an evil degenerate SOB playing a loophole in the system for his own sick twisted games. But apparently, this is what counts as a "difference of opinion" in modern-day politics. Light is dark, up is down, black is white, and you must support the President.

I mean, after all, he can lock you up whenever he bloody well chooses.

(Alternatively, I figure Nidal will go the "apathetic" route -- I mean, if the Prez wants to lock you up, who will stop him, etc, etc. Shockingly, I kind of like people like CONGRESS to stop him from doing this sort of thing, instead of just rubber-stamping every whim he has)

Of course it's working. What did Padilla want to do? Dirty bomb somewhere? Fuck him! The POS should have his balls sawn off with one of those crappy GW hand-saws that have the extra-brittle blades you have to replace every 5 minutes.

Also, yes, if the Prez/CIA/local cops REALLY want to make you disappear, ain't no law gonna stop them.

Black is not white, Ken, unless Padilla is now the equivilent of MLK and deserves to put up on the same goverment-is-fucking-over-a-nice-guy pedestel.

But go ahead. Spout off again on what an idiot I am. I rather enjoy it between my bouts of downloading internet porn on stolen passwords. :)
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby Bauhaus » Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:59 pm

I can feel the love.

Ill tell you what I dont want and want for the World.

I certainly do not want the World to be forced to accept the values of the US. I do want the US to represent the best values and morals to be worthy of being an example to the World.

I dont want the US to exploit the Worlds resources at the expense of people whose resources we constantly demand for ourselves. I do want the US to help people in the World to live better, without poverty, disease, exploitation, death, etc.

I dont want to force democracy on any nation or anyone. I do want the US to help stop the violence by third world despots on their people. I dont want to be the planets bully but I do want to participate in its police (to protect and to serve.) We should join the UN and integrate our forces under their umbrella.

I dont want people to be forced to live together. Constitutions should protect the rights of the minority worship, sexuality, personal choice, freedom of speech, etc. to allow people to live together.

I dont want people to be forced to side with the US. I do want people to be free and happy.

Etc.

We really should stop talking about torture and arguing about how many Iraqis have actually been killed (its been a lot.)
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby -The Fabulous Orcboy » Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:25 pm

Nidal: ?

Rule of law.

Is.

The.

FOUNDATIONAL BASIS.

Of.

A.

Working.

Democracy.

=======

It absolutely mystifies me that you would continue to rationalize any of this away. At what point do we reach the straw/breaking point on your camel's back? What further outrages need to be visited upon you and yours -- and how directly do they have to be visited upon you?

What's not so surprising is your ability to turn everything into a binary opposition completely unrelated to conditions in the Real World. I'm not making any moral claims to black/white, right/wrong. I'm making a very clear distinction between "my civil liberties are being protected", and "my civil liberties are being stripped away".

As Larry Flynt demonstrated rather decisively, it's the scumbags and gutter-trash that test the strength of those liberties -- NOT nice everyday middleclass Mr Joe Johnson. See, if even scumbags and gutter-trash have protections, then I can rest easier knowing that I do, too.

Actually, it's really rather sad, because the false binaries you throw up are reflections of (a) the easy ignorance of the GOP talking points "logic", where you (b) make an irrational solution seem like a rational option by forcing a choice between that and something even more irrational (and ignoring everything and anything else).

Watching smart introspective people that I like, do this, is like watching them cut out their eyes and poke holes in their eardrums, all to please a viciously abusive parent, all while they kick and scream and throw a fit whenever someone tries to tell them that they don't have to do this...

I know it's easier to crack wise about illegal porn, but using your apathy as a shield for your deliberate and calculated ignorance of reality is... disheartening
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby -The Fabulous Orcboy » Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:02 pm

PS: Dave, I don't get what you mean with the last thing you wrote...
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby savaughn » Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:01 pm

We really should stop talking about torture and arguing about how many Iraqis have actually been killed (its been a lot.)

I believe it crested 50,000 over the summer and was averaging about 100 per day - I don't know what the numbers are now. Or to put more of a point on it, about 1 out of every 40 people in the country have been killed at this point.

Our actions have lead to the deaths of 10 times more Iraqis than those who died in 9/11. They are 10 times more angry at us at this point than we were after that tragedy. And their anger will last 10 times longer.

But that's OK. The president believes that etching a deep and abiding permanent hatred for our country makes us safer. And I can see his point. It's sort of like driving over to the bad part of town and shooting a whole bunch of people while handing out business cards. That kind of thing never comes back to haunt you. I feel safer already.
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby Bauhaus » Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:39 pm

The recent statistical estimate put the dead at 600,000. It includes those lost during the initial invasion. That's the number the administration took offense with.

Some websites have it closer to 50,000 but your 1/40 would be 750,000 dead? (There are 29,000,000 Iraqis.)

Ken, my other post is sort of a "lessons of Viet Nam" list. I'm always surprised how the lessons of war change over time. I'm also surprised by how we so easily accept that we're right.

We didn't support a ban on land mines.
We didn't support the Kyoto accords on Global Warming.
We didn't ratify SALT 2 (I think) because we couldn't trust the USSR.
We used to argue that we could test all the Nukes we wanted to. We gave reasons why we needed to and asked the world to believe us.
We're the only nation to actually have dropped a "bomb" on people - and we did it twice.
We're the only superpower capable of actually invading and easily defeating just about every other army in the world (and I believe at the present time, we outspend all the other armies of the world including China and the Koreas.)

We did, however support the World Trade Organization, given that it's the quickest way to force other nations to stop their own local businesses and agriculture so that we can provide them with Uncle Ben's Rice, Stovetop Stuffing Mix and Peanut Butter.
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby -Papa Gino » Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:09 am

Quote:
We're the only superpower capable of actually invading and easily defeating just about every other army in the world (and I believe at the present time, we outspend all the other armies of the world including China and the Koreas.)



Umm, no. Even before Iraq, the consensus among serious analysts was that if we get involved with someone, we'd better make sure that someone is as weak as a baby or else the situation would quickly escalate to the pre-nuclear or nuclear level.

Case in point - the Iraqi army. 'Bout as hard as a sack of wet oatmeal even on its good days.

A big part of it was logistics - American ones had been screwed up since before Iraq 1, and any meaningful level of operational attrition was estimated to box the Army into a corner. Ditto with the Air Force. Another part had more to do with the tactical level, plus command & control. Tactical intelligence gaps (missing an entire armoured corps deployed in Kosovo) were also insane. Meanwhile, the technological superiority between the U.S. and its potential rivals had been vastly eroded in the past couple of decades, and the growing numerical inferiority made sustainable conflicts even harder.

So yes, the U.S. does spend a bizarre amount of money on its armed forces. The Brits do the same thing for about a 10th of the procurement budget, as one reference point. But needs must - the Pentagon had been subsidizing private industry since the 1940s. That said, I would not expect the U.S. to do extraordinarily well vs. any well-trained and equipped army - the French (who have a lot of combat experience over the past 20 years), the Chinese, maybe the British and the Germans(on a smaller scale), definitely the Russians, possibly the South Africans, quite possibly the Iranians. Etc. Especially if said armies are on the defensive. The best the U.S. can do is lob bombs/missiles/nukes at the enemy and hope it surrenders, though it couldn't even do it to more-or-less defenseless Serbia (Clinton basically bribed the Russians into cutting off Serbia's oil & gas - Milosevic caved on the next day, in spite of the wishes of his army commanders; the price was about $4.5 billion, courtesy of the IMF).

Rant over. Please refrain from citing well-used but utterly unrealistic talking points, lest you provoke further rants.
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