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Old 05-27-2015, 06:44 PM   #81 (permalink)
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You sound like you're confusing Al Qaeda with the Taliban. Al Qaeda was a multinational network, lead by a billionaire, which engaged in aggression in numerous countries around the globe.
nah, i'm aware of this, but al qaeda at the time had their base under taliban rule. previous to that they had their base in sudan. and now there are a slew of "aq affiliated" terror agencies that are a global nuisance but not a geopolitical obstacle on par with saddam's iraq or the current iranian regime. IS comes the closest... but IS only exists in the power vacuum that was created by the dismantling of saddam's regime.

edit - if you're critiquing my wording in calling them goat ****ing peasants, i did think twice about that. but the imagery was inflammatory/humorous enough to me that i decided to leave it in. plus, despite being rich as **** they basically took on that simplistic lifestyle out of religious dedication.

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Old 05-27-2015, 06:53 PM   #82 (permalink)
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All the Arab nations would have been behind Saddam, no? He was an arab leader...
just saw this. lol, no. the saudis despised saddam. you think arabs are united like that? if the mid-east got their **** together and united against western interests than the US would have a serious concern in that region. but they're too splintered and cut throat to ever come together in such a fashion.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:57 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Am I not right in saying though that he was backed by Russia? Weren't they the ones who kept holding out on joining the "Coalition of the Willing" (Jesus!) and who kept blocking UN resolutions? And didn't they/aren't they now doing the same thing about Assad? All the Arab nations would have been behind Saddam, no? He was an arab leader...
The Middle East has been fighting each other since they knew what fighting was. A new dictator rises, the other nations smack him down. Actually uniting behind a common leader like that is simply unheard of. If they did, the World - not just the US - would have a serious problem. But, considering that hasn't happened in the couple thousands years they've been fighting each other, I wouldn't count on it happening in our life times.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:48 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Exactly. China's economy is massively dependent on US sales. War with the US means that China's economy would probably completely collapse in on itself. It wouldn't take long before the Chinese gov't wouldn't have money to pay their soldiers - and soldiers get pissed when they don't get paid. Meanwhile on the US side, sure, we'd suffer quite a set back as a bunch of our consumer products would suddenly be unavailable. That doesn't mean, however, that we couldn't produce the same things.
and how do you think our country would fair with China? It's a two way street.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:08 PM   #85 (permalink)
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and how do you think our country would fair with China? It's a two way street.
Of course it goes both ways. Economically it would be devastating on both sides. China owns roughly 1.3 trillion of the US's debt, which is not as massively devastating when considered that we owe 6 trillion to ourselves. On the flip side of the same coin, China owes the US roughly 1 trillion. Forbes estimates that China's economy is 175% dependent on ours.

The economic devastation is the main reason that war with China is basically the US military's biggest nightmare. The secondary concern is the massive amount of people that China has. Due to their gov't style, they could just conscript everybody into service. Of course, they wouldn't have anything to pay the soldiers.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:13 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Nevertheless, Saddam aside, it's true that the reason the UN couldn't do anything but wag its finger at Assad was because Putin kept blocking the resolutions and using his veto. Russia and Syria are allies in that, so if Syria had been invaded Russia would have had to intervene, on their side, which is (unless I totally misread the news) the reason why we couldn't, and still aren't, intervening and this poxy civil war has been going on for years and that **** is still in power.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:34 PM   #87 (permalink)
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The Middle East has been fighting each other since they knew what fighting was. A new dictator rises, the other nations smack him down. Actually uniting behind a common leader like that is simply unheard of. If they did, the World - not just the US - would have a serious problem. But, considering that hasn't happened in the couple thousands years they've been fighting each other, I wouldn't count on it happening in our life times.
in modern history this is true.... going back historically it's not quite true. there have been some pretty powerful islamic (not always arab, some of the more prominent examples were turkish or persian) caliphates based in the mid east throughout the last 1400 years.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:47 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Of course it goes both ways. Economically it would be devastating on both sides. China owns roughly 1.3 trillion of the US's debt, which is not as massively devastating when considered that we owe 6 trillion to ourselves. On the flip side of the same coin, China owes the US roughly 1 trillion. Forbes estimates that China's economy is 175% dependent on ours.

The economic devastation is the main reason that war with China is basically the US military's biggest nightmare. The secondary concern is the massive amount of people that China has. Due to their gov't style, they could just conscript everybody into service. Of course, they wouldn't have anything to pay the soldiers.
honestly.. when you look at things like the amount of US debt that china owns... you can come to some misleading conclusions. like that china has the money and we don't so they lend it to us. in reality the US in the position to ask for credit on an international basis because the world economy runs in large part on the basis of the US petrol dollar. so the US can say to china hey lets have some credit and china considers this a worthwile investment, because their entire economic infrastructure is based primarily on international trade and largely on trade with the US. so their current economy is literally dependent on the continuing prosperity of the american economy. because we are their consumer base.

as for it being a two- way street.. it might be, but there are more lanes going one way than the other. the US economy benefits from outsourced cheap labor abroad and china is the perfect candidate to fill that role. likewise, the chinese economy benefits from exporting goods to a rich economy, and the US is the perfect candidate to fill that role. however, china isn't the only possible candidate for outsourced cheap labor. they have a lot of potential competition throughout the developing world. on the other hand... while there are other prominent markets to sell their goods to like europe and russia and south america and such, china literally couldn't survive without doing business with the united states.

the US would certainly take a hit as well. the world economy would probably take a hit as a result. but i would wager the US could manage such a hit much better than china could. my guess would be that their civilization would most likely literally collapse, and we'd either see some new revolution to take out the old regime and try to keep china together under a new order or we'd see the country balkanize into several different territories.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:46 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Nevertheless, Saddam aside, it's true that the reason the UN couldn't do anything but wag its finger at Assad was because Putin kept blocking the resolutions and using his veto. Russia and Syria are allies in that, so if Syria had been invaded Russia would have had to intervene, on their side, which is (unless I totally misread the news) the reason why we couldn't, and still aren't, intervening and this poxy civil war has been going on for years and that **** is still in power.
putin was wagging his dick at the west, trying to make the statement that russia is still relevant. would he actually go to war over syria, if it really came down to it? kinda doubtful, tbh. but likewise the US wasn't trying to be too provocative towards russia, by actually invading their allies in syria, after pursuing a good decade of mid east adventures that russia was vocally opposed to. the syria situation is basically in russia's backyard, and deals with one of their allies, so they have a good deal more at stake than the US does regarding the outcome of that conflict.

so yea... we were bound to do nothing in syria. it wasn't the only mid-east regime we watched repress uprisings with bullets and bombs... but since it was such a high profile slaughter and was veering into the direction of the use of chemical weapons, the US had to 'take a stance' and try to look dominant, which is how obama ended up with egg on his face cause ultimately we were never going to commit to that cause. all we could spare in our arsenal in that conflict was empty threats, and assad/putin basically called obama's bluff.

likewise, we did nothing when russia invaded georgia and the ukraine... cause those were of real strategic interest to the russians, and while the US has to posture to try to 'contain' russian power, ultimately it means much more to them than it does to us, so they are willing to go much further over the future of those countries than the US is.

but i sorta get the idea maybe you think the US/russia beef has its roots in the mid east adventures? in all honesty, there was never much more than the facade of friendship between these two powers in the post-cold war world. they are natural rivals in the current geopolitical order. as such, they are bound to try to undermine the ambitions of the other at every opportunity. that's why russia cared about iraq in 2003, and that's why the US cared about georgia/ukraine just recently.

i have posted these videos before... i'll post em again, cause i never know who watched what. just a good background for understanding modern russian/us relations

Spoiler for russia:



the first video basically gives a decent historical background for understanding the russian strategic approach, in terms of which plots of land are key to their empire and why they came to value them as such.

the other two more specifically deal with modern day US/russian relations

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Old 05-28-2015, 06:33 AM   #90 (permalink)
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No of course I don't think the trouble between Russia and the US comes via the Middle East. I'm 52 after all: I know my history. It began when Russia became a superpower after WWII and Stalin grabbed all he could of Eastern Europe, even up to part (half?) of Germany, resulting in East/West Germany. Then the Cold War, the Space Race and so on all helped fuel tensions. But Gorbachev was doing a lot, against stiff opposition in the Kremlin no doubt, to help thaw relations between the two powers. The collapse of communism and the fragmentation of the USSR left Russia with few bargaining chips and their power much reduced, but Putin is doing his best to drag us all back to the days of the Cold War. If Russia had not vetoed the resolution something could perhaps have been done about Syria. The US has done it before in, oh, 2003? Little place called Iraq?
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