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Total number of comments: 10 (since 2013-11-28 16:54:12)


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  • The simple Number that will Defeat Trump's attempt to Roll back Obama Energy Policies
    • The British did not return to burn down the capital in 1812 because they were mean spirited. The US started the war with the idea of invading Canada while the Brits were busy with the Napoleonic wars and lost.

      Of course the US school history books state it differently.

    • The problem I have with the accounts of Nero is that they all come via the Flavian dynasty which had more than enough reason to justify the coup that removed Nero from power. While it is possible that Nero and Caligula behaved in similar fashion, our only accounts come from historians with a vested interest in blackening his name.

      As for the fire, the term 'Chrestians', as in followers of Chrestus is problematic as there is another Chrestus who is certainly not Christ. And there is really no reason to think that Christians were numerous enough or prominent enough in Rome at the time of the fire to merit persecution. And if they had, it would have been as a Judaic cult.

      The fire broke out on one of the dates that can be extrapolated from Daniel as the beginning of the end of the world. So if the fire was set deliberately Jewish messianic fundies would be more likely culprits. And it is easy to see how an over-reaction by Nero leading to persecution of Jews would set off unrest in Judea and the start of the first Jewish war.

      Easy to see how the loss of a province would lead to being deposed in Roman society.

  • Could Sunni-Shiite Rift make Tikrit a Pyrrhic Victory? Al-Azhar & Shiite Militias
    • I suspect that the Saudis have looked ahead at what happens after ISIS is defeated and decided they prefer the current situation. Given the geography and the area across which ISIS is operating, it is unlikely more than half of the ISIS fighters are going to be killed or captured. Which leaves a large force of heavily armed violent men searching for an escape route out of Iraq. They can't go East or North. Iran will make sure they can't go West. That only leaves Saud.

  • Hardliners in Israel & Iran Resist US Pivot to Iran over ISIS
    • Ohh, good point!

      If Iran can hammer ISIS and win then the war talk from Netanyahu and the warmongers in Congress would look even more stupid than it already does.

    • Well Saud has a border with Iraq and Saudi money men have been backers. Similar to the relationship between Pakistan and the Taliban.

      Such arrangements have a tendency to backfire. The Saudis were the original backers of Bin Laden after all. And the oil fields of Saudi Arabia are the biggest prize to shoot for.

      A lot of backers disowned ISIS after their brutality emerged. ISIS is unlikely to think highly of money men who dropped them before their success in the field.

      ISIS hasn't captured territory in battle, it has captured it by Sunni cities defecting when the Maliki government officials ran away. Hard to see that strategy working the same in Baghdad. But it might work quite well in Saud. Monarchies tend to be very good at suppressing dissident voices but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

      A revolution in Saud might not be such a bad thing. The regime is rotten and will fall sooner or later.

    • @Q It seems to me that you are making the classic Western mistake of taking a loose confederation of factions operating under one name for a unified movement.

      The revolution in Iran was twenty years in the making Khomeini was a well known figure and the spiritual leader of the opposition for over a decade before he took power. The Taliban was nurtured by Pakistan/Musharef for many years before they took Kabul.

      ISIS is largely a flag of convenience for a rough confederation of factions The only thing that defines them is hostility to the Western powers.

      The US and Iran have trashed the country. Or more specifically, the hardline McCain/Ahmedinejad war for the sake of war factions have. And now it is up to the pragmatic forces to work out how to mitigate some of the damage.

      Of course the best thing that Obama could do to improve the situation with Iran right now would be to accept full responsibility for the 1953 coup, repudiate the colonialist mentality behind it and apologize. That would save many US lives. But he can't do that as the despicable political opportunists in the GOP would impeach him.

    • It will be interesting to see where the power lies in Iran. Khamenei has the title but he isn't a military man. He has the title supreme leader but he isn't Khomeini. And Ahmadinejad damaged him repeatedly, not least by making him complicit in flagrant electoral fraud.

      Iran is going to have to send troops to fight ISIS in Iraq. The only question is whether they go in alone or with US support. The choice of accepting that support ultimately lies with neither Khamenei nor Rouhani but with the generals in charge of the military. Their approach is likely to be pragmatic.

      What Khamenei and Netanyahu are really afraid of is a scenario in which the US and pragmatic factions in Iran join forces. Putin and the gulf monarchies should be scared as well.

  • Top Ten Ways NRA Stole Christmas this Year
    • The NRA should really change its name to the North American Man/Gun Love Association.

  • Romney's Major Flip-Flops in the Third Debate
    • How is this prosecution of Ahmadinejad Romney proposed going to work?

      The World court does not take cases against individuals and the GOP does not recognize the ICC since there would be a risk that Bush, Cheney and co would be up there on trial in the Hague for real war crimes. Crimes like illegal war, use of torture, targeting civilian populations and so on.

      Hate speech is not even illegal in the US and if it were then Romney's own statements would be criminal as would many statements by AIPAC and so on. Netanyahu's statements about Iran have been at least as bellicose as those of Ahmadinejad.

  • Popular Army to March on Tripoli, as Qaddafi Massacres Protesters
    • Gaddafi's forces are now split in two.

      At some point the mercenaries are going to stop worrying about how to save the regime and start worrying about how to save themselves.

      Rather than providing ferries to take Westerners of to safety, it might well be more useful to provide ferries to allow the mercenaries the opportunity to retreat.

      This is not going to end until Gaddafi himself is killed or captured. The only plausible countries that might offer asylum are Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and The Leader is afraid of air travel over water. There is nowhere safe for him in Africa.

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