Home > #NewsCorpFail, World Events > Disaster in Iraq foretold: Well, not quite

Disaster in Iraq foretold: Well, not quite

June 14th, 2014

Along with the rest of the neocon crew, Andrew Bolt is blaming the collapse of the Iraqi state on Obama’s withdrawal of US troops in 2011. Exactly how Obama was supposed to repudiate an agreement signed by Bush, and maintain an occupation force against the wishes of the Iraqi government (he tried, but failed to negotiate an extension) is not explained. But, no matter.

At least Bolt and the rest warned us that Iraq was still too fragile to be left on its own, and that an indefinite occupation was needed. Well not exactly. Here he is in 2009, gloating over the fact that Obama was going slow on withdrawal and thereby disappointing his supporters. That could be read either way, I guess, but there’s no warning that Bush’s timetable needed changing.

More striking is this piece from 2007, claiming that “the war has been won“. Here’s what he has to say about future prospects

Violence is falling fast. Al Qaida has been crippled.

The Shiites, Kurds and Marsh Arabs no longer face genocide.

What’s more, the country has stayed unified. The majority now rules.

Despite that, minority Sunni leaders are co-operating in government with Shiite ones.

There is no civil war. The Kurds have not broken away. Iran has not turned Iraq into its puppet.

And the country’s institutions are getting stronger. The Iraqi army is now at full strength, at least in numbers.

The country has a vigorous media. A democratic constitution has been adopted and backed by a popular vote.

Election after election has Iraqis turning up in their millions.

Add it all up. Iraq not only remains a democracy, but shows no sign of collapse.

If I were an American reading that, I would have said it was time to bring the boys and girls home, as Bush agreed to do in October 2008.

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  1. Megan
    June 21st, 2014 at 00:00 | #1

    @J-D

    Your chosen example of how it could “get worse” (than our ALP/LNP duopoly) was:

    if people were detained without charge

    And in response I gave you just the first two examples to come to mind of precisely that, ie. people detained without charge, under the present duopoly.

    And do you think that’s got as bad as it could possibly get? that there’s no way it could possibly get any worse?

    ..is really not a serious response.

    My original point was that it could actually get a lot better if we had something in our democratically elected system that was a serious counter-balance to the ALP/LNP (neo-con) duopoly.

    Instead we just play pointless and distracting games pretending that they represent two halves of a spectrum. They don’t.

    Our ruling “Establishment” consists of the corporate media/ALP/LNP.

    I’ll bet nobody here was aware that Adam Bandt (Greens) moved an amendment against asset sales yesterday and that it was seconded, and passionately argued for, by Bob Katter?

    It goes without saying that it was voted into oblivion by the ALP and LNP voting together, as they do more often than not on every single piece of legislation.

    Yesterday the High Court ruled the funding of religious chaplains in schools unconstitutional – the ALP/LNP immediately vowed to find a way around that ruling.

    I could go on but most people would get the point.

  2. J-D
    June 21st, 2014 at 13:40 | #2

    @Megan

    You dismiss my response as ‘not serious’ because you don’t have an answer to the question I posed.

    I have no problem admitting that there are conceivable alternatives that would be better than either Labor or Coalition.

    You have a problem admitting that there are also conceivable alternatives that would be worse, but you also have a problem denying it. So you evade.

    ‘Vote for the Greens in preference both to Labor and to the Coalition’ is one thing. ‘Vote for either the Greens or Katter’s Australian Party in preference both to Labor and to the Coalition’ is another thing. ‘Vote for the Greens or Katter’s Australian Party or the Palmer United Party or Family First or the Christian Democratic Party or the Australian Sex Party in preference both to Labor and to the Coalition’ is still another thing. And ‘vote for absolutely anybody whatever in preference both to Labor and to the Coalition’ is still another thing.

    Since you did not, in your original comment, give any indication of preferring any particular party or parties to Labor and the Coalition, it was reasonable to read your comment as implying that any other party would better than both Labor and the Coalition. If Australia had parties like the National Democratic Party of Germany, or Golden Dawn (Greece), or Jobbik (the Movement for a Better Hungary), would you vote for one of those parties in preference to both Labor and the Coalition? If your answer is yes, why? But if your answer is no, aren’t you admitting that there are possible alternatives worse than both Labor and the Coalition?

    I haven’t made any arguments based on the extent (if any) of difference between Labor and the Coalition. If Labor and the Coalition actually merged into a single party, would you automatically vote for any party at all that opposed them? My answer is that I wouldn’t, because there could be other parties that would be worse than a merged version of Labor and the Coalition.

    Piling up examples of the performance of Labor and the Coalition may demonstrate something about their merits as judged by an absolute scale, but it can demonstrate nothing about their relative merits as compared to (unspecified) other parties. You give the impression of wanting to avoid the ineluctable fact that voting is a norm-referenced and not a criterion-referenced judgement; that the only way to vote against both Labor and the Coalition is to vote for a specific alternative.

    Some people believe that voters should be offered the option of voting for ‘None Of The Above’. Whatever the merits of this suggestion, even the option were offered, mass switching of voters to ‘None Of The Above’ would be insufficient to destroy the dominance of Labor and the Coalition. An affirmative position is required, not just a negative one.

  3. Fran Barlow
    June 21st, 2014 at 14:15 | #3

    @J-D

    Some people believe that voters should be offered the option of voting for ‘None Of The Above’. Whatever the merits of this suggestion, even the option were offered, mass switching of voters to ‘None Of The Above’ would be insufficient to destroy the dominance of Labor and the Coalition. An affirmative position is required, not just a negative one.

    Here’s where I say, “yes but … ”

    If 15 or 20% of voters chose ‘none of the above’ there would be serious interest in working out why they were disaffected, and if any significant tranche of them could be won to one of the contending parties. That dialog would be a useful one to have. Moreover, because it was an explicit rejection of the ruling regime, the higher this figure went the weaker its claims to legitimacy would be. Winning the 2PP 51-49 when 20% chose not to vote for you forces the conclusion that most voters wanted someone else.

  4. J-D
    June 21st, 2014 at 15:49 | #4

    @Fran Barlow

    In the US it’s common for well over 20% of voters to indicate no preference by the mechanism of not even turning out to the polls, but this has not had the effect of disrupting the dominance of the Republican and Democratic parties or even approached doing so. Similar observations apply to other countries. You may think that the governments of countries where voter turnout is low are not legitimate, and for that matter I might think so too, but that doesn’t stop them from continuing to govern.

  5. alfred venison
  6. Fran Barlow
    June 21st, 2014 at 19:55 | #6

    @J-D

    It is different when they turn up to say they don’t like what is on offer.

  7. Fran Barlow
    June 21st, 2014 at 20:31 | #7

    I would also like an opportunity to object to specific candidates. These could also be recorded and noted in the official record without affecting the count.

  8. J-D
    June 22nd, 2014 at 07:01 | #8

    @Fran Barlow

    Yes, it’s different in some ways, but what reason is there to think it’s different in effect on government? Has the rise in the number of ‘declined’ ballots in Ontario changed Ontario government at all?

  9. J-D
    June 22nd, 2014 at 07:02 | #9

    @Fran Barlow

    I see no reason to expect this would change the way governments behave.

    I’m not saying that it’s a bad idea or that you shouldn’t have such a right, only that I would expect it to have no effect on the way governments behave.

  10. Fran Barlow
    June 22nd, 2014 at 07:29 | #10

    @J-D

    I know too little of Ontario to say. Perhaps there is a magic number — a threshold which if reached, makes a difference.

    As I’ve noted here a few times, in the unlikely event I were given a free hand to redesign the processes by which we effect governance, the changes would be fundamental. Yet that is so unlikely that I often muse on much less radical things precisely because one can imagine them occurring, and offering the foundation for the system changes that I believe would most nearly approach the optimal.

  11. J-D
    June 22nd, 2014 at 15:08 | #11

    @Fran Barlow

    As I said before, I’m not saying that it’s a bad idea to offer the option of voting for ‘None Of The Above’, and I’m also not saying that it’s a bad idea to offer the option of ‘declining’ a ballot, as is apparently done in Ontario. I also have no objection to speculation about what the effects of such options might be. In a sense that’s what I’m doing; I’m making a contribution to discussion of those options, and my contribution is to say that whatever other effects they might have, I see no reason to expect that they would disrupt the dominance of national politics by whatever parties it is that happen to dominate it (Labor and the Coalition in Australia; other parties in other countries).

  12. alfred venison
    June 22nd, 2014 at 19:46 | #12

    the point of compulsory voting is to prevent people from abstaining, through inertia or by conviction. giving voters in a compulsory voting system a way to decline to vote seems to be a contradiction in terms.

    when to begin to worry about the number of “declined” votes tallied, in, lets say. a compulsory system like australia? maybe when the number of votes for “declined” approaches the number of votes for government or opposition candidates? or, overtakes the number of votes for least popular candidate? or, increases votes at a rate related to a decrease in votes for the government or the opposition?

    you might have to consider restricting the exercise of “declined” to voters attending in person, least anarchists & slackards have a field day abusing the postal voting system from their living rooms to in effect not attend a polling station & not vote at any election. -a.v.

  13. Collin Street
    June 22nd, 2014 at 20:27 | #13

    > the point of compulsory voting is to prevent people from abstaining, through inertia or by conviction.

    Not just that: for voting to be obligatory it must be possible, which means that barriers to voting like inequitable distribution of polling booths and equipment can’t be used to swing elections either. This is a significant effect, I think.

  14. Fran Barlow
    June 22nd, 2014 at 23:00 | #14

    @alfred venison

    In practice we have compulsory attendance rather than voting. If you want to, you can simply hand your ballot to an official or place it in the ballot box unmarked, or marked as you see fit.

    Indeed, providing you give a good enough reason, you don’t need to even attend on the day or ever. You can postal vote or pre-poll.

  15. Megan
    June 22nd, 2014 at 23:07 | #15

    @Fran Barlow

    Again, this illustrates my point:

    …there would be serious interest in working out why they were disaffected, and if any significant tranche of them could be won to one of the contending parties..

    The duopoly is a single entity in the reality of our dysfunctional and broken “democracy”.

    By definition, the “disaffected” cannot be won to one of the “contending” parties because the duopoly parties are deliberately indistinguishable on every issue that has caused the disaffection in the first place – and therefore not actually contending anything but an unpopularity contest.

  16. alfred venison
    June 23rd, 2014 at 00:05 | #16

    @Fran Barlow
    oh, Fran, i know that its compulsory attendance to do something with a ballot.

    but attending & doing what you say, does not count as a “declined to chose” cast by someone who didn’t want to chose, but rather as some form of “invalid choice”, cast by someone who did want to chose.

    imo, in a compulsory system, giving voters the option to “decline to chose” would undermine the system; it would corrupt the system into a quasi-voluntary voting system via postal vote, and one which would be just as open to manipulation by boosters of all sides known & unknown.

    and if people can “decline to chose”, then the rationale for compulsion – achieving full attendance to a vote – is voided. the candidate selected by the majority of voters among those who did not “decline to choose” is not selected by the whole field of all eligible voters, a goal of compulsory voting.

    venison’s theorem:- allowing voters to declare a formal intention to decline to exercise their right to vote, only makes sense in a non-compulsory voting system, and makes no sense in a compulsory voting system, and is in fact counter productive to the rationale of a compulsory voting system. -a.v.

  17. Fran Barlow
    June 23rd, 2014 at 07:54 | #17

    @alfred venison

    I disagree. Compelling people to ‘choose’ from amongst those on offer is a form of coercion. It taints the ballot. Coerced choice is an oxymoron.

    Voting against choosing is still a choice. You’re saying you honestly don’t endorse any. The poll is supposed to ascertain the will of the electors. Finding out they don’t approve given folk as their proxies is salient data.

  18. J-D
    June 23rd, 2014 at 11:37 | #18

    @Fran Barlow

    I get tired of seeing that line about how we don’t have compulsory voting, we only have compulsory attendance. I wish I knew how that got started. It wasn’t from knowing the law.

    The electoral law says, at 245(15)

    An elector is guilty of an offence if the elector fails to vote at an election.

    It also says, at 233(1)

    Except as otherwise prescribed the voter upon receipt of the ballot paper shall without delay:
    (a) retire alone to some unoccupied compartment of the booth, and there, in private, mark his or her vote on the ballot paper;
    (b) fold the ballot paper so as to conceal his or her vote and:
    (i) if the voter is not an absent voter—deposit it in the ballot‑box; or
    (ii) if the voter is an absent voter—return it to the presiding officer; and
    (c) quit the booth.

    If you are an ordinary voter, you have to put a ballot paper in the ballot box.

    Imagine a hypothetical case where a voter accepts a ballot paper, goes into a voting compartment, does not mark a vote on the ballot paper, folds the ballot paper, and puts it in the box. That voter has committed the offence of failing to vote. However, if proceedings were instituted against that voter for that offence, and if the voter stated (falsely), ‘But I did vote’, there would be no evidence that could be produced to show that the voter was lying and the offence had been committed.

    Now imagine a hypothetical case where a voter takes a ballot paper, tears it into pieces, throws them in the air, and walks out of the polling place without taking another ballot paper. That voter too has committed the offence of failing to vote. What is more, if proceedings were instituted against that voter for that offence, and if the voter stated (falsely), ‘But I did vote’, there would be evidence (in the form of eyewitness testimony) that could be produced to show that the voter was lying and the offence had been committed.

    In theory, voters are required by law to vote. In practice, they can avoid having this requirement enforced against them by putting a ballot paper into the ballot box (a paper not marked with a vote); but just attending at the polling place and having your name marked off cannot be guaranteed to have the same practical effect.

    (Also, if you’re an ordinary voter and not an absent voter, you’re not supposed to hand your ballot paper to an official, which I expect also means that the official is not supposed to accept it from you; you’re supposed to put it in the box yourself. If you’ve been handing your ordinary vote to the official and the official has been accepting it, the official has not been following the correct procedure.)

  19. J-D
    June 23rd, 2014 at 11:43 | #19

    @Megan

    It is evident that there is a significant number of voters who find Labor and the Coalition indistinguishable in all the respects that matter to them, and who are disaffected as a result.

    But it is also evident that there is a significant number of voters who find that Labor and the Coalition are not indistinguishable in all the respects that matter to them, and who find themselves able to choose between them on that basis.

    There are things that matter to me that don’t matter to other people, and there are things that matter to other people that don’t matter to me.

    There are things that matter to you that don’t matter to other people, and there are things that matter to other people that don’t matter to you.

  20. Fran Barlow
    June 23rd, 2014 at 18:06 | #20

    @J-D

    You forgot the part where I said “in practice”. In my case I have on one occasion, walked directly from the table where I’ve received my ballot and out the door making sure I was seen. A polling official gave chase and when he approached me I told him firmly that I had no intention of returning to the booth or voting and that I intended to keep my ballot. Unless he planned to effect an arrest then and there, I would leave. He wisely chose not to try.

    On another occasion I shredded the ballot with an ostentatiously large pair of scissors and handed it to the official. On none of these occasions did anyone try to charge me.

    Clearly, the law on voting is not enforced. On another occasion when I failed to attend I did receive an infringement notice but advised that I objected on conscientious grounds as the likely winner and second place-getter were unsupportable and I objected to being coerced to vote for them. I heard nothing more after that.

  21. J-D
    June 24th, 2014 at 01:23 | #21

    @Fran Barlow

    I find your report of your experiences interesting. I described hypothetical, not actual cases, because I didn’t have information about actual cases.

    An official publication by the AEC cites a number of court decisions affirming the principle that having no preference for any of the candidates is not a valid reason, under the law as it stands, for not voting.

    I admit to some curiosity about why the AEC officials have been choosing not to enforce the law in your case, but I wouldn’t rely on it as evidence that the law is not enforced at all. A 2005 research brief on compulsory voting from the Parliamentary Library has an appendix with details enforcement action after the 2004 election: over fifty thousand people paid $20 penalties for not voting.

    (Enforcement action does not include arresting people. What you did when you didn’t vote was plainly an offence against the law, but not an arrestable offence.)

  22. Collin Street
    June 27th, 2014 at 07:58 | #23

    Sigh.

    People are obliged to vote, but ss239/240 don’t fall under that enforcement, because they set out how people “mark their vote”, not how they “vote”. Lodging a blank ballot is “voting”: it doesn’t comply with ss239/240, but ss239/240 have no enforcement mechanism. Not lodging a ballot at all or staying home doesn’t count as “voting” and falls under the enforcement mechanism.

    The law is written such that not expressing a preference is possible, but requires that you jump through the same hoops as someone who does want to express a preference, such that there’s no incentive to not-vote on account of its being easier. For fairly obvious and I think reasonable social-policy grounds.

    The law doesn’t say “oh by the way you can totes avoid expressing a preference if you vote informal”, but it doesn’t need to. That which is not prohibited is permitted.

    [it's been a while, but as I remember adaptive voting technology -- telephones, computers -- was written to permit people to cast votes not complying with ss239/240: would have made programming it substantially trickier, particularly in the user interface....]

  23. J-D
    June 27th, 2014 at 08:08 | #24

    @malthusista

    If there were a threat of war between the US and its allies on one side and Russia and China on the other, no other issue could approach it in urgency and importance.

    But there isn’t.

  24. J-D
    June 27th, 2014 at 08:11 | #25

    @Collin Street

    That’s what I said: not lodging a ballot does not count as voting and falls under the enforcement mechanism — at least in principle: Fran Barlow’s account of her experiences indicates that in at least some cases polling officials are failing to act accordingly.

    I don’t know what s239 and s240 say and am not clear on why you’re bringing them up.

  25. Collin Street
    June 27th, 2014 at 10:49 | #26

    Well, since you’d been talking about the material covered by ss239 and 240 of the commonwealth electoral act for the past week or more I kind of assumed that you’d familiarised yourself with their exact provisions, enough to recognise their numbers at least.

    Clearly this was an unfair assumption. I apologise unreservedly.

  26. June 27th, 2014 at 11:18 | #27

    J-D @ #24 wrote:

    But there isn’t [a threat of war between the US and its allies on one side and Russia and China on the other].

    A regime of Nazis and right-wing neoliberal extremists, installed on Russia’s border by the same people who in recent years, have on fraudulent pretexts (“incubator babies”, WMDS, Gulf of Tonkin, …) :

    1. Waged war against Iraq twice and applied economic sanctions from 1990 which have killed at least many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (with one estimate putting the figure as high as 3.3 million);

    2. Bombed Sarajevo and overthrew the Serbian government of Slobodan Milosevic (Milosevic conveniently “committed suicide” in 2006 before he could be tried for his alleged crimes);

    3. Invaded Libya in 2011; and

    4. Started a proxy terrorist war against the people of Syria (including Syrian Christians, some of whom speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus) in which over 160,000 Syrians have died so far;

    … is killing people in the East of Ukraine who do not want to live under the Ukrainian Nazi regime with aerial bombardment, artillery fire, tanks and infantry;

    Europe, and the Unites States have applied sanctions against Russia because of its alleged support for anti-Nazi fighters in East Ukraine and because Crimeans chose to join Russia rather than under the rule of the Nazis in Kiev;

    Promises given to Russia not to expand NATO have been broken. NATO now also includes Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia;

    The United states is expanding its nuclear arsenal and plans to deploy some of them in Eastern Europe, possibly even in Ukraine; and

    NATO is conducting military exercise in the Baltic as war rages in the Ukraine.

    Surely, you can now see how real and terrible the threat of a global war is, J-D?

    If you can’t, please feel welcome to cite Paul Craig Roberts and me in order to explain why we are wrong, J-D.

  27. J-D
    June 27th, 2014 at 11:20 | #28

    @Collin Street

    I made no reference to s239 or s240. I quoted s233(1) and s245(15). Should I offer you an apology for mistakenly assuming that you can tell different numbers apart?

  28. J-D
    June 27th, 2014 at 12:23 | #29

    @malthusista

    No, I still cannot see any threat of a global war between the US and its allies on the one side and Russia and China on the other.

  29. Collin Street
    June 27th, 2014 at 12:35 | #30

    My assumption was that in addition to the sections you’ve quoted you’d also read ss239/240, and I thought this because it seemed to me that from their headings alone they would have obvious relevance to the question of what constitutes a vote.

    On what you’ve told me, J-D, this was an unfair assumption, and I apologise for making it.

  30. Collin Street
    June 27th, 2014 at 12:36 | #31

    Incidentally, I’m not entirely sure what continued relevance the details of the australian electoral act have to do with the situation in iraq: perhaps it might be most politic [ha!] to simply drop the matter entirely?

  31. J-D
    June 27th, 2014 at 13:47 | #32

    @Collin Street

    I have now read s239 and s240: they don’t affect one way or the other the validity of the point I was making earlier.

  32. J-D
    June 27th, 2014 at 14:00 | #33

    @Fran Barlow

    I am advised by the Australian Electoral Commission that polling officials have instructions that electors who leave the booth without putting ballot papers in the ballot boxes should be reminded of the requirement do so (as you describe happening to yourself in one case); but also that they have instructions that their personal safety and that of others at the polling place is a primary concern and they should not continue to engage with people who are behaving abusively or aggressively.

    What should have happened in the cases that you describe is that details of the incidents should have been reported to the Divisional Returning Officer (DRO) and the DRO should have issued you with an enforcement notice, except that the DRO would not have been able to do this if the polling officials couldn’t supply your name (which is easily possible).

    Since the AEC reports enforcement action on a significant scale, the fact that none was taken against you does not show a systematic policy of non-enforcement.

  33. June 27th, 2014 at 15:11 | #34

    I wrote (@ #22):

    Can Putin’s Diplomacy Prevail Over Washington’s Coercion?

    Article is by Paul CraigRoberts

    (My introduction: )The article, of 24 June 2014 by Paul Craig Roberts, concerns an issue to which no other issue can approach in urgency and importance – the threat of war between the United States and its allies on the one hand and Russia and China on the other. Such a war could well be the end of humanity. …

    Then M-D wrote (@ #24):

    @malthusista

    If there were a threat of war between the US and its allies on one side and Russia and China on the other, no other issue could approach it in urgency and importance.

    But there isn’t.

    Then I wrote (@ #27):

    A regime of Nazis and right-wing neoliberal extremists, installed on Russia’s border by the same people who in recent years, have on fraudulent pretexts (“incubator babies”, WMDS, Gulf of Tonkin, …) :

    1. Waged war against Iraq twice and applied economic sanctions from 1990 which have killed at least many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (with one estimate putting the figure as high as 3.3 million);

    2. Bombed Sarajevo and overthrew the Serbian government of Slobodan Milosevic (Milosevic conveniently “committed suicide” in 2006 before he could be tried for his alleged crimes);

    Then M-D wrote (@ #29):

    @malthusista

    No, I still cannot see any threat of a global war between the US and its allies on the one side and Russia and China on the other.

    You should apply for a job at Fox News. Jeanine Pirro and you would make a great team.

  34. J-D
    June 27th, 2014 at 16:27 | #35

    @malthusista

    Jeanine Pirro thinks that ISIS is ‘coming for us’. I don’t think that ISIS is ‘coming for us’.

    Jeanine Pirro thinks that the US should bomb ISIS. I don’t think that the US should bomb ISIS.

    Jeanine Pirro thinks that Barack Obama is dancing around with political correctness. I don’t think that Barack Obama is dancing around with political correctness.

    I can’t see anything that Jeanine Pirro and I agree about.

  35. alfred venison
    June 27th, 2014 at 18:17 | #36

    @malthusista
    my comment made at 8:00 am in response to your comment made at 12:48 am is still in moderation! for the sake of one link. so with the link “de-clawed”, i salute you:-

    was it you who posted paul craig roberts here before? i’ve book marked him, thanks. this is good, too:- http://www.vineyardsaker.blogspot.comdotau/

    sakar (ex russian army intel) a has situation reports (sitrep) from one “juan” (ex ukrainian army infantry) on the ground in east ukraine. sakar’s take is that they (nato/us/ukraine) were trying to provoke russia into intervention, by bombing civilians from the air and using artillery on suburbs. he has a lot of good stuff including videos – stuff we never see here – but some of the comments have to be taken with a grain of salt. -cheers, a.v.

  36. alfred venison
    June 27th, 2014 at 18:18 | #37

    one more time.

    my comment made at 8:00 am in response to your comment made at 12:48 am is still in moderation! for the sake of one link. so with the link “de-clawed” i salute you:-

    was you who posted paul craig roberts here before? i’ve book marked him, thanks.

    this is good, too: http://www.vineyardsaker.blogspot.com [dot] au/

    sakar (ex russian army intel) a has situation reports (sitrep) from one “juan” (ex ukrainian army infantry) on the ground in east ukraine. sakar’s take is that they (nato/us/ukraine) were trying to provoke russia into intervention, by bombing civilians from the air and using artillery on suburbs. he has a lot of good stuff including videos – stuff we never see here – but some of the comments have to be taken with a grain of salt. -cheers, a.v.

  37. alfred venison
    June 27th, 2014 at 18:32 | #38

    malthusista – i totally get what you’re saying about ukraine. never heard of jeanine pirro, don’t have cable. -a.v.

  38. June 27th, 2014 at 22:11 | #39

    alfred venison (@ #37, #37)

    Thank you so much for your interest and support.

    The vineyardsaker-dot-blogpot-dot-com web-site seems most impressive.

    Particularly impressive is the music video “Ukraine: Code Red”. It doesn’t seem to lose much by not having English vocals. What is clearly going on in 2014 in Ukraine is very similar to what occurred in Europe from 1933 until 1945. If we aren’t very careful, we may end up with another global conflagration like the Second World War in which 60 million died, or worse.

    Few of our world political leaders are any better than those who appeased the Nazis until 1939. Many are acting no better than the leaders of the Third Reich themselves or all those vile European leaders who collaborated with them: Phillipe Petain, Pier Laval, Vidkun Quisling, Ante Pavelic, etc.

    Have you considered posting to our site? Like (I believe is the case with) Professor Quiggin, we haven’t yet censored any posts (except for abusive posts, posts which are illegal and forum spam). If we can’t defend our views against those who disagree then we should change our views.

    As on this web-site (as I understand) and unlike a few other Australian forum sites, we never censor (except for forum spam, or unless the post is abusive, overly verbose – which hasn’t happened yet- or somehow illegal). If we can’t defend our views with evidence and logic in a free discussion, then we should change those views. This has not happened so far (except on subsidiary questions, like whether or not Vladimir Putin has exercised good judgement when he recntly had the Russian upper house pass legislation).

    Another writer, who is opposed to the New World Order and who is very thoughtful and insightful is Tony Cartalucci (aka “Land Destroyer”). His latest article on Ukraine is here. Some of what he writes goes against my own intuition, but I think even here, he is most likely right.

  39. June 27th, 2014 at 22:14 | #40

    Apologies for the repetition in the last post (@#38) The second last paragraph should have been removed.

  40. J-D
    June 28th, 2014 at 08:24 | #41

    @alfred venison

    That you ‘get’ what malthusista is saying about Ukraine adds no evidence of its accuracy.

  41. J-D
    June 28th, 2014 at 08:30 | #42

    @alfred venison

    Skimming through Saker’s website my eye chanced to fall on this line:

    Wars are horrible and atrocities are the norm, not the exception.

    I absolutely agree with that. The correct default assumption is that in any war there will be instances of atrocities committed by both sides. And therefore specific evidence of specific atrocities doesn’t generally tell us anything about the structure of the conflict as a whole (except, to repeat, that’s it’s horrible as war always is).

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