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Posts posted by Rayvin

  1. 19 hours ago, spongebob toonpants said:


    This article doesn't say much though. The solitary point it makes in defence of withdrawing is that the cost of lives in maintaining the status quo remains significant. And that's fair enough but there's not enough detail given either in this article or in the one it links to, to actually be able to firm up that judgement.


    The rest of the article is attacking the press - and I'm normally right on board with that, but I'm afraid that Biden having been elected by 83m Americans and being supported by 70% of his country doesn't actually make him right, despite what the article appears to be claiming. It just makes his decision popular. It further claims that we shouldn't trust policy experts and military officials over a civilian generalist, which I find bizarre.


    I went into that one with an open mind but it's usual guardian style "look at us giving the floor to both sides of this without actually putting a credible argument forward" stuff. You made a better case for this the other day than this article does.

  2. 1 minute ago, spongebob toonpants said:

    China is already well on the way to be being the world Superpower but they are doing it financially rather than by invasion. They are lending money hand over fist to developing nations for modernisation and infrastructure, which countries will never be able to pay back.

    They will then take payment in natural resources and and achieve an economic stranglehold that way.



    True, but they'll have to invade Taiwan if they want that back. Which they do. I'd estimate within 10 years. And don't forget they have a populace full of raving nationalists. Expansionism may well become a bigger part of their plan once the US declines.


    Either way though, I don't want China to be the world super power. I still think far worse than the US. Xi Jinping has been more and more aggressive and recent times in both speeches and policy. Would far prefer Europe to take over again, possibly with support from Russia in a post-Putin era. Either way, China replacing the US is not good news in my book.

    • Like 1
  3. True, but the US retreating from the world stage like this is going to create a vacuum of power and encourage countries like China to go on the take. The whole thing is worrying to me, I'm not personally of the opinion that Western civilisation is all bad and I fear for people elsewhere. Maybe that's arrogant but it is what it is.


    I do feel that we had a responsibility to Afghanistan after everything we did, and I do not think anything we have done here meets that responsibility. At least we're taking refugees I suppose.

  4. 1 hour ago, spongebob toonpants said:

    Good grief, you want more of the US being the world's policeman? American foreign policy has been a complete shitshow since WW2, and every intervention they have made has been a disaster. 


    I want International political consensus to achieve things, eventually evolving into the elimination of the nation state entirely - the vehicles for delivering this are breaking down though. I don't want the US to be world police specifically, but I do want someone to do it - and I don't think we're quite ready for a real consensus yet.

    • Like 1
  5. I have strong concerns about China being a far worse global issue than the US ever has been - and the US stepping back from the world stage has emboldened people like Bolsonaro with all the consequences that has had for climate change. We need a strong US until Europe or some more mature power can replace it. Surely the alternative is that we go back to cold and hot wars between major powers.


    I don't like US imperialism or aggression, but I'd support one world government style solutions to problems, and with the US shrinking into the background that just feels further away than ever. That's not really the topic here of course, but it's my concern.


    And my rage about Afghanistan concerns how little they appear to care about the brown people they've just left behind.


    EDIT - will also add that this decision seems pretty popular with the yanks, which is I expect why it's been done. He's made himself look weak by how terribly it's gone, but the actual decision seemed to be welcomed.

    • Like 1
  6. Just gonna have to agree to disagree, I guess.


    Still maintain that this has made the US look very weak, can't see any other angle on that. Maybe it was inevitable as you think, but I'm having a really hard time believing that this couldn't have been handled far better.


    Still, the US is in decline. Not sure what else we can expect at this point.

  7. 1 hour ago, spongebob toonpants said:

    I'm a little surprised that the reaction in this forum that the solution to a 20 year occupation of a foreign country is more US imperialism 


    I also think that considering the situation over there, where there is obviously very little support for the occupying forces, the evacuation has gone as well as they could have hoped


    The solution was competent and robust withdrawal to give the remaining civilian and military forces time to organise themselves to oppose a bloodthirsty and murderous regime.


    All I'm getting from this withdrawal is arrogant, imperialist sentiments that the lives of the local people don't matter in the slightest. That's what is so enraging about it. We went in without a care or thought about these people, occupied the country for 20 years, and then threw them to the wolves. Its just disgusting.

    • Like 2
  8. I would find it hard to believe that most if any levels of Afghan government and military had much more forewarning about this than we did.


    No we don't stay there forever, yes we never should have gone in, but to call all Afghani people who joined the democratic side "in it for the money or corrupt" is just poor taste IMO.


    Viewed differently, what we have done is spent 20 years rooting all all the pro-democracy elements that the Taliban might have struggled to deal with themselves, and handed them over on a plate.


    What exactly would have stopped US forces from continuing to occupy Kabul in full until they had evacuated everyone they needed to? Like fuck would the Taliban have launched an out and out attack on a full US contingent of soldiers.


    It's because Biden doesn't give a fuck about the lives lost. Not sure I can be convinced otherwise. America first, no matter the cost.

  9. 4 hours ago, Gemmill said:

    This is a giant fuck-up, but the idea that Biden's America is worse than Trump's is absolute nonsense.


    Not exactly what I meant although I can see how it needed further explanation.


    Trump devastated America's World standing and rather than redeeming it, with Afghanistan, Biden appears to have reinforced the perception of weakness that Trump created.


    That's all I meant. America looks more feeble now than at any time in living memory, IMO.

  10. In a private conversation in 2010 with Holbrooke, the book says, Biden argued that America does not have an obligation to Afghans who trusted it: “Fuck that, we don’t have to worry about that. We did it in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger got away with it,”


    We're just following in Biden's lead.


    This whole thing has been a complete shambles. America looks even more pathetic at the moment than it did under Trump. Granted, Trump did a lot of the damage there for Biden to start with, but at his first real international test, Biden has taken a step down rather than up. This whole fiasco does such a disservice to everyone who worked and died for Afghanistan for 20 fucking years.

    • Confused 1
  11. 3 hours ago, Renton said:

    This is an interesting view on Afghanistan from the  Biden perspective. Taken at face value, I still think the choice is cowardlym morally reprehensible and ultimately counter-productive like, but anyway.





    As always seems to be the way these days, I agree with you. From the perspective of both the Afghanis but also our own soldiers who have effectively wasted time, blood and lives for this capitulation.


    I don't know what the options on the table were but it seems clear that we stopped trying at a political level to advance the situation, some years back.

  12. I reckon he'll see out the term.


    There's no threat coming from anywhere else no matter how good an occasional speech might be. We're midway through the Tory era, they're safe as houses IMO.

  13. In a geopolitical sense maybe you're right. Also it seems more and more certain to me that they're going to take back Taiwan, so the more the international community is opposed to them, the harder that will become.


    Either way though, I suspect a lot of innocent Chinese people will suffer a lot of abuse.

  14. 10 minutes ago, TheGingerQuiff said:

    Because they are actively preventing people from gathering it :lol:


    Which is something they or any other major country would do irrespective of whether or not they had something to hide. Would the US let international inspectors in to verify whether or not it had done something like this?


    It's just as likely that they wouldn't want someone to come in and expose the fact that their safety regulations/responses to the issue were entirely inadequate. We just don't have the evidence to speculate. I'm also not entirely sure what good comes of assuming or even knowing that they created it in a lab. We can't sue them, we won't go to war over it and we're not going to stop trading with them. We would see a global anti-Chinese backlash that would affect the lives of many innocent Chinese people quite negatively.


    You could argue that the truth is all that matters but the last thing we need IMO is to give the sort of people who voted for Trump something they can cling onto that might legitimise everything he said. "Trump was right about the China virus, maybe he was right about drinking bleach too!" While that particular example would solve many of the world's problems, I can't countenance it in good faith - sadly.

  15. I mean I remember being given a lecture with my class by a party official when I lived there that went along the lines of "Prostitution does not exist in China. But if it did, you would be arrested for getting involved with it".


    If the question here is whether or not the CCP is capable of lying about this issue, the answer is 100% yes. See also the US government. No government in the world is beyond that, frankly - except maybe the European ones.


    I don't think that was ever the contention. It was that there was no evidence.

  16. 55 minutes ago, ewerk said:

    If I want to watch scantily clad ladies I'll dust off my Jayna Oso boxset, not tune in to BBC2 at 6am to watch girls showing a tiny bit of ass.


    You maybe, but not everyone is as respectable and pure as you, ewerk..!

  17. 16 hours ago, TheGingerQuiff said:

    Aye get Osbourne in to cut disability benefits


    Pretty sure I remember reading that some 500,000 people have had their disability benefits cut under Johnson. And that he proposed that they go and get jobs. I can see articles about it online but they're admittedly only in local papers and not the major ones, so I'm hesitant to assume it's truth. But I think at the least it's probably safe to say that he hasn't done anything to make the situation better, while carrying our a number of actions which mean that their cost of living will go up.

  18. 17 minutes ago, thebrokendoll said:

    this is outrageous. don't these women realise that the sports governing body just want to create greater exposure. really, if they decided that lady's beach volleyball should be played topless then the norwegians should be happy to embrace that idea too. :)


    (apologies if already posted)




    I strongly suspect that alongside "macho, conservative values" this will be influenced by "knowing who their viewers are". 


    The world might change and get to the stage where people don't want to watch volleyball for the scantily clad ladies, but I suspect that when/if that does happen, the real change will be that people just won't watch volleyball :lol:

  19. I would take anyone with a degree of responsibility. Even an austere one. Johnson is an irresponsible child, squandering resources and wealth on things he doesn't understand, for outcomes he isn't informed about. Give me Osborne over this dopey fuck any day of the week. And then let me vote him out next time.


    Anything would be better at this point than this incompetent cunt of a man. 

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