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Thread: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ephilant View Post
    This is what I actually stated:

    the quote marks make all the difference. I really wish you would stop twisting words and meanings. This is the second time you pull my words totally out of context. So, for the record:

    I have not, will not and would not ever engage in protecting any so called "national interests", no matter who makes the claim. PLEASE NOTE THE QUOTE MARKS. The downing of flight IR655 was not a scene of a major accident, it was the scene of a major war crime, perpetrated by the crew of USS Vincennes, on behalf of its government, and left unpunished. Plain and simple.

    For the rest, let me make it very clear what is wrong.
    In one of your worth while stories you mention the "investment" of
    . Meanwhile, 600 million later, somebody is wondering why it hasn't paid off. Here's why.
    600 million dollars would have build an awful lot of schools, trained a lot of badly needed teachers, health care professionals, and other very much needed skills which are always sadly lacking in impoverished communities. Instead of threatening the people of Yemen with 600 million worth of military hardware in the hands of a psychotic leader(at what profit to the death merchants back home???), the US could have given the people of Yemen 600 milliion worth of hope and a possible future to look forward to. But then, such an action would of course deny the US military a testing ground for their new toys, and deny the US politicians back home good looking headlines. After all, who wants to know how many hundreds of adults and children in Yemen were taught to read and write if we can tell them that we again killed 6 "terrorists" today, and publish the gorey pictures to go with it?
    The problem, Count, is that the US government consistently invests in governments instead of in people. Governments change as soon as the next psychopath sees his/her chance, or the current psychopath steps out of US dictated line (ie. Saleh in Yemen, or Saddam Hussein in Iraq for that matter). People however evolve. How they evolve depends very much so on how they are treated. And that is where the whole thing miserably fails, time and time again, because they get threated like disposables, in the furtherance of short-term power instead of vital components of a long term, sustainable future for all, including the US...
    You and me are never going to fully agree on US foreign policy.


    In the context of your ambiguously worded statement about your experiences and my question arising from it, the quote marks don't make all the difference, they're almost irrelevant, because you were neither "protecting their interests" or for "9 years of it" as I put in quotes. You observed the US "protecting their interests" just like the rest of us, albeit from maybe a closer vantage point. You worked in the shipping services industry, fishermen, boat traders, dock workers, and maybe every resident of the Gulf states could likely make a similar claim, there's nothing exceptional to it.


    I'm not attempting to twist your words, I'm attempting to establish the "facts" arising from an ambiguous statement. Am I correct in saying you worked in the shipping services industry for nine years? That's what you seemed to imply in your clarification. If the answer to that is yes, then the follow up questions are:


    1: What particular insights does the shipping services industry, generally, provide with respect to the US "protecting their interests" that would not be otherwise observable?


    2: Beyond the weeks or months you were involved with the IR655 recovery, and I in no way seek to demean that, it must have been horrific can you offer any other examples specific to your nine years that would reinforce your claim.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    AL QAEDA YEMEN BRANCH PROMPTED U.S. ATTACK, via The Wall Street Journal's Siobhan Gorman: 'The terror plot that has temporarily shut down 19 U.S. diplomatic posts wasn't ordered by al Qaeda's leader Ayman al Zawahiri, but proposed by al Qaeda's Yemeni branch and approved by the global Qaeda chief, a senior U.S. official said Thursday in a more specific description of the plot's origin. The intercepted communications of exchanges between Mr. Zawahiri and the leader of the Yemen branch, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, showed Mr. Wuhayshi presenting his plan of attack in order to seek tacit approval, and he received it, several current and former U.S. officials say.' http://on.wsj.com/134mzbm
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    You and me are never going to fully agree on US foreign policy.


    In the context of your ambiguously worded statement about your experiences and my question arising from it, the quote marks don't make all the difference, they're almost irrelevant, because you were neither "protecting their interests" or for "9 years of it" as I put in quotes. You observed the US "protecting their interests" just like the rest of us, albeit from maybe a closer vantage point. You worked in the shipping services industry, fishermen, boat traders, dock workers, and maybe every resident of the Gulf states could likely make a similar claim, there's nothing exceptional to it.


    I'm not attempting to twist your words, I'm attempting to establish the "facts" arising from an ambiguous statement. Am I correct in saying you worked in the shipping services industry for nine years? That's what you seemed to imply in your clarification. If the answer to that is yes, then the follow up questions are:


    1: What particular insights does the shipping services industry, generally, provide with respect to the US "protecting their interests" that would not be otherwise observable?


    2: Beyond the weeks or months you were involved with the IR655 recovery, and I in no way seek to demean that, it must have been horrific can you offer any other examples specific to your nine years that would reinforce your claim.
    1) "Protecting their interests" is in quote marks because it refers directly to the standard US foreign policy statement that their actions are undertaken to "protect US interest in the region/area/country/..", take your pick. It is standard practice to use this form and there is nothing ambigious about it, unless you twist it that way.

    2) If you would care to actually read what is written rather than give an edited, and totally twisted version of it, you would have noticed this little sentence :
    I spent a long time out on sea, worked my way up from deckhand to master, and specialized in deep sea fire-fighting, salvage and rescue.
    This is also a very clear indicator that there was a lot more time involved in this career than the 9 years you keep hammering on. In fact, working your way up from deckhand to master will take at least that, if promotion immediately follows each new level reached. Which it doesn't...
    Because I also mention "my crew", it clearly indicates that these 9 years are in the latter part of my career, and were preceeded by a long period of work and study before getting there. In fact, I got my masters degree while in the gulf (1986 to be exact), and got promoted because the skipper I sailed with was killed off Kharg island and I was the only person on board properly qualified to take over. It really is not that difficult to read things for what they really mean. It mightn't suit when trying to defend the indefensible, but that's a different argument...

    3) of the top of my head

    -
    MV Azarpad (14 killed)
    MV World Admiral
    MV Mokran (38 dead) This tanker got hit 3 times during the war, it sank after the 3 hit.
    MV Tenacity (Unknown crew number, no survivors)
    MV Neptunia (if I remember well, this was the first tanker to sink in the conflict)
    MT Setareh
    MV Good Luck (19 killed)
    MV Ryuyo Maru
    MT Amethyst
    MV Kharg (sank)
    MV Heyang Ilho (sank)
    MV Tabriz (sank)
    MT Yousseff (23 dead)
    MV Avra (sank)
    MV Mar Transporter
    MT Elisabeth (sank)

    These are not in chronological order, as you will no doubt check in your quest to establish "the facts". And of course, there was USS Stark which was hit of the coast of Bahrain and refused the help of specialist vessels in the name of "national security". Badly hit, the captain (?) refused help from the salvage tugs (with medically trained crew on board and much better fire fighting equipment than the US navy provided) and we were told to keep our distance or else. Instead of using the trained, specialist crews nearby, they waited 24 hours for another ill equipped US destroyer to come and give them a hand... I hate to think how many of the 37 US sailors that died did so needlessly, because of "national security"

    Prior to the gulf, MV Mont Louis (carrying US made, US banned equipment for the Siberian oil pipeline, and nuclear wast from Cherbourg heading for Murmansk. Sank of the Belgian coast), Piper Alfha oil platform in the North Sea, the raising of MV Betelgeuse, the French tanker that explode at Whiddy Island in Ireland(1979) (where we lost a diver), and one of my first jobs as a deckhand, an attempted salvage on the Torrey Canyon which hit Pollard's Rock fully laden with crude oil and was eventually bombed out of existence by the Royal Navy and RAF.

    Again, if memory serves me well, over 525 ships were sunk or damaged in that 9 year period, and we were present with at least 90 of them. Most were hit by the Iraqi air force, with the silent agreement of the US military in the area. Some, including ourselves, became the victim of randomly dropped sea mines. While on shore waiting for repairs, I got to know a good few ordinary Irani people very well, and was a guest with one family for the 14 weeks the repairs took. Most of than man's family was murdered by SAVAK, he and his wife took refuge in the area of his wife's family, near Tabriz. He did not blame SAVAK for this, he blamed the US for allowing them to do it. Without US support, SAVAK would not have existed. There are hundreds of thousands of relatives of SAVAK victims in Iran, and they all think the same way. As do the relatives of drone victims in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere. If you are going to commit acts of war, expect to be despised for it, with all the consequences that go with that, including revenge. If you offer a helping hand, expect to be respected for it, with all the consequences that come from that, including friendship. You do not demand respect, you earn it. And you certainly don't force it. That will always backfire...
    I know the retort will be that all this was between Iraq and Iran, nothing to do with the US. It is usually followed by "we were only there to protect our (= the reflagged Kuwaiti) ships.
    Reality is that Saddam Hussein was one of the many US backed puppets who went rogue, while the whole situation in Iran was a direct result of the US backing of the Shah and his extremely brutal regime. The war between the 2 countries was a direct result of US interference in the area, meaning, "protecting US interests", ie. oil.

    I will repeat it again, if a fraction of the money invested by the US in propping up corrupt puppet governments with military hardware and military personel (in return for the protection of "US interests") would have been spent on people instead of psychopaths, millions of people would not have needlessly died or be living in poverty and fear of their lives. Some of it could, God forbid even have been spent at home, on disadvantaged US citizens.
    Governments come and go (or get pushed), headlines are past tense the moment they are printed, but people have very long memories, especially when it comes to remembering those who threat them like crap. Put somebody with such memories with his/her back against the wall, as is happening in the Yemen and elsewhere, and you simply don't know what will happen next. What you can bet on is that whatever it is, it will not be nice... 9/11 springs to mind.
    Like everybody else, the US government must learn that they are not just reponsible for their immediate actions, they are also responsible for the consequences of those actions. Unfortunately, those consequences usually mean lots of dead people, including lots of Americans. The continuing short-sightedness that continues to rule foreign policies is mind-boggling.
    Last edited by Ephilant; 10-08-2013 at 01:23 PM.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Because this post itself is very long, rather than quote it in full here, and make things even worse, this is a response to Ephilant's post @33 immediately above

    We need to bring this discussion to an end, its not accomplishing much, and this will be my last word on the matter.

    You did not say you had 9 years experience of observing them "protecting their interests" which would have been much clearer, you said:
    With all due respect Count, I have personal, first hand experience with US foreign policy when it comes to "protecting their interests". 9 years of it (1981-1988), capped by the downing of flight IR655 by USS Vincennes in July 1988
    .

    Despite your claims to the contrary, those sentences can easily be read as, you claiming to have 9 years of personal first hand experience of the US protecting their foreign policy interests, as opposed to simply observing them protecting their interests. The downing of IR655 was not a 9 year event.

    But that's not how I read it anyway. Instead, I thought, there’s a couple of possibilities here, I better seek clarification, and so I asked the question, and explained my reason, rather than jump to any conclusions.

    I repeat, I'm not attempting to "twist" your words. There was genuine confusion.

    I don't understand why you are criticizing me for focusing, "hammering" in your words, on the 9 year period of 1981-1988. You cited that as the relevant period of your first hand experience. I know nothing of, (beyond of course what you share here), and have made no claims of any sort about, any of your experiences outside that period. So telling me that you spent a long time at sea, doesn’t tell me very much.

    All you really needed to do to clear up all this was simply say I began my sea going career in the shipping services industry as a deckhand in 19xx and and retired as a Master in xxxx. during the referenced period of 1981-1988 I had the following experiences relevant to observing the US protect their interests...............

    You've listed many landmarks of your career, beginning with the Torrey Canyon and the others such as Mont Louis, Piper Alpha, Betelgeuse, which is fine. But I don't see how any of these relate to your claim of first hand experience observing the US "protecting their interests" in the period 1981-1988. Likewise your story about the SAVAK. I don't challenge the veracity of your account, but simply point out that SAVAK was disbanded in 1979 as a direct result of the Iranian revolution. All the bad things that happened to your friends family at the hands of the SAVAK happened before 1979. So in that sense reference to the SAVAK is also meaningless to your claim.

    You suggested I might do some fact checking, and I did. Would have done it anyway. If I understand you correctly, and that still is an if, you claim to have gained your first hand experience of observing the US "protecting their interests" during the period 1981-1988 which pretty much coincides with the timeline of the Iran Iraq war. You mentioned the US naval protection of the re-flagged Kuwaiti ships, and said:
    I know the retort will be that all this was between Iraq and Iran, nothing to do with the US. It is usually followed by "we were only there to protect our (= the reflagged Kuwaiti) ships
    This would likely have been your primary experience of observing the US "protecting their interests". So I looked up some sources on that, and I found several, but I'll confine myself to one, because I don't think there's much need to go beyond that.


    It’s a short paper on the "Tanker War" from a larger project on the Strait of Hormuz (which I think you might be interested in anyway) by the University of Texas at Austin.

    Turns out the US Navy was not protecting any shipping in the Gulf in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, or 1986. US protection of shipping did not begin until 1987. See these excerpts:

    In response to the increased effectiveness of Iranian attacks in 1987, Kuwait drew the United States into the region to protect oil tanker traffic. The U.S. reflagged Kuwaiti tankers, making them U.S. ships eligible for U.S. Navy escort, and provided security of shipping to and from neutral Gulf countries.[vi]...........

    .............

    • November 1, 1986: Neutral Kuwait appeals to the international community to protect its shipping interests in the Gulf, resulting in the "re-flagging" of Kuwaiti tankers. The USSR is the first nation to respond, and the US leads the international effort in order to minimize the Soviet role in the Gulf.
    • March 7, 1987: The United States announces its decision to re-flag Kuwaiti tankers.
    • August 8, 1988: Iran and Iraq agree to a cease-fire.


    Lessons Learned
    The Tanker War provides a useful historical background on a hypothetical future conflict in the Strait of Hormuz. Below are some key takeaways from the eight-year conflict:

    1. Iran and Iraq used anti-ship cruise missiles in more than half of all attacks on shipping during the Tanker War. Iraq used missiles in approximately 80 percent of their attacks oncommercial ships.[viii]



    1. Oil tankers are not very vulnerable to damage. 61 percent of the ships attacked during the Tanker War were oil tankers. In total, only 55 of the 239 petroleum tankers (23 percent) were completely sunk or declared CTL, compared to 39 percent of bulk carriers and 34 percent of freighters.[ix]
    and the full document with links to the rest of the Strait of Hormuz project is here.

    https://www.strausscenter.org/hormuz/tanker-war.html

    Two conclusions seem possible.

    1: You had a genuine lapse of memory, which happens to the best of us. It has certainly happened to me.

    2: That 1981-1988 claim of first hand experience of observing the US "protecting their interests" now looks more like a classic example of an old sea dog embellishing a story. I'll leave others to judge.
    About the Project

    This website, last updated on August 1, 2008, is the product of a Policy Research Project, a year-long graduate course at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. In addition to the background information offered here, the project produced an analytical report estimating the physical, economic, and intangible impacts of attacks on tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. To view an executive summary of the report, click here.
    The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law provided financial support for the project. Professor Eugene Gholz directed a working group of sixteen master's candidates at the LBJ School of Public Affairs: Casey Addis, Katie Brueckman, Anna Cherkasova, Nick Doughty, Shannon Dugan, Jacob Glowacki, Leslie Holmes, Marsha Lewis, John Losinger, Megan Montgomery, Colin Murphy, Crystal Stutes, Zach Walker, Piers Wendlandt, Anne Womer, and Sahar Zubairy. The students made material contributions in gathering and analyzing data, drafting web site content, and writing up the project report.
    Thus far, I've refrained from sharing my experience of observing the US "protecting their interests". I'll do that now. It’s from a different vantage point than yours.

    You lamented your view of the American people as more interested in Oprah etc. It may be correct as you imply that a majority of the US population has less interest in international affairs than domestic affairs, but that's probably also true for most large countries, and it misses the point. In contrast, smaller countries almost by definition look outwards.
    .
    It's not the people, but the government, which is responsible, at least in the short term between elections.

    For nearly 25 years now, I've lived in Washington DC, and have observed the US Government "protecting their interests" up close, real close. While no government is without fault, for whatever reason, ideology, ignorance, or incompetence, I can confidently claim that the US government of whatever party, is the most well informed government in the world, by a wide, wide margin. There’s nothing remotely close. Here's why. The business of Washington is government. It has no other claim to fame. That translates into a culture unseen anywhere else in the world. People who have not experienced Washington, including most Americans, have no idea of what the place is like.
    ( A sister-in-law, well educated, with an advanced degree, who was born and has lived all her life 5-6 hours drive away, was 32 before she visited Washington. She had already been all over Europe and was much impressed, but was shocked to discover that you could come to Washington DC and listen to calm reasoned national and international policy debate, not the shoutfest variety, on local radio non stop 24 hours a day. It was for the benefit of Congress and its attendants.)

    One of the things that sets Washington apart from all other cities are its think-tanks. Brussels doesn't even come close, as noted by the Economist below.

    The 536 members of Congress employ a staff of about 20,000, (not counting the 1,500 police officers who are employed only to protect the Capitol building and its inhabitants). The various Executive Branch departments employ many many thousands more than that. About two hundred thousand in DC itself, more in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs

    The White House staff alone is about 1,500. There are 35,000 individuals registered to lobby Congress or the Executive Branch. Every big US company you can think of, from Silicon Valley, to General Motors, to Dow Chemical to you name it in any sector, that has interests that are affected by government laws and changes to regulations etc. and most do, maintains a "government affairs" office somewhere in the DC metro area. They are usually not very big, but there are a lot of them, and they all add up. All of the major government contractors maintain also maintain a significant presence.


    This list of the Top 100 government contractors shows they earn about $400 billion a year, with the remainder earning another $100 billion. That's half a trillion a year. You bet they all have offices in DC.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_100...ral_government

    Almost every major professional, trade, industry, group, union, association, etc. maintain an office. Doctors, dentists, lawyers plumbers, electricians, letter carriers, raisin growers, candy makers etc. In fact there are so many such groups in Washington that their staff/employees have their own group. Its called the American Society of Association Executives, ASAE. It has a membership of 21,000 representing 10,000 organizations. Every city in the US and the world does backflips to try to get the ASAE to hold its annual conference in their city. Why? Because ASAE members decide where to hold all the conferences for those 10,000 organizations they work for.

    http://www.asaecenter.org/

    All of the above mentioned groups voraciously consume the output of the Washington think-tanks of which there are about 500, big and small. The think-tanks have an enormous influence on government policy. Estimates of employment numbers vary, but its thought to be similar to Congress about 20,000 or an average of 40 each.


    Almost 10% of the world's think-tanks are located in a metro area of 3.5 million, that stretches over an area roughly equivalent of Drogheda to Naas, NS and coast to Kells EW. Bear in mind DC itself is just 64 square miles with a population of 650,000. Much smaller than Dublin or Athens.

    Here are a few selected quotes about the Washington think-tanks and links to the full pieces. The first is from a leading think-tank. The others from the Economist.

    Washington’s “ideas” economy, based in its think tanks and universities, has made the city an intellectual leader. In 2009, the University of Pennsylvania conducted a survey of the world’s think tanks. It identified 6,305 in 169 countries. At the center of this universe was Washington. Some 393 think tanks were located in the District, more than in any other city in the world; DC is home to about one-fifth of all the think tanks in the United States. Another 149 are in Virginia and Maryland. With budgets ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to $80 million, the ideas industry is a huge driver of the local economy.

    And it’s not just a matter of numbers. When the think tanks in the survey were rated for the influence of their work, nine of the top ten in the United States had offices in Washington; the Hoover Institution at Stanford University—staffed with many DC refugees—was the only non-DC think tank to make the top ten.
    http://www.brookings.edu/research/ar...k-tanks-singer

    A COUPLE of years ago, I wrote a Charlemagne column asking what was to me an obvious question: why are think-tanks in Brussels so much less impressive and influential than those in Washington? Few pieces have provoked such a furious response, at least within the tiny anthill that is the Brussels Euro-bubble.
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/charl...f_brussels_thi

    The painful comparison is with Washington, DC, where the best think-tanks refuse public money, compete to set the agenda with provocative ideas, and enjoy extraordinary access to administration and Congress alike..........

    ..........Johan Norberg, a Swedish free marketeer, recently quit a Brussels think-tank to join the Cato Institute, a libertarian outfit based in Washington. Too many think-tanks spend their time offering straight commentary on the Brussels machine, he says. In Washington think-tanks thrive not by reacting to the usual political process, but by supplying it with “the next big idea”. In Brussels analysts are sometimes said to be too outspoken, Mr Norberg marvels. “In Washington, if you're not outspoken, people will not listen to you.”

    Brussels think-tanks also suffer from several structural disadvantages that are hardly their fault. Americans can pass entire careers rotating between political jobs in government and in the private sector. It has been worth listening to people at think-tanks in Washington because they may soon be putting their ideas into action in the White House or the Pentagon. In contrast, EU mandarins who leave for the outside world seldom return. Donations to American think-tanks are also tax-deductible. That is not true in Brussels:
    http://www.economist.com/node/9300193

    All of which is to say that every policy proposal that comes up for consideration by the government gets analyzed up down, inside out, 7 ways to Sunday, times 29, and back again. This city eats drinks lives and breathes policy. That's why fact checking is a religion here.


    The joke in Washington, if you need a policy update, ask your waiter. They can provide them as easily as refilling your water glass. And certainly, the best waiters in the top restaurants could flip you half a dozen coherent policy options on the hottest current debate in a heartbeat. Anyone not familiar with Washington and how it works, and who thinks the Americans are naive or stupid, all I can say is, the joke’s on them. So, while you and others outside DC may view the US government as reckless or worse, I see it as super cautious, and attempting to double, triple check, every option, and with an army of both paid and free executives rather than the military variety.

    But at the end of the day the real problem here, is with the premise of your thread. Will Yemen be another Iraq? I certainly don't think so, and I don't know anyone in Washington who does either. And certainly, no one here has jumped in to agree with you.

    Instead, I believe you allowed your emotions, and hostility toward American foreign policy, to permit you to posit a question that at face value is far fetched. And now you've had to go from citing Nazi Germany, to the Torrey Canyon, Piper Alpha, and more, none of which have the slightest relevance to the issue at hand, in an attempt to justify your positions. You're in a mess.

    I've said all I'm going to say on this matter. I'll continue to post relevant information in the thread, if there’s any, and I'll finish with this observation.


    When facts get injected into an emotional debate, people often become even more irrational than before. If you want evidence of that, just come to Washington DC. Happens everyday.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    RTE just interviewed a woman journalist (Iona ?)
    @ionacraig

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    I am not going to keep on about this, suffice to say I do not appreciate being called a dog, nor do I appreciate the inference of lying. My memories are perfectly sound, as are the facts. The fact that all you can come up with are US government based think tanks to rebute an outsiders experience of US government policies just goes to show how the spin works. You may instead want to go and talk to those who have been/are at the receiving end of the nightmares the US government keeps on creating in foreign countries, whenever they think it necessary to "protect US interests".

    All of which is to say that every policy proposal that comes up for consideration by the government gets analyzed up down, inside out, 7 ways to Sunday, times 29, and back again.
    Indeed, which in reality means the politicians giving themselves the time for posturing and grabbing headlines, after which they send in the boots and shoot the place up...



    You asked me for other experiences showing why US foreign policy is indeed such a debacle. Here's a reminder of such an experience shared with the world by a nine year old girl, who found out the hard way 40 years ago. Titled "Napalm Girl", this one picture told the world, in no uncertain terms, something that we should not ever forget. My personal experiences (including June 1988) pale in comparisson to this, while at the same time they re-enforce the certain knowledge that this is how low a US government is prepared to sink, at any time, to "defend US interest".



    Nothing has changed, and nothing will, until the US government stops backing every psychopath in the world who steals from his own people and is found prepared to hand the loot over to the US. Be it oil, gas, diamonds, gold, or simply a free training ground with live targets for the next generation of killing machines...
    Last edited by Ephilant; 11-08-2013 at 09:32 AM.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Nothing has changed, and nothing will, until the US government stops backing every psychopath in the world who steals from his own people and is found prepared to hand the loot over to the US. Be it oil, gas, diamonds, gold, or simply a free training ground with live targets for the next generation of killing machines...
    Bravo Ephilant!

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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    I have to break my vow, but not for any reason I expected. I never thought I would have to educate Ephilant on sea faring culture.

    I understand that English may not be Ephilant's first language, (but its pretty good), and I am still willing to cut him some slack on that.

    Still, someone claiming to have spent a career at sea, particularly a master mariner, not knowing the meaning of the term "Sea Dog" is kinda funny, and it also speaks to the confusion over the two sentences at issue. Also. makes you wonder if they ever went to sea all. Don't think I'd want to sail on that ship.

    sea dog


    noun 1. a sailor, especially an old or experienced one.

    2. harbor seal.

    3. a dogfish.

    4. a pirate or privateer.



    Origin:
    1590–1600

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sea+dog
    sea dog
    n.1. Any of various seals or similar marine mammals.
    2. Nautical A very experienced sailor.
    3. sea·dog (sdôg, -dg) See fogbow.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sea+dog

    Even the kids know.
    Dirty old sea dog

    He looks nasty but he's got a heart of gold... Print and paint. - Dirty old sea dog

    http://www.uptoten.com/kids/coloring...nt-pirate.html

    I'M AN OLD SEA DOG Original by Geoff Bennett - YouTube


    www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S_y9oE887E Jul 24, 2012 - Uploaded by geoff1945I wrote this as an introduction to a 'Pirate' show I do in schools. I used to introduce my self as 'Captain Jack ...
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Ο χειρότερος κουφός είν' αυτός που δε θέλει ν' ακούσει.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ephilant View Post
    Ο χειρότερος κουφός είν' αυτός που δε θέλει ν' ακούσει.
    Very good. Nice counterpart to "There is none so blind as those that will not see".

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Thank you for that real practical and helpful suggestion. I'll endeavor to ensure it's brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities.
    You don't surprise me
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Not really. It's just a small sample of what arrived in my inbox on the subject yesterday, and I only subscribe to what I believe are reputable news sources.
    Here is one of your reputable sources, that you cited -

    Will Bunch: "Within hours of publication, however, a bevy of national security journalists began casting doubts on the leaked information contained within the Beast's report. Two theories were quickly born. Adam Goldman of the Associated Press wondered if the leak was manufactured to protect human intelligence (that is, a leaker within al Qaeda), while Ken Delanian [sic] of the Los Angeles Times suggested that it was intended to glorify the NSA's signals intelligence capabilities at a politically vulnerable moment. Barton Gellman of the Washington Post, meanwhile, failed to see how the entire story - the leak, the method of intercept, and the contents of the call - added up. Bunch's post here. Gellman, on the Tweeterers: "Something's very wrong with the tale sources tell @EliLake about a 24-party Legion of Doom 'conference call.'" Gellman tweeted a few times about the story, later clarifying: "Eli Lake does great work. I assume his sourcing is good. I still can't make the USG account add up."
    Really, very few people seem to place any serious weight on the Big Scare.

    Wallpapering a thread with very long posts full of irrelevancies and red herrings is a tactic that might be used to attempt to swamp an opposition view point, or facts that one wishes to obscure.

    I recommend to people reading this thread that they should not be deterred by any amount of intervening verbiage from reading Ephilant's OP or the posts he has made following it.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 11-08-2013 at 03:39 PM.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    One more for the spin-records:

    BBC Headline: Yemen violence: Gunmen launch deadly gas plant attack

    Subtitle: Suspected al-Qaeda militants have killed five soldiers in an attack on a gas terminal in southern Yemen, reports say.


    Sources inside Yemen, including security personel, state that the attack was aimed at a military checkpoint in the Al Rowaik district, in the province of Shabwa, and is being blamed by the local authorities on local tribesmen with a "grudge" against the military. Nothing to do with Al Queda or the gas plant, in fact nowhere near close enough to the plant to cause any danger. The next check-point wasn't even aware of the attack until they heard it on the local radio news ...
    It is suspected that the "tribesmen" in question are members of the now dissolve Republican Guard, a very brutal division of the Yemeni army that remains loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh. There are regular clashes between the old Republican Guard and the current military leaders, largely going unreported in the Western media. The latest of these clashes happened last Friday on Al Sabeen Square. This time there are no reports of deaths, the local media speak only of wounded. Last time (also at the end of Ramadan), the clashes did cost lives. The current Yemeni authorities do take the situation very serious, and extra security, including armoured vehicles, has been posted around the presidential palace.

    But while the going is good, why not keep the pressure on. Truth is obviously a minor inconvenience if it can be twisted in the al-Queda direction...
    Last edited by Ephilant; 11-08-2013 at 04:56 PM.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Count B, the Washington spin machine is indeed impressive and the info re this is indeed informative.

    Unfortunately, when a lot of the spin and think tank-ery is funded by vested interests, I'm not sure all the data input is entirely unbiased.

    In fairness to the US government, they are also hog-tied by the Israeli lobbies, re Middle Eastern policy. There's no way of changing this, given the size, influence and funding the likes of Aipac have at their disposal.

    There's also the minor issue of keeping stability of supply safe on the oil front. Unfortunately, should war break out on the straits of Hormuz, most nations in Europe would be as Greece currently is.

    I'm no fan of much US policy, but I'm not sure how we would fare with no global enforcement at all, and no other state or grouping of states appears to be able to take on the role. It also doesn't appear that Russia or China are any better at fair play.

    I'm afraid I think you're both right... Sorry!
    "The floggings will continue until morale improves "

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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    [QUOTE=C. Flower;349299]
    Here is one of your reputable sources, that you cited -

    Really, very few people seem to place any serious weight on the Big Scare.
    I am at a 100% complete loss to understand what point you are trying to make with the graf you cited above. At least with Ephilant's two cryptic sentences I could speculate on some possibilities. Yours none!

    You seem to be be suggesting that the graf is lacking some information you think should be in it about the "Big Scare" or that the graf is in some other way deficient or unreliable. For the life of me, I can't figure out what that is.
    You'll have to spell it out in clearer detail. Give me 50, 100, 500, or 1,000 words.

    Wallpapering a thread with very long posts full of irrelevancies and red herrings is a tactic that might be used to attempt to swamp an opposition view point, or facts that one wishes to obscure.

    I recommend to people reading this thread that they should not be deterred by any amount of intervening verbiage from reading Ephilant's OP or the posts he has made following it.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

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