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The All things Political Topic - The Night never knew that its end was fleet.


Amentep

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13 minutes ago, ComradeYellow said:

It all boils down to money.  If they can't find other ways to reinvigorate the Afghan economy like China's BRI for instance (Remember, China is much more powerful economically and politically than it was 20 years ago) then yes probably.

I'll go out on a limb and say that the Taliban is probably more interested in foreign partnerships now and opium trade will remain curbed significantly.  The world has changed quite a bit in 20 years and a new generation is up and coming.

The thing is that Talibans can be against opium production all they want but they don't have resource to prevent afghan clans from producing it and after UN cut economic compensation to afghan farmers not to grow opium and as Afghanistan's economy is crashing it is inevitable that farmers will start again grow opium in order to survive. Also there are lots of smugglers who are seeking new business now as Taliban don't need weapons and other goods to smuggled to them. 

It is difficult to control 38 million people who are facing starvation.

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Parliament holds Joe Biden in contempt over Afghanistan (telegraph.co.uk)

The U.K. is seriously distraught over Afghanistan, I mean for reelz.  They're not just "botha'd" by it, they are actually seriously traumatized and are self-reflecting their entire role as a U.S. lackey since even the 1950's., and whether it the whole thing was a mistake to treat themselves as America's bestest most loyal lap dog aka useful idiot.

Weird.

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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Hello foot, meet M4... or how to shoot yourself in the foot?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58356045

Afghanistan: Black Hawks and Humvees - military kit now with the Taliban

A video recently posted on social media showed Taliban fighters looking on as an iconic piece of US materiel (military hardware) - a Black Hawk helicopter - was piloted across Kandahar airport.

The four-blade multi-purpose aircraft was just taxiing on the tarmac, but the exercise sent a message to the world: the Taliban were no longer a group of ragtag soldiers wielding Kalashnikov assault rifles on battered pickup trucks.

Elsewhere, since the fall of Kabul on 15 August to the hard-line Islamist group, the Taliban's fighters have been pictured showing off a host of US-made weaponry and vehicles.

Some of them were seen in complete combat gear in social media posts and couldn't be distinguished from other special forces from across the world. There was no characteristic long beard, or traditional salwar kameez outfit, and certainly no rusted weapons. They looked the part.

...

Some on social media said this made the Taliban the only extremist group with an air force.

 

Some strategy somewhere failed... the article outlines numbers and types, including 3000+ Humvees and 167 aircraft (fixed wing and helicopters) that could now potentially be in Taliban hands. Emphasis on potentially as several are likely either destroyed or moved abroad. Still, brings back memories of the Ayatollahs of Iran fielding US fighter planes (provided for the former Shah) against the Iraqi MIG's during the war between the two.

Edit: That was back when people in the west were cheering for Saddam as being "the good guy"

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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30 minutes ago, Darkpriest said:

I like how US security agencies are now seeing the lab leak version as probable. 

U.S. security agencies are government agencies and are pushing an agenda.  It's just as plausible to say the virus was leaked at Fort Detrick, NC than in Wuhan.  About as much evidence exists for either scenario aka scant.

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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Not as plausible, WIV was definitely studying coronaviruses and that's where the outbreak was first detected. Otherwise though, Murdoch media unsurprisingly has a bit of a slant.

One analysis group- out of eight- said it may have been a leak. Somehow I knew they'd abuse the use of 'low confidence' categorisation too, though I hope the dissenters' medium confidence isn't based on the laughable numeric 'error' that had the Wuhan Institute of Virology spending $600 million on a ventilation system*. Or on a few people who worked there supposedly getting covid like symptoms- or if you prefer flu like symptoms- in winter.

*That was the small matter of twice the amount it cost to build, well, the entire building. Unsurprisingly the real figure was... $600k.

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@Zoraptor

The article is from the SKY UK and not the SKY down under, so not sure if this is a RMs media outlet 😉

However, the 'medium confidence' is giving ground for more speculations, and since we know China will never now allow a proper investigation, it will keep spinning various narratives, from using covid for political gains, to Fauci being the satan who engineered it together with Chinese to harm true americans... 

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6 hours ago, Darkpriest said:

I like how US security agencies are now seeing the lab leak version as probable. 

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-china-rejects-us-report-that-says-coronavirus-may-have-come-from-wuhan-lab-12392963

Obviously China will keep rejecting it, but will also never allow a more thorough investigation. 

that is so not what the report says. consensus is the virus were not created in a lab, a dp hobgoblin paraded 'bout these boards with some frequency. is odd you do not share this revelation, eh?

however, as for the possibility the virus escaped from a lab, while the intelligence agencies agreed it would be impossible to reach any kinda definitive conclusion, four intelligence "elements" and the National Intelligence Council concluded with low confidence that the most likely origin were natural animal to human contact. one intelligence element said with moderate confidence that the most likely origin were a lab leak.

as has been stated previous, we would not be at all shocked if the virus did indeed escape from a lab. would not be the first time a pathogen escaped from a chinese lab. however, such is considerable different than lab created and your portrayal o' the report revelations is either intentional misleading or based on ignorance from having misread a single source which at first glance appeared to confirm your bias.

honest, why do you keep posting this stuff, especial if you all you do is turn yourself into a punching bag opportunity for anybody who bothers to examine your sources?

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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The only way to PROVE it came from the Wuhan lab (or any other)  would be for the Chinese government to give access to its classified work product so existing strains of the virus can be compared to experimental versions that may or may not have been in that lab. Don’t hold your breath on that.  If a conclusive link were to be established that would open up the Chinese government to quite a bit of litigation in many countries around the world. The Chinese government owns many assets in many countries around the world that would all be in jeopardy. 
 

The whole thing is moot. Does it really matter where it came from? Especially when the odds of finding out the truth are infinitesimally small. 

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"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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I can imagine Europeans in 1387 AD blaming the Bubonic Plague on Chinese sorcery or something, if they had actually known it had come from infected fleas from Asia via trade ships.

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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16 minutes ago, ComradeYellow said:

I can imagine Europeans in 1387 AD blaming the Bubonic Plague on Chinese sorcery or something, if they had actually known it had come from infected fleas from Asia via trade ships.

I thought that one was caused by rats?

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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10 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

 

The whole thing is moot. Does it really matter where it came from? Especially when the odds of finding out the truth are infinitesimally small. 

again, the intelligence community were having a high degree o' confidence on at least one point: the virus was not created in a lab. consensus conclusion.

as such, it kinda depends on what you mean by "where it came from." no, we won't know with any certainty who were patient zero and where and when the virus first took hold in the human population. nevertheless, there does seem to be enough evidence to conclude with a high level o' confidence the virus were not "manmade" or whatever term you wanna use to indicate conscious human intervention.

is kinda a big deal if you are able to eliminate the possibility o' intentional human buggery, no? as such, "where it came from," has already been narrowed a bit albeit w/o absolute certainty. what we know o' as covid-19 mighta' been transported to a lab where it then escaped, but the US intelligence community appears to have concluded that covid-19 were natural as 'posed to crafted. there is no The Scientific Community which could release some kinda similar report, but thus far the weight o' experts willing to weigh in on the issue appear to have confidence covid-19 were not lab created. as such, am thinking at worst one could state that the most likely origin for covid-19 based on what is known today is that nature is where it came from, yes?

HA! Good Fun!

 

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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1 minute ago, Guard Dog said:

I thought that one was caused by rats?

Yersinia pestis the primary suspect* for the Black Death (and responsible for Bubonic Plague, Septicemic Plague and Pneumonic Plague) is transmitted by fleas between carriers; an infected rat would come into human inhabitations, the fleas on the rat would also bite humans and in doing so inject them with the bacteria, infecting them.  Thus the disease would spread between rat and human - and also camels, chickens and pigs and several other animals.

*I know there's still some debate about the actual nature of the plague.

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3 minutes ago, Amentep said:

Yersinia pestis the primary suspect* for the Black Death (and responsible for Bubonic Plague, Septicemic Plague and Pneumonic Plague) is transmitted by fleas between carriers; an infected rat would come into human inhabitations, the fleas on the rat would also bite humans and in doing so inject them with the bacteria, infecting them.  Thus the disease would spread between rat and human - and also camels, chickens and pigs and several other animals.

*I know there's still some debate about the actual nature of the plague.

Correct.  It's highly likely that the infected rats in question were black rats from East Asia and managed to land in Europe, Eurasia, and Africa from via trade networks.

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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37 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

The whole thing is moot. Does it really matter where it came from? Especially when the odds of finding out the truth are infinitesimally small. 

That's always been my thinking. But people like to point fingers instead of solving problems, I suppose.

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36 minutes ago, ComradeYellow said:

I can imagine Europeans in 1387 AD blaming the Bubonic Plague on Chinese sorcery or something, if they had actually known it had come from infected fleas from Asia via trade ships.

I'd imagine they'd just blame the Jews

11 hours ago, Gorth said:

The four-blade multi-purpose aircraft was just taxiing on the tarmac, but the exercise sent a message to the world: the Taliban were no longer a group of ragtag soldiers wielding Kalashnikov assault rifles on battered pickup trucks.

Elsewhere, since the fall of Kabul on 15 August to the hard-line Islamist group, the Taliban's fighters have been pictured showing off a host of US-made weaponry and vehicles.

Some of them were seen in complete combat gear in social media posts and couldn't be distinguished from other special forces from across the world. There was no characteristic long beard, or traditional salwar kameez outfit, and certainly no rusted weapons. They looked the part.

Guess sourcing parts for maintenance shouldn't be too hard given how many nations use the Blackhawk as well.  They're refurbished ones too, didn't know that but it makes some sense.  Will be interesting to hear their opinions on the M16s versus the AKs they've used before, heh.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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1 minute ago, Malcador said:

I'd imagine they'd just blame the Jews

That's what they did the first time around.  Also blamed were witches, a general miasma and divine wrath, I believe.

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7 hours ago, Darkpriest said:

I like how US security agencies are now seeing the lab leak version as probable. 

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-china-rejects-us-report-that-says-coronavirus-may-have-come-from-wuhan-lab-12392963

Obviously China will keep rejecting it, but will also never allow a more thorough investigation. 

Possible, not probable. The actual odds will always be a matter of debate; ask a Republican and they'll say high because it suits the base to blame China. But they are probably heavily biased.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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20 minutes ago, Hurlsnot said:

That's always been my thinking. But people like to point fingers instead of solving problems, I suppose.

This goes back to that quote I love from Thomas Sowell. People don’t want hear analytical explanations that leave them emotionally unsatisfied. They want to be told a story. They want a good guy to cheer for  and a bad guy to boo at. 

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"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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@Gromnir

So much text, so little substance... 

Wonder where I mentioned anything different than that this piece indicated 'lab leak' being possible source of epidemic and pointed to one of reports setting it with 'moderate confidence', which is a large contrast to what was being ciruclated around this topic a year or so. 

And yes, I was off the boards, as I tend to not bother with much during the summer months. 

JHole week was a good time to return back to looking at events and what will be happening around markets and economy, so might just as well glance over here from time to time. 

I expect the next couple months to be very interesting. 

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1 hour ago, Darkpriest said:

@Gromnir

So much text, so little substance... 

Wonder where I mentioned anything different than that this piece indicated 'lab leak' being possible source of epidemic and pointed to one of reports setting it with 'moderate confidence', which is a large contrast to what was being ciruclated around this topic a year or so. 

And yes, I was off the boards, as I tend to not bother with much during the summer months. 

JHole week was a good time to return back to looking at events and what will be happening around markets and economy, so might just as well glance over here from time to time. 

I expect the next couple months to be very interesting. 

No the report did not set it to 'moderate confidence'. There were differing opinions, with one claiming 'moderate confidence' about the lab leak conjecture and the others being indeterminate.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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3 hours ago, Gromnir said:

again, the intelligence community were having a high degree o' confidence on at least one point: the virus was not created in a lab. consensus conclusion.

as such, it kinda depends on what you mean by "where it came from." no, we won't know with any certainty who were patient zero and where and when the virus first took hold in the human population. nevertheless, there does seem to be enough evidence to conclude with a high level o' confidence the virus were not "manmade" or whatever term you wanna use to indicate conscious human intervention.

is kinda a big deal if you are able to eliminate the possibility o' intentional human buggery, no? as such, "where it came from," has already been narrowed a bit albeit w/o absolute certainty. what we know o' as covid-19 mighta' been transported to a lab where it then escaped, but the US intelligence community appears to have concluded that covid-19 were natural as 'posed to crafted. there is no The Scientific Community which could release some kinda similar report, but thus far the weight o' experts willing to weigh in on the issue appear to have confidence covid-19 were not lab created. as such, am thinking at worst one could state that the most likely origin for covid-19 based on what is known today is that nature is where it came from, yes?

HA! Good Fun!

 

Suppose for a moment that all the conspiracy theorist are right. This was either an experimental mutation or even a bio weapon that was released either through Chinese incompetence, malfeasance, or simple bad luck. Without the cooperation of the Chinese government you will never be able to prove it. And for all of the reasons I mentioned and others they will never cooperate. If it was a animal to human jump without actually identifying the animal and patient zero to get some idea of what the mid stage of evolution look like that also cannot be concluded the week proven or disproven. And even if such a thing could be found once again it would rely on the cooperation of the Chinese government since everybody agrees one way or another the virus did originate in China. I don’t see any where we can go with that. That’s why the whole discussion just seems pointless. You’re right it would be really important and beneficial to know. But the one entity that could help discover that truth is highly motivated to prevent that truth from being discovered.

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"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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China is a communist country and therefore a closed society.  I mean they just lifted 800m people out of extreme poverty in 8 years (2013-2021).  Most people seem to agree with that accomplishment, but likewise, we'll never know for sure, because it's not like they're going to allow Western researchers in to scrutinize and look for loopholes at the risk of misinformation being released publicly.

Simple really, believe what you want to believe but China sure as Hell ain't gon' tell ya.

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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On 8/27/2021 at 2:29 PM, ComradeYellow said:

Not sure if sarcasm,  but Afghanistan is certainly of geopolitical significance, it's not only sandwiched between China and its allies but it also contains trillions of dollars of natural resources such as copper, petroleum, and lithium, the latter which is used to power car batteries and cell phones aka a crucial resource for the 21st century.

Why else would the U.S. spend 2 decades in there?  Not just for ideological reasons, but economic ones as well.  Same as Iraq. If China's approach to foreign policy is successful where the U.S. has failed, it would be both a financial and moral catastrophe for the West.

 

On 8/27/2021 at 2:58 PM, Elerond said:

Probably not natural resources as they have allowed China to buy and control  Afghanistan's oil, gas and copper reserves for 10 years (Afghanistan's oil reserves were founded in 2010 and in 2011 Afghanistan signed an oil exploration contract with China National Petroleum Corporation three and currently only oil fields there).

Currently it is only suspected that there are rich lithium resources in Afghanistan because of its geologic setting, currently there are little lithium production in Afghanistan.

I meant to comment on this misunderstanding of the geopolitical significance of Afghanistan, its more of a cliche based on certain historical realities where much of the reasons for some parts of  colonialism was based on the mineral wealth of continents and countries

But nowadays just because a country may have significant reserves of gas, oil or minerals this definitely doesn't make it automatically  important to governments and foreign policy decisions. The country has to be stable, believe in the rule of law and international laws  and support investment from international energy companies or you wont see the investment you imagine.

Lots of examples like this in Africa like the DRC which really does have  huge reserves of mineral wealth that are not accessed at the moment because the country has never had a functional and sustainable government since the end of colonialism when Belgium left in 1912 or so. So parts of the DRC are controlled by militant tribes and strange  groups linked to other African countries. You do have several established international mining companies invested in some parts of the DRC and I have worked at one of this before but this is only  a fraction of the minerals that could be mined 

So going back to Afghanistan its significance has more or less been the same for the last 500 years, its situated strategically between many superpowers but it has never been a wealthy or even even remotely " normal " country where all citizens benefit from things we all take for granted. And I am not sure it can change because the tribal structures that exist are maintained by people who generally dont care about the principles of Democracy and dont see much benefit in things like freedom of speech and LGBT rights

And I cant imagine anyone wanting to try to change that? So the reality of the future of Afghanistan is not looking good for people like me who have always followed the events of 9/11 and I always wanted Afghanistan to succeed but  the reasons it didn't achieve all its economic and social goals is complicated and not something a US troop presence can fix 

But whatever people believe the Chinese can do I have no idea what that means because China cant run the country  or prevent  draconian laws being implemented  that will destroy most foreign aid which comes from Western countries primarily ....the Taliban also have no institutional experience in any kind of governance or how to run a country which they are aware of which is why they are trying to be inclusive and more inclusive

And I wanted to add I dont agree with some the comments and views from many sides towards Biden and basically blaming him for this " collapse and Taliban takeover " . As I said in the beginning a phased approach and withdrawal  would have been better but considering how the Afghan security forces basically acquiesced I dont see what difference it would have made. 

What some members of the UK parliament said was unfair and inaccurate and it ignored the obvious hypocrisy....what has the rest of the world been doing to help Afghanistan in the last 6 years when Obama announced a US withdrawal in 2014. But as usual most of the world did nothing extra but now because of the quick collapse of the official Afghan government people are "outraged " and blaming Biden for doing what he said he was going to do. Their was nothing stopping the UK or the EU from sending large amounts of additional troops if they were so concerned by the US withdrawal 

But I think the reason for most concern is legitimate and similar to my fears, I dont want the human rights and other changes to be eroded. So we dont want the Taliban to implement the anachronistic and medieval polices of the 1990's which is unlikely but you never know

And I dont want to see womens rights vanish but I dont blame the US for that because the Afghan government was responsible for that....

@ComradeYellow Sometimes I am not sure if you being serious with your posts but I generally respond as if you are being serious and are raising a legitimate talking point 

And I do sometimes agree with you so you right about the unreasonable criticism from some in the UK towards Biden but you wrong that Afghanistan is significant in the world of geopolitics because its untapped mineral wealth doesn't help anyone if it cant be accessed and I would support China if somehow it helped Afghanistan become a functional country but I cant see how anything either Russia or China meeting with the Taliban is going to change the real problems ? No one can change the historical reality of the tribal nature of the country and how that impacts transformation to improve peoples lives .....that was the lesson I learnt from the 20 years of real nation building the US and its allies attempted 

 

 

 

 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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