World Politics

Political discussion here. Any reasonable opinion is welcome, but due to the sensitive nature of the topic area, please be nice and respectful to others. No flaming or trolling, please. And please keep political commentary out of the other board areas and confine it to this area. Thanks!
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Indy
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Re: World Politics

Post by Indy »

Superbone wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 11:52 am
Indy wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:51 am
Nodack wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:26 am
America needs to get it’s shit together.
I don't think it is a recent thing. Like basically forever.
It's a good thing all the other countries have their shit together.
I don't think there is another country in the world that has meddled as much as the US in the last 100 years. Not even close. It isn't about who has their shit together and who doesn't. We have this superiority complex that we push around the world, and the only thing we are actually superior on is creating billionaires and creating weapons. Imagine if we spent 10% less on military and actually taxed corporations... we wouldn't have homelessness and starving kids and people going bankrupt for medical bills.

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3rdside
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Re: World Politics

Post by 3rdside »

How much is $2t?

jfc ..


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Re: World Politics

Post by 3rdside »

Nodack wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:37 am
https://www.cnsnews.com/article/interna ... taiwan-too
Chinese State Media Outlet Says US Will ‘Abandon’ Taiwan, Too, ‘Once a War Breaks Out’

China holds assault drills near Taiwan after 'provocations'
https://news.trust.org/item/20210817050008-3oull
China is not going to war over Taiwan, almost certain of that .. there's no way it can pull it off without offsiding the whole world and get itself bombed in the process.

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3rdside
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Re: World Politics

Post by 3rdside »

I really want to believe in the Biden administration, you know, that it's the 'clever' party in view of how stupid the GOP has become ... but what's just happened in Afghanistan sounds anything but that.


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Flagrant Fowl
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Re: World Politics

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

Indy wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 9:24 am
Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:36 pm
The US government more or less created the Taliban by sponsoring them to fight the Russians in the 1980's, and it's not the first nor last time they'll do the same thing. There are some truly evil "Americans" who'll sell out humanity for material wealth and power.

Not that this is a recent development. People have been doing stuff like this to each other forever. It needs to stop if we ever want to achieve the peaceful ideals we otherwise project with hot air, and it's why I get frustrated when others tarnish the role of "whistleblowers". There needs to be some accountability for the evil in the world.
The Taliban didn't exist until the 1990s. But yeah, we supported the mujahideen, which eventually morphed enough into the Taliban. I wonder where in the world the US is seen as supportive versus destructive. My guess would be only in very few, mostly white countries, is our country seen as an overall benefit to the world.
Yeah, I left out the Mujahideen part. Thanks for the context.

The general sense in Korea has mostly been that America is and has been a benefit to Korea and the rest of the world, but that's been slowly changing over time. Most of the country probably feels like they need USAFK (US Armed Forces Korea) to stay in the country to help protect them from some form of enemy, whether it be the CCP, North Korean sabre rattling, or Japanese Imperialism.

COVID has been one of the biggest hits to American credibility here recently. It's allowed them to say the quiet part out loud; a lot of Americans are morons.
UOducks4life in a previous life. Valar Morghulis.

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Flagrant Fowl
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Re: World Politics

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

Indy wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:13 pm
Superbone wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 11:52 am
Indy wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:51 am
Nodack wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:26 am
America needs to get it’s shit together.
I don't think it is a recent thing. Like basically forever.
It's a good thing all the other countries have their shit together.
I don't think there is another country in the world that has meddled as much as the US in the last 100 years. Not even close. It isn't about who has their shit together and who doesn't. We have this superiority complex that we push around the world, and the only thing we are actually superior on is creating billionaires and creating weapons. Imagine if we spent 10% less on military and actually taxed corporations... we wouldn't have homelessness and starving kids and people going bankrupt for medical bills.
It's not a bug, it's a feature.

I don't think the forms of Democracy and Capitalism currently running in America are a good match for the vast majority of people.
UOducks4life in a previous life. Valar Morghulis.

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Nodack
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Re: World Politics

Post by Nodack »

Superbone wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 11:52 am
virtual9mm wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:18 am
We're all responsible for this debacle. Every single man killed or mutilated, every single woman raped, every single child sold into slavery. None of us can escape the collective responsibility we face as Americans.
What's the solution?
Stop trying to nation build would be a good start. I feel partially responsible as an American but, not solely responsible. If we hadn’t gone in men would still have been killed, women raped and children would be sold into slavery for 20 years. We gave them every chance for Democracy and freedom and spotted them 20 years of protection. We built schools, roads, infrastructure. We trained a 300,000 strong military and they had elected leaders. The nano second we left it all came crashing down. A lot of that’s on the people of Afghanistan that took our protection for granted and surrendered almost without firing a shot.

Biden asked how long the Government and the military would hold out if we left. The military experts said maybe 18 months. None of the experts thought the Taliban would take over in a week. None of them thought the military and government would abandon their posts right away. Yes, we deserve a lot of the blame for going in. We couldn’t stay forever. The people of Afghanistan weren’t willing to even attempt to defend themselves against the Taliban. They get some of the blame.

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Re: World Politics

Post by virtual9mm »

Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:44 pm

The general sense in Korea has mostly been that America is and has been a benefit to Korea and the rest of the world, but that's been slowly changing over time. Most of the country probably feels like they need USAFK (US Armed Forces Korea) to stay in the country to help protect them from some form of enemy, whether it be the CCP, North Korean sabre rattling, or Japanese Imperialism.

COVID has been one of the biggest hits to American credibility here recently. It's allowed them to say the quiet part out loud; a lot of Americans are morons.
You seem to know Korea quite well.

Just to add on to your insights, consider that (a) Korea has enough fuel for 5000 nukes; (b) they can build a nuke in under three months; and (c) they've quietly built ballistic missile submarines, acquired nuclear-capable stealth attack aircraft, and put into place intermediate range ballistic missiles. They are really hoping that the Americans stick around but are prepared to rapidly deploy an indigenous nuclear triad if the US goes full-on idiocracy.

Keep in mind that the Koreans are extremely well-educated and well-versed in world affairs. They are fully aware of Lindsey Graham saying that the US should fight a war with China, and should do it on the Korean Peninsula.

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virtual9mm
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Re: World Politics

Post by virtual9mm »

Nodack wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:05 pm
Superbone wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 11:52 am
virtual9mm wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:18 am
We're all responsible for this debacle. Every single man killed or mutilated, every single woman raped, every single child sold into slavery. None of us can escape the collective responsibility we face as Americans.
What's the solution?
Stop trying to nation build would be a good start. I feel partially responsible as an American but, not solely responsible. If we hadn’t gone in men would still have been killed, women raped and children would be sold into slavery for 20 years. We gave them every chance for Democracy and freedom and spotted them 20 years of protection. We built schools, roads, infrastructure. We trained a 300,000 strong military and they had elected leaders. The nano second we left it all came crashing down. A lot of that’s on the people of Afghanistan that took our protection for granted and surrendered almost without firing a shot.

Biden asked how long the Government and the military would hold out if we left. The military experts said maybe 18 months. None of the experts thought the Taliban would take over in a week. None of them thought the military and government would abandon their posts right away. Yes, we deserve a lot of the blame for going in. We couldn’t stay forever. The people of Afghanistan weren’t willing to even attempt to defend themselves against the Taliban. They get some of the blame.
I am increasingly feeling that there IS no solution. America WAS the solution. The second half of the 20th Century -- what we call Pax Americana -- certainly had limited wars in the Middle East and East Asia. But it was a golden age for humanity. The likelihood of a given human being being killed in war was 10x or even 100x times lower during this time period than any other time period in history. Entire continents were lifted out of poverty, starting with Western Europe and followed by East Asia. It is no exaggeration to say that Pax Americana was the best time for a human to be alive, ever.

This is where Hegemonic Stability Theory comes in. The US went out of its way to uphold a stable world order favorable for everyone -- but especially favorable for itself. Now, the US is no longer strong or sane enough to uphold this order, and the Chinese are not looking responsible enough to do the same. Meanwhile, environmental collapse is upon us and entire regions of the world will become uninhabitable (without air conditioning) due to heat waves and such. We're looking at global instability beyond what all but the oldest of us have seen in our lifetimes.

My hunch is that we'll have a refugee crisis far larger than anything we've ever seen before, and that no nation on Earth would be willing to accept these refugees. Hence, the power and wealth of the developed world will be used to keep out the starving and the dying from Central America, Africa, and South Asia. Meanwhile, some of these developed nations could make it through the crisis in reasonably good shape if they don't self destruct -- like the US may very well do.

But I don't really think a second US Civil War will get too far because the US military is still universally respected Stateside and will step in if things start getting really violent. Will the American republic go the way of the Roman republic?

It's a bleak future but far from unsurvivable.

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Re: World Politics

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

virtual9mm wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:45 am
Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:44 pm

The general sense in Korea has mostly been that America is and has been a benefit to Korea and the rest of the world, but that's been slowly changing over time. Most of the country probably feels like they need USAFK (US Armed Forces Korea) to stay in the country to help protect them from some form of enemy, whether it be the CCP, North Korean sabre rattling, or Japanese Imperialism.

COVID has been one of the biggest hits to American credibility here recently. It's allowed them to say the quiet part out loud; a lot of Americans are morons.
You seem to know Korea quite well.

Just to add on to your insights, consider that (a) Korea has enough fuel for 5000 nukes; (b) they can build a nuke in under three months; and (c) they've quietly built ballistic missile submarines, acquired nuclear-capable stealth attack aircraft, and put into place intermediate range ballistic missiles. They are really hoping that the Americans stick around but are prepared to rapidly deploy an indigenous nuclear triad if the US goes full-on idiocracy.

Keep in mind that the Koreans are extremely well-educated and well-versed in world affairs. They are fully aware of Lindsey Graham saying that the US should fight a war with China, and should do it on the Korean Peninsula.
This is not entirely true. Koreans of my same generation (late Y/millennial) were the first to routinely start going to university and traveling abroad, and a significant majority of the 50+ population did not continue their education past high school. On the other hand, those older folks are also typically the most politically engaged. They'd be more likely to know of Graham than a lot of 30-somethings like my Korean friends whom I'm pretty sure don't know about him well because they're more concerned with their daily lives.

There's a misconception about Koreans and education. They go to school a lot, but that doesn't mean they're all smart. Turns out effort and talent still play a pretty large role.
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virtual9mm
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Re: World Politics

Post by virtual9mm »

Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 3:05 pm
virtual9mm wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:45 am
Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:44 pm

The general sense in Korea has mostly been that America is and has been a benefit to Korea and the rest of the world, but that's been slowly changing over time. Most of the country probably feels like they need USAFK (US Armed Forces Korea) to stay in the country to help protect them from some form of enemy, whether it be the CCP, North Korean sabre rattling, or Japanese Imperialism.

COVID has been one of the biggest hits to American credibility here recently. It's allowed them to say the quiet part out loud; a lot of Americans are morons.
You seem to know Korea quite well.

Just to add on to your insights, consider that (a) Korea has enough fuel for 5000 nukes; (b) they can build a nuke in under three months; and (c) they've quietly built ballistic missile submarines, acquired nuclear-capable stealth attack aircraft, and put into place intermediate range ballistic missiles. They are really hoping that the Americans stick around but are prepared to rapidly deploy an indigenous nuclear triad if the US goes full-on idiocracy.

Keep in mind that the Koreans are extremely well-educated and well-versed in world affairs. They are fully aware of Lindsey Graham saying that the US should fight a war with China, and should do it on the Korean Peninsula.
This is not entirely true. Koreans of my same generation (late Y/millennial) were the first to routinely start going to university and traveling abroad, and a significant majority of the 50+ population did not continue their education past high school. On the other hand, those older folks are also typically the most politically engaged. They'd be more likely to know of Graham than a lot of 30-somethings like my Korean friends whom I'm pretty sure don't know about him well because they're more concerned with their daily lives.

There's a misconception about Koreans and education. They go to school a lot, but that doesn't mean they're all smart. Turns out effort and talent still play a pretty large role.
Yup -- I am probably going by the Taxi Driver Test too much here. And educated does not necessarily mean smart...

Even with this, though, the level of knowledge of the outside world compared to the US is night and day.

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Re: World Politics

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

virtual9mm wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:08 pm
Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 3:05 pm
virtual9mm wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:45 am
Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:44 pm

The general sense in Korea has mostly been that America is and has been a benefit to Korea and the rest of the world, but that's been slowly changing over time. Most of the country probably feels like they need USAFK (US Armed Forces Korea) to stay in the country to help protect them from some form of enemy, whether it be the CCP, North Korean sabre rattling, or Japanese Imperialism.

COVID has been one of the biggest hits to American credibility here recently. It's allowed them to say the quiet part out loud; a lot of Americans are morons.
You seem to know Korea quite well.

Just to add on to your insights, consider that (a) Korea has enough fuel for 5000 nukes; (b) they can build a nuke in under three months; and (c) they've quietly built ballistic missile submarines, acquired nuclear-capable stealth attack aircraft, and put into place intermediate range ballistic missiles. They are really hoping that the Americans stick around but are prepared to rapidly deploy an indigenous nuclear triad if the US goes full-on idiocracy.

Keep in mind that the Koreans are extremely well-educated and well-versed in world affairs. They are fully aware of Lindsey Graham saying that the US should fight a war with China, and should do it on the Korean Peninsula.
This is not entirely true. Koreans of my same generation (late Y/millennial) were the first to routinely start going to university and traveling abroad, and a significant majority of the 50+ population did not continue their education past high school. On the other hand, those older folks are also typically the most politically engaged. They'd be more likely to know of Graham than a lot of 30-somethings like my Korean friends whom I'm pretty sure don't know about him well because they're more concerned with their daily lives.

There's a misconception about Koreans and education. They go to school a lot, but that doesn't mean they're all smart. Turns out effort and talent still play a pretty large role.
Yup -- I am probably going by the Taxi Driver Test too much here. And educated does not necessarily mean smart...

Even with this, though, the level of knowledge of the outside world compared to the US is night and day.
I agree with that, and being innately misinformed about the happenings of the rest of the world is basically an American trademark at this point. It took living in abroad for a while to completely understand why a lot of people around the world are annoyed by Americans. It makes a lot of sense though. The US is a huge country with a lot of huge states and cites. There isn't much incentive to know about events happening in places like Korea or Ethiopia, for example. The problem is when Facebook Frank starts sharing his uninformed opinions on geopolitics or about the culture of a place it takes him 3 minutes to find on a map.

I think this is a part of the reason I find Americans to be more similar to mainland Chinese than I would've ever thought. The pathway of Chinese ignorance is a little different, but the end result is pretty much the same as it is for Americans.
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virtual9mm
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Re: World Politics

Post by virtual9mm »

Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:16 am
virtual9mm wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:08 pm
Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 3:05 pm
virtual9mm wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:45 am
Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:44 pm

The general sense in Korea has mostly been that America is and has been a benefit to Korea and the rest of the world, but that's been slowly changing over time. Most of the country probably feels like they need USAFK (US Armed Forces Korea) to stay in the country to help protect them from some form of enemy, whether it be the CCP, North Korean sabre rattling, or Japanese Imperialism.

COVID has been one of the biggest hits to American credibility here recently. It's allowed them to say the quiet part out loud; a lot of Americans are morons.
You seem to know Korea quite well.

Just to add on to your insights, consider that (a) Korea has enough fuel for 5000 nukes; (b) they can build a nuke in under three months; and (c) they've quietly built ballistic missile submarines, acquired nuclear-capable stealth attack aircraft, and put into place intermediate range ballistic missiles. They are really hoping that the Americans stick around but are prepared to rapidly deploy an indigenous nuclear triad if the US goes full-on idiocracy.

Keep in mind that the Koreans are extremely well-educated and well-versed in world affairs. They are fully aware of Lindsey Graham saying that the US should fight a war with China, and should do it on the Korean Peninsula.
This is not entirely true. Koreans of my same generation (late Y/millennial) were the first to routinely start going to university and traveling abroad, and a significant majority of the 50+ population did not continue their education past high school. On the other hand, those older folks are also typically the most politically engaged. They'd be more likely to know of Graham than a lot of 30-somethings like my Korean friends whom I'm pretty sure don't know about him well because they're more concerned with their daily lives.

There's a misconception about Koreans and education. They go to school a lot, but that doesn't mean they're all smart. Turns out effort and talent still play a pretty large role.
Yup -- I am probably going by the Taxi Driver Test too much here. And educated does not necessarily mean smart...

Even with this, though, the level of knowledge of the outside world compared to the US is night and day.
I agree with that, and being innately misinformed about the happenings of the rest of the world is basically an American trademark at this point. It took living in abroad for a while to completely understand why a lot of people around the world are annoyed by Americans. It makes a lot of sense though. The US is a huge country with a lot of huge states and cites. There isn't much incentive to know about events happening in places like Korea or Ethiopia, for example. The problem is when Facebook Frank starts sharing his uninformed opinions on geopolitics or about the culture of a place it takes him 3 minutes to find on a map.

I think this is a part of the reason I find Americans to be more similar to mainland Chinese than I would've ever thought. The pathway of Chinese ignorance is a little different, but the end result is pretty much the same as it is for Americans.
Sounds about right to me although I don't actually speak Mandarin and haven't spent too much time outside Beijing, Shanghai, (wealthy) Zhejiang Province, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. The folks I interacted within places like Kaiping and Yangzhou were in the tourist industry or political or economic elites. I can only go by what I hear from my friends.

Did you get a chance to get out into the interior or the Northeast?

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Re: World Politics

Post by Superbone »

Those sure are broad stokes that you guys paint whole populations with.
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Re: World Politics

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

Superbone wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:05 pm
Those sure are broad stokes that you guys paint whole populations with.
Of course. I'm speaking in broad terms. Both countries are massive in size with huge populations, so I think there are many general similarities to observe between the two for that reason.
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Re: World Politics

Post by 3rdside »

3rdside wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:42 pm
Nodack wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:37 am
https://www.cnsnews.com/article/interna ... taiwan-too
Chinese State Media Outlet Says US Will ‘Abandon’ Taiwan, Too, ‘Once a War Breaks Out’

China holds assault drills near Taiwan after 'provocations'
https://news.trust.org/item/20210817050008-3oull
China is not going to war over Taiwan, almost certain of that .. there's no way it can pull it off without offsiding the whole world and get itself bombed in the process.

Niall Ferguson and Francis Fukuyama know a lot more about things than I do, and they both talk of possible war with China.

Experts can be wrong of course and I'd like to believe it won't happen, but again, they're the experts:


Francis Fukuyama on the end of American hegemony - The Economist

(Summarises that USA's biggest threat is internal division rather than over extension internationally).

Spoiler: show/hide



Niall Ferguson on why the end of America’s empire won’t be peaceful
- The Economist

(Summarises the similarities and differences between the end of the British Empire and the American one that's heading in the same direction, and how the withdrawal from Afghanistan will be perceived as weakness, therefore an opportunity for the Russians and Chinese to exploit particularly as the USA is so divided at home).

Spoiler: show/hide

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Re: World Politics

Post by virtual9mm »

Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:20 pm
Superbone wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:05 pm
Those sure are broad stokes that you guys paint whole populations with.
Of course. I'm speaking in broad terms. Both countries are massive in size with huge populations, so I think there are many general similarities to observe between the two for that reason.
Massive range of variation within China, just like there is within the US. Just like most tourists to the US interact with folks in New York or San Francisco or someone working in hospitality in Flagstaff, most Americans in China interact mainly with the educated elite in Shanghai or a tour guide in some place like Huangshan. Hence my comment on how poor, undereducated folks in rural Chinese provinces were a blind spot for me. I will say, though, that I do know Korea quite well.

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Re: World Politics

Post by virtual9mm »

3rdside wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:04 pm

Niall Ferguson and Francis Fukuyama know a lot more about things than I do, and they both talk of possible war with China.
I don't know Ferguson but I used to see Fukuyama several times a month and be on a first name basis with him. Don't be fooled by his reputation as a neocon -- he repudiated them a long time ago. He's among the most clearheaded thinkers on what's going on in the US and the world.

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World Politics

Post by 3rdside »

virtual9mm wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 7:30 pm
3rdside wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:04 pm

Niall Ferguson and Francis Fukuyama know a lot more about things than I do, and they both talk of possible war with China.
I don't know Ferguson but I used to see Fukuyama several times a month and be on a first name basis with him. Don't be fooled by his reputation as a neocon -- he repudiated them a long time ago. He's among the most clearheaded thinkers on what's going on in the US and the world.
Oh nice .. and I'm sure he is (and if he's writing for the Economist he's almost certainly not going to be a Neocon!).

The more this Afghanistan issue sinks in the more it feels like a huge, huge own goal from Biden.

The UK and EU are furious, Tony Blair has called it imbecilic - as much as he is responsible for getting us all into this mess, he is one of last clear thinking, international statesman the UK has and if he's saying that, well you know you've f****d up.

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Re: World Politics

Post by virtual9mm »

3rdside wrote:
Sat Aug 21, 2021 6:12 pm
virtual9mm wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 7:30 pm
3rdside wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:04 pm

Niall Ferguson and Francis Fukuyama know a lot more about things than I do, and they both talk of possible war with China.
I don't know Ferguson but I used to see Fukuyama several times a month and be on a first name basis with him. Don't be fooled by his reputation as a neocon -- he repudiated them a long time ago. He's among the most clearheaded thinkers on what's going on in the US and the world.
Oh nice .. and I'm sure he is (and if he's writing for the Economist he's almost certainly not going to be a Neocon!).

The more this Afghanistan issue sinks in the more it feels like a huge, huge own goal from Biden.

The UK and EU are furious, Tony Blair has called it imbecilic - as much as he is responsible for getting us all into this mess, he is one of last clear thinking, international statesman the UK has and if he's saying that, well you know you've f****d up.
It was a different life -- seems like a lifetime ago.

Any expectation that the world had of the US acting more responsibly under Biden has just been flushed into the shitter.

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