Syria, its about to get messy

 
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
HeadShunt seems to be a time traveller from sometime in the early 1970s who doesn't realise that socialism/communism was defeated in the Cold War.
PaulAustin

Defeated? We are just biding our time comrade.

Not surprisingly Alexander is not on my Christmas card list, but this article is a reasonable take
on trying to explain the current situation.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/alexander-downer-in-a-world-of-pain/story-e6freabc-1226640608544

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Where have I mentioned communism in this thread?

By the way, if you take a look at Western economies of the 21st century you'll find socialism in one form or another is very much alive, although not necessarily "well".
HeadShunt
Communism was killed off because it runs against the grain of the human evolutionary process, ie its not in our DNA. I think there is a paper out there that shows that should all wealth be evnly distributed tomorrow, most of it would be back in the heands of the current wealthy within 1-2 years.

Capitalism was let run free since 1950's, however it become clear sometime Capitalists need to be controlled for their own benefit, but also because we don't like seeing people exploited.

I think the path forward will be free market economies, more privatisation and govt focusing on the boundries and rules for which they play in to prevent bankrupt banks and sustained over heated economies.
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Communism was killed off because it runs against the grain of the human evolutionary process, ie its not in our DNA. I think there is a paper out there that shows that should all wealth be evnly distributed tomorrow, most of it would be back in the heands of the current wealthy within 1-2 years.

Capitalism was let run free since 1950's, however it become clear sometime Capitalists need to be controlled for their own benefit, but also because we don't like seeing people exploited.
RTT_Rules

Looking at the Soviet Union, I don't think the main forces behind its fall had much to do with the incompatibility of communism with human nature.

The fall of the Soviet Union is widely produced as evidence that "communism does not work" and used as grounds for ridicule of the Soviet system, communism and socialism. However, the role that "Communism" played in the fall of the USSR is widely misunderstood and exaggerated in the name of imperial propaganda. It is my view that fundamental biophysical economic issues were major contributing factors to the collapse of the USSR. Biophysical economic limits tend to transcend economic ideology. Therefore, many of the problems faced by the USSR could also apply also to capitalist countries like the USA.

In a competition between empires there is always going to be a loser. The loser of this competition had somewhat of a different economic religion to the winner, one that was less efficient at using resources, but looking ahead I'd say neither industrial economic model is suited to a future of stagnant or contracting energy supplies.

The Soviet Union lasted about 70 years. The American global empire didn't emerge until after WWII when the UK went broke, and has been going for about 70 years; its collapse could well be on the horizon. Despite the polarising propaganda, both of these industrial empires have a lot in common. Indeed, all large industrial economies do, for the obvious reason that they tend to engage in similar activities, produce similar things and, significantly, require similar energy and resource inputs. Money is a lot more important in controlling access to resources under capitalism whereas communism, even if it uses some form of money, grants access to resources differently, but in reality both systems are absolutely resource-based. The focus of liberal social pseudoscience economics on things like capital, anthropocentric considerations (although labour is now often discounted) and often vague attributions of advancement to technology etc, coupled with a lack of regard for energy and other resources as key production inputs and ignorance of externalities is a source of serious problems that skew the economic picture. In other words, many popular views of economics, particularly in relation to the Soviet economy are quite simply wrong but rarely questioned because they suit the anti-communist agenda.

Free market vs. centrally planned economy comparisons are misleading, because the so-called free market is typically anything but free, and so-called centrally planned economies also featured elements of market economics. The various mammoth bureaucracies of the USSR had to compete for limited resources in what amounted to a special form of political market, and also engaged in barter with each other (at a local level) to correct shortages and excesses of resources allocated under central planning. Misjudgements in central planning flowed down to ordinary Russians who also had to deal with the consequences of over and undersupply of certain goods. Since only certain goods could be purchased with rubles from official distributors, other wants and needs of ordinary citizens were met through the barter of goods and services, blat (black market, political connections and favours) and private, non-collectivized farm stalls to which the government turned a blind eye. In the United States, a great deal of State spending and market intervention occurred and continues to occur in relation to the allocation of funding for the various industrial complexes (supposedly because it is essential and in the national interest and provides a lot of employment), and nowadays also for the bailout of increasingly illegitimate private business corporations and incessant money printing to stimulate the zombified economy, all at the expense of the taxpayers who are not consulted on the matter (in the increasingly plutocratic US the bottom 70% has virtually no say on government policy; with an awareness of this up to 50% of US citizens don't even bother voting).

Some of the main factors in the fall of the USSR and "defeat of communism":
(a) Soviet oil production stagnated from 1983 and peaked in 1988 (Russian oil production picked up again from 1996); world oil prices simultaneously fell, apparently after Saudi Arabia was persuaded by the US to flood the market with oil in 1985; these factors combined to reduce oil export revenues for the USSR at a time when it desperately needed hard currency for trade on global markets; reserves accumulated through higher oil prices in the 1970s were spent on projects that either failed to increase oil production or increased the need for oil, worsening the situation; liberalisation under Perestroika led to uneven growth and could not help the oil situation
(b) the domestic farming industry could not keep up with population growth from the late 1960s; this loss of self-sufficiency necessitated the import of increasing amounts of grain using dwindling oil revenues and in unfavourable exchanges with rather hostile nations; this grain was largely for feeding cattle rather than people directly
(c) the invasion of Afghanistan, which became the USSR's Vietnam War, was hugely expensive, wasting precious resources (fuel, materials, labour, lives etc)
(d) the continuing competition of the Cold War that saw a huge amount of resources wasted on the military industrial complex
(e) the fact that the Soviet Union had to compete in the trade of resources on the global market like a capitalist country while its domestic economy was less efficient at using them than the US and did not generate the huge surpluses of capitalism
(f) the failure of political institutions to adapt to and reform under changing circumstances, known problems were put in the Too Hard Basket,
(g) conditions worsened with the 1988 oil peak, COMECON barter that had usually favoured the Eastern European economies at the expense of Moscow vaporised and they were eventually forced to pay for oil at global market prices using hard currency (e.g. US$) they did not have; foreign aid was available, but on terms that were not supportive of the continuation of communist rule; North Korea and Cuba suffered greatly as the aid that Moscow had provided at huge expense dried up, although Cuba fared reasonably well in the long run

It's not hard to see that at least some of these factors are very basic economic issues that could also contribute to financial crises in capitalist countries. The failure of political institutions to adapt/reform is also not unique to communism - it's a common problem in the demise of empires.

Prior to agricultural economics that arose 10,000 odd years ago it looks like wealth was much more evenly distributed among the human population, so while I can see what you are getting at with the reference to DNA, I don't think I'd go quite that far. Modern humans have been around for at least 200,000 years (evolving over a few million), and for most of that time they were hunter gatherers with a very basic energy system (sunlight, hunted and gathered food, fire etc) and therefore a very basic, unspecialised resource economy without much wealth disparity. The enhanced energy supply that agriculture provided is what led to more specialisation and division of labour in the economy, accompanied by wealth inequality, stockpiles of food (fuel, energy = wealth) and increased violence, as well as technological advances from stone age through the various metal ages.

The 200 year old industrial economies are quite possibly just a flash in the pan, with both modern industrial economic religions based on the exploitation of energy dense fossil fuel, with unrealistic promises and projections of unsustainable exponential growth that ignore biophysical economic parameters. Biophysical economic factors will be driven home as energy supply constraints become a bigger issue in future with a high probability of causing economic collapse of some sort.

If communism was inhuman, surely some aspects of the modern capitalism are also pretty odd by comparison with most of human history, such as the fact that many people have an impersonal economic relationship with most of the people they interact with (whom they neither know very well nor trust very much), performing work that is detached from their basic needs like food and shelter, aside from the fact that they are paid money for doing it.

In his comparisons between the US and Soviet Union, Dmitry Orlov has written about the different incentives and egalitarian aspects of daily life for ordinary Russians under communist rule that were linked to the absence of the profit motive and market speculation, and how basic systems of production and distribution continued to function after the collapse in 1990-91 because within the borders of the State they were largely resource rather than money based and tended to have large stockpiles. Orlov argues that the American profit based system with long, delicate supply chains, car/truck dependence and just in time inventories is much more fragile in a collapse scenario.



RTT_Rules I think the path forward will be free market economies, more privatisation and govt focusing on the boundries and rules for which they play in to prevent bankrupt banks and sustained over heated economies.

Let's face it, the true free market economy under classical liberal precepts with small government is almost as dead in the real world as "Communism" and it ain't coming back under existing global institutions. As mentioned above, there is a lot more State funding and protection for the private sector as well as "innovation" and "creativity" in the public sector (or funded by the State) than many free market prophets would like to admit. Similarly, many commercial technologies were originally developed for the military using public money. The various industrial complexes of the United States comfortably feed off of taxpayers' money.

Private industry is not exactly proceeding as planned, because many corporations become so big through amalgamations and the elimination of real competition that they are deemed too big to fail, then given government guarantees, bailed out when they do collapse, if not temporarily nationalised; these too big to fail corporations effectively become extensions of the State, parasitic extensions that are gutting the nation. That is no-one's idea of how capitalism is supposed to work and in some ways is a combination of the worst elements of socialism and capitalism - socialising losses while privatising and concentrating gains.

Governments are enormous and in many cases getting bigger. The reach of the law and State bureaucracies is at an unprecedented stage except perhaps if we look to totalitarian "Communism" - you know, that extremely evil system of government against which we like to contrast our "liberal" capitalist system.

As business and governments continue to fuse together, we are on the path towards some sort of corporate fascism, so just remember that the political spectrum is shaped like a horse shoe, with communism and fascism at either end but still not very far apart.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Just when you thought the atrocities couldn't get any worse:
http://www.theage.com.au/world/syrian-rebel-eats-heart-of-regime-soldier-20130515-2jlac.html
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Just when you thought the atrocities couldn't get any worse:
http://www.theage.com.au/world/syrian-rebel-eats-heart-of-regime-soldier-20130515-2jlac.html
Carnot

What's that - the Western backed "Free Syrian Army" up to no good again?
Surprise, surprise...
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

What's that - the Western backed "Free Syrian Army" up to no good again?
Surprise, surprise...
HeadShunt
Obama was quite explicit in whom he was going to align with way back in 2009 in Cairo (this article is very partisan and polemic, but it has a point):
http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/how-obama-lost-his-big-muslim-brotherhood-gamble/
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Just when you thought the atrocities couldn't get any worse:
http://www.theage.com.au/world/syrian-rebel-eats-heart-of-regime-soldier-20130515-2jlac.html
Carnot
War is sickening isn't it. The longer it goes on the further humanity regresses.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
What's that - the Western backed "Free Syrian Army" up to no good again?
Surprise, surprise...
HeadShunt
Right from the start I had always thought this was not about 'freeing' Syria, but about sectarianism, that video and the soldier's comments seals the deal for me.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
War is sickening isn't it. The longer it goes on the further humanity regresses.
RTT_Rules

The myth that war is humane... atrocities committed in civilian populations isn't a recent thing.

These ethnic, tribal and/or religious conflicts typically go back centuries - believing there is a neat western solution is naive.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Our Methodist congregation is thinking of launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the Presbyterians down the road.....
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Right from the start I had always thought this was not about 'freeing' Syria, but about sectarianism, that video and the soldier's comments seals the deal for me.
Aaron

At the end of the WW2, the Russians were raping and killing the Germans as they moved forward at record rates. So much so the Americans had to get the Russian leaders to intervene. Likewise the Americans were raping the Japanese women in Okiwana, the first Japanese land invasion and the surrended Japanese govt set up brothels on the main land to try and prevent a repeat during the early years of the occupation.

My friends from Mozambique and people I know from Kosvo conflict indicate what we are starting to see in Syria is typical of those civil wars and much of the horror is often so bad it fails to enter the media. Its no longer a war, but revenge driven by people who are mentally screwed up and soliders are not the only targets. I generally believe the person in that video would not have contiplated doing what he did perhaps even a few months ago, just as much as we probably would now. However war is horrible and as time goes by, humans involved regress and these guys heads are now screwed up. Probably beyond the ability to ever again be normal, much like some of the Vietnam vets.

I knew a few Syrians back in early 90's and they indicated the govt was brutal if you voiced a negative word, usually your last. They didn't hate the other religions, just like in Jordan they have learnt to co-exist happily, just as they did long ago. I don't think its about sectarianism, just the govt and anyone who supports it is so hated by much of the people for so long and this war has now gone on too long.

To me if anything this video is proof the world can no longer stand back and must get involved, at least provide safe havens for the civilian population.
  sar602 Chief Train Controller

Location: Nomadic truckie
Defeated? We are just biding our time comrade.
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin


Think you need to read some of Fukuyamas work mate you commo's are toast Zionist Internation Finance Capitalism/Liberalism will reign supreme for all eternity.

LOL  LaughingTwisted Evil
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
At the end of the WW2, the Russians were raping and killing the Germans as they moved forward at record rates. So much so the Americans had to get the Russian leaders to intervene. Likewise the Americans were raping the Japanese women in Okiwana, the first Japanese land invasion and the surrended Japanese govt set up brothels on the main land to try and prevent a repeat during the early years of the occupation.
RTT_Rules
I agree, and that is terrible, but I wonder if it's by convient choice that you chose not to mention the Japanese and their captured 'comfort women'...
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
I agree, and that is terrible, but I wonder if it's by convient choice that you chose not to mention the Japanese and their captured 'comfort women'...
Aaron
Does that make a difference Question
So how many wrongs do make a right Question
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Does that make a difference Question
So how many wrongs do make a right Question
cootanee
It not about an action making another action right, it was a query as to RTT's general postings against the west and my noting that he managed to pluck two examples of hideous cruelties performed against the axis without mention of the famous atrocities against women by them. Nothing more, nothing less.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Israel says they will bomb Syria's arsenal if Assad falls.  In the meantime Russia keeps selling top-shelf anti-aircraft weapons to Syria:
http://news.yahoo.com/general-says-israel-smash-syrias-arsenals-assad-falls-180614376.html?utm_content=buffer6e665&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I agree, and that is terrible, but I wonder if it's by convient choice that you chose not to mention the Japanese and their captured 'comfort women'...
Aaron
No, just didn't think of it at the time. Mass rape of the population or imprisioned women working in brothels, no different!
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Israel says they will bomb Syria's arsenal if Assad falls.  In the meantime Russia keeps selling top-shelf anti-aircraft weapons to Syria:
http://news.yahoo.com/general-says-israel-smash-syrias-arsenals-assad-falls-180614376.html?utm_content=buffer6e665&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer
Carnot

Mmm Israel obviously believes that those will take over will not be as "friendly" as Assad which they have kept in check by various bombings, raids and land occupation.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Confirmation that AQ are running part of the country now:
http://www.theage.com.au/world/alqaeda-forms-complaints-department-20130604-2nmxf.html

Meanwhile, Hezbollah allies of Assad and Northern Sunni rebels fight against each other in Qusair:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/31/us-syria-crisis-qusair-idUSBRE94U0H320130531

While just across the border in Turkey, protesters say "enough is enough" and want Ergodan's Islamist party given the boot:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/02/us-turkey-protests-insight-idUSBRE9510DJ20130602
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Confirmation that AQ are running part of the country now:
http://www.theage.com.au/world/alqaeda-forms-complaints-department-20130604-2nmxf.html
Carnot
Sounds like a "good excuse" for the West to come out of the closet and launch overt action against the Syrian government, but as usual it is a little too good. These loosely associated savages "miraculously" appear after the central State authorities are weakened. Of course we didn't hear much about them before, because they would have been massacred by the armies of "evil rulers" the West wants out and they probably were among those against whom atrocities were supposedly committed in the past.

Is this part of the imperial plan or an unintended consequence of past action?
Well, guess who appears to be backing those savages yet again  - Team America World Police, the good guys who hate Al Qa'ida and others so much, or at least want us to think they do, while funding them as an "enemy image" to justify their agenda.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/kerry-demands-iraq-stop-arms-flow-to-syria-even-as-us-armsfunds-al-qaeda/5328446

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9918785/US-and-Europe-in-major-airlift-of-arms-to-Syrian-rebels-through-Zagreb.html

http://www.theinsider.org/news/article.asp?id=0228


Chechens and others are also fighting in Syria with the "Al Qa'ida" rebels/Free Syrian Army.

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/03/chechen_jihadist_for.php




Nothing ever changes.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

^^ Foreign wars being used yet again as an excuse for arms manufacturers and their government cronies (both Western and Russian) to make big dollars and maintain cashflow.  An immoral trade.

Besides, even sending in arms to 'moderates' is no guarantee that they will be.  Civilians cop it no matter who is behind the gun or missile launcher Sad
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

I won't link the article at the moment (but they do show what is going on), as it contains videos & pictures that may distress, but the Daily Telegraph has an article that says that France may threaten declare war on Syria IF the chemical weapons attacks are confirmed.

"BREAKING NEWS: FRANCE has threatened the international community will use armed force against Syria if the chemical massacre that may have claimed more than 1000 lives is confirmed."

IF it is confirmed that Syria has used chemical weapons on its citizens, while a number of people may not agree & it will raise fuel prices, should the UN countries now declare a war on Syria (or at least the Syrian government)?

Or should the UN countries just leave it and let them try to work it out themselves, unless it becomes a threat to the world?
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

IF it is confirmed that Syria has used chemical weapons on its citizens, while a number of people may not agree & it will raise fuel prices, should the UN countries now declare a war on Syria (or at least the Syrian government)? Or should the UN countries just leave it and let them try to work it out themselves, unless it becomes a threat to the world?
Newcastle Express

Oh, of course... "IF" it is confirmed -  just like Saddam's stash of WMDs was "confirmed", and so on, and so on.

The self-anointed World Police had better be damn sure of what happened and who was responsible before they take any action.

This is what one alternative outlet had to say. No less reliable than our own propagandists.

http://rt.com/news/unsc-chemical-investigation-syria-814/

http://rt.com/op-edge/syria-gas-attack-chemical-propaganda-796/

I'm not saying this attack didn't happen, but we know we've been lied to before by the US and by the Syrian "Rebels", so the story is worthy of close scrutiny. Time will - no, might - tell...
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Headshunt, at the moment, included on the pages in your link it has includes "Lebanon fires rocket at Israel"

While it's not really related, I wonder how much of the Middle Eastern conflict is the cause of "Israel".
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I won't link the article at the moment (but they do show what is going on), as it contains videos & pictures that may distress, but the Daily Telegraph has an article that says that France may threaten declare war on Syria IF the chemical weapons attacks are confirmed.

"BREAKING NEWS: FRANCE has threatened the international community will use armed force against Syria if the chemical massacre that may have claimed more than 1000 lives is confirmed."

IF it is confirmed that Syria has used chemical weapons on its citizens, while a number of people may not agree & it will raise fuel prices, should the UN countries now declare a war on Syria (or at least the Syrian government)?

Or should the UN countries just leave it and let them try to work it out themselves, unless it becomes a threat to the world?
Newcastle Express

Won't impact on oil prices as Syria and that part of middle East don't export oil. Most of Iraq goes via gulf.

I currently live in Dubai so potentially I get a lot more news on the middle east than in Australia. 2011 I though the Arab Spring was great the people, however it is now becoming clear that I think many countries are now worse off. Egypt is now a basket case, their economy has gone to crap with tourists abandoning the country in droves. The Tunisians almost cry on what has happened there with what was once a safe country for all including women now relegated to a typical African backwater, Libya is now following Iraq. Syria used to be like Jordan, safe and free for all religions (just provided you said nothing against the govt). Woman's rights has taken a major step back in all these countries.

I think the UN/USA has stayed out of Syria because the others have not proven to be clean transfer to democracy. Unfortunately I don't think this part of the world is ready for democracy as we know it, in part due to the historic conflicts between religious groups and different tribes. Israel is not the cause of much of this, the muslim countries nearly all went more conservative from the late 70's (when even in KSA women didn't have to cover their hair) and now you have major comflict between those who want more freedom and those wanting more religious influence.

Meanwhile you have places like Dubai profiteering on their conflicting brothers with money flowing from those countries to a the Middle East safe havens such as Dubai and where possible people leaving where they have legal and illegal options, including land illegal migration through Turkey and East Europe into Central Europe and of course Australia. Unfortunately I think some of these countries need a strong ruler, self appointed or as in the case of Arabian Pensiula, hereditary. But as the peninsula has shown, if they are benevolent they keep the people on side, however if the country doesn't have lots of oil, then its done with a gun.

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