World Politics

Page 490 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Status
Not open for further replies.
Turning his spoon in his espresso, the well-versed friend of mine, to whom I had asked some illumination on the present crisis, looked at me rather desolately and said: perhaps we'll get through this, perhaps not. I pointed out to him that in that case it was just as well to ask the bartender's opinion. He laughed and then affirmed: "The economy, above all the economy of finance, has become an entity so immeasurable that to govern it has become little more than a bet. I don't know if we will ever again be able to keep it under control."

I reflected. Those were more or less my thoughts - and anguish - when I was a kid and ruminated over the atomic bomb and chain reactions. It's something that man has conceptualized and conjured, and which now risks to overwhelm him, like in the archetypal story of the apprentice wizards that become warlocks. The technocrat solution (Monti's government) perhaps provides just a modicum of hope that there still exists a margin of intervention and control. But at three years since the flop of 2008, when everybody said "we need to change the rules" and nothing was changed, the sensation of being at the mercy of processes that tower over, not only everyday Joe on the streets, but also the ministry buildings of every rank and status, is always stronger. And it's not pleasant.

According to recent reports there already exists a Plan B from the US to England, from Japan to Hong Kong, as emergency measures in regards to the end of the EU common currency. Even if no such plan exists within the European chancelleries.

For the colossal credit managers of Citygroup, Merill Lynch, the Royal Bank of Scotland "the Euro is already finished.”
 
Jul 16, 2011
1,551
0
0
ramjambunath said:
Strong reactions from Pakistan.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/11/27/us-told-to-vacate-shamsi-base-nato-supplies-stopped.html



Much needed reaction from the political class, a NATO blunder is being too kind to the NATO.
Both sides claim that they fired in self defence. It seems that NATO aircraft used heavy guns on a ****stani base. This and the scale of the fatalities indicate this is much deeper than "friendly fire" fatalities. The Afgan-Pak istani border is not well defined, but surely NATO forces know where the border posts are.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/26/nato-air-attack-****stan-soldiers

The Shamsi airfield was being used as a base for drones, which has been a real bone of contention between the US and Pak istan.
 
Jul 4, 2011
1,899
0
0
Tank Engine said:
Both sides claim that they fired in self defence. It seems that NATO aircraft used heavy guns on a Pakistani base. This and the scale of the fatalities indicate this is much deeper than "friendly fire" fatalities. The Afgan-Pak istani border is not well defined, but surely NATO forces know where the border posts are.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/26/nato-air-attack-****stan-soldiers

The Shamsi airfield was being used as a base for drones, which has been a real bone of contention between the US and Pak istan.
Firstly, the swear filter editing Pakistan (I'm bypassing it here) is absolutely irritating.

To the point, there's a sentence in the statement that the Pakistani officials released in the morning which said that there's space for negotiation and what may happen in the end is that the regularly spineless govt will buckle to international pressure and may under duress in the future, open its Shamsi base.

As you say, it's a base for drones which are a massive bone of contention and there's a reason for the anger among the Pak population and officials. I certainly wouldn't approve of an external force killing thousands of civilians in my country.

In the meantime NATO drivers are feeling the pinch of the supply route being blocked.
http://www.dawn.com/2011/11/27/****stan-retaliation-leaves-nato-drivers-in-limbo.html
just change the 4 stars with p a k i in the link.

Other big news from Pakistan, ex- foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has joined the Tehrik e Insaaf, Imran Khan's party.
http://www.dawn.com/2011/11/27/qureshi-addresses-rally-at-ghotki.html
 
redtreviso said:
Ann Coulter stated: "So at the moment anyway, I mean I don't know what's going to happen in New York today, but at the moment I'm not really worried of a movement like SDS which really swept a lot of the college campuses taking over. Of course if it does, just remember the lesson from my book: it just took a few shootings at Kent State to shut that down for good."

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201111260001?frontpage

btw Ann was 9 yrs old in 1970..
Well, if everyone shot everyone that doesn't agree with them at least this would solve the world's over population problem.

But seriously, how can anyone be sooooo ignorant.
 
Nov 30, 2010
797
0
0
aphronesis said:
that lie goes by the name of neoliberalism insofar as it is passively and tacitly approved in the countries and classes that most benefit from the practices you describe above. it isn't a matter of deferred or belated recognition, what you dismiss as neoliberalism is precisely the set of affective, psychological, compartmentalizing and moral rationalizations which allow those manifold forms of exploitation to occur. in all likelihood, once they expire there will be other more diffuse mechanisms that take their place.
I do not understand most of what you wrote but Government intervention that imposes a massive burden on its own industrial output has nothing to do with neoliberalism in my obviously limited understanding of the term.
 
Sep 25, 2009
7,527
0
0
ramjambunath said:
Strong reactions from Pakistan.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/11/27/us-told-to-vacate-shamsi-base-nato-supplies-stopped.html



Much needed reaction from the political class, a NATO blunder is being too kind to the NATO.
was there any further explanation/clarification from nato ?

i'm not sure the 'retaliatory' supply route closure is going to be closed for long. pak-istan has only one effective option in order to stop the blatant changeless to it's sovereignty - opening fire on the violators.

for many - mainly political - reasons they wont.

is this the case of how almost unnatural dependence on american 'aid' and arms supply supplant independence ?
 
Jul 4, 2011
1,899
0
0
A bit of clarification came, it's there in Tank Engine's post (there's a link in which the swear filter is getting in the way).

I think all this posturing from the govt is only that, posturing. The economy is in the doldrums and there were many reports in 2008 (just after Iceland went bust) that Pakistan was facing bankruptcy, $3 billion was the reported cash reserves at the time. Since then, there have been no major reforms economically and it's being sustained on many levels by foreign aid.

It is clear that the people of Pakistan aren't in support of NATO presence in the country and most definitely don't want drone attacks in the region but at the moment I believe the voice of the average Pakistani will, as always, be drowned out in the political hullabaloo.

In the end, from the outside, it doesn't seem that Pakistan has a very sustainable economic model and with the dependence on aid for their very sustenance, it seems pretty clear why there's a lack of absolute sovereignty in these cases.
 
python said:
was there any further explanation/clarification from nato ?

i'm not sure the 'retaliatory' supply route closure is going to be closed for long. pak-istan has only one effective option in order to stop the blatant changeless to it's sovereignty - opening fire on the violators.

for many - mainly political - reasons they wont.

is this the case of how almost unnatural dependence on american 'aid' and arms supply supplant independence ?
It's called paid-for allies in the struggle to maintain global empire. Independence or democracy have got nothing to do with it, as you are well aware. These are just political terms to be thrown around, now and then, as propaganda. And rather cheap ones these days.
 
Captain_Cavman said:
I do not understand most of what you wrote but Government intervention that imposes a massive burden on its own industrial output has nothing to do with neoliberalism in my obviously limited understanding of the term.
Obviously you aren't considering the effects that neolibralism has had on our industry, since government "imposed a massive burden on its own industrial output."

Which means permitting industry to move overseas under modern market versions of the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny, where the labor market is cheaper and more malleable, and there are less stringent safety and environmental regulations (take the Bhopal and Ecuadorian examples I cited above) to exploit and lay waste as before because our democracy got in the way. Problem "solved."

While even after government, in the US at any rate, caved-in to workers’ demands during the intolerable industrial revolution period, it went on to use law enforcement as its henchmen to beat labor and the unions generally into submission in favor of the robber barons. And then again in Europe and the US in the 60's, 70's and 80's in the interests of so called "disciplining" labor, because of having what Samuel Huntington has called "too much democracy."

You seem to be looking at the issue from the point of view of a hundred years ago. If the conditions of labor and regulations are so "problematical" in our world then it's the fault of democracy, whereas if so atrocious and chaotic elsewhere in foreign production (especially our factories), neoliberalism, and certainly not socialism, is the cause. Moreover during Nixon and Kissinger, one socialism was played against another in the interests of global market hegemony, with the unforeseen effects of this phenomenon now beginning to reshape the global order.

What the Western democracies should have done to really have made the world a better place, is to have refused to open up the markets where human rights and workers dignity didn't meet the same standards as those in our world since industrialization. To thus have promoted a standard of civility we claim to uphold and defend, which means to make business conform to a set of principles and not those principles give way to the interests of business, which is precisely what happened. So we can't complain. Of course this has never been done outside the West and instead we only got hypocrisy and a vapid ideology that anyone with a sincere head recognizes.

If one want's to look at things historically, then, we could have decided to leave the socialist states to there fates and live within the labor costs and consumption rates that democracy affords, instead of having tried to change socialism and fight horrible wars against the socialists, or support any right-wing government, no matter how appalling, in the name of freedom. Naturally our political leaders and capitalists never would have consented to this, however. That is we could have chosen what I like to call "happy downsizing," instead of the imperialist and neoliberal course that was actually taken. Whereas now we might be headed toward an involuntary "downsizing,", which the global financial apparatus assures will not be happy at all.

So, evidently, capitalism just didn't have it within itself.
 
Sep 25, 2009
7,527
0
0
rhubroma said:
It's called paid-for allies in the struggle to maintain global empire. Independence or democracy have got nothing to do with it, as you are well aware. These are just political terms to be thrown around, now and then, as propaganda. And rather cheap ones these days.
well i just read some reports quoting a senior pak--istani official that the supply routes will NOT be reopened ever.

if so, my earlier post doesn't do justice to pak--istani resolution.

also, nato's dependence on this route is so significant, that imo, it will touch off one of the biggest global geopolitical shifts of the last few decades.

pak--istan already was close to china...now it will become its main security fallback. this in turn may change the whole dynamic and re-alignment between china, india and the US.

not to forget that russia (and it's puppet transit states of kyrgyzstan and uzbekistan)stand to benefit hugely by imposing political conditions on america as they will become the only LAND route available...

so, we're back to the reasons why all invaders failed in the land locked afghanistan...
 
Jul 4, 2011
1,899
0
0
python said:
well i just read some reports quoting a senior pak--istani official that the supply routes will NOT be reopened ever.

if so, my earlier post doesn't do justice to pak--istani resolution.

also, nato's dependence on this route is so significant, that imo, it will touch off one of the biggest global geopolitical shifts of the last few decades.

pak--istan already was close to china...now it will become its main security fallback. this in turn may change the whole dynamic and re-alignment between china, india and the US.

not to forget that russia (and it's puppet transit states of kyrgyzstan and uzbekistan)stand to benefit hugely by imposing political conditions on america as they will become the only LAND route available...

so, we're back to the reasons why all invaders failed in the land locked afghanistan...
From what I've read so far, from Dawn and a couple of other Pakistani newspapers, I haven't seen any officials call for an end to the alliance but civil society members and lawyers and I still think that in the end, when push comes to shove, Pakistani govt will buckle to US pressure because of its economic dependence on the USA against the will of its people.

I've heard that the new Kyrgyz president wants to shut down the US base there, so i believe what may happen, if the base somehow remains open, is that there may be a significant bump up in the lease price there. Either way, it isn't ideal for USA/NATO.

If this blockade goes on for a substantial period of time and if the Kyrgyz base is closed as promised, am I the only one seeing diplomatic pressure on Iran being ramped up to new levels.

As for the point about Pakistan, China, India and USA. I hope it doesn't pan out that way, as one of the founding members of the once significant NAM it would be a travesty to become a military ally of the US or any other country for that matter.
 
python said:
well i just read some reports quoting a senior pak--istani official that the supply routes will NOT be reopened ever.

if so, my earlier post doesn't do justice to pak--istani resolution.

also, nato's dependence on this route is so significant, that imo, it will touch off one of the biggest global geopolitical shifts of the last few decades.

pak--istan already was close to china...now it will become its main security fallback. this in turn may change the whole dynamic and re-alignment between china, india and the US.

not to forget that russia (and it's puppet transit states of kyrgyzstan and uzbekistan)stand to benefit hugely by imposing political conditions on america as they will become the only LAND route available...

so, we're back to the reasons why all invaders failed in the land locked afghanistan...
Interesting analysis. I guess it depends on just how much Russia and China want to flex their muscles. And how much US brawn and steriods are still effective deterents.
 
Jun 22, 2009
4,991
0
0
I'm turning into an isolationist in my old age....I really wish the US would just withdraw from the region and use the billions wasted there on climbing out of the domestic economic crisis. If that leads to chaos and instability, so be it.

I must confess that a lot of my feelings about the region are colored by my personal experiences there a lifetime ago. In short, I have nothing but contempt for Iranians, Pak-istanis and upper class/caste Indians, and a grudging admiration for the Afghans. No outside power will ever succeed in 'taming' Afghanistan; it's never happened yet, and imho it never will. Every dollar spent there and every life lost is just a waste. Let them all get on with it and whatever sh!t happens, tough......
 
Jul 4, 2011
1,899
0
0
Harsh. May I know why, especially Iranian and Pakistanis? I know the caste culture is abhorrent (especially severe in rural India) and unfortunately followed even now but in context of Afghanistan, I think India has been one of the few constructive forces, elsewhere it's not been great.
 
Jul 4, 2011
1,899
0
0
Harsh. May I know why, especially Iranian and Pakistanis? I know the caste culture is abhorrent (especially severe in rural India) and unfortunately followed even now but in context of Afghanistan, I think India has been one of the few constructive forces, elsewhere (including domestically) it's not been great at all.

Meanwhile, Elections take place in Egypt
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15914277
 
Jun 22, 2009
4,991
0
0
ramjambunath said:
Harsh. May I know why, especially Iranian and Pakistanis? I know the caste culture is abhorrent (especially severe in rural India) and unfortunately followed even now but in context of Afghanistan, I think India has been one of the few constructive forces, elsewhere (including domestically) it's not been great at all.
I knew that would pique your interest, Ramjam.;)

As I said, purely based on my personal experiences, the way people reacted to my girlfriend and me during our overland journey. The Iranians (of all classes) simply tried to cheat and screw us wherever possible (this was during the supposedly pro-western Shah regime). So did almost every Pak-istani who 'befriended' us; so did the rich Indians we had dealings with. Common Indians were lovely people, and it's because of them and the country itself that I've always wanted (but not yet succeeded) to go back to India one day.

The Afghans in those days completely fit the established stereotype, i.e proud, aloof, independent, and willing to interact with us travellers without trying to immediately screw us over. So, my opinions are not specifically based on the country's religion, but more on the apparent national characteristics as displayed towards us then. But, in my personal (maybe limited) experience then (1967-68) I would say that religion certainly played a role in the hypocrisy and lust for a western woman that we faced throughout Iran and Pak-istan.

In short, I loved India and its 'ordinary' people, felt a certain awe and respect for the Afghans, and absolutely loathed the Iranians and their eastern neighbour. Again, these views are entirely based on the way we were treated on our travels, our personal encounters with these nationalities/cultures.
 
Jul 4, 2011
1,899
0
0
Hardly a surprise that I'd respond :D

I don't like the posh ones here myself and there are far too many of them where I live. If it was bad then, it's a joke nowadays. The posh ones try to mimic western society and do no justice to western culture and the fact that they're Indian and don't show any semblance of Indian-ness is also laughable. The normal people are really nice and helpful, especially to tourists.

I'm actually surprised about Pakistanis, my interactions with them have always been cordial, but then again we always have cricket to talk about.
 
Nov 30, 2010
797
0
0
rhubroma said:
Obviously you aren't considering the effects that neolibralism has had on our industry, since government "imposed a massive burden on its own industrial output."
I agree it is obvious I didn't. But that is the nature of debate; in order to refute somebody's claim, you don't have to list the ways in which their point had merit, just the way in which it is palpably false.

rhubroma said:
What the Western democracies should have done to really have made the world a better place, is to have refused to open up the markets where human rights and workers dignity didn't meet the same standards as those in our world since industrialization. To thus have promoted a standard of civility we claim to uphold and defend, which means to make business conform to a set of principles and not those principles give way to the interests of business, which is precisely what happened. So we can't complain. Of course this has never been done outside the West and instead we only got hypocrisy and a vapid ideology that anyone with a sincere head recognizes.
Yes we agree again! Or we could impose tariffs on Chinese goods to offset and punish (for want of a better word) 19th Century attitudes to peoples' welfare.

Where it has gone wrong is the we have had partial intervention and partial free market and the combination has led us down a totally inevitable path. Blaming a specific ideology is pointless because none have been followed.
 
Captain_Cavman said:
I agree it is obvious I didn't. But that is the nature of debate; in order to refute somebody's claim, you don't have to list the ways in which their point had merit, just the way in which it is palpably false.



Yes we agree again! Or we could impose tariffs on Chinese goods to offset and punish (for want of a better word) 19th Century attitudes to peoples' welfare.

Where it has gone wrong is the we have had partial intervention and partial free market and the combination has led us down a totally inevitable path. Blaming a specific ideology is pointless because none have been followed.

So tell me what's palpably false about neoliberalism as an ideology that originally found justification during the Cold War, as an expantionist economic policy, which had as its underlying reasoning on the one hand global exploitation of un-or-underdeveloped economies to offset, in a diminishing way, the costs of production at home and, on the other, as a weapon of containment against the spread of socialism? If anything it seems as if we have (for want of a better word) celebrated those 19th Century attitudes to peoples' welfare.

I think they'd have already done that with China, were it not for that nation financing US debt. Incredible how the financial apparatus has created a symbiotic relationship between the two states, like that of a parasite and its host. If the host dies, so too does the parasite.
 
ramjambunath said:
...

Meanwhile, Elections take place in Egypt
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15914277
Yep, the Egyptians have like 15 electoral dates proposed between now and June before electing a president, to establish the upper and lower political institutions, with certain urban centers like Alexandria and Cairo voting prior to the rural ones. To top it all off, no date for the presidentioal election has yet been established, but only that it will not take place before June.

Meanwhile Mubarak's former right hand man, general Tantawi, promises his soldiers can and will see that everything runs smoothly, democratically speaking, and that nothing is tricked. :rolleyes:
 
Jul 16, 2011
1,551
0
0
More from the "Stani" borders

The border post was very prominent, being on a summit about 300m metres from the border. NATO officials seem to stress the disputed nature of the border, but this not of consequence here due to the fact that the attack took place on a known border post, not in the middle of no-man's land. What could be of consequence is the accusations of the Afgans that the border posts were used by the Taliban under the protection of Pak istani troops, though it seems bizarre that the Taliban would announce this by attacking NATO troops from within a base. The validity of this statement may (but not necessarily) be clarified in the forthcoming investigation, but from the first link below the setting up of an objective investigation seems unlikely in the present climate. The fallout from this could have a huge impact on the geopolitical balance in the area. As Ramjambunath says, Pak istan is heavily in debt and needs financial support, which will come either from the US or from China.

Due to the beloved :rolleyes: swear filter, to get to the links, you need to change the *s to p a k i.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/27/nato-reprisals-****stan-air-strike

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/28/china-****stan-nato-border-attack
 
Jul 16, 2011
1,551
0
0
ramjambunath said:
I'm actually surprised about Pakistanis, my interactions with them have always been cordial, but then again we always have cricket to talk about.
I've never had any problems with Indians or Pakistanis (I spent my teenage years in a town with a very high proportion of Asians and had some good Asian friends at college). I also know a few Iranian PhD students here (one is my own student), who are always pleasant and polite. I think that some of this is cultural and some of this results from the principals of reciprocation (as theoretically illustrated by considering the repeated version of the Prisoner's Dilemma, if you've done any game theory). If you're not going to meet somebody again, then you maximise your immediate profits, rather than finding a mutually beneficial long-term solution. When I was in Istanbul, it seemed that the locals were out to get a fast buck with tourists, with one taxi firm I agreed a price and then later the driver tried to impose a "surcharge". However, I think this is occurs in many places. I remember being in a small village in the Spanish Pyrenees and there were no prices in the shop, hence I think there may well have been different prices for locals and tourists.
 
Tank Engine said:
I've never had any problems with Indians or Pakistanis (I spent my teenage years in a town with a very high proportion of Asians and had some good Asian friends at college). I also know a few Iranian PhD students here (one is my own student), who are always pleasant and polite. I think that some of this is cultural and some of this results from the principals of reciprocation (as theoretically illustrated by considering the repeated version of the Prisoner's Dilemma, if you've done any game theory). If you're not going to meet somebody again, then you maximise your immediate profits, rather than finding a mutually beneficial long-term solution. When I was in Istanbul, it seemed that the locals were out to get a fast buck with tourists, with one taxi firm I agreed a price and then later the driver tried to impose a "surcharge". However, I think this is occurs in many places. I remember being in a small village in the Spanish Pyrenees and there were no prices in the shop, hence I think there may well have been different prices for locals and tourists.
C'est la vie...
 
May 23, 2010
2,410
0
0
"""It’s all right to let Wall Street bet each other millions of dollars every day but why make these bets affect the fellow who is plowing a field out in Claremore, Oklahoma?"

“When a party can’t think of anything else they always fall back on Lower Taxes. It has a magic sound to a voter, just like Fairyland...”

“People want JUST taxes, more than they want lower taxes. They want to know that every man is paying his proportionate share according to his wealth.”
""

Will Rogers 1924
 
Apr 20, 2009
1,190
0
0
redtreviso said:
"""It’s all right to let Wall Street bet each other millions of dollars every day but why make these bets affect the fellow who is plowing a field out in Claremore, Oklahoma?"

“When a party can’t think of anything else they always fall back on Lower Taxes. It has a magic sound to a voter, just like Fairyland...”

“People want JUST taxes, more than they want lower taxes. They want to know that every man is paying his proportionate share according to his wealth.”
""

Will Rogers 1924
great quotes from Will Rogers. the first quote caught my eye because i had heard of that town; claremore, oklahoma.

a strange story: a while back i met an old man who said he was related to will rogers. his name was rogers and i when i was introduced to him, he was introduced as will rogers' [relative]. he was also from claremore. being an oklahoman, he was also extremely conservative. at the time i thought this was paradoxical given his alleged family history.

so, because that town name attracted my attention, i decided to google the guy just now. at first, i couldn't find out anything about him. he is probably already dead, i thought. then i looked into the will rogers family tree and could find nothing about the guy. after a little more digging i eventually found his obituary. to spare his family embarrassment i won't link to it, but in his obituary it noted that even though he said he was related to will rogers, no evidence of this could be found.

FWIW
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS