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View Full Version : UK Brown administration is quite, quite insane



Cullion
26th April 09, 05:19 AM
They had this fucking insane plan to do a deal with the Taliban by building a military training camp that could handle 2000 at a time, hoping that providing them with military training would persuade them to switch sides.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/revealed-british-plan-to-build-training-camp-for-taliban-fighters-in-afghanistan-777671.html

They were also planning to provide them with secure satellite phones, 'to help them communicate with British officials directly'.

They might as well provide them with modern explosives and anti-aircraft arms too, just to make sure they don't have to work with that dangerous home-made stuff.

That ought to bring them on side. No chance of this backfiring.

<shakes head in disbelief at how deeply incompetent the current British government is>.

Craigypooh
26th April 09, 05:28 AM
If only the US administration had thought of this, and given Bin Laden some help and support in his early day, then we would never have had 911. Oh wait..

Virus
26th April 09, 06:09 AM
So first it's the "please don't hate us" ad campaign now it's giving them training in arms and explosives in the hope that they will leave you alone? Is the entire British government on the Saudi payroll or something?

Kein Haar
26th April 09, 06:36 AM
The UK's moral high ground peaked about 60 years ago, i t seems.

Been a steady limpification of wrists ever since.

Lebell
26th April 09, 06:39 AM
that is deeply retarded.

JingMerchant!
26th April 09, 07:23 AM
Cullion for PM...!

danno
26th April 09, 07:29 AM
in other news, australian troops kill around 80 taliban fighters:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/25/2552615.htm

Lebell
26th April 09, 07:46 AM
This reminds me of that episode of Yes Minister where the minister gets informed in an unofficial setting that italian terrorists were using british bombs.
The minister couldnt know, but the person after working hours could.

Pure genious sketch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWlCGSoYkFo&feature=PlayList&p=4007E473402A0A45&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=2

socratic
26th April 09, 07:56 AM
in other news, australian troops kill around 80 taliban fighters:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/25/2552615.htm

Boo-yah.

Cullion
26th April 09, 08:04 AM
The UK's moral high ground peaked about 60 years ago, i t seems.

Been a steady limpification of wrists ever since.

Our political elite have been steadily betraying us and losing their minds. There is a steady outword flow of migration of brits leaving for other English speaking countries which has sharply increased since New Labour came to power in '97.

We still have quite a few troops stationed in Afghanistan, who've done many brave things. I imagine that some of the Army officers asked to take part in this plan considered resigning.

socratic
26th April 09, 09:35 AM
Our political elite have been steadily betraying us and losing their minds. There is a steady outword flow of migration of brits leaving for other English speaking countries which has sharply increased since New Labour came to power in '97.

We still have quite a few troops stationed in Afghanistan, who've done many brave things. I imagine that some of the Army officers asked to take part in this plan considered resigning.

Seriously, why'd your country vote Blair in yet again? Have they learnt their lesson yet now that he's stepped down and his retarded little brother has taken the reigns?

I think a fair few of England's problems could be solved if you had a proper breeding program going. Then you wouldn't need to import Muslim radicals to do all the labor your aging population can't, etc.

Cullion
26th April 09, 09:44 AM
There are several reasons why Blair won so many elections in a row.

Firstly, an ever increasing proportion of the population works in the public sector. Public sector workers (aside from military personnel) tend to vote for socialistic economic policies because it's in their interest to.

Secondly, a lot of people still had bad memories of the recession under the last Tory government. Most people aren't economics nerds, so they tended to just take a pragmatic view during the Labour-induced credit bubble that as long as their houses kept going up in value and credit was cheap and available, that times were good. Now this has been revealed as a charade and it's clear to them that Brown is losing his grip fast, the people who voted Labour in this basis will switch their vote in a heartbeat.

Thirdly, until David Cameron took the leadership, the conservatives spent years in disarray. Changing leaders frequently, arguing amongst themselves on issues like European integration, public spending etc.. People don't trust a team that fights amongst itself in public too openly.

Tony Blair was good at projecting a superficially honest-seeming and charming persona. Another reason that Labour are so low in the polls is that Gordon Brown is dour, socially awkward and generally kind of charmless. When he forces himself to smile it's too obvious that it's forced. It's terribly, terribly sad to reflect that people can be influenced by superficial things like this, but it's just a fact of life that they can.

Lebell
26th April 09, 10:18 AM
not too long ago i saw a report on tv, a female journalist went undercover as a muslima in a london mosque.

with your soon to be wahabist overlords you need not worry about what the general population wants or feels.

every bad thing has it good sides.

Cullion
26th April 09, 10:30 AM
I wonder if we'll have a military coup first ?

Lebell
26th April 09, 10:39 AM
im a big fan of military coups.

as soon as there would be civil strife in my country i'd immediately go balkan style on a shitload of people i have a score to settle with.

hell ive got as list of names and adresses already.

from my kindergartenteacher to my last boss...

Cullion
26th April 09, 10:40 AM
How long until Holland disintegrates into civil war do you think ?

Lebell
26th April 09, 10:42 AM
well i have no idea.

you see, for a war you need two opposing factions who are willing to fight.
the dutch are not exactly known for their military prowesse.

so im thinking in 50 years from now we will be outbred and ill have grandchildren named fatima and muhammed.

Dark Helmet
26th April 09, 10:48 AM
So it will be along Sunni and Shia lines?

Lebell
26th April 09, 10:50 AM
im not sure.
by then the muslim blood is poluted with the dutch cowardice so the violence probably will be restricted to stoning some women.
you know, men who are too cowardly to fight other men usually take it out on women.

Dark Helmet
26th April 09, 10:54 AM
Hmmmm! That works for Italians ,too.

Lebell
26th April 09, 10:58 AM
yes, italians, swedes, norwegians, romanians, zhe french, they are highly compatible with the mindset of the average arab.

HappyOldGuy
26th April 09, 03:49 PM
So just to toss it out there.

You guys do realize that this is exactly the thing that finally wound up actually working in iraq, right? Getting the Sunni militants involved in a formal militia is the real reason why the violence dropped so much and it successfully drove a wedge between the foreign fighters and the Iraqi population. It's the single biggest success of the occupation.

They aren't the same situaton, etc etc etc. But it's not as self evidently retarded as you guys seem to think it is.

Cullion
26th April 09, 03:58 PM
Well, first of all, it's a bit early to say how Iraq will turn out.

Secondly the Sunni militias, as I understand it, were largely composed of former Ba'ath supporters. The Ba'ath party was an arab-nationalist secular movement that allowed alcohol consumption, encouraged female education and had no problem with women holding political office or wearing bikinis.

The Taliban on the other hand, are batshit insane revolutionaries from another century who have already turned on the west after being trained by them, and chop school teachers ears off for teaching girls.

Considering that the Taliban are currently operating only 60 miles from the Pakistani capital and edging closer, apparently with support from elements in Pakistani intelligence, I'm not so sure if providing them with training and satellite comms in the hope that they'll decide they'd rather be friends after all is a good idea.

I guess it depends how keen we are on explaining to the rest of the world why we suddenly decided to re-arm a group we explicitly invaded to depose in the first place because their system of law enforcement made Torquemada look liberal, who are now in control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

We're already trying to train a military force for the calmer less extreme elements in Afghan society, it's called the Afghan National Army, and they get killed in combat with the Taliban every week.

Shawarma
26th April 09, 04:24 PM
Was about to post something along the lines of what HoG just did. It's not as completely illogical a move as Cullion seems to believe - Baathist, Pushtun or Smurf, everybody likes free money, and I don't believe your average Taliban war chief is so religious as to turn down huge wads of it in exchange for his cooperation. Tribal goatfucker warlords aren't really known for turning down big bucks if offered.

Doubt it'll work, though. Afghans are historically real hard to suppress, especially with the softball "democratic" tactics of today.

Lebell
26th April 09, 04:28 PM
yeah, the Taliban and the Sunni dudes are two entirely different animals.

in a way Pakistan created a monster which is biting it in its ass.
don't forget how the taliban came into existance.
Talib means student.
in their case it's students of religious madrassahs, originally based in ...*gasp*..pakistan.

From there on they poured into afghanistan and ruled the place.
well sort off.

you can't look at that region as parts of countries.
its a rifraff of fiefdoms held by warlords and or tribes and sometimes religious nuts.

the whole borderarea between pakistan and afghanistan was and still is not under control of the goverments of those two countries.

the best thing to do would be divide and conquer, judging from the things i know, obviously i dont get the same intel reports the army dudes get.
probably a good reason why they arent using that tactic.

its well known that in that specific area there are 2 main tribes who REALLY hate eachothers guts.

in the middle of that shit the talibs (tahleeb) can operate.

im betting that at least 50% of all attacks on allied isaf forces are coming from tribal factions who obviously blame the tahleebs.

the way things are now its virtually impossible to tell who is who.
i'd say isaf pretends to keep a low profile and stirrs up some shit between the tribal factions.
once one faction has gained a decisive powerbase there'll be less chaos and you can effectively start to exterminate talib forces.

but then again, a tribal faction would mean the area is in reality independant and im sure the isaf has made deals with karzai and pakistan, so they cant play it like that.

i really think this war can be won by the isaf but there's no political will/flexibility to implement the proper tactics.

by defeating the talibs in that area the allies will lose support from kabul and pakistan is up for some serious internal trouble.
so the allies lose influence in that whole region.
its an annoying stalemate.
last week you could already see the first flexing muscles of the talibs when they got the valley and despite of that concession attacked a depot deeper in pakistani terretory.

pakistan in reality didnt give them the valley because you cant give away what is not yours.
it was effectively already of the taliban.

Cullion
26th April 09, 04:32 PM
Baathist, Pushtun or Smurf, everybody likes free money, and I don't believe your average Taliban war chief is so religious as to turn down huge wads of it in exchange for his cooperation. Tribal goatfucker warlords aren't really known for turning down big bucks if offered.

You have to ask yourself what they want to spend it on and why they appear to be moving towards the Pakistani capital one village at a time. They already control a good chunk of the world's heroin supply.

Cullion
26th April 09, 04:34 PM
I don't think we're talking about sleazy douches in paramilitary uniforms who want a palace like Saddam Hussein and the rest of the Ba'athists.

I think we're talking about the westboro baptist church with kalashnikovs.

Lebell
26th April 09, 04:46 PM
I strongly agree with Cullions point.
This is a crusade if you like.

If they would have been anything like the Ba' ath guys they would have surrendered years ago.

You can't compare afgh. with iraq, its a totally different powergame with other things at stake.

Worst case scenario: Pakistan plunges into chaos, big deal?
Pakistan has nukes.
America will go in to secure these nukes, whatever it takes.

Pakistan right now is relatively mild towards India, how do you think the conflict in kashmir will develop with uncle jihad up in islamabad?

Cullion
26th April 09, 04:51 PM
I used to write the invasion of Afghanistan off as just another western blunder based on knee-jerk reactions to poor civil rights for women and short-sighted thirst for vengence after 9-11. I'm honestly beginning to look at this as something we need to win to prevent a nuclear exchange in southern asia.

I don't think we can win the Taliban over with charm. As for equipping them with satellite comms and any other military equipment, even if it's just medical supplies...

Think about what will happen if they just shake their heads and think 'what the fuck is it with these soft-headed westerners? hey Jamil, what do you think they'll try and buy us off with once we've got hold of that suitcase with the red button in Islamabad, lol11!'

Lebell
26th April 09, 05:02 PM
well there's a lot more at stake here then meets the eye.
its so fucking complicated.

its a combined fault of botrh our countries actually.
the british formed the bounderies when they were in control of agh. paki and india, the dutch were fucking stupid enough to let a pakistani scientist get away with nuclear technology he stole at a university here.

there's afghanistan and borderlands of pamkistan which is basically the host and partially the source of the infection (infection being religious nutcases etc), pakistan is unstabile and is juggeling internationally by on one hand helping the usa and on the other hand aiding the muslim insurgents/freedom fighters up in kashmir.
Then the regime faces the shit internally: the fanatics and the old elite factions like Bhutto.
And quite recently the Taleebs who feel strong enough to put some extra pressure on the regimes kettle.

Afghanistan is about pakistan.

India cant do shit to pakistan in a nuclear fashion, they nuke pakistan the fallout will reach their own punjab which is a very important source of agricultural lands.
Pakistan on the other hand doesnt face that problem, they shoot tamil nadu or jaipur, they'll have no problems with fallout.
They're only option is a conventional war.

When there's news about massive troopmovement on the indian side of the border ill bet we're in for what could become WW3.

Cullion
26th April 09, 05:07 PM
How will India manage to do that without Pakistan nuking them first ?

Lebell
26th April 09, 05:14 PM
How will India manage to do that without Pakistan nuking them first ?
Exactly.


I'd say IF they would do such a thing they'd perform special ops to secure sites and strategic bombing etc.
They better be fast and time their moment.
Even then it would be incredibly risky.

But would the taleebs be at the verge of assuming power there they'd have no choice.

Sun Wukong
26th April 09, 06:00 PM
in other news, australian troops kill around 80 taliban fighters:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/25/2552615.htm


Holy crap! All we really needed all along was a crack commando squad of crocodile hunters... Well, here's a beer to you crazy sun burnt down-under types.

HappyOldGuy
26th April 09, 06:01 PM
I don't think we're talking about sleazy douches in paramilitary uniforms who want a palace like Saddam Hussein and the rest of the Ba'athists.

I think we're talking about the westboro baptist church with kalashnikovs.

I think we're talking about loosely aligned bunches of tribal folks who are primarily loyal to their local leaders. Whether this works or not is going to depend on which/how many of those local leaders they are able to bribe with cash and military advantages against their neighbors.

Cullion
26th April 09, 06:04 PM
I think the kind of people you're describing are the Northern Alliance. The talibs sound like a different kettle of fish.

Lebell
26th April 09, 06:08 PM
keep in mind that the russians couldnt take afghanistan, and the taleebs actually managed to effectively control 80% of the soil, with the northern alliance only fighting in the north. (duh)

HappyOldGuy
26th April 09, 06:14 PM
keep in mind that the russians couldnt take afghanistan, and the taleebs actually managed to effectively control 80% of the soil, with the northern alliance only fighting in the north. (duh)

It's also worth remembering that the US+world were funneling arms to fight the Russians, and the Pakistani CIA did the same to help the Taliban beat their enemies (including the NA).

danno
26th April 09, 06:17 PM
Holy crap! All we really needed all along was a crack commando squad of crocodile hunters... Well, here's a beer to you crazy sun burnt down-under types.

our military is small, but by all accounts tends to perform very well.

some very nice discussion going on in this thread. none of this "it's 100% religion! the only source of evil in this world is the koran!!" kind of talk.

Cullion
26th April 09, 06:21 PM
It's also worth remembering that the US+world were funneling arms to fight the Russians, and the Pakistani CIA did the same to help the Taliban beat their enemies (including the NA).

The Pakistani ISI are apparently still doing that, and I started this thread because I thought it was retarded that the British government were planning to try and bribe these crazies by providing them with a training facility and satellite comms. I really don't think this is a good idea dude.

Lebell
26th April 09, 06:22 PM
nations dont have friends, they have interests.

examples aplenty: forementionned weapons sales/support from the usa to the mujahedeen, pakistan aiding taleebs (perhaps to get rid of them from their own soil? who knows?) usa selling weapons to saddam during the iraq-iran war etcetc etc.

its the same powerplay under different banners but for the same interests, and young men and women are dying for it while they're being told they are fighting for freedom, god or what fucking ever.

Sophist
26th April 09, 08:50 PM
It's worth reflecting on the British success in colonising India, which was very much built on knowing whom to bribe and when.

This is a move that could for any number of reasons make sense in the context of the Great Game. Firstly, it could be exploiting an internal schism in the Taliban and arming one side of the split to engage in a conflict that would weaken both. Secondly, it could be an insurance policy against difficulties arising with the Afghan government. Thirdly, running such a training camp would produce a lot of data on the capabilities of those trained there, including potentially how they had been taught to act in various situations, and it might even produce some reasonably reliable spies. Possibilities abound; I'm sure you can come up with more if you think about it.

Afghanistan is peopled with a loose-knit bunch of tribal groupings. If the allegations are true, and not something cooked up by the Afghan government as a means of getting rid of a disliked diplomat, it's probable the story is significantly more subtle than the version you're presenting, Cullion. While I am personally usually inclined to take incompetence as an explanation rather than malice, British foreign policy has such a rich history of deviousness that in a case like this it's hard not to suspect the Civil Service and Foreign Office of reverting to type rather than assuming it's all down to the government being stupid.

SFGOON
26th April 09, 09:43 PM
They had this fucking insane plan to do a deal with the Taliban by building a military training camp that could handle 2000 at a time, hoping that providing them with military training would persuade them to switch sides.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/revealed-british-plan-to-build-training-camp-for-taliban-fighters-in-afghanistan-777671.html

They were also planning to provide them with secure satellite phones, 'to help them communicate with British officials directly'.

They might as well provide them with modern explosives and anti-aircraft arms too, just to make sure they don't have to work with that dangerous home-made stuff.

That ought to bring them on side. No chance of this backfiring.

<shakes head in disbelief at how deeply incompetent the current British government is>.

Oh - the US tried that back in the 80's with these exact guys. Know what they went and did? Defeated a world superpower, that's what!

Oh - shit.

Stick
27th April 09, 08:26 AM
Zis vould not be ein issue iv you had zimply done az ze fuhrer reqvested und learned German zeventy years ago like you vere zupposed to!

Lebell
27th April 09, 11:22 AM
steve has a point, the nazi's wouldnt be bothered by human rights and fair warfare so they would have wtfpawned them a long time ago.

Kein Haar
27th April 09, 11:25 AM
LOL are you serious?

Lebell
27th April 09, 11:28 AM
LOL!

yes.

why?

Madgrenade
27th April 09, 11:34 AM
Nazis pwn fags too. Because they don't produce fresh ubermenschen.

Stick
27th April 09, 12:38 PM
So, Steve has a point, does he?

Lebell
27th April 09, 12:45 PM
Steve has a point as in it wouldnt hurt the people from the U.K. to learn a second language.

I learned english as a second language and look at me now! :-D

Stick
27th April 09, 02:25 PM
So, when did Steve make this point?

Ajamil
27th April 09, 03:41 PM
steve has a point, the nazi's wouldnt be bothered by human rights and fair warfare so they would have wtfpawned them a long time ago.

I read a short story where the Nazis won WW2, and then Gandhi tried to make India independent with his passive resistance. The Nazis shot everyone in his marches, threw him in jail, then killed him. The Aryan race moved on - not bothered by your petty ethics and sense of humanity.

Lebell
27th April 09, 04:34 PM
So, when did Steve make this point?

okay one of us is not getting it, could be me...here's what i think is being said:

Cullion discusses a crazy plan to equip the taleebs.

posts later Steve said: 'zhis wouldnt have happened if you learned german like zhe fuhrer wanted you to some 70 years ago 'or something in that manner.

70years ago it was ww2 (well roughly) so learning german can be explained as surrender zo zhe germans.

right?

Lebell
27th April 09, 04:35 PM
I read a short story where the Nazis won WW2, and then Gandhi tried to make India independent with his passive resistance. The Nazis shot everyone in his marches, threw him in jail, then killed him. The Aryan race moved on - not bothered by your petty ethics and sense of humanity.

you probably have read it yourself but general tip: go read what Ghandi had to say about black people during his stay in south africa.
he was pretty fucking racist.

Cullion
27th April 09, 04:39 PM
It's worth reflecting on the British success in colonising India, which was very much built on knowing whom to bribe and when.

Not only that, but they were already a colonised people for whom we were just another generation of conquerors to get used to. The stiffest resistance we encountered came from the Gurkhas, and we recruited them into our army with an _enormous_ financial incentive relative to their current standard of living.

That won't work with the Taliban I don't think. Or at least, I don't think the money required is in our current budget.



This is a move that could for any number of reasons make sense in the context of the Great Game.

The great game is over. The people who proposed this idiot move can't even competently administer the UK.



Firstly, it could be exploiting an internal schism in the Taliban and arming one side of the split to engage in a conflict that would weaken both. Secondly, it could be an insurance policy against difficulties arising with the Afghan government. Thirdly, running such a training camp would produce a lot of data on the capabilities of those trained there, including potentially how they had been taught to act in various situations, and it might even produce some reasonably reliable spies. Possibilities abound; I'm sure you can come up with more if you think about it.

Afghanistan is peopled with a loose-knit bunch of tribal groupings. If the allegations are true, and not something cooked up by the Afghan government as a means of getting rid of a disliked diplomat, it's probable the story is significantly more subtle than the version you're presenting, Cullion. While I am personally usually inclined to take incompetence as an explanation rather than malice, British foreign policy has such a rich history of deviousness that in a case like this it's hard not to suspect the Civil Service and Foreign Office of reverting to type rather than assuming it's all down to the government being stupid.

The rules are different under our current government. I think you know this deep down.

Cullion
27th April 09, 04:42 PM
Zis vould not be ein issue iv you had zimply done az ze fuhrer reqvested und learned German zeventy years ago like you vere zupposed to!

I wish I could shake the feeling that everybody else was laughing at what's become of us. But I can't. And that's why I feel sad. :( :(

Lebell
27th April 09, 04:45 PM
okay...i FAIL at reading....HARD.

ghehe!

Ajamil
27th April 09, 05:35 PM
you probably have read it yourself but general tip: go read what Ghandi had to say about black people during his stay in south africa.
he was pretty fucking racist.

The HK has their own weird thing against Gandhi, but it usually comes out as him being too liberal and secular and whatnot. Don't know where it originated, but the quote "Gandhi was a saint among politicians, and a politician among saints," traveled around quite a bit.

bob
27th April 09, 09:21 PM
Plus, he drank his own piss.

Harpy
27th April 09, 09:28 PM
So does Machida. What's your point?

bob
27th April 09, 09:30 PM
That it obviously has a clear link to an unwillingness to engage in violence.

theotherserge
27th April 09, 10:01 PM
I wish I could shake the feeling that everybody else was laughing at what's become of us. But I can't. And that's why I feel sad. :( :(
I have to laugh, it's too depressing and we're not that far behind you all.

Sophist
28th April 09, 07:04 AM
Not only that, but they were already a colonised people for whom we were just another generation of conquerors to get used to. The stiffest resistance we encountered came from the Gurkhas, and we recruited them into our army with an _enormous_ financial incentive relative to their current standard of living.

That won't work with the Taliban I don't think. Or at least, I don't think the money required is in our current budget.
To be more precise, India was a collection of small, squabbling states. Plenty of them offered stiff resistance, especially in the early phases where a good deal of wheeling and dealing was needed by Clive to offset massive military disadvantage. Many of the rajahs and other leaders of India's states seem to have inspired very little in the way of personal loyalty, being frequently cut from the crazed dictator stamp, and so fell against a much weaker military force through a process of dividing and conquering.

Now, the Taliban is drawn largely from the Pashtun people, historically a tribal and very divided group. Their ideology led them to reject the traditional tribal affiliations and they pushed the old tribal and clan leaders out of positions of power. This was gone along with for the most part with a good grace as it seemed that the Taliban were restoring Pashtun dominance over Afghanistan. However, they are now out of power and fighting a guerrilla war, their grip is not as complete as it was, and so there is room for the traditional tribal affiliations to resurface. This, in fact, is something that the U.K. is already known to be attempting to exploit:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/tribal-chiefs-offered-uk-bribes-to-fight-taliban-1035178.html

You will note that this follows the pattern of a similar scheme in Iraq which is currently judged to have been a success. There's room for it to go awry, especially if the money dries up, but it's not inherently a stupid idea.

Now we come to the military training part of the story. Assuming basic competence on the part of the local diplomatic corps (and also, of course, that the story is true), one would imagine that the training would be being given to one of the more trusted cross-over groups likely to come into direct contact with the Taliban. And all this only turns into a shitstorm when the Afghan government putatively find out that the Brits are dealing favours to a tribe who may be against the Taliban, but do not seem to be for said Afghan government.


The rules are different under our current government. I think you know this deep down.
You ought to know much better than this. The Foreign Office and Civil Service do not change their spots so quickly. While the ambitions of our country may have changed drastically over the last century, our actual dealings in the foreign affairs of developing nations have retained much of their former subtlety and efficacy. This isn't something that is at all likely to have been driven by Downing Street; at most the government will have approved the measures recommended by the British diplomats on the scene.

This is, of course, all alleged and murky. We're unlikely to find out exactly what Semple and Patterson were up to until the 30-year-rule allows relevant documents into the public domain. It may be a trumped up charge, it may be a promise that was never intended to be kept, it may be some slightly underhand diplomacy, it may be part of some more sophisticated scheme. However, I think we can attempt to lay the groundwork for a more nuanced understanding than a Daily Mail-level "Stupid Brown trains our enemies!"

socratic
28th April 09, 07:23 AM
The HK has their own weird thing against Gandhi, but it usually comes out as him being too liberal and secular and whatnot. Don't know where it originated, but the quote "Gandhi was a saint among politicians, and a politician among saints," traveled around quite a bit.

Probably because he didn't propose killing everyone who wasn't Hindu and making India a Hindustan.

theotherserge
28th April 09, 11:36 AM
did the Bishop of Canterbury follow thru on his public endorsement of Sharia Law? I'm vauge on the details/recollection now.

Cullion
28th April 09, 01:32 PM
You ought to know much better than this. The Foreign Office and Civil Service do not change their spots so quickly. While the ambitions of our country may have changed drastically over the last century, our actual dealings in the foreign affairs of developing nations have retained much of their former subtlety and efficacy. This isn't something that is at all likely to have been driven by Downing Street; at most the government will have approved the measures recommended by the British diplomats on the scene.

Do you ever read Craig Murray's blog ?

Are you aware of the personnel changes that happened at the top of MI6 in the run up to the invasion of Iraq ?

Sophist
28th April 09, 06:07 PM
Do you ever read Craig Murray's blog ?

Are you aware of the personnel changes that happened at the top of MI6 in the run up to the invasion of Iraq ?
You do know that the Foreign Office is not MI6, right? Intelligence is useful to diplomacy, but it's fundamentally a different field.

Semple and Patterson are eulogized in numerous press outlets as being two of the most experienced, competent, long-serving political officers in Afghanistan. (So much for "changes at the top" in their case.) If they were really as complicit in the dealings being carried out as the Afghan government has suggested, it seems much more likely to be because they genuinely felt they had merit. It is, however, possibly questionable that the Afghan government's presentation of the facts is altogether accurate.

Further reading - while none of this should be taken as gospel, it's at least as worthy of consideration as the official statement from the Afghan government:
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article5992800.ece
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article3107632.ece
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/diplomats-to-leave-afghanistan-as-new-great-game-played-with-tribal-leaders-766860.html

I ask you at least to open your mind to the possibility that, rather than being a maniacal dictate handed down from a loony leader, the Afghan strategy is largely a creation of experienced diplomats and military brass, forged and refined and handled by them while said leader runs around in small circles in a panic over the economy. Also, I'd like some acknowledgement that this strategy is not nearly as dumb as a reporter with a political axe to grind could make it appear.

Cullion
29th April 09, 01:24 PM
You do know that the Foreign Office is not MI6, right?

Yes of course I do. I'm making the point at the massive intrusion into civil service impartiality and promotion procedures that's occurred under Labour.



Semple and Patterson are eulogized in numerous press outlets as being two of the most experienced, competent, long-serving political officers in Afghanistan. (So much for "changes at the top" in their case.) If they were really as complicit in the dealings being carried out as the Afghan government has suggested, it seems much more likely to be because they genuinely felt they had merit. It is, however, possibly questionable that the Afghan government's presentation of the facts is altogether accurate.



I ask you at least to open your mind to the possibility that, rather than being a maniacal dictate handed down from a loony leader, the Afghan strategy is largely a creation of experienced diplomats and military brass, forged and refined and handled by them while said leader runs around in small circles in a panic over the economy.

I don't believe that because I've seen such intereference at work before. As have you. Remember the buildup to the Iraq war ?



Also, I'd like some acknowledgement that this strategy is not nearly as dumb as a reporter with a political axe to grind could make it appear.

I don't believe that handing satellite comms technology and military training to the Taliban is a good idea, no.

Sophist
30th April 09, 07:10 AM
I don't believe that because I've seen such intereference at work before. As have you. Remember the buildup to the Iraq war ?
I do. It was very different. It involved intelligence getting screwed around with, firstly because the Americans were putting too much trust in a what turned out to be a very unreliable source and secondly to sell the necessity of backing up the U.S. to the country.

We have no evidence at all to suggest interference in this instance, and assuming Gordon Brown is somehow omnipresent and interfering with everything done by any branch of the civil service is crazy and paranoid.


I don't believe that handing satellite comms technology and military training to the Taliban is a good idea, no.
Cullion, stop being an idiot and address my points. At least give me some indication you've read and understood that a) the Taliban are fundamentally set up in opposition to the tribal structure, and so attempting to strengthen it is not necessarily a stupid thing to do and b) the Afghan government's press release may be making allegations which are not correct.

Did you read the links?

theotherserge
30th April 09, 12:00 PM
Sophist does present some good nuances. I find it hard to believe that a knucklehead like Brown could so strongly sway and influence National and International intell....*snip* (Bush?)

Cullion
1st May 09, 03:06 AM
I do. It was very different. It involved intelligence getting screwed around with, firstly because the Americans were putting too much trust in a what turned out to be a very unreliable source and secondly to sell the necessity of backing up the U.S. to the country.

It also involved senior figures in the foreign office and our intelligence services being ignored, and then given a choice between compromising their impartiality or being pushed aside on the career ladder.



We have no evidence at all to suggest interference in this instance, and assuming Gordon Brown is somehow omnipresent and interfering with everything done by any branch of the civil service is crazy and paranoid.

I'm not making such an assertion, but to suggest that such a plan wouldn't have been debated at cabinet level doesn't sound plausible to me.



Cullion, stop being an idiot and address my points.

I miss the old courteous Sophist.



At least give me some indication you've read and understood that a) the Taliban are fundamentally set up in opposition to the tribal structure, and so attempting to strengthen it is not necessarily a stupid thing to do and b) the Afghan government's press release may be making allegations which are not correct.

Did you read the links?

Yes. Stop assuming that just because somebody disagrees with you it's because they're in possession of fewer facts or less understanding.

Gordon Brown doesn't need to be omnipresent in order for the foreign office to do something stupid. Remember, our track record in counter-insurgency is pretty poor. We couldn't even win such a campaign on our own doorstep despite having widespread access to informants and a much larger ratio of troops & police officers to population, and recently humiliated our Army in Basra by making such a poor job of counter-insurgency there (whilst our generals alienated their American counterparts by talking down to them about their massive expertise in counter-insurgency), that the American military took the Iraqi army with them on the 'Charge of the Knights' operation and left our troops on 'mm.. stay here and guard the base' duty.

That is not how you would expect things to happen if you've really got such wise people running things, is it?

So I still think pouring military equipment and training into these people as part of a 'divide and conquer' strategy is a very, very dangerous and foolish thing to do. I do not believe, and history tends to support me on this, that the newly equipped people emerging from these camps will be as manipulable as our 'wise old political operatives' may believe. These people have fucked quite a few things up before. Britain does not have a great success record at this.

Madgrenade
1st May 09, 10:44 AM
" 'mm.. stay here and guard the base' duty."

Sounds like the best kind of duty.

Sophist
4th May 09, 02:47 PM
It also involved senior figures in the foreign office and our intelligence services being ignored, and then given a choice between compromising their impartiality or being pushed aside on the career ladder.
Which, as the links I've shown you have hopefully gone some way to show, does not seem to be the case here.


I'm not making such an assertion, but to suggest that such a plan wouldn't have been debated at cabinet level doesn't sound plausible to me.
It very probably was, maybe for an hour or two, maybe more, maybe less. It's extremely unlikely to have been invented at Cabinet level though.


I miss the old courteous Sophist.
His patience ran out some time ago with debates that try to bounce back to an initial position that ignores all the points he's made over the course of the thread.


Yes. Stop assuming that just because somebody disagrees with you it's because they're in possession of fewer facts or less understanding.
I generally don't automatically assume this. With you, however, I tend to, given my experience of debating you in threads in the past.

In this particular thread, you have more than once inaccurately claimed that we are training or arming the Taliban. I have pointed you towards the crucial ideological differences between the people in question and the Taliban. In response you've given me nothing to work with but anti-government paranoia, and wild parallels to other occasions when the government fucked up. If you're in possession of the facts of the current situation, please try and work them into your arguments somewhere.


Gordon Brown doesn't need to be omnipresent in order for the foreign office to do something stupid. Remember, our track record in counter-insurgency is pretty poor. We couldn't even win such a campaign on our own doorstep despite having widespread access to informants and a much larger ratio of troops & police officers to population,
I'm unsure how you think you're going to "win" an ideas war with troops and police officers. I'd say the final solution was really very successful, managing to integrate the movement that spawned the terrorists into the democratic process.


and recently humiliated our Army in Basra by making such a poor job of counter-insurgency there (whilst our generals alienated their American counterparts by talking down to them about their massive expertise in counter-insurgency), that the American military took the Iraqi army with them on the 'Charge of the Knights' operation and left our troops on 'mm.. stay here and guard the base' duty.
This was in no small measure down to a reluctance to risk losses of British troops in a very unpopular war.


So I still think pouring military equipment and training into these people as part of a 'divide and conquer' strategy is a very, very dangerous and foolish thing to do.
This is a different issue entirely, and one I'm more inclined to listen to. This isn't an arming-the-enemy situation, as you rather unfairly presented it as. It might be a return to the old "the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend" strategy which has had mixed historical results (after all, that's what led to the rise of the Taliban in the first place.) This is not necessarily stupid in the short-term - after all, the mujahideen successfully gave the Soviets a bloody nose as intended - but may indeed have unfortunate consequences in the longer run.

Of course, it's also possible that the situation was as suggested in the first Times article I linked; that some humanitarian / rehabilitation initiative was misunderstood.

Cullion
4th May 09, 03:30 PM
Which, as the links I've shown you have hopefully gone some way to show, does not seem to be the case here.

No, sorry they don't. The links you've produced don't demonstrate that this wasn't the UK govmnts' idea. You haven't read Peter Obourne's 'Triumph of the Political Class' yet, have you ?



It very probably was, maybe for an hour or two, maybe more, maybe less. It's extremely unlikely to have been invented at Cabinet level though.

Do you really believe that for something to be 'government policy' it has to be 'invented' at Cabinet level ? The cabinet invents almost nothing. Their job is to pick from options created for them, and give approval. This was something they picked and approved.



His patience ran out some time ago with debates that try to bounce back to an initial position that ignores all the points he's made over the course of the thread.

I generally don't automatically assume this. With you, however, I tend to, given my experience of debating you in threads in the past.


I'm going to try my best to maintain courtesy. I've had lengthy economic debates with you that you basically gave up on when you were proven wrong. I remember you trying to explain to me all about how the depression demonstrated this or that about Keynsian foolishness in the current Bailout debate, only for you to be have to be informed that, actually, you hadn't grasped many details about economic situation of the 1920s and 1930s, and your retort was essentially 'well, smart people disagree sometimes, lets leave it at that'.

You can be extremely intellectually dishonest sometimes, Sophist. You carry the tone of a man much, much better inforned than you really are. If this has to come to nerd rage, then I suppose it has to. I don't really want to go that route.



In this particular thread, you have more than once inaccurately claimed that we are training or arming the Taliban. I have pointed you towards the crucial ideological differences between the people in question and the Taliban.

Are you really stupid enough to think that the people admitting 'recruits' to these camps will be able to distinguish between 'taliban' and 'non-taliban' ?

Really?

We couldn't even make that distinction in Northern Ireland when it counted a lot of the time, and those were white folk who spoke the same language as us.



In response you've given me nothing to work with but anti-government paranoia, and wild parallels to other occasions when the government fucked up. If you're in possession of the facts of the current situation, please try and work them into your arguments somewhere.

You're simply ignoring history out of nerd-rage. This is a stupid reptition of an idea we've tried many times before and failed at.



I'm unsure how you think you're going to "win" an ideas war with troops and police officers. I'd say the final solution was really very successful, managing to integrate the movement that spawned the terrorists into the democratic process.

Oh God. You really don't know anything about the history of the troubles in Northern Ireland do you ?

Lebell
5th May 09, 05:27 AM
hah!
remember my post about pakistan having nukes and the more global tactics?
today mullen some american army guy expressed his concerns about the security of pakistani nukes.

here it comes, ready?

I TOLD YOU SO.

Sophist
6th May 09, 06:16 AM
No, sorry they don't. The links you've produced don't demonstrate that this wasn't the UK govmnts' idea. You haven't read Peter Obourne's 'Triumph of the Political Class' yet, have you ?
Um, no, is it relevant?


Do you really believe that for something to be 'government policy' it has to be 'invented' at Cabinet level ? The cabinet invents almost nothing. Their job is to pick from options created for them, and give approval. This was something they picked and approved.
I think we're getting somewhere now...


I'm going to try my best to maintain courtesy. I've had lengthy economic debates with you that you basically gave up on when you were proven wrong. I remember you trying to explain to me all about how the depression demonstrated this or that about Keynsian foolishness in the current Bailout debate, only for you to be have to be informed that, actually, you hadn't grasped many details about economic situation of the 1920s and 1930s, and your retort was essentially 'well, smart people disagree sometimes, lets leave it at that'.
Not so much. Shall we revisit that thread? It got given up on as a timesink at a point I didn't have a lot of time to spend, and I offered a truce at a point when you'd failed so signally to reply to my points that you were responding to posts much earlier in the thread.

My memories are rather different. I remember you making a lot of claims about the rosy life on the gold standard that were directly at odds with the recorded history of boom and bust in the 19th century - which history, once I'd researched it and produced it, you casually ignored. I remember you also ignoring the point that the system of "full-reserve banking" you'd described led to money creation despite earlier claims otherwise. I remember you signing off with the incorrect claim that no-one who predicted the crisis thought that the current strategy was a good idea.


You can be extremely intellectually dishonest sometimes, Sophist. You carry the tone of a man much, much better inforned than you really are. If this has to come to nerd rage, then I suppose it has to. I don't really want to go that route.
Cullion, when I debate you, I do my research, and not just in a "find-something-that-agrees-with-my-point-of-view" way. I generally get the impression from you that you are not doing your research with anything like as much zeal, that you are ignoring evidence that conflicts with your worldview, and I often find you still ignoring the evidence that conflicts with your worldview once it's dredged up. Because your fallacies tend to be at the level that it requires research to correct, debating you is very wearing and frustrating. However, much as I feared, if I stop debating you out of time pressure and a desire to do something better with my day, even at a fairly neutral point in the debate such as you falling behind on my replies and responding to the wrong ones, you treat it as some kind of victory.


Are you really stupid enough to think that the people admitting 'recruits' to these camps will be able to distinguish between 'taliban' and 'non-taliban' ?
If they're working with a certain tribe, as would appear to be the likely case, yes, yes I do. You think the tribe aren't going to know which of the family are working for the enemy?


Really?

We couldn't even make that distinction in Northern Ireland when it counted a lot of the time, and those were white folk who spoke the same language as us.
Uh, what? No, seriously, what?


You're simply ignoring history out of nerd-rage. This is a stupid reptition of an idea we've tried many times before and failed at.
Cullion, you're not even bothering to look at the facts of the current situation. You're drawing awkward parallels with bits of history which do not carry these parallels well (that you think a comparison between Northern Ireland and Afghanistan is anything but asinine says it all, really.)


Oh God. You really don't know anything about the history of the troubles in Northern Ireland do you ?
Oddly enough, having been born in Derry, and having many of my family's friends while growing up be Northern Irish, yes, yes, I think I do. What the hell makes you think you know anything about it?

Sophist
6th May 09, 06:36 AM
Actually, fuck this, I'm not getting derailed into a lengthy sidetrack on Northern Ireland. These threads get long enough without topic-hopping. I'm not going to allow you to pull the focus off the thread topic and muddy things.

Cullion, without speciously referring to your take on other historical conflicts the British have been involved in, and referring solely to the facts of the current situation in Afghanistan, please explain to me:
a) why you give 100% credence to the Afghani government's claim that military training was planned; it seems a little inconsistent to me to disbelieve everything our government says, but take everything Hamid Karza says at face value
b) whether you dispute the claim that the Taliban stands fundamentally in opposition to the tribal structure
c) why you feel that strengthening the tribes strengthens the Taliban
d) why at no point in this thread you have brought up the ethnic and tribal make-up of Afghanistan, the politics of Afghanistan, or any damn thing that would make me believe you'd done any research on the situation in Afghanistan at all.

-- Edit --

I'm probably being harsh. Sorry, Cullion, if I'm being a bit unfair. I know you've been reasonable enough to change your mind in the past when enough evidence has been thrown your way (e.g. the global warming thread). It's more a case of me suffering some short-term frustration at having gone off and spent time investigating something central to the topic which then gets stepped around, and the topic starts to drift. I strongly feel that the tribal make-up of Afghanistan and the claim being made from all sides that the men involved in the alleged scandal are two of the most knowledgeable, experienced diplomats in Afghanistan, having a lengthy history with the country, are really important points in considering this story. I'm annoyed that we seem to be drifting into generalities without discussion of the facts; claiming "the Brits are no good at counter-insurgency" is all very well, but effectively an ad hominem as far as discussing the merits of the strategy goes.

Cullion
6th May 09, 01:50 PM
a) why you give 100% credence to the Afghani government's claim that military training was planned; it seems a little inconsistent to me to disbelieve everything our government says, but take everything Hamid Karza says at face value

It's because we have past form for it in the region and admit I've become very, very distrustful of our current government.



b) whether you dispute the claim that the Taliban stands fundamentally in opposition to the tribal structure

It's not exactly that I dispute the claim of what the Taliban stands for, it's that I don't believe 'Taliban' and 'Non-taliban' can so easily be seperated. I don't want to see trouble in this region escalate, and giving people communications equipment and military training is likely to bite us.



c) why you feel that strengthening the tribes strengthens the Taliban

See above. The talibs recruit, you see.



d) why at no point in this thread you have brought up the ethnic and tribal make-up of Afghanistan, the politics of Afghanistan, or any damn thing that would make me believe you'd done any research on the situation in Afghanistan at all.

Because I try to avoid tldr; posts with multiple links to off-site sources where possible (although I often fail). I can understand your frustration at me giving this such brief treatment relative to yours.

I can summarize my objections thus:-

i) This is a really dangerous region, what with Pakistani nukes potentially up for grabs. I think we ought to be demilitarising it where we can, rather than militarising more people and supplying equipment.

ii) We put the Afghan National Govt. into power and are training its army. I think building up multiple sides makes it more likely they'll fight amongst themselves.

iii) I really, really don't have much faith in our ability to penetrate deeply into Afghan society so we can know the alliances of people equipped and trained in such camps (or their alliances 5 years hence). We've screwed this sort of thing up before, royally. The reason I weighed in so heavily on Northern Ireland is that it should have been easier for us to sort out militarily than Afghanistan, but we didn't get a military solution. Peace came through the efforts of moderate local politicians and churchmen on both sides which the big-name politicians came in at the end of. I didn't grow up in Ulster but most of my family are Irish catholics.

iv) Yeah, I go in too strong on Gordon Brown sometimes, he does feck me off. No, he isn't personally responsible for every dumb idea. This does sound like something he would have reviewed it though.

The book I reference is an in-depth resource on how the impartiality of the civil service has been compromised since the Thatcher years, but particularly under New Labour.



I'm probably being harsh. Sorry, Cullion, if I'm being a bit unfair. I know you've been reasonable enough to change your mind in the past when enough evidence has been thrown your way (e.g. the global warming thread).

I don't remember that one so much. The biggest changes of mind I remember having recently are to do with economics. Whilst still being uber-Thatcherite by the standards of this place, I've been doing more research and thinking lately and seeing all kinds of flaws in a hardline Libertarian approach.

If you're going to misrepresent my final comment in the bullshido bailout thread as claiming that nobody in favour of the bailouts predicted the trouble, then I'll explain it to you from the start, citing the economists by name and what they think should have been done instead. Out of those predicting the trouble, most do not favour the current bailout plans. You also mistakenly characterise me as favouring the gold standard specifically, when I gave it as an example of a commodity backed monetary standard with the aim being to act as a bulwark against clipage.
If you want to revisit that in detail we'll do it in a different thread.


I strongly feel that the tribal make-up of Afghanistan and the claim being made from all sides that the men involved in the alleged scandal are two of the most knowledgeable, experienced diplomats in Afghanistan, having a lengthy history with the country, are really important points in considering this story.

Yes, they are. I hope I've addressed most of my concerns above.



I'm annoyed that we seem to be drifting into generalities without discussion of the facts; claiming "the Brits are no good at counter-insurgency" is all very well, but effectively an ad hominem as far as discussing the merits of the strategy goes.

Sorry, it's simply a flaw produced by excessive brevity in my argument.

The reason I didn't do justice to those guys, is that having read Craig Murray (_very_ angry former Ambassador to Uzbekistan) and Peter Obourne's book, I've developed a picture (with lots of clear examples from verifiable sources) of a British establishment (both domestic and foreign office) in a state of some disarray, with the people you would hope would normally act as a check or balance against it coming under intense pressure of various types to conform or step aside.

Are the replies I've given above something you can more reasonably work with ?

Zendetta
6th May 09, 05:00 PM
Cullion... I know you've been reasonable enough to change your mind in the past

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.

Whoa.

We are going to need for you to cite some evidence for this fantastic allegation you are making.

Sophist
7th May 09, 04:08 PM
Are the replies I've given above something you can more reasonably work with ?
To take the last first: yes, thank you very much.


It's because we have past form for it in the region and admit I've become very, very distrustful of our current government.
I'm none too impressed with them myself. However, given most of the credit for whatever happened is being laid at the feet of some people who have a lot of experience in Afghan affairs, I'm willing to accept the possibility they were deeply involved in it, and it was hence relatively well-advised. You may differ, of course.


It's not exactly that I dispute the claim of what the Taliban stands for, it's that I don't believe 'Taliban' and 'Non-taliban' can so easily be seperated. I don't want to see trouble in this region escalate, and giving people communications equipment and military training is likely to bite us.

See above. The talibs recruit, you see.
It's going to be difficult to work out exactly what this training consisted of. It might well have been military, but then again if the Afghan government were throwing a snit about international diplomats talking to tribes who didn't accept their authority, they could also well be deliberately mischaracterising more humanitarian aid as military in an effort to assert their authority. I don't particularly trust the Afghan government any more than our own.

As far as recruitment goes, yes, the Taliban do recruit, but they've gone from a position where they held most of the Pashtun tribes in their sway to having pockets of dissatisfaction break out and the tribal structure reappearing there. I understand your concern; if the Taliban managed to return to the ascendancy again many of the tribes would possibly follow the prevailing wind. However, assuming they can continue to be marginalised, it would be better for the West to have a group of tribal warlords ruling the region who stood opposed to the Taliban (and possibly also, as an unfortunate side-effect, the Afghan government) than to allow the Taliban ideology to persist.


I can summarize my objections thus:-

i) This is a really dangerous region, what with Pakistani nukes potentially up for grabs. I think we ought to be demilitarising it where we can, rather than militarising more people and supplying equipment.
Agreed, but how are you going to convince tribes to turn against the Taliban if they don't have realistic prospects of defending themselves from reprisals?


ii) We put the Afghan National Govt. into power and are training its army. I think building up multiple sides makes it more likely they'll fight amongst themselves.
I suspect some of these moves are an attempt to speed up the schisming of the Taliban in the regions of the country the Afghan government currently doesn't seem to have under its control. I imagine some of this comes from the perception that the Afghan government is an imperfect tool for what the West would like to do in the country. Nonetheless, whatever the motivation, it does seem to have backfired as regards diplomacy with the Afghans.


iii) I really, really don't have much faith in our ability to penetrate deeply into Afghan society so we can know the alliances of people equipped and trained in such camps (or their alliances 5 years hence). We've screwed this sort of thing up before, royally. The reason I weighed in so heavily on Northern Ireland is that it should have been easier for us to sort out militarily than Afghanistan, but we didn't get a military solution. Peace came through the efforts of moderate local politicians and churchmen on both sides which the big-name politicians came in at the end of. I didn't grow up in Ulster but most of my family are Irish catholics.
We do seem to have largely been relying on the knowledge of a couple of now-expelled experienced folk in the midst of a large number of very much less experienced diplomats. It's hard to say how accurately the experienced diplomats knew the situation, and whether they were on the right track or not, but it's pretty near certain that now they're out, the folk remaining are going to be much less effective.

However, I'd argue that the Afghan situation bears more resemblance to, say, the Tamil Tigers than the IRA and loyalists in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland was not in anarchy throughout the Troubles, and clashes between terrorist groups and the army or police were more along the lines of skirmishes than actual battles. That was what made it an unwinnable face-off; short of genocide, there are no convincing solutions to an organisation that deeply embedded in the culture which are not ideological themselves. However, had it reached the stage that the army was finding itself fighting actual battles with hundreds of people, it would have been a lot harder for the UK to reject the "help" of loyalist groups.


I don't remember that one so much. The biggest changes of mind I remember having recently are to do with economics. Whilst still being uber-Thatcherite by the standards of this place, I've been doing more research and thinking lately and seeing all kinds of flaws in a hardline Libertarian approach.
This one's for Zendetta...
Zendetta, it happened over on Bullshido, in this thread here:
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=74541

Cullion began with a point of view somewhere along the lines of "the science of global warming is shit!" and transitioned over the course of the thread to "well, maybe the science isn't so shit after all, but you just know politicians are going to abuse the hell out of having it as an excuse."


If you're going to misrepresent my final comment in the bullshido bailout thread as claiming that nobody in favour of the bailouts predicted the trouble, then I'll explain it to you from the start, citing the economists by name and what they think should have been done instead. Out of those predicting the trouble, most do not favour the current bailout plans. You also mistakenly characterise me as favouring the gold standard specifically, when I gave it as an example of a commodity backed monetary standard with the aim being to act as a bulwark against clipage.
If you want to revisit that in detail we'll do it in a different thread.
That's fair enough, I suspect that was another case of brevity leading to misunderstandings. Let's leave it for now, as I wasn't kidding about it being a timesink...


The reason I didn't do justice to those guys, is that having read Craig Murray (_very_ angry former Ambassador to Uzbekistan) and Peter Obourne's book, I've developed a picture (with lots of clear examples from verifiable sources) of a British establishment (both domestic and foreign office) in a state of some disarray, with the people you would hope would normally act as a check or balance against it coming under intense pressure of various types to conform or step aside.
That's also fair comment. It would be interesting to actually get Semple and Pattersons' input on all this.

Zendetta
7th May 09, 04:51 PM
This one's for Zendetta...
Zendetta, it happened over on Bullshido, in this thread here:
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=74541

Cullion began with a point of view somewhere along the lines of "the science of global warming is shit!" and transitioned over the course of the thread to "well, maybe the science isn't so shit after all, but you just know politicians are going to abuse the hell out of having it as an excuse."

I'm gobsmacked, Guv'nor.

(LOL. I was just funnin' with ya. Cullion knows I'm one of his biggest fans.)

Lebell
9th May 09, 06:15 AM
bunch of assholes, everyone is ignoring that the predictions i made so far have come true.

Cullion
9th May 09, 06:43 AM
This thread is not about you Lebell.

Lebell
9th May 09, 07:07 AM
i know that, but i want you guys to be aware of the fact that so far what i expected, predicted to happen happened, thus proving my opinion matters more then your pseudo-intellectual banter.

Cullion
9th May 09, 07:17 AM
A lot of my predictions come true too, nobody cares. You get no pity from me.

Lebell
9th May 09, 08:18 AM
fuck you, when was the last time you predicted something which came true?
documented, like mine?

Cullion
9th May 09, 12:36 PM
The Greek riots turning out to be primarily an anti-banking protest than about police brutality.

Anti-banking protests spreading to other countries.

House prices crashing.

Tony Blair's resignation being a sign that the credit bubble was soon to burst.

High oil prices last year being primarily a result of a speculative bubble of capital fleeing equities rather than being driven by supply and demand fundamentals.

I've made wrong predictions too. I first called 'house price crash' much, much too early for the UK, in about 2003-4 or something.

Lebell
9th May 09, 12:58 PM
proof plz.

Cullion
9th May 09, 01:01 PM
The oil price prediction was on another forum where I use the same username, planetjitsu.com

I won a bet with a guy who worked in the derivatives division of an investment bank, username Nazareth.

The predictions about the riots were made on sociocide.

I can't remember which forum I made the prediction about Blair's resignation being a sign that his contacts in the finance industry had tipped him off that the credit bubble had just about run its course. I won a bet at work about it though.

Pretty much any fool could see that houses had become wildly overpriced.

Lebell
9th May 09, 01:06 PM
whatever, screenshots plz.
been to planetjj once, it sucked monkeyballs.

oh and predicting those leftwinged monkeys will riot is the same as predicting ' there will be a strike in france, and half of those people's breath will smell like garlic..'


no brainer really.

Cullion
9th May 09, 01:24 PM
I can see you're hurt, but I'm not going to give you what you want. Do your own googling and stay out of my thread.

Shawarma
9th May 09, 02:06 PM
And you lost a bet with me for claiming that Ron Paul would actually matter in the 2008 campaign and beyond. 'Twas like taking candy from a baby.

Still not sure what I want from you, though. I could demand you change your avatar to the goatseguy, but you'd just like that, wouldn't you?

Cullion
9th May 09, 02:11 PM
Yes I would.

bob
10th May 09, 02:31 AM
As I recall, you lost the same bet with me. I think it was part of your secret fantasy to be double teamed by Shawarma and me.

Shawarma
10th May 09, 05:10 AM
Ech...you first.