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  1. #101

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    One could argue that Israel value as an ally is, at best, a wash.

    They are a destabilizing force as long as they remain hostile to Muslims and this may work to our advantage but that isn't clear cut. Blowback from this alliance has been ongoing for most of the past 40 years.

    We are viewed as hostile to many countries because we support Israel even when they are being the worst actors in the region.

    Bin Laden regularly mentioned that our support of Israel was the motivation for 9/11 and everything after. Many of the Saudi ruling class funded Al Qaeda and others over our support for isreal. Its hard to think of that as much of a benefit.

    Then there's the nihilistic motivation of the Dominionists who promote an alliance with Israel just so we can speed up the presumed second coming of jesus. That's got to be worth everything right there. Hell, maybe the new president can get us a bit farther toward that goal.

    From what I understand, the omniscient and omnipresent god intervenes in football, beauty pageants, and fundamentalist's end-time desires pretty often. Thats what they say, anyhow.

  2. #102

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    I won't argue that Israel, at times, is like that one friend you have that occasionally drinks too much and gets mouthy and even a bit belligerent. But also that same friend that you have no question will have your back when the crap hits the fan.

    I also have a real hard time blaming Israel for the actions of terrorists. I mean, they also blamed the US having troops stationed in Saudi Arabia as one of the reasons.

  3. #103

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerrywall View Post
    I also have a real hard time blaming Israel for the actions of terrorists. I mean, they also blamed the US having troops stationed in Saudi Arabia as one of the reasons.
    I think its hard to come up with a blanket cause to blame terrorism on, but I'm sure Israel is a very tangible and convincing example of "infidel" aggression that can be pointed to when tying to motivate and radicalize would be terrorists. I don't pretend to be an expert on the history of Muslim aggression against other nations and religions but Israel / Palestine has been ruled by the Jews, Christians, the Ottoman and British empires, and now modern Israel. Basically, you have two sides that both feel the land was taken from them and, for both religious and geopolitical reasons, feel that they have a right to it. So, when a Muslim leader says "the west is evil" and people ask "how so?", they can selectively invoke a view of history and say "see, they have been violently taking over our homelands for centuries". And they wouldn't necessarily be wrong, they'd just be taking the position that their violent hold on the land was always defensive and divinely justified. Kind of two sides of the same coin.

    And, admittedly, that's a way over simplified take on it.

  4. #104

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerrywall View Post
    Lets see... they're about our only ally in the region that doesn't indirectly or directly fund and aid in terrorism. The Dimona radar facility is of high strategic importance for us. They were a critical bulwark against the Soviet Union and their influence in the middle east during the cold war. Israel has been instrumental in limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons in hostile states. They're a major intelligence source. They provide (sell to us) some of our best and most cutting edge military technology. Israeli IT and business sectors have been instrumental in the economy and growth of silicon valley. They're also important in US/Arab relations (by giving us leverage). They're also, AFAIK, the only true democracy in the middle east.
    This is a very simplistic and incorrect understanding of the Middle East today. Most states are our allies. Most do not support terrorism.

    Netanyahu is deeply unpopular in Israel right now and Clinton won American Jews by almost 50 points. The idea that to support Jews and Israel you have to support Netanyahu's radical policies is very wrong. Netanyahu's settlements in the West Bank put at risk the very possibility of a two state solution.

    Middle East Counties:
    Turkey - Ally and NATO Member - Hosted US Nuclear Weapons, Democratic, Does Not Support Terrorism
    Israel - Ally, Mostly Democratic, Does Not Support Terrorism
    Jordan - Ally, Semi-Democratic, Does Not Support Terrorism
    Egypt - Ally, Not Democratic, Does Not Support Terrorism
    Saudi Arabia - Ally, Autocratic, State Does Not Support Terrorism Though Individual Citizens Do Strongly
    Qatar - Ally and Host of US Naval Base, Autocratic, State Does Not Support Terrorism Though Individual Citizens Do Strongly
    UAE - Ally, Autocratic, State Does Not Support Terrorism Though Individual Citizens Do Strongly
    Bahrain - Ally, Autocratic, State Does Not Support Terrorism Though Individual Citizens Do Strongly
    Iraq - Ally, Mostly Democratic, Semi-Failed State, Terrorist Organizations Occupy Parts of Country
    Oman - Not Ally, Not Democratic, Does Not Support Terrorism
    Yemen - Not Ally, Failed State, Terrorist Organizations Occupy Parts of Country
    Lebanon - Not Ally, Semi-Democratic - Semi-Failed State, Terrorist Organizations are Ingrained into Government
    Syria - Not Ally, Autocratic - Semi-Failed State, Terrorist Organizations Occupy Parts of Country and State Sponsor of Terrorism
    Iran - Not Ally, Semi-Democratic, State Sponsor of Terrorism

  5. #105

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    It's not a stretch to argue that Jordan and Egypt are far more important and strategic allies than Israel. They're both far more engaged in the fight against terrorism in the region, and because they can deal directly with states like Iran, can be useful proxies. Also, someone earlier asserted that we get a lot of tech from Israel, and I'd suggest it's the reverse. We sell or give them a great deal of military technology, and they take it upon themselves to try and steal what we don't give them.

  6. #106

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadanth View Post
    It's not a stretch to argue that Jordan and Egypt are far more important and strategic allies than Israel. They're both far more engaged in the fight against terrorism in the region, and because they can deal directly with states like Iran, can be useful proxies. Also, someone earlier asserted that we get a lot of tech from Israel, and I'd suggest it's the reverse. We sell or give them a great deal of military technology, and they take it upon themselves to try and steal what we don't give them.
    There's just... So much wrong here. On the technology side, our entire drone system, love it or hate it, is based on Israeli drone technology. There are multiple Israeli companies such as Solstar (sp?) That provide lots of tech to our military. And things like the smart bandage, heads up pilot combat displays and more? Israel. Hell, the USB Thumb drive is from Israel before it was sold to SanDisk.

    As for Egypt and Jordan? Egypt is tenuous at best and is an unstable state (but useful when we need someone torchored illegally I guess). Jordan we have a closer relationship with, but we've paid quite a bit in aid over the years for it. And the relationship could change at any time. They also don't have the technological or military might that Israel flexes in the region.

    As for counterterrorism? Israel IS the counterterrorism force in the ME. Yeah, Jordan and Egypt coordinate and provide us support. Israel just take care of business. They also take out rogue nuclear WMD programs and more.

  7. #107

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerrywall View Post
    There's just... So much wrong here. On the technology side, our entire drone system, love it or hate it, is based on Israeli drone technology. There are multiple Israeli companies such as Solstar (sp?) That provide lots of tech to our military. And things like the smart bandage, heads up pilot combat displays and more? Israel. Hell, the USB Thumb drive is from Israel before it was sold to SanDisk.

    As for Egypt and Jordan? Egypt is tenuous at best and is an unstable state (but useful when we need someone torchored illegally I guess). Jordan we have a closer relationship with, but we've paid quite a bit in aid over the years for it. And the relationship could change at any time. They also don't have the technological or military might that Israel flexes in the region.

    As for counterterrorism? Israel IS the counterterrorism force in the ME. Yeah, Jordan and Egypt coordinate and provide us support. Israel just take care of business. They also take out rogue nuclear WMD programs and more.
    Jonathan Pollard. This:
    http://www.newsweek.com/2014/05/16/i...us-249757.html

    We provide Iron dome, tank armor, jets, missiles, and the networks to run it all. It's not as though Israel is Silicon Valley and we are.... Mississippi? Anyway.

    And what we give Jordan in aid is far less than what we give Israel. As for what we get for that, we have Jordan actively fighting IS and housing refugees. Israel does neither. Where is the IDF actively "taking care of business " in furtherance US policy goals? Where are they fighting for us?

  8. #108

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadanth View Post
    Jonathan Pollard. This:
    http://www.newsweek.com/2014/05/16/i...us-249757.html

    We provide Iron dome, tank armor, jets, missiles, and the networks to run it all. It's not as though Israel is Silicon Valley and we are.... Mississippi? Anyway.

    And what we give Jordan in aid is far less than what we give Israel. As for what we get for that, we have Jordan actively fighting IS and housing refugees. Israel does neither.
    No, they fight and kill terrorists and prevent the nuclear proliferation in rogue states. Not the JV squad. And let's not talk about cyber attacks. There are five cyber superpowers in the world. The US, the UK, Russia, China and... Wait for it... Israel. There's also a reason why Israel trains other countries including the US and France in antiterrorism efforts. Also why they developed much of our anti IUD tech and missile defense tech. There's a reason Israel's Ben Gurian airport is considered the world's safest. They teach us security.

  9. #109

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Btw. The position I was asked to defend, to remind since folks seem to be attempting to reframe the position was "Israel is one of our most important allies, especially when it comes to the middle east. ". One of. Not the only one, and maybe not the most singularly important (although they may be). But to deny they are an important ally is absurd and I honestly question the intellectual honesty or knowledge of anyone who claims otherwise.

  10. #110

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    I think more than anything we are allied with Israel just like we are allied with most of Europe. Israel shares many of the same western values that we do. The value education and civilization.

    They are a beacon of the technological and medical fields, due in large part to their higher ed system. The world benefits from it's existence, which I don't know that I could say they same about the other list of countries in the area. Some might benefit the U.S. politically more.

  11. #111

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    This is what you said:
    they're about our only ally in the region that doesn't indirectly or directly fund and aid in terrorism.
    Which is untrue and unfair.

    And this:
    They're also, AFAIK, the only true democracy in the middle east.
    When Israel themselves is not a true Democracy. They have religious requirements for public office and if they don’t want a two state solution, which is what these continued settlements are making impossible, then fully 1/3 of their adult population doesn’t have the right to vote.

    Not Democratic.

  12. #112

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swake View Post
    This is what you said:


    Which is untrue and unfair.

    And this:


    When Israel themselves is not a true Democracy. They have religious requirements for public office and if they don’t want a two state solution, which is what these continued settlements are making impossible, then fully 1/3 of their adult population doesn’t have the right to vote.

    Not Democratic.
    Religious requirements aside, Israel not wanting a two state solution is like the U.S. not allowing Texas to "do it's thing". Pretty UN-democratic by your standards.

  13. #113

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    100% of folks within the green line have voting rights. Only certain groups in occupied territory don't. Gee... don't invade/attack a sovereign state maybe?

  14. #114

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Also, -

    Any Israeli citizen over 21 may be elected to the Knesset, except holders of several high positions in the civil service and officers or career soldiers (those should resign from their post before the elections), soldiers in compulsory service, and felons who were convicted and sentenced to prison terms exceeding three months (until seven years after their prison term expired).

    The following people may not serve as a Member of Knesset (MK) due to their conflicting functions:[6]

    The President of the State of Israel
    The two Chief Rabbis of the State of Israel
    Any judge in the judicial system, so long as they still hold office
    Any dayan, or judge in the Rabbinical Court system, so long as they still hold office
    The State Comptroller
    Rabbis or Ministers of religions, while receiving salaries for such a position
    Senior state employees and senior army officers of such grades or ranks and in such functions as shall be determined by law
    The following prevents a party from running a list in Knesset elections:[7]

    Negating the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people
    Negating the democratic nature of the State
    Incitement to racism
    Support of armed struggle against the State of Israel
    Also, Majalli Wahabi was non jewish and was the head of state for Israel. While it's not common for non jewish nationals to hold that position, as far as I know there's no religious requirement. There have been quite a few Arab members of the Knesset.

  15. #115

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Israel is a religious state, the state directly supports the Jewish religion and subverts other religions. It is a country with low religious freedom, it’s not Saudi Arabia by any means, but it is not a western style secular democracy.

    Israel’s own formal policy position is for a two state solution. They have never formally annexed the West Bank or Gaza. It’s complete unlike Texas.

    If Israel is no longer in favor of a two state solution, if the West Bank and Gaza are to be annexed then they have to make the residents of the Gaza and West Bank citizens with full rights. There are four million people in the occupied territories that have no country, once Israel annexes those territories these people all become Israelis. Just like the almost two million or so people of Palestinian decent that live in and are citizens of Israel today.

    The reason the two state solution is good for Israel is that if the West Bank and Gaza are annexed, then there would be six million Muslims in Israel to match the six million Jews and Israel would no longer be a Jewish state. It’s simple math.

  16. #116

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerrywall View Post
    100% of folks within the green line have voting rights. Only certain groups in occupied territory don't. Gee... don't invade/attack a sovereign state maybe?
    A majority of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza weren't even born when the wars happened. They had nothing to do with the invasion and are just victims of the current situation.

  17. #117

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    The 6 day war was in 1967. Not exactly 100 years ago. The current head of Hamas and supposed representative of the palestinians in occupied territory was certainly alive then.

  18. #118

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerrywall View Post
    The 6 day war was in 1967. Not exactly 100 years ago. The current head of Hamas and supposed representative of the palestinians in occupied territory was certainly alive then.
    In 1970 the West Bank and Gaza had a population of 1.03 million, today that population is 4.55 million.

    Only 7.6% of the population is 54 years or older, which means that only 7.6% of the population was 4 years old or older in 1967. 93.4% of the population were either infants or not born.

    The vast majority of the population had zero to do with the wars.

  19. #119

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Back on topic there's this:
    Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him

    (CNN)Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.
    Yeah, probably nothing. Why would Russia want a US president they can blackmail?

    I didn't think of this as inherently about Trump at the beginning. Now, I'm not at all sure. I guess we'll have to see how much Trump gives to Putin. Trump is a businessman so I'm sure he'll make a great deal. Maybe he can get Putin to pay for the wall in exchange for annexing Texas or Arizona.

  20. Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Remember when Vlad Putin stole Robert Kraft's ring?

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300...rt-krafts-ring

    this going around again, I had forgot, but its a little funny now with things the way they are...
    Last edited by Bits_Of_Real_Panther; 01-23-2017 at 01:37 AM. Reason: onion dome

  21. #121

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    I'm not sure it would be possible to blackmail Trump. His life and "conquests" are already pretty much an open book. I'm not sure there is any shame.

  22. #122

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by mugofbeer View Post
    I'm not sure it would be possible to blackmail Trump. His life and "conquests" are already pretty much an open book. I'm not sure there is any shame.
    What are you talking about? Trump is the most thin skinned person to be in the White House since Nixon. Any slight has to be answered, no matter how small. He brought people to Langley so they could cheer his speech at the CIA. Image is everything to Trump.

  23. #123

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by mugofbeer View Post
    I'm not sure there is any shame.
    I think that may be the problem.

  24. Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Quote Originally Posted by bdp View Post
    i think that may be one of the many problems.
    fify.

  25. #125

    Default Re: Russia, something or nothing?

    Russia is targeting French, Dutch and German elections with fake news, EU task force warns

    “There is no doubt that the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign is an orchestrated strategy,” the task force, which is part of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU’s diplomatic service, says on its website.

    “The aim of this disinformation campaign is to weaken and destabilise the West, by exploiting existing divisions or creating artificial new ones.

    “Often, outright lies are deployed, aimed at denigrating a particular person, political group or government.

    “Another strategy is to spread as many conflicting messages as possible, in order to persuade the audience that there are so many versions of events that it is impossible to find the truth.”

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