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Colonel I am not sure that China needs to be an enemy - but China is certainly America's number one geopolitical rival. Unfortunately for those Chinese who would like to see China become the worlds #1 hegemon, the Chinese leadership doesn't understand that the biggest chimp can't complete with a smaller chimp who is better at forming alliances. China is nowhere close to as effective as the US at building alliances and coalitions. Those nitwit neocons may however force China and Russia into an alliance.
Colonel, The lefty news outlets I read say that the Bolivian Supreme Court abolished those term limits. I disagree with some rulings of the US supreme court, but I believe the rulings should nonetheless by respected.
The DNC leadership is the "War Party", but the Americans who vote DEM are anti-war - and there is an insurgency trying to take control of the leadership of the party. Bernie could not have won as an independent. Independents never win the presidency. I am afraid that Bernie is not "in it to win it". He knows he will be attacked as relentlessly as Trump has been. But if he chooses Tulsi as his running mate, she will be able to throw enough punches for both of them ... and the media can only accuse so many people of Russian collusion before it becomes widely viewed as a joke. I very much hope that Sanders is elected in a way that Gabbard is effectively made president.
As we all learned in high school math class, "mean income" is average of all incomes while "median income" is the income of the "average American". In other words if you lined up all Americans from the lowest earner to the highest earner, the one in the middle of the pack would have the "median income". This is a chart of median incomes over time for eight OECD countries: The USA is ranked dead last. Just because the economy is growing doesn't mean the average American is sharing in that growth.
Tulsi's only chance is if someone picks her as VP. She would make a *terrific* choice for Bernie and I think this is what she is aiming for. She has positioned herself as centrist as in "she appeals to those who vote republican" rather than "she is a corporate sellout". I hope Bernie is smart enough to pick her as his running mate. I don't think Warren would, and Biden is bleeding from the aorta.
I've been told by Russians that in Soviet times only the best and the brightest got into the KGB. You had to have graduated with top marks from a top University, and then perform extremely well on the entrance exams. I would imagine that the FSB has retained that cachet.
A Canadian news channel is reporting that Turkey handed a key Baghdadi lieutenant over to Iraqi intelligence, who under interrogation gave up enough information to allow Baghdadi to be located. Kind of sounds to me like Erdogan and Trump made a deal.
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2019 on Killing Baghdadi - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Not all of us leftists have been calling Trump voters fascists. Some of us have been pointing out that Trump voters have legitimate grievances, and that the DNC rigged the 2016 democratic primary. Aaron Mate is a leftist but he is both intelligent and principled:
For the last 3 years I have been arguing with a friend about whether Trump is an idiot-vassal-of-the-neocons, or if "he is playing 3D chess". When Trump announced that the US was pulling out of Syria I texted my friend "You were right. Trump is smart and he has coordinated this with Putin.". Then the announcement came out that US troops are staying in Syria to "protect the oil fields". Sigh. In Trumps defense - he is currently facing impeachment, and R+6 have their work cut out for them securing Idlib and Rojava. If Trump really is coordinating with Putin to thwart the Borg, letting CENTCOM have the oil fields while R+6 consolidate their recent gains could make tactical sense. I wonder if even Bibi knows whose side Trump is on.
TTG Since the Kurds have no choice at this point but to submit to Syrian govt authority, presumably they can do a deal with the govt such that they go in and take control of the oil fields on behalf of the govt at some point. I've developed newfound respect for the Russians and Ukrainians I've met who thought so highly of Putin.
plantman Erodogan needs Putin as much as Putin needs Erdogan. Where is Turkey going to get weapons? The gas can only come to Turkey from Syria or Iraq, both of which are firmly in the R+6 sphere of influence. Turkey and Russia have convergent interests. Together they would have a monopoly on the flow of gas into Europe and would be able to form a de facto gas cartel (excluding NGL, but nobody knows how long this shale gas boom is going to last).
Both and are reporting that "the U.S. Armed Forces are not withdrawing from the eastern Euphrates River Valley region of Deir Ezzor or its plethora of oil fields". So much for Presidential Authority.
Toggle Commented Oct 17, 2019 on Open Thread - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
I agree with TTG 100%. I think he is perceptive in saying this may be part of a plan to get the US out of Syria, and I think he is dead on is saying that we will have to see how it plays out before we can understand it.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2019 on BOHICA Update - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Fred I wrote "large percentage" not "majority". I just think it is worth looking at the blowback from these regime change operations/wars, as Tulsi relentlessly advocates for. Iran and the US could be best friends today if it wasn't for Operation Ajax. Instead, we are allied with the untrustworthy and incompetent MBS against the highly competent (and by the standards of the region) trustworthy Hassan Nasrallah. Terrific.
CK Who has Russia betrayed?
Toggle Commented Oct 8, 2019 on BOHICA! - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
JohnH As for this being an ideal moment - it is also Yom Kippur.
I have been saying to anyone who would listen that Trump has sold out to the neocons. This event makes me think that I have been completely wrong. What if Putin and Erdogan have a secret alliance? They have convergent interests - the US tried to depose Erdogan and arguably Russia has more to offer Turkey than the US does. If R+6 becomes R+6+Turkey ... they can build an energy corridor through Turkey and together have a monopoly/oligopoly on hydrocarbons pipelined into Europe. Everyone who can feed natural gas to Turkey (from the east) is allied with R+6. Putin has a good track record of not betraying his partners. Turkey knows it is never going to get into the EU. Turkey gets control of Kurdish areas long enough to cleanse them, Assad gets the rest of Syria, and the USA's reputation as a partner is further degraded.
Fred Do you have any idea what Operation PBSUCCESS was and how its "so called success" is responsible for a large percentage of the illegals currently flooding into the US?
Colonel You once made essentially the same point to me about Costa Rica (when you said that they are more ethnically/culturally homogeneous than the surrounding countries). I must admit these are very valid points.
A wealth tax is a heavy handed approach, but I think one wants to be careful to not mistake wealth inequality for income mobility. There is lots of wealth inequality in Guatemala but not much income mobility. From "Why the American dream is easier to achieve in Canada" we see that Denmark and Norway rank highest in income mobility in a peer group, while the US ranks pretty much lowest: "According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canada is ranked fourth out of 13 peer countries when it comes to income mobility between generations. “If there were no intergenerational mobility at all, all poor children would become poor adults and all rich children would become rich adults” the study says. Denmark and Norway rank highest while the U.S. ranks much lower down at 11th."
Colonel I would not have guessed that this was a likely outcome. I learn something new from you weekly.
oldman22 - thank you for that interesting link.
Colonel I am not as well travelled as you, and I am certainly not as educated and cultured as you, but I think I could handle KSA.
You people are such wusses. Jordan, Oman, Morocco, Turkey will all be possibilities indefinitely into the future, but KSA could close up tight again any day now. I spent a day wandering around a shopping mall in Dubai back in the aughts, and there was something electric about making eye contact with the female nationals in their Niqabs. They all had such beautiful eyes. Sometimes less is more. Moscow in 1998 was a full on dystopia and it was an amazing place to visit. More often than not, the more f-ed up places are the more interesting they are.