Author Topic: Picking Cain's Brains  (Read 17866 times)

Jasper

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2010, 12:22:23 am »
Yes, the M-16 is the weapon I meant to refer to.  Same difference to me, I don't study guns.

The whole point to my even mentioning guns was that America makes and exports lots and lots of guns, and they're not even the best guns because of people in the industry who cling to throwbacks.  I'm not even trying to argue about the practicality of rearming the US military with guns not invented here.  I never even implied that.  I'm saying that civilians who buy guns are silly to prefer American guns given the superiority of other designs.

Way to ignore almost everything I said.

Requia ☣

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2010, 12:48:44 am »
Throwback?  It might not be the most modern weapon in the world, but its over 50 years old, antique maybe, but not a throwback.
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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2010, 01:47:18 am »
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Jasper

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2010, 02:49:13 am »
Throwback?  It might not be the most modern weapon in the world, but its over 50 years old, antique maybe, but not a throwback.

I'm not opposed to arguing about minutiae, but you're kind of derailing the thread.  Go start a gun thread if you feel you must make your case.

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2010, 04:21:07 pm »
Firstly, the most popular weapon in the world is the AK-47.  There is a reason for that.  It is cheap, durable and reliable.  Favourite of guerrilla and terrorist groups everywhere, who tend to place a high importance on utility.  Far more so than current American weapons, which are mostly made in order to leech more money off the Procurements Committee, and have little to do with what the Pentagon actually wants.

Throwback?  It might not be the most modern weapon in the world, but its over 50 years old, antique maybe, but not a throwback.

I'm not opposed to arguing about minutiae, but you're kind of derailing the thread.  Go start a gun thread if you feel you must make your case.

Secondly, this.  Apparently my previous post wasn't clear enough.  Buzz off Requia.  If we want a pedant to argue minor points which have little to do with the overall direction of the thread, we know how to contact you.

Cain, seen this: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1221972/Pentagon-targets-Wiki-whistleblowers- ?

Yes, via 000's thread.  Bureaucrats thrive on controlling information, this isn't surprising.  It is also utterly useless, since there are military manuals published by the US available on every torrent site in the world.  It's a dumb fight, and the Pentagon are dumb.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2010, 04:37:32 pm »
Quote
the Pentagon are dumb.


While patently obvious and true, this still disturbs me.

Mangrove

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2010, 06:38:52 pm »
Cain,

Given the amount of demonstrating going on in Iran, what are the chances of a popular uprising to overturn the Islamic Revolution of '79?


Side question: If there is enough juice in the protest movement to bring change in Iran, which countries would be dumb enough to a) Assist it?
                           b)  Thwart it?
 
 
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Elder Iptuous

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2010, 06:43:03 pm »
Well, the US would certainly be breaking a time honored tradition if we were to pass up an opportunity to overthrow the existing regime in Iran....
 :sad:

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2010, 08:26:46 pm »
Cain,

Given the amount of demonstrating going on in Iran, what are the chances of a popular uprising to overturn the Islamic Revolution of '79?


Side question: If there is enough juice in the protest movement to bring change in Iran, which countries would be dumb enough to a) Assist it?
                           b)  Thwart it?
 
 

There is next to no real possibility of the Green Movement overthrowing the government.  They want to reform the Islamic Republic, not undo it, and their membership mostly reflects that in their actions.  There might be a loosening of clerical power, as a concession to the Greens, but it wont be to remove clerical influence, only to open it up to more diverse opiion.

Elements in the US foreign policy community are certainly agitating to try and use the Green Movement to topple the government.  Richard Haass, head of the CFR, has suggested doing exactly that at least once before now.  The White House disagrees, for now, but depending how much of a hammering Obama takes in the mid-terms and Presidential election, that may soon change.

As for who would try and thwart it...Russia and China.  Both heavily support the clerical regime as it stands now, in return for oil (in the case of China) and geostrategic reasons in the case of Russia, though as always, their relationship with Iran is ambivalent and mostly out of mutual security needs.

Mangrove

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2010, 05:56:39 pm »
Cain,

Given the amount of demonstrating going on in Iran, what are the chances of a popular uprising to overturn the Islamic Revolution of '79?


Side question: If there is enough juice in the protest movement to bring change in Iran, which countries would be dumb enough to a) Assist it?
                           b)  Thwart it?
 
 

There is next to no real possibility of the Green Movement overthrowing the government.  They want to reform the Islamic Republic, not undo it, and their membership mostly reflects that in their actions.  There might be a loosening of clerical power, as a concession to the Greens, but it wont be to remove clerical influence, only to open it up to more diverse opiion.

Elements in the US foreign policy community are certainly agitating to try and use the Green Movement to topple the government.  Richard Haass, head of the CFR, has suggested doing exactly that at least once before now.  The White House disagrees, for now, but depending how much of a hammering Obama takes in the mid-terms and Presidential election, that may soon change.

As for who would try and thwart it...Russia and China.  Both heavily support the clerical regime as it stands now, in return for oil (in the case of China) and geostrategic reasons in the case of Russia, though as always, their relationship with Iran is ambivalent and mostly out of mutual security needs.

Thank you! I would've replied sooner but a) Been busy earning some $$s
                                                       b) Didn't notice that topic had slipped down as far as it did.

I may have some more questions upcoming.
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Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2010, 06:07:36 pm »
Thats fine, I've been very lazy of late, so other people not getting back sooner doesn't bother me much!  Looking forward to your questions.

Mangrove

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2010, 08:37:26 pm »
Thats fine, I've been very lazy of late, so other people not getting back sooner doesn't bother me much!  Looking forward to your questions.

Upcoming questions - today!

How seriously should we take Ahmadineijad?(sp?). Is he a) Completely unhinged nuclear seeking Islamic nut-job who wants to destroy the West? (ie: Fox news version)

Or b) Basically the Persian G W Bush? (says dumbs things in public to cause uproar, doesn't really care what people think of him, basically in the pocket of the Clerics) <--- My personal suspicion.

 
                                             
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Rococo Modem Basilisk

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2010, 09:47:02 pm »
Let's say the US slips up somehow and loses its hegemony. What are the most likely groups to step in and take advantage of this, and how might the situation manefest itself (would we get another hegemony, a bipolar system with a weakened US as one pole, a bipolar system with two non-US poles, a multipolar system? How might it affect the economic situation in the US, the political climate, etc?)


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Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #43 on: October 19, 2011, 08:00:41 am »
Thats fine, I've been very lazy of late, so other people not getting back sooner doesn't bother me much!  Looking forward to your questions.

Upcoming questions - today!

How seriously should we take Ahmadineijad?(sp?). Is he a) Completely unhinged nuclear seeking Islamic nut-job who wants to destroy the West? (ie: Fox news version)

Or b) Basically the Persian G W Bush? (says dumbs things in public to cause uproar, doesn't really care what people think of him, basically in the pocket of the Clerics) <--- My personal suspicion.

 
                                             

REALLY REALLY LATE ANSWERS (also I wanted to revive this thread).

I think Ahmadineijad should be taken semi-seriously.  He does act the clown in public, like Berlusconi and like Bush, and Iranian experts have referred to the group around him as the Iranian Neoconservatives.

Ahmadineijad's a shrewd bastard though, for all that.  He was the Mayor of Tehran before his role as President, which is quite usual in developing countries where urbanization has led to massive, swift growth of the capital city in particular.  He ran for President after the US invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent violence made it clear the Americans had no clue what they were doing there, his election was in part due to a backlash against more reformist and engage-focused candidates (Khatami).

Since becoming President, he has been effective in using populist rhetoric both against America and, more subtly, against the entrenched clerical elite to bolster his own position.  He has also been somewhat effective at getting his own people into influential posts, including commanding officers of the Qods Force and within the Foreign Ministry.

On the other hand, foreign pundits tend to over-exaggerate his strength within the Iranian system.  Essentially, although Iran has a "Presidential" constitution and style of rule, the "President" role is fulfilled by the Supreme Ayatollah, who has the final say on military and foreign affairs (which is why Ahmadineijad has been keen to get his own people in those two area of government).  The President of Iran is a role more akin to the Prime Minister in the French or Russian system, ultimately subordinate to the Head of State.

I can also see, due to his populist rhetoric, Ahmadineijad being convinced of the need to develop nuclear weapons potentially.  As a matter of prestige for Iran, if nothing else.  That Pakistan, a basket-case, quasi-military junta with no real history as a state (and Sunni besides) has the "Islamic Bomb" and they do not is rather humiliating, as far as some are concerned, as is the way those states with nuclear weapons (Pakistan, USA, Israel etc) can seemingly get away with whatever they want in the region.

At the same time, I suspect he more averse to undermining the regional status quo than pundits would believe.  Has Iranian rhetoric under Ahmadineijad been somewhat bizarre and worrying?  Sure.  But what has he actually done?  Not much, when you think about it.  Ahmadineijad, like most leaders, seems inclined to use foreign threats to bolster his own position at home and defeat his internal enemies in the Iranian regime.  And it seems he able to do just that without having to go to war with anyone, so far.   

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #44 on: October 19, 2011, 10:59:18 am »
Let's say the US slips up somehow and loses its hegemony. What are the most likely groups to step in and take advantage of this, and how might the situation manefest itself (would we get another hegemony, a bipolar system with a weakened US as one pole, a bipolar system with two non-US poles, a multipolar system? How might it affect the economic situation in the US, the political climate, etc?)

In the immediate future, I can only see a multipolar system emerging from a reduction in US power.  China is powerful, but seemingly disinclined to act much beyond their borders, though that may change with the US no longer providing security in certain regions.

China is the only nation that even has the potential to step in as a successor to the USA as a global hegemon.  But their military are not up to the task, and the (lack of) development (and pollution) of rural areas of the country is also capping their future potential.

Russia is still a power to be reckoned with, at least in the Near Abroad.  It's army is also not up to full potential, though scheduled weapons systems purchases should act as force multipliers.  Throw in their nuclear weapons, expertise in large-scale hacking, energy resources and economic growth, in addition to their cultural influence in the Baltic/Ukraine/Belarus/Kazakhstan and military basing in Central Asia and Russia will continue to be an influential global player.

India is on the rise as well, though much slower than China, and is mostly being supported by the USA, as a hedge against any Chinese militarism in the future.  Still, India has even more problems than China, and less advantages or resources to deal with them.  India is also constrained by nuclear China on one side and nuclear Pakistan on the other.

If the EU gets through the current financial crisis, it will be in a much more unified form.  However, that it will get through the crisis is not a given.

Brazil is lagging behind India, but also on the rise.  Nevertheless, poverty and corruption are going to be a problem which will take a lot of work to solve, and will be a drag on their overall economic growth, as will their education system.  The oil deposits off the coast are no doubt a welcome find for the country.  There is also an element of cultural isolation, Brazil will not have a lot of soft power options in South America, other than economic ones, given their varying colonial pasts and linguistic differences.

Other players that may form "regional" poles of power linked to the above great powers would include Turkey, Iran, Nigeria, South Africa, Uzbekistan, Japan and Vietnam.  They dont have global reach, but their actions could have global repurcussions, for good or ill.

I can see the US seriously losing its shit once it realizes it is one great power among many.  "American Exceptionalism" is the unofficial ideology of the left and the right, whether it's "liberal interventionist" or "neocon" in flavour.  The US will likely not accept constraints on its power and ability to act until they are made obvious, ie; via military defeat.  I can see any period following such a defeat as one of economic instability within the US, political unrest and likely an increase in terrorism and political assassinations.  Think early Weimar Germany, and you're not far off.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 11:01:31 am by Cain »