Author Topic: Picking Cain's Brains  (Read 18100 times)

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #60 on: January 15, 2012, 03:27:11 pm »
As a rule, yes.  While in nationalist movements, such as the IRA and the various Loyalist groups there was much more of a "street presence" and working class component, groups such as the Red Brigades, Baader-Meinhof, Al-Qaeda and the Patriot Movement types in the USA typically were educated to community college or degree level, and normally were at least middle class in terms of socio-economic background or status.

That this even holds true among religious groups suggests it is an overall trend, since religion and higher education are negatively correlated.

Now, there are a number of reasons why this may be.  No-one has come up with a fully plausible reason why this is so.  It has been noted, for example, that there are a high number of trained engineers, who are overrepresented within terrorist ranks, and it has been speculated that this is because the psychological traits that make someone suited to engineering also have significant crossovers with the mentality that might draw someone to terrorist activities.

There are other reasons as well.  University usually exposes students to a number of radical ideologies, and prove to be useful recruitment grounds.  In Italy, a large number of the Red Brigades were former students, most of whom had a formal passing knowledge of Marxism and revolutionary theory.  Those from a middle class background and with greater education are usually more aware of political situations which may cause them to feel terrorism is required to remedy them, and also normally have more resources and freedom to undertake such activities.

It is also probably the case that would-be terrorists who lack a certain level of intelligence are more likely to get caught before managing to carry out any attacks, whereas the most successful individual terrorists and terrorist organizations will have a higher education background.  Also worth noting is much of the data on terrorism comes from Europe, where higher education is generally more accessible for those from working class backgrounds and incomes than it is elsewhere in the world.  While the original Al-Qaeda seemed to follow the same pattern, it should be noted that particular organization was far more Western than it, or our leaders, would like to admit (its ideology is essentially Leninist, its members almost exclusively trained in Western Universities) and this may not hold true for other transnational terrorist groups such as LeT, or essentially nationalist terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

Mangrove

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #61 on: January 17, 2012, 11:25:18 pm »
Dear Cain's Brain,

Your prophecies appear to be coming true (re: Republican candidates).

(Herman) Cain: Confused, inarticulate, wandering hands. Gone.
Bachmann: Insane. Gone. (Maybe she could get a job at the US Embassy in Iran?)
Gingrich: Unlikeable in every way.
Paul: Great if your libertarian, bad if you're not a racist asshole.
Perry: Insane and getting worse. I wonder if any of the soldiers peeing on the corpses were gay. That would be weird.
Santorum: Insane...possibly a communist. At least according to his Italian relatives that he doesn't visit anymore. 
Romney: The candidate the GOP will foist upon the republican voters like it or not.
Huntsman: Gone...but probably not completely yet.

Palin: I'm not running...OR AM I???? :ohnotache:


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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #62 on: January 17, 2012, 11:35:41 pm »
Dear Cain's Brain,

Your prophecies appear to be coming true (re: Republican candidates).

(Herman) Cain: Confused, inarticulate, wandering hands. Gone.
Bachmann: Insane. Gone. (Maybe she could get a job at the US Embassy in Iran?)
Gingrich: Unlikeable in every way.
Paul: Great if your libertarian, bad if you're not a racist asshole.
Perry: Insane and getting worse. I wonder if any of the soldiers peeing on the corpses were gay. That would be weird.
Santorum: Insane...possibly a communist. At least according to his Italian relatives that he doesn't visit anymore. 
Romney: The candidate the GOP will foist upon the republican voters like it or not.
Huntsman: Gone...but probably not completely yet.

Palin: I'm not running...OR AM I???? :ohnotache:
Huntsman dropped out officially on Monday, he endorsed the inevitable.
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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2012, 01:58:48 pm »
Huntsman was just positioning himself for 2016.

And given the rest of the vultures circling that election, I hope it works.
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Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2012, 02:11:47 pm »
Yeah, Huntsman is definitely looking to play the long game there.  He schmoozed with the Beltway media and influence peddlers quite effectively, and I'm sure they'll keep his name circulating for a few more years yet.  Unless Romney wins, of course.  And even then, Huntsman might end up with a State Department gig, or being sent back to China.  The future is pretty rosy for him.

Ron Paul is also running for similar reasons.  I'd keep an eye on Rand Paul as a future Presidential contender.  I suspect one reason Ron has not gone to the Libertarian Party for this year is he doesn't want to be accused of splitting the vote, and lose the base of support he has built up in the party thus far.  Paul himself has far too much baggage to win, but he can pass his support network onto his son.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #65 on: February 02, 2012, 09:42:29 pm »
Is there a political explanation for the events in Egyot other than 'everyone is retarded?'
If sheep entrails could in any way be related to the weather, i.e. sheep trails only originate where it rains, then you could use it as an accurate model for discerning what the weathers going to be like. Either, sheep shit makes it rain, or raining makes sheep shit. Sheep don't shit "randomly" sheep shit after they eat, it doesn't rain "randomly" it rains after water collects in the atmosphere.

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #66 on: February 02, 2012, 09:53:48 pm »
Which stuff in particular?  A lot is going on there right now.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #67 on: February 03, 2012, 03:36:00 am »
Specifically the football deaths.

 ReadingMore today. Getting a feeling the main issue is security forces simply aren't presently able to cope with something as big as a riot and were possibly slow to react having been instructed to avoid heavy handed responses.
If sheep entrails could in any way be related to the weather, i.e. sheep trails only originate where it rains, then you could use it as an accurate model for discerning what the weathers going to be like. Either, sheep shit makes it rain, or raining makes sheep shit. Sheep don't shit "randomly" sheep shit after they eat, it doesn't rain "randomly" it rains after water collects in the atmosphere.

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #68 on: February 03, 2012, 08:20:42 am »
OK.  Well, football has a reputation for being violent in Egypt anyway.  Not normally 70+ deaths violent, but at least somewhat hazardous to one's health.

Suspicions in Egypt are the violence was allowed to happen, though, to bolster the position of the military and security services, which are under scrutiny from Egyptian liberals.  The Muslim Brotherhood, lately rumoured to be in a very cosy relationship with the military, released a statement that "the reason for this tragedy is the deliberate neglect and absence of the military and the police,".

It's worth noting that as in most developing countries, football also has political connotations.  Many football supporters, especially the more violent ones, formed the backbone of the 2011 protests that ousted Murbarak.  The economy is falling apart over there, and the military still hold many of the reins of power, in particular the economic ones.  Acting against the football fans allows them to pre-empt any attempts at further revolution.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #69 on: February 16, 2012, 10:16:18 pm »
If the US goes to war with Iran and Putin gets into office, what side do you think Russia will end up on? Keeping in mind that many members of the Дума live in New York City...


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Junkenstein

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #70 on: February 18, 2012, 04:41:25 am »
Cain, Could I take a moment and ask for a current perspective on Libya? I believe it is close to a year since the start of the shift to whatever you'd currently call it at the moment? Militarization with a veneer?
 
With Syria and Iran still not doing anything particularly productive, and Israel being Israel, It'd be interesting to see predictions for the region for the coming year.

The current rounds of finger pointing about terrorist attacks makes it look like a fun year ahead. Last one to your deity is hell bound.
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Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #71 on: February 22, 2012, 10:00:58 am »
If the US goes to war with Iran and Putin gets into office, what side do you think Russia will end up on? Keeping in mind that many members of the Дума live in New York City...

I don't believe the Russians would overtly intervene against America.  Advisors, no doubt mercenary groups who operated in Chechnya but with strong FSB/GRU links...perhaps Belarussian, given what happened in Libya, targeting data maybe, if they were feeling confident, and no doubt build up arms beforehand...but all the major powers seems fairly convinced that no vassal is worth going for war against another major power with.

For now, at least.

I believe Russia's main concern with Iran is that an American-friendly regime would be installed, which would break the anti-American monopoly on energy routes into Europe (notably Nabucco would be back on the cards).  As such, while I think Russia will try and toughen Iran up and dissuade attacks on the regime, if it comes to military action by America, then they will take the loss and attempt to subvert the new regime - bankrolling political resistance, perhaps hacking attacks, a little sabotage and assassination even under the cover of whatever insurgency invariably springs up in the country.

But I'm not sure America will attack, at least under Obama.  Israel would have to force Obama's hand in a pretty spectacular way....and I don't think Romney would especially bow to pressure from Bibi either, for personal reasons if nothing else (Romney strikes me as rather vain, as does Obama in fact, and would not want some pissant American vassal ordering him around and trying to manipulate him), but eventually a movement conservative will take the White House, or Israel and Saudi Arabia will agree on a gambit which will force the US into a position where it has little choice but to go to war.

I suspect this is why I'm hearing rumours that the US is trying to normalize the regime's relations in the region and with the US.  They are only rumours, but it will be the only way to avoid war.  That the P5+1 talks have resumed is a good sign, at least.

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #72 on: February 22, 2012, 10:39:51 am »
Cain, Could I take a moment and ask for a current perspective on Libya? I believe it is close to a year since the start of the shift to whatever you'd currently call it at the moment? Militarization with a veneer?
 
With Syria and Iran still not doing anything particularly productive, and Israel being Israel, It'd be interesting to see predictions for the region for the coming year.

The current rounds of finger pointing about terrorist attacks makes it look like a fun year ahead. Last one to your deity is hell bound.

My current perspective is that Libya is a clusterfuck - essentially an Afghanistan on the Med.  Relations with Algeria and sub-Saharan nations continue to be poor, due to either previous links with Gadaffi (who was generous with the proceeds of his people's mineral wealth, to other countries) or due to how the militias tend to treat all black Africans as mercenaries and covert agents of the former regime.

Torture is pretty common still and no-one seems to be able to restrain the militias, of which there are hundreds.  As you may recall, the Benghazi based rebels, the NTC, had considerable difficulty advancing further than Misrata, and it was Qatari-backed Islamic militants with links to Al-Qaeda who actually managed to take Tripoli.  As such, these militants are the predominant power in the country, not the NTC government, and that their leader is in charge of the state military, such as it is, suggests a possible coup in Libya's future.

NATO are not happy with the entire state of affairs there.  In fact, initially, NATO did not want to intervene, but their hand was forced principally by Sarkozy and to a lesser extent by Cameron to get involved.  NATO officials and certain Western diplomats feel they were played by the Qataris and by the Gulf Co-opeation Group into doing their dirty work, just so they could intervene in the last minutes with their chosen proxies and have a government of their choosing in Libya, to advance their interests.

As for the greater region....I think the presence of Iranian and Russian naval forces has finally put a stop to serious calls for intervention in Syria.  NATO, in the personage of Secretary Ramussen, were not keen on an intervention there either, but, well, he's been overruled before.  Still, the Egyptian government, in an...interesting move, allowed an Iranian flotilla to pass through the Suez Canal, and will no doubt be docking in Tartus alongside the Russian fleet.  The "Syrian Free Army" is a disjointed mess of democracy activists, Islamist rebels and former regime elements (esp low ranking military personnel) with no coordination or overarching structure and strategy.  It will be messy and bloody, but with outside intervention now unlikely, the regime will probably survive, though it may have to make some concessions for the sake of future stability.

Iraq will remain as it ever was: a clusterfuck of warring Sunni and Shiite competing interests, with assassination and bombing being as common as corruption and back-room deals in negotiating overall control of the state.  Iraq looks like a more secure Libya right now, as their security services are thoroughly Shiite and used to acting with relative impunity.

And Iran....well, as mentioned above, I don't think the current US adminstration wants war.  Israel is clearly sponsoring terrorism inside Iran's borders, and may even be using black-flag ops to make America look responsible for it.  I suspect the Saudis also have a hand in whatever chaos is happening in Iran - they have too much invested in the downfall of the Mullahs for it to be otherwise.  Iran is allegedly responding via targeted assassinations by Hezbollah, but some of those incidents are...questionable.  That they precisely mirror the tactics used by the "mystery assassins" (MeK) in Iran, and that they were thwarted has suggested to some that they are also black-flag ops, designed to feed into the idea of Iran being a global sponsor of terrorism.  I'm not sure...I wouldn't put it pass the Israelis to fake such things, but on the other hand, I wouldn't put it past elements of the Revolutionary Guard to carry them out either.  Only I would have expected them to be more professional - as pointed out during the whole "Saudi assassination plot + Zetas!" idiocy, the Revolutionary Guard are professionals, and rarely screw up.

I'm hoping the US can resist the calls for war from Israel and the oil sheikhs, and the P5+1 talks restarting is certainly a good sign.  Still, there has been a steady call for war with Iran since about 2005 onwards...its been drilled into people's heads for 7 years as the only solution.  That kind of inertia will be very hard to overcome.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #73 on: February 24, 2012, 02:28:20 pm »
Thanks Cain, Appreciate the perspective.

Looking at the U.S presidential candidates it seems to be an all party push to keep Obama where he currently sits. Assuming he gets another 4 years I'd guess "They" would be using this as a way to further push the "Iran is crazy" agenda. 10 years of pre-war prep sounds right considering how Iraq went. It would also be perfect for a Hawk candidate to get the AMERICA FUCK YEAH voters out.

Your point regarding nuclear weapons is fair. I still fail to understand the current fear of these when you can make chemical or biological weapons. Considering how much quicker and cheaper they are, it would seem remiss to not have at least a few stashed for a rainy day. Do they simply not have the needed horror value to instigate wars quickly? I really can't decide here as that was pretty much the case for Gulf #1 and #2.
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Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #74 on: February 24, 2012, 06:22:53 pm »
Well, as the Siftung Leo Strauss pointed out, not that long ago, some Republicans are privately musing that an Obama win might actually be personally better for them than a Republican win in general, and a Romney win in particular.  The funding for conservative think-tanks, pundits and action groups is at an all time high, as various rich and paranoid conservative reactionaries are filling the coffers of such groups.  If Romney were to win...well, then, who knows who he might appoint, other than his friends in high finance?  Staunch conservative movement types in good standing may well get snubbed...for all McCain's protests to the contrary, Romney is the real maverick when it comes to everything except defense of Wall Street.

That might also feed into Iran, but I'm not sure.  Iran's been at least public enemy #3 since the revolution, I'm pretty sure not much more propaganda is needed.  You have people who have spent their entire lives having been told that Iran is a fundamentally hostile, revolutionary and unstable state.

Still, support for military action is not currently a majority public opinion, "news" consensus otherwise.

Biological and chemical weapons pack nowhere near the punch of a nuclear weapon.  Biological weapons in particular are a difficult one, as only very few organisms are virulent, easy to transmit and dangerous enough to kill vast quantities of people (and the ones that are...well, how do you know they aren't going to come back on you?).  Chemical weapons are required in vast quantities to inflict mass casualties.  Look at the Tokyo subway attacks - only seven killed, despite good conditions for their use and a not unreasonable expected death toll of in the hundreds.

Chemical weapons tend to dissipate after a few hours, and biological attacks can be treated.  Nuclear weapons, on the other hand, cause far greater casualties, and the fallout can contaminate the area for decades to come.  Also, economics.  Despite their high cost, after a certain threshold, it is still cheaper to use nuclear weapons than biological or chemical weapons to inflict millions of casualties.

There's also the point that the US has never successfully and directly fought a nuclear power, or attempted to, but has fought states armed with biochem weapons.