Author Topic: Picking Cain's Brains  (Read 17021 times)

Vanadium Gryllz

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #180 on: June 20, 2017, 02:59:02 pm »
What's going on in Yemen?
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Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #181 on: June 20, 2017, 03:17:52 pm »
Civil war, cholera and Saudi-led intervention.

Basically, the Houthis, a tribe traditionally discriminated against by the central government, started another round of insurgency recently.  This isn't exactly unheard of, except this time around they were backed by former President Saleh of Yemen (deposed in the Arab Spring) and sort of half-heartedly backed by Iranian arms.

Seeing an advantage, both Al-Qaeda in Yemen and ISIS in Yemen decided to add to the chaos, attacking each other, the central government and, especially in the case of ISIS, the Houthis (whose Shia beliefs are anathema to ISIS Sunni chauvinism).  So, in a 4-sided civil war, in the poorest Arab state, the country quickly fell apart. 

Saudi Arabia, disliking chaos on its southern border and the possibility for AQ in Yemen to expand (AQiY is essentially made up of the remnants of the fledging Saudi branch of AQ who fled across the border), launched an invasion with the backing of the Gulf Cooperation Group and the tacit approval of the USA/UK.  It's been sold as checking Iranian influence, but the Iranian influence over the Houthis is questionable, to put it mildly. 

The Saudis have covered themselves in glory by essentially carpet bombing civilian areas to the ground, targeting aid convoys, launching missile strikes on hospitals and basically living up to my own very low assessment of the Saudi military as a daycare centre for sociopathic Saudi youths who couldn't win a real fight if their lives depended on it, but would happily skewer a toddler to show you how "badass" they are.  Unsurprisingly, this has not helped the "official" government, who are steadily losing ground and have been driven from the capital, but it has done wonders for the prospects of cholera and other diseases, which in addition to famine promise to kill even more civilians than the Saudi Air Force (though not for lack of trying - the Saudi military labelled an entire 40,000 pop town as a "legitimate military target" a few months back).

Oh, and the whole country is awash with modern arms thanks to Bush II and Obama arming them to the hilt as part of a counter-terrorism program...even though it ended up that the US would go in and drone strike the target anyway, and let Yemen take the "credit" (which raises the question of why Yemen needs those arms at all...if you're thinking "defense industry kickbacks", then you're exactly right).

Vanadium Gryllz

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #182 on: June 20, 2017, 03:46:09 pm »
Thanks Cain!

Sounds like a proper clusterfuck.

So the UK isn't actually /at war/ with Yemen but by supporting/arming the Saudis are linked?
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Vanadium Gryllz

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #183 on: June 20, 2017, 03:48:06 pm »
Oh!

I would also be interested in hearing your thoughts on the implications of Russia's statement that they're gonna be shooting down any US jets they find in Syria?

All posturing or potential to fuel further conflict?
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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #184 on: June 20, 2017, 03:50:49 pm »
Yes, and by providing a certain amount of political cover by way of complete disinterest in the conflict.

There are ongoing Scotland Yard investigations which link into war crime allegations against the KSA, but I don't hold out much hope of them going anywhere.  I think Scotland Yard will do the work, but as you know, everything to do with Saudi Arabia in the UK is a "matter of national security" and so at some point the whole thing will get stonewalled.  Just like the Al-Yamamah bribe allegations.

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #185 on: June 20, 2017, 05:54:09 pm »
Sorry, was writing.

Regarding Russia...the most dangerous as fuck statement out of that conflict so far. 

If Russia tries to shoot down a US military aircraft, the US military will respond.  Russia's air presence in Syria is modest, 70ish planes, and over half of those are tactical and strategic bombers.  On the other hand, the US has the entire USS George HW Bush carrier strike group, which can carry a similar amount of planes, and has the Charles de Gaulle French aircraft carrier backing them up.  In addition to that, the UK, Jordan and the Netherlands also have F-16s operating in the area.

But that doesn't matter so much as potentially causing a war with Russia.  That's a diplomatic crisis I don't think the US could handle at all right now...even putting aside misgivings about Trump's own Russia links.  The State Department has been gutted and the WH has no clue what its Syria policy is on a day to day basis.  I can see it being a complete mess.

Emo Howard

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #186 on: June 20, 2017, 06:39:53 pm »
So, assuming for the moment that collusion happened, and a war between the U.S. and Russia was part of the plan all along, how does Putin benefit?

If this is the case, there are three possibilities on Trump's end. He could be:

A.) just an unwitting stooge
B.) in on the plan
C.) an unwitting stooge who is in on the plan, or at least thinks he is.

How could Trump benefit from this war?

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #187 on: June 20, 2017, 07:44:48 pm »
In the case of Syria?  US backs down in face of Russia, allowing them free reign to support Assad in country.  War would be in everyone's worst interests, I don't think anyone wants war between the major powers (even though Russia's only one on a technicality) but the previous scenario would work out nicely for Russia.

That said, I don't subscribe to the maximalist theory that "Trump is a Russian agent doing Putin's every bidding". 

Emo Howard

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #188 on: June 20, 2017, 09:59:45 pm »
Yeah, Probably not. Lately, my optimism has been on a bit of a downswing, though.

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #189 on: June 21, 2017, 01:20:00 pm »
Well, his authoritarian instincts and disdain for everything Obama did, no matter how sensible, do certainly look like something a Russian agent would do.  But if the Steele dossier is true, his hatred for Obama (due to being mocked at the WH Correspondents Dinner in 12?) outweighs a lot of his "political convictions".

I suspect the specific collusion with Trump was as follows: Russia will arrange damaging leaks about Clinton and set up generous loans for Trump org ventures via "independent" Russian banks.  In return, if Trump wins, sanctions on Russia go away, support for Ukraine is dropped.  In other words, it was tightly focused and a quid quo pro, not an open-ended arrangement.

However, I suspect other members of the Trump team had different arrangements.  Flynn, Manafort and Sessions, for example.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #190 on: June 21, 2017, 02:12:57 pm »
There's also the fact that, from Putin's point of view, Trump just winning was a good enough endgame to be worth the effort. I can't imagine a player like Vlad would really need any leverage or inside track to capitalise on a complete retard being in charge of his biggest geopolitical rival.

Trump Potus will do as much damage to mainland USA as a dozen tactical nuclear strikes washed down with a land invasion chaser but with none of the guilt  :lulz:
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Emo Howard

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #191 on: June 21, 2017, 04:51:12 pm »
Trump doesn't seem like the type who would live up to his end of a bargain for, say, ethics reasons. Once he has what he wants, the other guy can immediately go piss up a rope unless he has some expectation of further business. Same for Putin. I can't help but wonder what's going to happen once one of them has gotten everything they wanted.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #192 on: June 21, 2017, 05:25:33 pm »
Well if Trump did have a deal, Russian intelligence would have blackmail material on him.  Either way, they win, because either he does what they say for fear of exposure, or the tape is released and the ensuing chaos brings down his presidency.