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James Arryn

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Everything posted by James Arryn

  1. Canada’s participation in the war of 1812 was being invaded, though to be fair we weren’t even really a country until 1867. The fact that Canada ranks 6th despite having a reasonably healthy welfare state is impressive. I wouldn’t want to live in a country that depends on charity to pay for healthcare, etc. But there are so many lists…refugees accepted per capita is another I didn’t list. But what’s the esteem rubric? I linked the positive/negative feelings one, where we Canucks (undeservedly) rank tops.
  2. We’re waiting for the babies to potty so we can leave, so: First, it was a qualified but sincere compliment. Second, what invective? Third, they re-elected him after a series of known atrocities. I don’t hold electing him in the first place against them one bit. But re-electing a guy who started an illegal war based on known bullshit that cost countless innocent lives, approved of torture and secret illegal prisons and unlawful kidnapping, etc. yes, that I very much hold against the American people. The fact that Kerry was boring being the most common excuse given kinda cements that in my mind. And Fourth, possibly, though we aren’t actually all that fond of it. But I’ll bet you a lot of anything that they wouldn’t want to bomb the shit out of tens of thousands of people who had nothing to do with it.
  3. Short answer for now: I ‘shit’ on the American electorate for consistently supporting an unending series of wars (and the military spending that makes it possible/inevitable) until they become costly occupations. You want to act like the wars themselves are somehow completely disconnected from the electorate, or like ‘aside from that Mrs. Lincoln…’ But if you want to shit on Canadians for our unending wars of aggression and popular support for same, I’m here for it. (r hopefully will be if a hurricane doesn’t get us) There are 2 wars Canada entered before America…WWS I and II, where especially in the latter we stood by our alliances as opposed to waiting for Japan/Germany to declare war on us. So maybe you could make something out of Canadian ambivalence towards killing foreigners there…and tbh, in WWI, Canadian troops DID commit atrocities so there’s somewhere to start. In terms of the people, aside from guns, racism and the weird phobia about socialism/pursuit of money, you are among my favourites. Especially the Americans I meet travelling…backpacking, not the hotel staying kind…amazing friendships. And Americans constitute a huge chunk of my favourite well, almost anything. You keep talking like my holding Americans to task for their support of horrible actions as a prejudice. I would say one of us is definitely demonstrating bias there. I wholeheartedly agree that I am VERY critical of US foreign policy/history, but I think you’ll find most non-Americans largely agree with me. More later, but anyways, do you think global opinion of US foreign policy/actions is closer to yours or mine. Do you think the world views Canada or America more favourably, and why? We get really get into rubrics and history and racism and governments and diversity and the rest when we resume this, believe me I’m interested. Here are some starting points; https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/best-countries-for-racial-equality https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/most-racially-diverse-countries https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_ranked_by_ethnic_and_cultural_diversity_level https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/best-countries-in-the-world.html https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/freedom-index-by-country https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/most-peaceful-countries And, again, this one the last (for now fingers crossed) see you back in America.
  4. WMD. UN resolutions against the fifth President of Iraq for the use of chemical weapons against Iranian and Kurdish civilians were vetoed by the United States as Saddam was an ally and with respect to Iran was operating with the full sanction and economic and military support of the United States. As for the Kurds, in addition to protecting. Saddam in the UN, the official US position was that the chemical attack on the Kurds was done by Iran. Later as it became completely undeniable, they grudgingly withdrew that claim.
  5. **: actually I disagree here, as the U.S. intel departments were actually pushing back on the WH claims of WMDs so much that the WH created it’s own new internal intel department to give them the answers it sought. But the published NIE report specifically stated that: Saddam had no known WMDs, might be interested in trying to acquire them but the probability of success was very low. And moreover, that even if he got them Saddam was almost certainly not a threat to use WMDs against the U.S. or it’s allies, directly or indirectly (citing extremely hostile relations between secular Iraq and groups like AQ). The only scenario they thought remotely possible for Saddam to use any WMDs was in the event of an overwhelming US invasion of Iraq.
  6. Purely innocent would conflict with the last part of my post, I think. But establishing Canada’s virtue wasn’t really the main thrust, though I was definitely implying relative ~ innocence. But to me the interesting bit was how bang on Canadian intel of the situation was, particularly with respect to accurately predicting, step-by-step, American views and actions well before the fact, and how and why they were able to do so. Of particular note was their being alone of the 5E to take a pass on receiving the US intel findings, yet still being able to predict what those findings would be, and how they would be utilized. edit: as to the U.S. declaring war, that’s a bit more ambiguous. Bush often mentioned Iraq when discussing the declared war on terror, and called the invasion an ‘attack of opportunity’. It’s ~ grey, and certainly much closer to any formal declaration since WWII, since which time I agree it’s pretty much a long list of undeclared wars.
  7. I appreciate the consideration re: sleep, but either hurricanes or this discussion have made sleep elusive…entirely my fault either way…and now I’m about to finish packing, but for the longer, later discussion, again see more edits…annoying habit, I know. But quickly, though I did study poli-sci, I mainly concentrated on history and i.r., Munk et al, so I’m appealing to authority re: my ignorance. In your experience, do residents of a country or region typically have a more objective/less biased view of that country/region’s behaviour towards others than outsiders? Like would, say, Americans or Russians typically have a less biased view of American/Russian foreign policy initiatives than people from neutral countries? My paltry understanding seems to indicate somewhat the reverse, but as we’ve established, I’m a raving bigot whom thinks things like ‘polls showing the overwhelming majority of Americans blamed the Kent state victims for their deaths’ or ‘polls showing a majority of Americans thought civil rights protests did more harm than good for the civil rights movement’ say significant things about American views at the time and conflict in interesting ways with how Americans remember these events now, so my lunacy established, can you give me the benefit of your expertise on the question of proximity and objectivity?
  8. Just caught this. First, see my edits, second, you misunderstood or I miscommunicated about ‘understanding polls’, I was specifically referencing this quiz which is an attempt to explore how each side in US politics fails to understand the other: https://perceptiongap.us …and my results. It was not me saying I can predict us polling or anything like it, just that, at least according to this device, I have a pretty spot-on ability to predict how each side thinks the other thinks and (to me) the intersting part was that I was significantly better able to predict what answers Republicans would assume Democrats would give…ie better view of the forest the farther I was from the trees, which I thought might be the large writ small. That was the reason for it’s inclusion, but I’m kinda regretting it now…if for no other reason than it gave you a pretext for ignoring the fact that my hope of interest was, as stated, specifically about the intel…was pretty much a throwaway illustration. Anyways, beyond your other insults, mischaracterizations and assumptions that only you work in related fields, again see my edits but I am interested in how/why you feel Canadian intel is even somewhat bigoted towards the US and why you don’t find their amazingly bang-on assessments interesting or indicative of anything. See you on the other side. Hopefully not metaphysically, flying around hurricanes with toddlers has me a bit anxious.
  9. Just lucky then, I guess. edit: wait, when you say ‘your bigoted’, do you mean me personally or the Canadian intel? I mean, I guess based on that poll I could loosely say the above applies either way, but in terms of being interesting I was talking specifically about Canadian intel…as I specifically stated. I only added that bit about me to try and illustrate how/why I feel Canadians have a pretty good grasp on American attitudes/behaviour. Maybe it would have been better left out? Anyways, re: the intel, you don’t find it’s prescience and precision interesting, really? What’s the phrase? We (America) can criticize ourselves, but god help the outsider who does? edit2: heading back to sleep to catch a few more Zzzs before what is predicted to be a very bumpy transatlantic flight (with 2 year old twins) so I’ll likely miss out on the possible circle-the-wagons pile on to come, but if so, do enjoy yourselves. last edit: if your bigotry insult was just directed at me personally, can I suggest that we leave that discussion…and arguably the fairly similar global ‘bigotry’ towards the U.S…for another time/discussion, as I’m not sure how productive personal attacks are going to be for this discussion. But if you were in fact referencing the Canadian intelligence community’s ‘bigotry’, that’s definitely fair game and happily what I was specifically calling ‘interesting’, plus I’m also honestly intrigued at your basis for that view.
  10. Canada refused to take part in the invasion and/or declare war, only sending peace-keeping non-combat troops to help with the reconstruction. But that’s not the interesting bit. Canada, being as a former PM described, in bed with the elephant, has had a long history of being able to assess and predict American behaviour with remarkable precision. I know in those tests where you are asked how each US party thinks the other party would answer a series of questions, I missed on the Dems by ~ 6%, pretty spot on, but was within 1-2% of predicting Republican answers, meaning that I have a more accurate understanding of American thinking the farther it gets from my own, which I think is probably pretty representative of the Canadian assessment of America in the broader sense. We have learned, either by proximity-but-not-accordance, or for the sake of survival, to know America in some ways arguably more than America knows itself. Anyways, back to my point, here is the Canadian intel assessment of the Iraq and US claims towards same: 1) In contrast with all other members of the 5E…which dynamic remained true for most subsequent assessments…it rejected US offers for intel briefings on their assessments and themselves assessed that Saddam was most likely to discontinue any WMD programs for economic reasons/relief even before 9-11. 2) While concluding that it was impossible to know for certain that Saddam had destroyed every single WMD it had previously possessed, it thought it extremely probable and assessed that if any in fact remained they would be so insubstantial and degraded due to poor storage conditions as to represent no threat to anyone, to the point of being essentially benign. It also concluded with ‘high confidence’ that Iraq had not restarted any WMD development and therefore possessed no usable WMDs or WMD development program or the resources to build one. 3) It concluded there was no evidence to support US claims that Saddam was providing chemical weapons to terrorists. 4) It also rejected U.S. claims of evidence of links between Iraq/Saddam and the 9-11 attacks and concluded the probability of same was so low as to be non-existent. Here was it’s assessment of US thinking and prediction of future actions re: Iraq: 1) As early as the immediate wake of 9-11, it assessed that the U.S. was adopting a dangerously Manichean worldview and as a result it’s perspective was extremely likely to be critically flawed/biased towards others, warning Canadian government/military to prepare for a U.S. that viewed global affairs through a black and white lens. It even predicted a high likelihood of the U.S. issuing some kind of broad ultimatum as we later saw in ‘with us or against us.’ 2) More or less concurrent with the beginning of the invasion of Afghanistan, it noted a significant increase in US intel focusing on Iraq and produced an assessment that there was a high probability the US would invade Iraq. It produced a further report soon thereafter predicting how the U.S. would attempt to justify said invasion, stating that it would attempt to establish or fabricate a connection between Iraq and 9-11 and that if that failed it would seek to justify military action on the fictitious grounds that Iraq possessed significant usable WMDs and/or a WMD development program. By mid-2002 it concluded that the 9-11 effort had failed and predicted a full U.S. commitment to the WMD argument. 3) It noted that US intel, specifically the CIA was under intense political pressure to either find evidence of Iraqi WMD programs or develop enough ‘chatter’ to be able to provoke concern that would prove persuasive enough to garner support for military action. It simultaneously heavily criticized US dismissal of on-site UN inspectors and intel and the effort to portray them as disorganized and ineffective, which Canadian intel determined to be patently false. 4) Based on all of the above, the Canadian government refused multiple American requests/pressures/demands to get on board with the invasion, though it should be noted that all of these originated from the WH itself, not the Pentagon or DoD. Eventually the latter (Rumsfeld) agreed to ease the pressure by issuing a statement saying it preferred that Canada concentrate on existing operations in Afghanistan, rather than force Canada to make public it’s specific criticisms and assessments of US conduct, which would have resulted in a highly compromised diplomatic relationship at a crucial juncture. 5) Canada later concluded that it could justify sending non-combat forces to aid in the reconstruction consistent with it’s established pattern of peacekeeping missions and thereby somewhat alleviate WH anger towards Canada’s refusal to join in the war itself. Later complications arose when field commanders agreed to brief ‘officer and troop exchange’ programs with coalition combat forces in order to ‘season’ those personnel and it has been determined that between 40 and 50 Canadian military personnel participated in combat operations in some capacity, a fact which promoted severe public and political backlash in Canada when it was revealed. Anyways, I find the Canadian intel and ability to assess US perspective and accurately predict US behaviour well before the fact to be remarkable. Some of this was taken almost word for word from wiki, but I have known about this in pretty high detail for a long time. Hope this is as interesting to others as it is to me.
  11. Ah, cheers, thanks. So this literally is legalized fraud/theft done in broad daylight. What times we live in. They’re not even trying to tie it into some divisive social issue a la American tradition?
  12. The episode opens with a scene of some slaves gathered around a fire code-singing about freedom and, knowing the clear but ~ understandable slant of the show, I remember thinking ‘Oh, this should be interesting’ re: how they would work around the Yank:slavery/Brit:freedom angle, not in a suspicious way, just kinda intrigued on which way this would take the show. I was NOT prepared.
  13. I truthfully thought supply-side economics had been so discredited by, well, reality that I’m amazed it’s resurfaced. Not that the rich won’t of course always want it, but that it gets any popular support outside them.
  14. If I remember correctly there’s a scene where the smart matriarchal slave lectures the naive younger slaves for falling for the British trickery, with lots of ‘will freedom keep us warm come winter’ keeping it real kinda stuff that could be straight up satire in another forum.
  15. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turn:_Washington's_Spies
  16. Turn, about the American Revolution or more specifically the spy game thereof. Honestly pretty good quality, leaning into perfidious Albion quite a bit but manageable until the episode I mention.
  17. The one that really got me was the episode in Turn where the Brits were the baddies for freeing slaves because it was just a stunt designed to make them appear more sympathetic (including a scene where the British commander rapes a freed slave, of course) and the Americans were the good guys for keeping their slaves to protect them from the harsh world outside. edit to add: and of course all the smart slaves weren’t fooled by those devious Brits, either, and were thankful to their owners/protectors, like to the point of a tearful hugging scene. I literally never got past that episode.
  18. In addition to my prior points, what has stopped the US…who has been engaged in wars of their own choosing for almost the entirety of it’s existence…from engaging in a serious and intensive critical examination of its past before MAGA/AF. An illustration: Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World was made in 2002-3. It’s based on a book about a running sea battle between the protagonist Brits and antagonist Americans, loosely based on a real historical engagement. Only, when it came time to film it, they ran into trouble. They had to rewrite the script and turn the Americans into French* because test screenings found that, as Friers puts it, American audiences were ‘confused and frustrated’ by the very concept of the Americans as the ‘bad guys’ and as a result quickly lost interest. This inability to see yourselves in an historically accurate way goes back a long way, Scot. If you think that being unable to watch historical films where your nation is the bad guy is normal, you must think the Brits and French watch very few historical films. *but added dialogue to retain the part where the innovative new ship design was American.
  19. Right, so…fear of more of the same should stop us from correcting the existing same? You’re losing me here.
  20. Gotta say, Scot, that I think the difference seems much bigger to you than to me. What international agreements that it’s signed can the world trust the US to not potentially pull out of every 4-8 years as things stand? Of the agreements it doesn’t pull out of, what can the world do when it routinely breaks them as per Iraq, Gitmo, ‘enhanced interrogation’ etc.? And as for lashing out in anger, isn’t that exactly the kind of thing we’re already talking about?
  21. I get you, I think. But I’ll ask you to think of this issue from a non-American pov: if the presence of the AF contingent already pushes for expansionism and already makes accountability impossible, how is that distinguishable from an America First status quo in any way that affects non-Americans?
  22. Also, re: the Brexit comparison, I find a lot of Americans discussing American foreign policy miss this important distinction: the principle victims of Britons choosing Brexit were Britons. The principle victims of Americans choosing to invade other countries are the people of those countries who get no say in the whole affair.
  23. Are you talking about Iraq? Because if so the obvious rebuttal is that Americans then had access to the exact same information as everyone else on the planet. edit: and, further, I’d argue that when yours is the country proposing invading another country, it kinda behooves you to at least know as much as all the people not proposing said invasion.
  24. Not a moral high ground…or possibly including that, I suppose, but more to build the argument that the west/NATO/the US means Russia harm and will even do moral gymnastics of hypocrisy to further that end. Remember, the most essential aspect of getting a people to support a war is to make them believe they are being attacked. But is that the only aspect of my post you’re going to address?
  25. About America First, I take your point, but in the meantime the reality we are left with is the greatest military power on the planet which is unable to even think of being accountable for what it does to others, that routinely seeks to control/project power into the outside world but is so inward looking it has little to no interest in or understanding of that world. And, as a consequence, rejects opinions on it’s actions, internally and externally, from anyone else, leaving itself prone to enormous blind spots about itself and it’s actions. Is that not already the greatest threat to world peace? How much worse would an American First America be, or more accurately a more America First America since you are yourself saying that their presence already determines major things like being able to be accountable? Re: facts on the ground, I need you to expand on that point, as the only things I have stated as facts are a) that there is a double standard and b) that that double standard helps Putin make his case to his people and c)both Iraq and Ukraine were unjustified, illegal wars. I’m not sure how this ties into America First et al. Unless you are saying America will never be able to hold itself accountable because of the presence of people like that, in which case we should just enshrine Jaehaerys’ Doctrine of Exceptionalism, America will go where it pleases and do what it pleases and everyone else better just learn to shut up and take it?
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