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teej6

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  1. Prolly becoz they knew the Fed’s large interest rate hike today would overshadow everything else in the news.
  2. A NYT piece that states the same… leak likely from a supporter of overturning RvW. Limited clicks so pasting part of piece.
  3. Full script of Biden’s speech at WH Correspondents’ dinner: https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/01/politics/transcript-joe-biden-white-house-correspondents-dinner/index.html
  4. Have you even read the books? Seeing the bolded it makes me think you haven’t. Or perhaps you skipped the Jon chapters? Slynt was not killed as an act of vengeance but for insubordination, which is a capital crime in a medieval military setting which was exactly what the NW is meant to represent.
  5. Me too. I guess that’s why I seem to agree with all your posts. Although, I thought I’d be Establishment Liberal… hmmm
  6. Reuters reporting that House Democrats reach tentative deal on Biden agenda https://reut.rs/3B5pd1W
  7. Actually in an NYT interview during the campaign, Biden did mention he was against the troops surge in the Obama administration but was overruled by the military brass and others in the Obama cabinet. He even said, he came to this conclusion after several trips to the rural parts of Afghanistan and seeing first hand that prolonged US deployment there didn’t make much sense anymore. There are also other reports of him being in favor of counterterrorism ops and not nation building. As to why the Taliban would care about killing Americans, it’s because they need the international community to recognize them this time around and most importantly they need funds… money frozen by the US and IMF.
  8. Although I’m not a fan of Friedman, this time he’s making sense: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/19/opinion/afghanistan-us-taliban.html
  9. And the Saudis funded the Taliban and all the fundamentalist madrassas around the world for decades. But this was a non-issue for Western powers till 9/11.
  10. I wouldn’t equate Massoud with Hekmatyar. Yes, Massoud was a warlord but he had principles. The man did not kill his enemies who surrendered… I read somewhere that he even punished his soldiers who killed fleeing or surrendering enemy fighters. He was not a mindless murderer like Hekmatyar who is the one who bombed Kabul with artillery provided by the Pakistanis. Massoud did not enter Kabul after the Najibullah government fell even though he had the largest army and was the dominant player. He waited on the outskirts of Kabul for all warring parties to reach a peaceful and power sharing agreement and even extended and olive branch to Hekmatyar who had tried to assassinate him previously. Although Tajik, even the Pashtuns admired Massoud, enough to observe a national holiday on the day he died. Even now, in Kabul, posters of him pop up during every election. I was reading about the man a few years ago… he was educated (an engineer), well read, and a poet. And although an Islamist, he practiced and propagated a tolerant form of Islam. Somehow I think he was strategically killed by the Taliban and Al Qaeda with the help of the ISI two days before 9/11 knowing full well if he was alive, the West may have had a leader who just may have been able to unite Afghanistan against the Taliban.
  11. The Taliban visited Texas in 1997 to discuss an oil pipeline through Afghanistan with an US oil company. I suspect the Taliban will try harder this time to get international recognition and legitimacy. The next republican president for all you know will call the Taliban an ally against evul Iran. The butcher MBS (Saudi crown prince), perhaps will not allow Saudi money to fund the Taliban anymore. If so, the Taliban will have to solely rely on Pakistan if they continue their hardline wahhabi/ salafi ideology. The Russians and Chinese may find the Taliban strategically convenient now but we’ll see how long that will last.
  12. Fully agree. Afghanistan is a tribal society and taming it can only come from within. With the exception of Kabul and some other urban areas, the country is run by tribal leaders. Things only got worse in the 80s when the US used the jihadis (funded by the Saudis and trained by the Pakistanis) to fight the Soviets. The Pakistanis supported the Taliban as they were Pashtun and were fighting the Northern alliance. There may have been a chance for Afghanistan if Ahmed Shah Massoud lived but he was assassinated by Al Qaeda with the help of ISI (Pakistani intelligence) two days before 9/11. The US bet on the wrong horse in Afghanistan. If they had helped the Northern alliance and supported Massoud, before the ISI propped up the Taliban, there may have been a chance.
  13. Totally agree. D&D’s story (prolly their general view of the real world) was nihilistic — any virtue or good deed does not matter in the end. In fact, it only dooms the person. You can only win through corruption and deceit. Sandra who in their story is supposed to be LF 2.0 (although Book!LF would disown Sandra in a millisecond) gets WF.
  14. I don’t think the books/ author is stating or implying morality (or good morals) is stupid. That is a very simply reading of the text and that’s what D&D got terribly wrong. Through Ned’s character, GRRM is implying naiveté and trusting others to abide by a moral code that you hold is stupid. Ned’s failure was not being able to recognize the extent of guile and depravity in others. In addition, GRRM is stating that leaders will be faced with tough choices and will sometimes have to be ruthless in their decision making (that is why good men do not always make good leaders). In the case of Ned, had he listened to Renly and separated Cersei from her children, he may have come out the winner but the act was too ruthless for him and he underestimated the lengths Cersei would go to stay in power. And IIRC, nowhere in the books, do any of the Stark children or Jon Snow mock Ned’s morals. Perhaps Arya is upset and angry but I don’t remember her mocking Ned.
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