Random Politics 2

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Yasna
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby Yasna » 2019-08-13, 21:34

Saim wrote:Yes, the ideological aspect of the problem has a name, and you just mentioned it — Wahhabism . “Islamic extremism”, on the other hand, is ambiguous, because it can just as well be employed in the Americans’ hysterical screeching on Iran, Hamas (or even Palestinians in general) or Hezbollah. Based on your posts so far I think you’d agree that that has very little to do with Wahhabism.

Like I said, anything along these lines would have been fine.

As for “withdrawing support from countries that cultivate Wahhabism”, I see no reason to believe the term “Islamic extremism” has any magical properties that would make heads of state who utter it automatically cut ties with Saudi Arabia or Qatar. In fact, Trump has been pretty resoundingly pro-Saudi, all while being a massive Islamophobe domestically (and he has said “Islamic extremism”). So I just don’t see the connection in terms of things that have actually happened.

Getting the terminology right doesn't guarantee any positive results, but it's obviously still important. You yourself have argued for the importance of clearly identifying racism wherever it pops up.

Regarding East Asians, I’m sure if the US military was in the business of starving Japanese children (rather than Yemeni children as is the case now), we’d be hearing all sorts of things about how Shinto, Buddhism and other aspects of Japanese culture are inferior or violent. That’s what you come to understand when you have a materialistic (which is distinct from economically reductionist) rather than idealistic view of history.

We'd be hearing those sorts of things, but how much traction would they gain? That depends not just on materialistic factors, but also on the inherent plausibility and explanatory power of any given narrative.

linguoboy wrote:[citation needed]

It's just the humble analysis of an interested observer who lived through the times.

I'm not really sure how "withdrawing support from allied countries that cultivate Wahhabism" would have helped.

By putting pressure on them to stop spreading Wahhabism. Another even more effective policy would be for the US to stop meddling militarily in Islamic countries.

That's basically Saudi and we're not withdrawing support from them while they are one of the only countries that has the oil we need still on speaking terms with us. (Maybe if our slow-motion coup in Venezuela succeeds and we can pump them dry instead, that will change, but I wouldn't hold your breath on that.)

Whether or not our politicians are willing to implement a policy is a separate question.
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-14, 3:12

Yasna wrote:Getting the terminology right doesn't guarantee any positive results, but it's obviously still important.

But that isn't getting the terminology right. Islamic ≠ Wahhabi.

White nationalism is an extremist ideology. Wahhabism is, too. Islam is not.
Saim wrote:Regarding East Asians, I’m sure if the US military was in the business of starving Japanese children (rather than Yemeni children as is the case now), we’d be hearing all sorts of things about how Shinto, Buddhism and other aspects of Japanese culture are inferior or violent. That’s what you come to understand when you have a materialistic (which is distinct from economically reductionist) rather than idealistic view of history.

We'd be hearing those sorts of things, but how much traction would they gain? That depends not just on materialistic factors, but also on the inherent plausibility and explanatory power of any given narrative.

This is already starting to happen with Sri Lanka and Burma; people are questioning whether Buddhism is a religion of peace or whatever because the Buddhist clergy in both countries is promoting ethnic violence. During World War II, the US was in the business of starving Japanese children, and part of the war effort in the US was precisely portraying Japanese culture as both inferior and violent.
It's just the humble analysis of an interested observer who lived through the times.

So can you actually provide a citation to back up said analysis
I'm not really sure how "withdrawing support from allied countries that cultivate Wahhabism" would have helped.

By putting pressure on them to stop spreading Wahhabism. Another even more effective policy would be for the US to stop meddling militarily in Islamic countries.

That's basically Saudi and we're not withdrawing support from them while they are one of the only countries that has the oil we need still on speaking terms with us. (Maybe if our slow-motion coup in Venezuela succeeds and we can pump them dry instead, that will change, but I wouldn't hold your breath on that.)

Whether or not our politicians are willing to implement a policy is a separate question.

This is not just about what the politicians will or won't do, though. It's a question of what a reasonable approach would be given how deep we've already landed ourselves. We can't just pretend we'll be fine if we suddenly stop supporting Saudi Arabia altogether after at least 64 years with no backup plan. We have to at least find some kind of alternative arrangement.

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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby md0 » 2019-08-24, 7:36

https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/ ... _41_39.pdf

If that's not a last desperate call for a global steady-state economy (or Degrowth, as we activist types call it) then I don't know what else it can be.
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-24, 15:14

Who the fuck writes a paper without any page numbers?!

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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby md0 » 2019-08-27, 18:44

This week in ACAB:
Following a police operation evicting refugees from a housing squat in Greece, this police trade unionist had the following to say on national TV
https://youtu.be/1xyJOZo2RQ4
A single finger turned on a new high-tech and silent vacuum cleaner, the Police, which will slowly but surely vacuum up all trash in Exarcheia, and it will do so progressively, democratically, and with a plan by the Police HQ.


The journalist, trying to offer their guest a way out said: "With your vacuum cleaner operation, you obviously refer to the instances of law breaking. Humans are humans", only for the police officer to double down and add
It's a silent vacuum cleaner! We are not talking about those humans [the refugees] who are just dust - dust that can be irritating but is not crucial to the nature of Exarcheia. We mean real trash in the ten other squats mentioned by Mr Spyropoulos, which are run by convicts, far-leftists, far-anarchists [sic], by special people. When we start entering those squats, you journalists are in for a treat.
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Ciarán12

Re: Random Politics 2

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-08-27, 19:34

Just read an article about the recent ascention to power of the New Democracy party in Greece which (according to Folha de São Paulo at least) are a right wing party. So, how bad are they? We talking proper fascists here or centre-right? I know nothing about them, but I know that Greece has had it's issues with ultra-nationalists, are these guys in the same league as Golden Dawn?

Edit: Just read the date on that article, looks like I'm a bit late! Well, if anyone wants to carch me up...

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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby kevin » 2019-08-27, 19:44

As far as I know, ND is the "traditional" conservative party in Greece which has been in power multiple times, so centre-right. They are affiliated with EPP on the European level if you're familiar with the European party families.

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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby md0 » 2019-08-28, 5:59

Kevin is right that ND is the traditional/mainstream right wing party, but we should acknowledge that party ideologies evolve. ND was a centre-right party (called "popular Right" in Greek political jargon) under Karamanlis back in the day, but under Mitsotakis, the current PM, they are a Thatcherite party: neoconservative ideology, deregulation and privatisation as first priority, focus on law-and-order, class elitism.

As you may have heard, Golden Dawn, the neonazi party, didn't manage to elect any MPs in the recent election. Their voter base largely shifted to ND (others went to Elliniki Lysi, a conspiracy theorist party, and the hard core neonazis are trying to regroup in a new party yet to be announced). The vacuum in the extreme right part of the spectrum is being filled mostly by this new ND under Mitsotakis.

The same transformation happened in Syriza by the way: under Tsipras, it shifted towards the centre of the spectrum, opening some space on the left for Varoufakis' populist Diem25 party.
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-30, 3:35

This is probably just one of my naive remarks, but I don't get what distinction the cop's making when he talks about refugees vs. the far left.

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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby md0 » 2019-08-30, 7:23

Throughout the segment he calls refugees "kakomirides", which is two-thirds "pitiful" and one third "powerless". The implication is that they are a nuisance, like dust, but have no agency or free will. The leftist trash have agency, they are a threat to be countered. I think he also implies that the leftists exploit the refugees because there's no way they are helping them find housing by reclaiming anandoned buildings without a monetary incentive, in this cop's worldview.
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-09-04, 15:50

So what exactly is he threatening? To kill refugees who have received help from leftist activists to find housing or something?

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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby linguoboy » 2019-09-25, 17:15

So the Speaker of the US House of Representatives has announced her intention to launch an impeachment investigation of the President.

I'm curious: How is this news being covered abroad?
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby Yasna » 2019-09-25, 18:10

linguoboy wrote:I'm curious: How is this news being covered abroad?

What languages do you read the news in? (so I don't tell you something you already know)
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby linguoboy » 2019-09-25, 18:13

Yasna wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I'm curious: How is this news being covered abroad?

What languages do you read the news in? (so I don't tell you something you already know)

This is less of a personal request than a conversation starter; I'm sure other people would be interested in hearing what coverage is like in countries whose languages they don't speak.

Honestly, I haven't even had time to look at the coverage in the UK press. There's been so much to keep up with in the US press, what with the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Zelensky just recently having been made public and all.
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby Dormouse559 » 2019-09-25, 18:29

Well, I've noticed Francophone newspapers are using destitution as a translation for "impeachment", which I find interesting; the French word means "removal from office", and strictly speaking, that isn't what impeachment is.
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby Luís » 2019-09-25, 18:33

linguoboy wrote: (...) the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Zelensky just recently having been made public and all.


It seems it's not actually a transcript, but rather a "reconstruction" of the conversation based on notes.

I'm curious about how people in Ukraine are reacting to this, because it doesn't really make their president look good.

When it comes to Portuguese media, we're in the middle of an election campaign, so nobody is paying much attention to Trump at the moment. Most newspapers mention the phone call and how it confirms what had been said yesterday, but they also say an impeachment is very unlikely to actually happen.
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby Yasna » 2019-09-25, 19:19

The Japanese media is giving more attention to the agreement on a new US-Japan trade agreement than to impeachment.

Nikkei:
「バイデン氏調査を」トランプ氏要請 電話協議の内容公表
Trump requested investigation of Biden: Details of telephone conference released

Mainichi Shimbun:
ウクライナ疑惑 両大統領の電話協議、捜査要求に「証拠」 トランプ氏弾劾手続きへ
Ukraine allegation: Telephone conference between the two presidents is "proof" that investigation was requested; Trump impeachment proceedings to follow
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby Yasna » 2019-09-25, 22:44

It is exasperating how well the obfuscations, deflections, and cover-ups of this administration and its henchmen work on the general population. People who are positively predisposed towards Trump just need an on-its-face plausible explanation for his outrageous behavior, and Fox News and co. are more than happy to deliver. And so here we are, living in a dystopian America where 43% of the population still approve of this con man's job as president.
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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-09-25, 23:27

When was the last poll taken?

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Re: Random Politics 2

Postby Yasna » 2019-09-26, 0:31

Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka


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