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  1. #181
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    I can only stomach so much of the "We are totally not news broadcasters but we are also the only source of news for a disturbingly large portion of the country and we'll mock our colleagues by calling them shoddy news broadcasters", but my recollection is that they will mercilessly attack CNNs editorial shows (Crossfire, ha), but tend to stay pretty quiet on the actual news broadcasting, whereas they go all out against Fox.
    Three things.

    1) You really haven't been paying attention, then, but then I don't take you for a guy who actually watches the Daily Show, so I suspect you're getting your information second-hand. The Daily Show has excoriated CNN over their 24-hour news cycle more or less non-stop, especially during the elections and when CNN tries to get the "scoop" on non-news reports.

    2) The Daily Show is not an unbiased source, nor have they ever attempted to be or said they were. They are a comedy program that focuses on media criticism, and as Jon Stewart has said to both Fox News (before calling in a gospel choir to chant "go fuck yourself") and CNN (before referencing Crank Yankers) is "it's not about holding me to your standards. If you're comparing yourself to a comedy program, you've already lost."

    3) The whole "people are using the Daily Show as their source of news, therefore the Daily Show is a news program" is a Fox News talking point used to bolster the spurious argument that's already been refuted in #2. It's dishonest because they don't have the numbers to support it, and it's hypocritical because Fox switches between "unbiased" news and extremely biased "news commentary" without pause more or less constantly through the day. Indeed, one of the Daily Show's common refrains is how the news anchors and the news commentators say the exact same thing, often in the exact same words​.
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  2. #182
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Three things.

    1) You really haven't been paying attention, then, but then I don't take you for a guy who actually watches the Daily Show, so I suspect you're getting your information second-hand. The Daily Show has excoriated CNN over their 24-hour news cycle more or less non-stop, especially during the elections and when CNN tries to get the "scoop" on non-news reports.
    Then it is a good thing I have repeatedly asserted that I haven't been watching it lately.

    2) The Daily Show is not an unbiased source, nor have they ever attempted to be or said they were. They are a comedy program that focuses on media criticism, and as Jon Stewart has said to both Fox News (before calling in a gospel choir to chant "go fuck yourself") and CNN (before referencing Crank Yankers) is "it's not about holding me to your standards. If you're comparing yourself to a comedy program, you've already lost."

    3) The whole "people are using the Daily Show as their source of news, therefore the Daily Show is a news program" is a Fox News talking point used to bolster the spurious argument that's already been refuted in #2. It's dishonest because they don't have the numbers to support it, and it's hypocritical because Fox switches between "unbiased" news and extremely biased "news commentary" without pause more or less constantly through the day. Indeed, one of the Daily Show's common refrains is how the news anchors and the news commentators say the exact same thing, often in the exact same words​.
    And he can keep saying that, and people can keep ignoring that.

    Also, it is a Fox News talking point. Just like "fox news is bullshit" is a talking point of pretty much everyone else on teh planet. And you are right, it IS hypocritical, which is why I bitch about it. Because the hypocrisy on both sides annoys the piss out of me.

    So good to see we agree, and thanks for bullet pointing what I said, I guess.

    Maybe there isn't a survey on it (for what those insanely biased things are worth), but I already pointed out the problems of people using comedy/"comedy"/commentary/"commentary" as their news source: "Strategery". And there are LOTS of people who blindly just listen to whatever Stewart or O'Reilley or Colbert say and don't question it. Just like there are LOTS of people who blindly listen to Fox or CNN or the BBC or NPR or whatever the popular chinese news broadcasting network is. Attempting to be informed is good. Not understanding the concept of a narrative and bias isn't.

    So basically, you have a television show masquerading as "the news" (admittedly, tongue-in-cheek-ily) attempting to mold people to a specific narrative for whatever reason.

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
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  3. #183
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    What's Don Imus' take on all this?
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  4. #184
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Also, it is a Fox News talking point. Just like "fox news is bullshit" is a talking point of pretty much everyone else on teh planet. And you are right, it IS hypocritical, which is why I bitch about it. Because the hypocrisy on both sides annoys the piss out of me.
    Fox News is bullshit regardless of whether that's a talking point. It's an exemplar of how far to the right American politics is.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Maybe there isn't a survey on it (for what those insanely biased things are worth), but I already pointed out the problems of people using comedy/"comedy"/commentary/"commentary" as their news source: "Strategery". And there are LOTS of people who blindly just listen to whatever Stewart or O'Reilley or Colbert say and don't question it. Just like there are LOTS of people who blindly listen to Fox or CNN or the BBC or NPR or whatever the popular chinese news broadcasting network is. Attempting to be informed is good. Not understanding the concept of a narrative and bias isn't.

    So basically, you have a television show masquerading as "the news" (admittedly, tongue-in-cheek-ily) attempting to mold people to a specific narrative for whatever reason.
    No you don't; you have a critique program that's that's unabashedly and explicitly a satire catering to a crowd that's amused by the institutionalized false earnestness of mainstream curated "news".

    Naive and/or impressionable people regurgitating things uncritically doesn't mean the sources of their views are deliberately trying to shape public opinion. That's fucking nonsense.

    Comedy Central baldly caters to its audience just as Fox and CNN do; they're not interested in impartiality. At least Comedy Central has the gumption to admit as much.

    We'd best get Rush Limbaugh on the line so we can "balance" things out, because that amalgam of everything that's wrong with American political right is as far from the fulcrum of moderate centrism as Stewart (who voted for senior Bush) and Colbert (a Catholic Sunday School teacher) are. Amirite?
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  5. #185
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    people using comedy/"comedy"/commentary/"commentary" as their news source: "Strategery". And there are LOTS of people who blindly just listen to whatever Stewart or O'Reilley or Colbert say and don't question it.
    "I don't have proof, but I'll continue regurgitating the assertion anyway because it fits my narrative." Hypocrisy isn't your strong point, is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    So basically, you have a television show masquerading as "the news" (admittedly, tongue-in-cheek-ily) attempting to mold people to a specific narrative for whatever reason.
    Satire is not a masquerade.
    Last edited by Nalano; 16-09-2013 at 05:34 PM.
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  6. #186
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    "I don't have proof, but I'll continue regurgitating the assertion anyway because it fits my narrative." Hypocrisy isn't your strong point, is it?
    Alrighty then, if we aren't going to acknowledge actual anecdotal evidence, I'll just take the boring approach that ends all discussion:
    Where is the proof that people DO know it is a joke and that they aren't taking it seriously? Congratulations, we are at an impasse.

    Satire is not a masquerade.
    Ah, so intent is all that matters in your eyes. Fair enough, but I am sure you could get some Fox and CNN and BBC execs to testify that they intend to provide fair coverage of everything :p
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  7. #187
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    The country has been torn apart by civil war. How much more destabilised can you get?
    it can. Rebels are not united but they are not fighting among themselves really... you can destabilize the region even more by dividing those groups. This is what happened in Somalia.

  8. #188
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    it can. Rebels are not united but they are not fighting among themselves really...
    JAN and ISIS clashed with "moderate FSA" groups numerous times, kidnapped/killed some of their officers too. According to various reports JAN, while not the biggest group has the best equipment and is the boldest when it comes to attacking government-controlled territory( FAIK other groups had to call them and Chechens to end the year-long siege of Menagh airbase), not jsut cutting their supply lines. So they are often first and call dibs on the good stuff. Food distribution in FSA controlled areas is often ran by them which means they have popular support.
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  9. #189
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    They are by no means mainstream, but we do have programs that provide rational discourse. Meet the Press is a nice example as are a few other PBS news programs. We also have some really good long-form TV magazines like 60 minutes, Charlie Rose and Frontline.

    There's also NPR which is awesome.
    I have not listened to NPR much at all, so I don't know much about it.

    60 minutes is one of my single favourites. I have been watching that since I was a kid. 20/20 on ABC also used to be quite fun to watch. 60 Minutes is golden though, I agree.

    I feel like 60 Minutes will get castrated sometimes if they stray from US administrative messaging though, like they are on a leash. I haven't been able to watch 60 minutes for the past few months, and I wonder what if any reporting they are doing on this Syrian conflict.

    ====

    Syria Crisis: Why the taboo on Chemical Weapons
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/syria-c...pons-1.1828759
    But Jonathan Mueller, a political science professor at Ohio State University, doesn't believe a distinction should be made between weapons."I’ve never been very comfortable with the idea that killing people with one way is better than killing with another way," he told CBC News in an interview.

    In a piece he wrote for Foreign Affairs titled "Erase the Red Line," Mueller said in the First World War, chemical weapons were actually found to be humane compared to conventional weapons. Although they did cause a large number of casualties and took men out of action, only a small percentage of them actually died, he said.

    He said questions have also been raised about the number of Iranians killed by gas during the Iran-Iraq war. Of the 27,000 gassed, Iran has said only 262 were killed.


    Western agreed that chemical weapons have proven not to be very effective on the military battlefield, but "what that means then is when they're used, they're often used solely as a weapon of terror.

    "Militaries can often employ counter-measures when they're used, civilians can't So they're often going to disproportionately kill civilians," he said.

    But Mueller said that even Baghdad’s chemical attack on the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988, where 5,000 people were killed, may be an overestimate, coming from Iranian officials eager to boost the numbers of dead. Other reports have placed the death toll from 400 to under 20, Mueller said.

    "What you’re doing is arguing aesthetics, the aesthetics of death," Mueller said. "People feel more revulsion for this kind of killing and that's just the way it is.

    "Having somebody with their arm blown off with shrapnel and gradually declining and his eyes glazing over hours and then succumbing to shock is also horrible. The key thing is to get rid of murder rather than a particular weapon."
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    it can. Rebels are not united but they are not fighting among themselves really... you can destabilize the region even more by dividing those groups. This is what happened in Somalia.
    If the rebels take control of Syria, I feel like that is guaranteed to happen... there are just too many factions I presume, and too many extremists and too many mercenaries there all with their own plans.

    As always, the number one problem I have with the approach to the Syrian Civil War is why the hell did USA and NATO and Saudi Arabia supply terrorists with weapons to further the cause of war?? Why do we as Western nations support prolonging conflict and war? It's awful!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Satire is not a masquerade.
    Stewart's or Colbert's actual value and contribution to journalism also should not be overrated.
    Last edited by rockman29; 17-09-2013 at 01:08 AM.

  10. #190
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    UN declared the attack to be a war crime and confirmed almost all the intelligence (leaving who actually did it out of their conclusions because that would be political or something).

    How you can post an article like the one above seriously though and not see chemical weapons as a particularly different and despicable type of weapon is beyond me. The professor notes that the weapons disproportionately affect civilians and therefore are not militarily useful. I don't think you can look at something like Vx and claim it really isn't all that harmful either. A weapon that serves little military purposes but is incredibly effective against intended or unintended civilian targets is exactly the sort of thing you want banned in war.

    Pretty soon people on this thread will be arguing that weaponizing ebola is an equivalent to high explosive.

    I guess I should leave you to arguing over which tv network tells the best lies/truths/half truths/half lies. That is the sort of moral question the internet is best equipped to deal with.
    Last edited by Misnomer; 17-09-2013 at 01:38 AM.

  11. #191
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    If the rebels take control of Syria, I feel like that is guaranteed to happen... there are just too many factions I presume, and too many extremists and too many mercenaries there all with their own plans.

    As always, the number one problem I have with the approach to the Syrian Civil War is why the hell did USA and NATO and Saudi Arabia supply terrorists with weapons to further the cause of war?? Why do we as Western nations support prolonging conflict and war? It's awful!
    It goes something like this: the US doesn't like Assad and he had a superior force. No one was ready to actually go to war over it especially without UN approval (well, the US would be if not already being smack-dab in the middle of doing that in two different countries). So how do you prevent the rebels from outright losing? Give them better weapons.

    This isn't about preventing death. This is about protecting the agenda. Now ... that agenda might match popular desires in Syria--it certainly seems to among Syrian expats but there's an obvious thread of confirmation bias there (though said expats are also typically of the opinion that it doesn't matter what fucking weapon is used just that people are dying ... an opinion I share and I can only imagine how fervently I'd hold that opinion if I'd already seen familiar places shot up and familiar faces killed for months on end before the chemical weapons thing happened).

    My take is that is we're going to get involved without UN approval ... enforcing a UN chemical weapons ban is the wrong reason. That's absurd. Beyond dealing with the chemical weapons issue through appropriate, UN-sanctioned channels ... if outside militaries are going to get in on this (either on their own or likewise through the UN), they need to focus on protecting civilians and they need to get involved because people are dying not becasue of what kind of weapon killed them.

    It greatly disturbs me that the US is willing to involve themselves in a strategy that might not substantially help anyone, while ALSO flipping the UN the bird despite being a Security Council nation, while ALSO pouring weapons into the conflict despite decades of experience with exactly why that's a horrible idea any way you slice it all while having no long-term vision or plan for what happens next either for the rebels, the Assad regime, or US involvement. That's ... disgusting.

    I don't think you can look at something like Vx and claim it really isn't all that harmful either. A weapon that serves little military purposes but is incredibly effective against intended or unintended civilian targets is exactly the sort of thing you want banned in war.

    Pretty soon people on this thread will be arguing that weaponizing ebola is an equivalent to high explosive.
    I absolutely agree they should be banned. I'd rather have guns than chemical weapons any day. But you have to look at scale, too. And at casualties from bombing runs against chemical weapons facilities, for that matter. Chemical weapons can cause long term health and environmental problems, but so can depleted uranium weapons, bombing strikes, explosives, and good old fashioned bullets. Bullets and shrapnel create life-long victims and slow painful deaths, too. Explosives and fires can release non-weaponized toxins in urban environments. There are any number of ways for conventional warfare to do things as bad or worse than chemical weapon strikes and while I think banning toxic weapons and weapons that unduly effect civilians in a straight-up comparison between armaments is a good idea ... I think US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan are more than enough to that conventional warfare ends up effect civilians unduly weather or not such is intrinsic to the weapons themselves.

    Ultimately if we're just trying to decide how horrific something is and whether or not we have a moral obligation to get involved, we should focus not on the weapon but on the effect. Innocent civilians were being gunned down before the chemical weapon strike.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 17-09-2013 at 02:13 AM.
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  12. #192
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    It should be noted that kinetic weapons don't typically kill first responders after the attack has ceased. That's why NBC weapons are particularly nasty.
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  13. #193
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    It should be noted that kinetic weapons don't typically kill first responders after the attack has ceased. That's why NBC weapons are particularly nasty.
    I mean ... that's horrible. But IEDs have a delayed reaction too. Suicide bombers frequently target civilians. Dropping conventional bombs on hospitals kills paramedics and wounded individuals ...

    There's a point where the weapon used stops mattering. In times of relative peace, banning especially nasty weapons and systematically ridding the world of them is very, very important. Once people start dying, our concern should be that first responders and civilians died not whether it was chemicals or bullets. Shouldn't it still be a war crime if you leave behind snipers to take out paramedics treating wounded civilians? It's an unnecessary line in the sand.

    You don't have to convince me that chemical weapons are worse than convention weapons. I get that. I just don't think that should be the point.
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  14. #194
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24114746
    The Syrian regime, and the rebels, both have sets of preconditions. Civil wars are hard enough to settle.

    This one has another layer of complexity - it has become a regional war, fought by proxies. And it has a strong sectarian flavour, which engages and enrages Shia and Sunni Muslims in Lebanon, Iraq and the Gulf.

    So do not expect quick progress towards peace. Or perhaps any progress at all.
    I feel like I mentioned those things before... glad someone is reporting it.
    Pretty soon people on this thread will be arguing that weaponizing ebola is an equivalent to high explosive.
    Slippery slope fallacy much?

    As has been said before, the concern is the sheer scale of killing. Regardless of the form, the sheer scale is simply senseless and... unproductive. The words are not there, because the stupidity of all this killing is simply retarded.

    That chemical weapons are worse than conventional weapons, for reasons you and others have given, does not making killing by conventional weapons "good."

    They're both fucking bad.

    And the fact that our amazing beacons of light for the world that are our western democracies have a hand in prolonging this conflict by supplying a lot of those weapons (Russia supplying Syria, and USA supplying who the fuck knows) is despicable.
    Last edited by rockman29; 18-09-2013 at 05:46 AM.

  15. #195
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    Syria's Assad on long list of dictators U.S. once warmed to
    Three short years ago, the rosier thinking in Washington was that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a British-trained eye doctor, had the dispositions of a Mideast peacemaker.

    "Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region," intoned then senator John Kerry, chair of the U.S. Senate's foreign relations committee, in Damascus in 2010 following one of his half-dozen parleys with Assad.


    Kerry had been holding meetings with the dictator as early as 2006, even as Syria was (and still is) on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.


    How times have changed. With Syria now embroiled in a brutal civil war, two weeks ago Kerry, as U.S. secretary of state, likened Assad to some of history's most heinous despots, citing mounting evidence that his army used chemical weapons against rebels.


    "
    Bashar al-Assad now joins a list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein who have used these weapons in time of war," Kerry said in a TV interview.



    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/w...ences/1852629/
    Secret memo says more than 1,200 prisoners fought Assad regime to avoid beheading.




    Citing what it calls a "top secret memo" in April from the Ministry of Interior, AINA says the Saudi offered 1,239 inmates a pardon and a monthly stipend for their families, which were were allowed to stay in the Sunni Arab kingdom. Syrian President Bashar Assad is an Alawite, a minority Shiite sect.

    Last edited by rockman29; 18-09-2013 at 05:53 AM.

  16. #196
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    Hurray, another proxy war for USA and Russia to fight for influence over.... *sighs*

    And neither country can admit that it has a direct hand in prolonging killing and violence in the country! Look at our great democracies in action!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24140475
    Russia will give the Security Council evidence implicating Syrian rebels in a chemical attack on 21 August, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.Syrian officials supplied the evidence, which Mr Lavrov has not yet seen.
    A UN report released on Monday concluded the nerve agent sarin was used in the attack in Damascus, which the US blames on the Syrian regime.
    Russia has called the report one-sided and biased. The UN has hit back, saying its findings are "indisputable".


    The UN report did not apportion blame for the attack, which sparked diplomacy that culminated in a deal for Syria to hand over its chemical arsenal by mid-2014.


    • Rebel groups are fighting each other in a town near the Turkish border, with al-Qaeda linked jihadists gaining the upper hand in a battle with the Free Syrian Army
    • Unconfirmed video footage shows parts of Damascus being hit in air strikes
    • The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops were battling rebels near the motorway leading to Damascus airport, and Kurdish gunmen had forced jihadists from a village in the north

  17. #197
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    And neither country can admit that it has a direct hand in prolonging killing and violence in the country! Look at our great democracies in action!
    Maybe our international face is different on this, but last I checked the US is not concealing it's weapons donations plans. I get the feeling they'd prefer nobody talk about it, but they haven't denied it and I'm pretty sure they've officially confirmed it with the official line being that we don't want the rebels to lose becasue they're "the good guys". One the other hand every time I hear about the weapons shipments that last bit is said as obliquely as possible so there's that.

    I don't think the US is afraid to admit it's prolonging the conflict with weapons. I think the US is afraid to admit that it's prolonging the conflict without any long-term plan as to why and for whose benefit.
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  18. #198
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    All moral and practical considerations aside, I would happily bomb Assad just to spite Putin.

  19. #199
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    All moral and practical considerations aside, I would happily bomb Assad just to spite Putin.
    To paraphrase one Jeff Morreau, I'm glad you're not in charge.
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  20. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    To paraphrase one Jeff Morreau, I'm glad you're not in charge.
    Not a nice thing to say. If I was in charge, I would have to be responsible and all that. I am not so I can say stuff.

    On a more serious note, while I find both Assad, Putin and many of the rebels utterly repulsive, this place is a horrible mess and only an overwhelming international decade-long occupation could possibly stabilize it. As it is out of the table, we are set to helplessly watch yet another festival of gruesome inhumanity that will last years and - unless one side executes a thorough ethnic cleansing - will not solve anything in the long term. Oh, and if we are lucky, it will escalate and engulf the whole region - that is, more than it affects it now. Fun times, as long as one remembers there are no people there.

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