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Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
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    20 Jun '18 01:17
    The UN has described the situation in Yemen as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
    Western powers (USA, UK , France) strongly support the Saudi-led forces
    that are primarily responsible for this humanitarian crisis.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/17/the-guardian-view-on-yemen-our-complicity-lies-bare

    "The Guardian view on Yemen: our complicity lies bare:
    Even if the UK warned against attacking the vital port of Hodeidah,
    we bear responsibility for the horrors of this war."

    "The fig leaves covered little to start with, and withered long ago.
    Now the excuses for our role in Yemen’s misery have fallen away entirely.
    The assault on Hodeidah by the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition can
    only deepen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis; 70% of the country’s imports pass through the port...."

    "So they are doing it. They are conducting this war with British-, American-
    and French-made arms. They are conducting it with western military training
    and advice; British and US officers have been in the command room for
    airstrikes, and this weekend Le Figaro alleged that there are French
    special forces on the ground in Yemen. They are conducting it with
    diplomatic shelter from the west. On Friday, the UK and US blocked a
    Swedish drive for a UN security council statement demanding a ceasefire:"

    "Twenty-two million Yemenis need aid. Eight million are at risk of starvation.
    The assault appears to be an attempt to pre-empt the presentation of a
    peace plan by the UN envoy Martin Griffiths, who had previously warned
    that an attack on Hodeidah could “take peace off the table in a single stroke” "
  2. Behind the scenes
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    20 Jun '18 13:48
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    The UN has described the situation in Yemen as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
    Western powers (USA, UK , France) strongly support the Saudi-led forces
    that are primarily responsible for this humanitarian crisis.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/17/the-guardian-view-on-yemen-our-complicity-lies-bare

    "The Guardian view ...[text shortened]... iously warned
    that an attack on Hodeidah could “take peace off the table in a single stroke” "
    I could write to Donald Trump and demand a change in US policy, but I don't think it will work. Any suggestions?
  3. Zugzwang
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    20 Jun '18 21:46
    Originally posted by @mchill
    I could write to Donald Trump and demand a change in US policy, but I don't think it will work. Any suggestions?
    I would suggest that Americans and Britons become less smug in presuming that the
    USA or UK must be morally superior to countries that the USA and UK like to criticize.
  4. Standard memberDeepThought
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    20 Jun '18 22:28
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    I would suggest that Americans and Britons become less smug in presuming that the
    USA or UK must be morally superior to countries that the USA and UK like to criticize.
    You're getting your tu quoque's in early, is China planning anything?
  5. Zugzwang
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    20 Jun '18 22:433 edits
    Originally posted by @deepthought
    You're getting your tu quoque's in early, is China planning anything?
    I am still waiting for the troll No1Marauder to forward my instructions from Beijing. (sarcasm)
    I don't know of any Chinese involvement in the conflict in Yemen.
    I cannot comment upon hypothetical Chinese involvement in Yemen.

    My post was addressed much more toward US or UK criticisms of Russian actions in Syria.
    Russia supports its client regime in Syria much as the USA and UK support Saudi Arabia.
  6. Standard memberDeepThought
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    20 Jun '18 23:06
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    I am still waiting for the troll No1Marauder to forward my instructions from Beijing. (sarcasm)
    I don't know of any Chinese involvement in the conflict in Yemen.

    My post was addressed much more to US or UK criticisms of Russian actions in Syria.
    Russia supports its client regime in Syria much as the USA and UK support Saudi Arabia.
    I wasn't aware the Sauds were using chemical weapons. Having said that, I agree that the UK should threaten to withdraw support unless the Saudi military abide by international humanitarian standards.
  7. Behind the scenes
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    20 Jun '18 23:07
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    I would suggest that Americans and Britons become less smug in presuming that the
    USA or UK must be morally superior to countries that the USA and UK like to criticize.
    OK. I'll check the "smug meter" If it's too high, I'll turn it down a few notches.
  8. Zugzwang
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    20 Jun '18 23:091 edit
    Originally posted by @deepthought
    I wasn't aware the Sauds were using chemical weapons. Having said that, I agree that the UK should
    threaten to withdraw support unless the Saudi military abide by international humanitarian standards.
    "I wasn't aware the Sauds were using chemical weapons."
    --DeepThought

    I was referring to the general principle of the UK and USA supporting Saudi Arabia rather
    than any specific technical details of what Saudi Arabia has done so far in Yemen.
    The UN has NOT excused the humanitarian crisis on the grounds of the lack of proof of chemical warfare.
  9. Zugzwang
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    20 Jun '18 23:10
    Originally posted by @mchill
    OK. I'll check the "smug meter" If it's too high, I'll turn it down a few notches.
    The USA and UK can be as smug as they like, but their hypocrisy just undermines their credibility.
  10. Standard memberDeepThought
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    21 Jun '18 00:08
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    "I wasn't aware the Sauds were using chemical weapons."
    --DeepThought

    I was referring to the general principle of the UK and USA supporting Saudi Arabia rather
    than any specific technical details of what Saudi Arabia has done so far in Yemen.
    The UN has NOT excused the humanitarian crisis on the grounds of the lack of proof of chemical warfare.
    The objection has to lie in the specifics. If the coalition was not accused of war crimes then you wouldn't have a case. That Syria is alleged to have used chemical weapons but Saudi has not already provides a qualitative difference. The attack on Hodeidah seems to be in the category of reckless negligence (and probably militarily flawed, but that is not the issue). They have a legitimate military objective, but the attack risks the food supply to non-combatants. This is different from the use of chemical weapons which are illegal weapons.
  11. Zugzwang
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    21 Jun '18 00:261 edit
    Originally posted by @mchill
    OK. I'll check the "smug meter" If it's too high, I'll turn it down a few notches.
    Here's part of a 2005 Nobel Prize lecture by Harold Pinter (a white Briton):

    https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-lecture-e.html

    "But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period [after 1945] have only
    been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone
    recognised as crimes at all. I believe this must be addressed and that the truth has
    considerable bearing on where the world stands now. Although constrained, to a certain
    extent, by the existence of the Soviet Union, the United States' actions throughout the
    world made it clear that it had concluded it had carte blanche to do what it liked.
    ...
    The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military
    dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer to Indonesia,
    Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador,
    and, of course, Chile. The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can
    never be purged and can never be forgiven.
    ...
    The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless,
    but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America.
    It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as
    a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

    I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road.
    Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman
    it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It's a winner. Listen to all
    American presidents on television say the words, 'the American people', as in the sentence,
    'I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American
    people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to
    take on behalf of the American people.'

    It's a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay.
    The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance.
    You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion."
    ..
    "The United States no longer bothers about low intensity conflict. It no longer sees any
    point in being reticent or even devious. It puts its cards on the table without fear or favour.
    It quite simply doesn't give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical
    dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant. It also has its own bleating little
    lamb tagging behind it on a lead, the pathetic and supine Great Britain."

    "We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder,
    misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it 'bringing freedom and
    democracy to the Middle East'.
    ...
    "I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table.
    That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as 'full spectrum dominance'.
    That is not my term, it is theirs. 'Full spectrum dominance' means control of land, sea,
    air and space and all attendant resources.

    The United States now occupies 702 military installations throughout the world in 132 countries...."

    Harold Pinter died in 2008. If he were still alive, then how eloquently would he condemn
    UK and US hypocrisy over Yemen? And how few of 'the American people' would listen to him.
  12. Behind the scenes
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    21 Jun '18 00:49
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    Here's part of a 2005 Nobel Prize lecture by Harold Pinter (a white Briton):

    https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-lecture-e.html

    "But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period [after 1945] have only
    been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone
    recognise ...[text shortened]... demn
    UK and US hypocrisy over Yemen? And how few of 'the American people' would listen to him.
    I was making a joke Duchess. It's called humor. You should try it sometime. You might like it.
  13. Standard memberHandyAndy
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    21 Jun '18 00:59
    Originally posted by @mchill
    I was making a joke Duchess. It's called humor. You should try it sometime. You might like it.
    Don't count on it. Jokes involve plagiarism.
  14. Zugzwang
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    21 Jun '18 01:222 edits
    Originally posted by @mchill
    I was making a joke Duchess. It's called humor. You should try it sometime. You might like it.
    "This [post by Duchess64] has to be the funniest thing I have read here."
    --Ash (to Duchess64, 16 June 2018, 'Trump Sucks Up to Kim' )

    "Oh, Duchess, that made me laugh out loud! You redeemed yourself with that post."
    --Moonbus (to Duchess64, 19 June 2018, 'A Plague of Rednecks' )

    Seriously, most Americans like to keep acting as though the USA must be always morally superior to everyone else.
    Harold Pinter pointed out that's wrong. I expect few Americans to listen to him or to change.

    Donald Trump's far from being the only stereotypical Ugly American.
  15. Zugzwang
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    21 Jun '18 01:361 edit
    US support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen seems mainly driven by hatred of Iran.

    http://theconversation.com/why-does-the-american-right-hate-iran-so-much-96304
    "Why does the American right hate Iran so much?"

    "The sight of US diplomats held hostage while baying crowds chanted “death to America”
    were incomprehensible to most Americans. Few were aware of their country’s past involvement
    in the 1953 coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of Mohammed
    Mossadegh, or of the oppression meted out by the Shah whom the US supported instead.
    Most simply assumed that the American presence in Iran was fundamentally benevolent."

    "As far as the average American was concerned, the Muslim clerics who led the revolution were
    about as alien as could be. As such, they were easily reduced to a crude caricature of religious
    fanatics who hated America merely because they were in thrall to a crazed and bigoted ideology.
    Although nearly 40 years have passed since the hostage crisis, the American image of Iran as a
    country of Muslim fanatics who hate the US for no good reason has proved remarkably resilient,"

    "Another reason why conservatives are less willing to live with Iran than liberals is that
    they are simply more scared of it. Extensive psychological research has demonstrated
    that American conservatives consider the world more dangerous than liberals do.
    Various similarly fearful and suspicious ideological and cognitive biases appear to shape
    American conservatives’ views on policy – their opposition to gun control, for example,
    may be powerfully shaped by the fact that they have a higher expectation of needing to
    defend themselves from crime than liberals do."

    "There’s another factor besides that’s helped turn the American right against Iran
    since the revolution: the rise of politically engaged evangelical Christians.
    Evangelicals have been a pillar of the Republican electoral coalition since the rise of
    Ronald Reagan, and as the 2016 election proved, they still are. Their influence explains
    a lot about the way American conservatism has changed over the decades – not just its
    general rightward shift, but specifically its increasingly unconditional support for Israel.

    Since they fundamentally believe that God gave the land of Israel to the Jews, most
    Christian evangelicals take an uncompromisingly “pro-Israeli” stance. That stance
    has in turn become the default position of the Republican party."
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