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I do not understand the methodology: "Findings are reported exclusively for Muslims; however, the survey is based on national samples that did not screen out non-Muslims"
Does this mean only muslims were interviewed, based on a sample otherwise representative nationally on demographics other than religion?
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Access denied | War of Ideas
@TutAnkhAmon Nice job parroting the regime.
2 weeks, 6 days ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
@JKort Actually, no they aren't getting their arms from sophisticated arms suppliers, unless you're suggesting either Croatia or Saudi Arabia or Qatar have access to sarin. Which they don't. The US does, but I don't think even you would suggest that the US has released sarin for use by the insurgents.
Furthermore, I saw the video with the rabbit, it was so obviously overdone that it couldn't be anything else but a staged regime video. You know, like they show "confessions" on TV or like they released the video where they comfortably filmed a bunch of "opposition gunmen" "shooting" from behind at bush at a "demonstration" for like twenty minutes on a static camera. Because that happens all the time.
Also yes, in Daraa the people have burned down two Baath party offices (oh what a loss), but not before the police has abducted and tortured children and beat up a women sit-in demonstration. The rest doesn't warrant a response, since it's pretty much just unsourced, hysterical blather in the vain of SANA.
@JKort Question irrelevant from the start, because the insurgents simply do not have the capability to launch chemical attacks, let alone using sarine and in multiple parts around the country.
Also yes, Syria has been very safe under Assad! Especially at that point when there were thousands of casualties among peaceful protesters and the secret police started dragging bloodied people out of hospitals. What wouldn't we do for safety!
3 weeks ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
I suspect the motivations are going to be divergent. I remember hearing from my History of Great Britain professor about how Disraeli would deliver an over an hour long speech on the state of nation's finances, which was replete with all sorts of numerical fiscal data that he would recite from the top of his head. I imagine it to be perceived as a sign of arcane knowledge of his political trade.
From the viewpoint of a lay sociologist, I would argue that authoritarian leaders are however not so much striving for excellence among peers as using extremely long speeches to dominate their environment as well as listeners and to perhaps to clubber their ideas into the audience's heads by being so extensive in their discourse.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Access denied | FP Passport
I'm not really happy with this article. After struggling to formulate why Buddhists may within their theological system legitimately end up killing people, it just ends up with "That's identity politics!" and "Back in feudal Japan, buddhists killed people too!" It fails to explain anything.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Access denied | FP Passport
@arvay I am aware that someone could draw such parallels, but I do not share them. Colonization was bad in that it took away from people the right of their self-determination, the US invasion on the contrary has enabled Afghans to choose their own path by overthrowing the Taliban regime which, according to all evidence, anecdotal or look to polls for example as one instrument of empirical evidence, has been universally hated. Obviously, the corrupt and authoritarian Karzai government is detrimental to self-determination, but given the freedoms people have gained from the positively totalitarian Taliban era, it has been clearly a step forward, as imperfect as the present state is. Colonization was also bad in that it took away from people their own identity, turn them into a small model of their colonizers, but this is not taking place in Afghanistan, where people can make free choices about what literature they want to read, what religion to worship, which traditions they want to uphold and so on.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
@Rahman Khan I thought Neocons were evil for overthrowing Saddam and forcing democratization on unprepared peoples. I am getting so confused here.
3 weeks, 4 days ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
How can anyone write that the war in Afghanistan has been a costly disaster, when there's been such a marked improvement in living conditions that's been made on a shoestring budget? Look at the mortality numbers, the GDP or some very fundamental freedoms people gained that they couldn't even think of under Taliban rule. I am talking about extremely basic things, like the ability to watch a television, fly a kite, watch a movie or play football. It might seem trivial, but people were off their rockers when the liberation came to Kabul, it might just be that we're failing to appreciate something that we're taking for granted, but isn't.
@LeftcoastDub Julian Assange: Yeah, so the question is well, could sources pick another group that were going to publish without any harm minimization procedure at all? Well the answer is yes, but one has to understand the primary reason we engaged in harm minimization procedures. It's not primarily because the material we release will have a reasonable risk of producing harm as a result of disclosure. That's very rare. Rather, there is a probable risk that if we don't engage in that sort of behaviour, our opponents will opportunistically attempt to distract from the revelations that we have published, very important matters, by instead speaking about is there a potential for harm, and therefore, is this release hypocritical, given that we want to promote justice and is the organisation hypocritical...
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Access denied | FP Passport
@LeftcoastDub He redacted the material solely because of what other people thought, not because he himself would suffer ANY considerations of human lives whatsoever. Wikileaks itself has admitted so down there. You can read it for yourself:
Quoting the transcript:
Julian Assange: It disturbs me that we are redacting at all. It is a very very dangerous slippery slope. And I've already said that we go through this not merely to minimize harm but for political considerations, to stop people distracting from the important part of the material by instead hyping up concerns about risks.
@Brnp Actually I did think that caption was pretty funny. Also yes, it does humanize the Guantanamo bay. Strangely enough, facts do not necessarily conform to your stalwart anti-imperialism drivel.
1 month ago on Access denied | FP Passport
It is a long and relatively complex essay, so I don't want to dig too much into it, but I believe its contents, the ideas and philosophy of efficient nonviolent resistance contained within, have been in their way very important to bringing down the soviet bloc in central Europe.
1 month ago on What essays affected international relations? | Daniel W. Drezner
Power of the Powerless by Václav Havel has been often cited by all sorts of influential people and prisoners of conscience. Even today, from Yoani Sánchez to Liu Xiaobo, disidents often cite it as an inspiration.
On one hand, it is interesting to view a conflict through the economic prism, and no doubt if such analysis were to be applied more often, we could learn a lot more about international conflicts and relations. At the other hand, I am highly wary of making these calculations on the basis of fifty year projections, discounts, expectation costs and the like. When a certain level of finesse of an economic analysis is reached where utterly marginal costs projected fifty years into future make a devastating conflict worth pursuing, I am reminded of the Iraq war, which also according to administration's projections was meant to make us all rich, but didn't. Though it serves a credit to the economist profession that another economist, Joseph Stieglitz, has famously warned so.
1 month ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
@RichardWilson1 Just because you're a pro Russian fanatic doesn't mean everyone has to bow to Russia or a Serbian at every opportunity. Deal with it, Russia doesn't make that many good movies anyway.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Access denied | FP Passport
@AlexanderBryzgalov Oh yeah, good thing the government denied it, guess that's case closed.
@OswaldSpengler Umm, I hate to break this to you, but there's no fundamentalist state in London (I assume that's what you wanted to say in your confused post), there is however a fundamentalist state in Russia. You know, it's called Chechnya, and it's headed by Ramzan Kadyrov, the dictator who rules his people with an iron fist and gets scot free off any crime he or his hoodlums perpetrate, while he terrorises the population of Russia as far as in Moscow.
President Wilson was clearly too soft on shark-terror.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Access denied | War of Ideas