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    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2007 edited
     (295.1)
    An angry, white-label-vodka-swilling Russian from Bensonhurst scares the runny piss out of me FAR more than Iranian rhetoric.


    I could say the same thing about a Bud-swilling redneck from the flyover states.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2007
     (295.2)
    Of course, while the US agonises over Iran and to a lesser extent Russia, every year China's economy grows at 8%+ while America's grows at around 3%.

    Oh and China is well on track to meet its target of having more scientists and engineers than the rest of the world combined.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2007 edited
     (295.3)
    "My point though, earlier, and at the moment, is that it seems fair to say he'd like to see the whole nation of Israel gone, ..."

    Which is the position of pretty much every country in the region with the exception of Turkey, Egypt and Jordan.

    It isn't the same thing as wanting every Israeli dead, any more than America wanting "regime change" in the Islamic Republic of Iran implies they want every Iranian dead.

    He's a deeply unpleasant guy and some of his more bizarre pronouncements (like claiming an Iranian high school student had "discovered the secret of nuclear power in her class room") suggest he may really, truly be mentally ill.

    But he probably doesn't want to wipe out the Israelis and even if he did the chances are that a. he'll be long out office by the time Iran gets a nuclear bomb (if it ever does) and b. the chances of Khamenei letting him get his hands on the nuclear button are effectively zero.

    Personally, I'm a lot more worried about the nuclear weapons that Pakistan has got than about the nuclear weapons Iran hasn't got.
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      CommentAuthorhyim
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2007 edited
     (295.4)
    . warrenellis wrote :

    Ahmadinejad may well be crazy, but he is far from stupid, and he's been playing the American govt. like a cheap banjo, making them look exactly the way he wants them to look to the Middle East.

    Which might be exactly what everybody wants right now. Ahmadinejad is keeping an aura of anti american batshit insane street cred in the region, so that extremist factions flock towards him instead of all over the place adding unwanted instability in an already hot zone. Stability has its weight at the negotiating table (give us tech, and you'll be dealing with the devil you know, in a sense.)
    I remember an article in le monde diplo (or was it radio france) where an iranian diplomat said, commenting on the the crazy speech the iranian president gave about Israel, something along the line of : it's not because Iran says something that it thinks it, or that it doesn't think what it's not saying. Iran is doing what it's thinking, though.

    edit : glitter in quote, added.
    • CommentAuthorElohim
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2007
     (295.5)
    Personally, I'm mixed "not bothered"/"scared insane".

    Russia's conventional forces can be pissed all over by our combined arms, especially since their air support is so shoddy. Therefore, me no bothered.

    However, this logically leads to recourse to nuclear weaponry if they're pressed into a conflict they cannot otherwise "win". Therefore, me wetty panties.

    I was born only seven months before the symbolic end of the Cold War, but I soaked up enough fear of nuclear death in my early years, believe me.

    I think the Iranians are putting up their anti-American image so that when Iraq gets dropped by the US, Iran can *yoink* it without too many complaints.
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      CommentAuthorCarnadine
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2007
     (295.6)
    Putin is so unsubtle with his political maneuvering that it's almost funny. He's been a running joke in our household since that farce with Khodorkovsky a few years back.

    Russia right now, I think (from the admittedly limited perspective of a foreigner), sees a good president as one who can provide economic stability and prosperity. Putin has done that, and in doing so has also done a lot to repair Russia's self-image. If a country has seen itself as a superpower for most of a century, it hurts to turn into a scientific and economic backwater.

    Though I usually dislike drawing parallels to Nazism in a debate, Russia today is very much like Germany in the early thirties - a defeated superpower with economic, political and self-image problems. And like Germany, they're prepared to give up civil rights in order to see a leader they think can help them in power. Russia's never really known real civil rights - they went straight from being screwed over by the Czars to being screwed over by the Communist regime. Russia's encounter with Western-style economics under Yeltsin did little to endear them to her either.

    Think about it that way, and there's really no reason for Russians to vote for a party that promises human rights rather than a better economy. Putin's shown that he can get results, and that's why he's so popular.

    I just hope the Russia wakes up and realizes that Putin is bad news. What's going on there these days really scares me.
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      CommentAuthorjwelcher
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2007 edited
     (295.7)
    It is worth noting that Putin may in fact be Batman.

    Surely you cannot need more evidence than (1) the Spetsnaz logo, (2) his mad martial arts skillz.

    Spetsnaz Logo



    http://www.youtube.com/v/IdXwu2MXR_s&rel=1
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      CommentAuthorcurb
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2007
     (295.8)
    Though I usually dislike drawing parallels to Nazism in a debate, Russia today is very much like Germany in the early thirties - a defeated superpower with economic, political and self-image problems. And like Germany, they're prepared to give up civil rights in order to see a leader they think can help them in power.


    I think Russia's self-image problems are bolstered by a pretty serious persecution complex. And to an extent, who can blame them? America wants to erect a missile shield (for defensive purposes only, of course) within Russia's sphere of influence, they're becoming increasingly isolated on the diplomatic front, and to top it all, they're sitting on some significant energy reserves at what looks like the end of the fossil fuel age. It's not inconceivable that those reserves will at some point make Russia a military target. That sort of situation would probably make me inclined to rally round an old school strongman like Putin, too.

    Of course, it dosen't help that western governments, Britain in particular, seem so keen to fuel Russia's fire. There always seems to be an element of sabre rattling going on between Britain and Russia. But then, what else can you expect from two bitter ex superpowers?
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      CommentAuthorkristinag
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2007
     (295.9)
    Though I usually dislike drawing parallels to Nazism in a debate, Russia today is very much like Germany in the early thirties - a defeated superpower with economic, political and self-image problems. And like Germany, they're prepared to give up civil rights in order to see a leader they think can help them in power


    This is what has me more upset than anything. Not too worried that we'll all be bombed to smithereens (hopefully we've all gotten smarter in the past 60 years - or maybe not) but people are willingly giving up their civil rights and Putin is basically your schoolyard bully who does what he wants because no one will stand up to him. Bah humbug.
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      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2007
     (295.10)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    I usually hate when people draw parallels to Nazism in debates as well but this one is actually quite apt. Although it is more of a parallel to the conditions that led to Nazism. After the treaty at the end of the first world war the then leader of France was very unhappy and claimed that they would be back fighting Germany again in 20 years. He was only off by a few weeks. The start of the First world war is the most frightening thing I have ever heard. No one wanted a war and they all just got sucked into it by treaties and what should have been a minor bit of fighting in the Balkans. I find that way more terrifying than WW2 when it took nutty military governments in germany and Japan to kick things off.
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      CommentAuthorhyim
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007
     (295.11)

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