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Open mike 13/01/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 13th, 2020 - 37 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

37 comments on “Open mike 13/01/2020 ”

  1. Peter 1

    Fancy seeing a headline like "Defense secretary ‘didn’t see’ evidence of an Iranian plot to attack 4 embassies." What a surprise, what a shock. Not. Mind you, he's only the Secretary of Defence.

    The only surprise in the whole episode is that no-one has had the wit to use WMD as a justification for the action. There seem to be enough cloddish enough and close enough to Chief Clod to have floated that.

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/defense-secretary-esper-didnt-see-iran-threat-us-embassies-2020-1?r=US&IR=T

    • Sacha 1.1

      Bliss.

    • joe90 1.2

      Working for for the Saudis.

      Not that they have offered a single explanation for why the assassination was carried out — their story has changed numerous times. But the justification they keep returning to is that intelligence indicated an “imminent" threat, that Soleimani was planning specific attacks against American interests and personnel, attacks that were so imminent that he had to be killed to stop them.

      But now we learn that much more appears to have been going on. That’s one key takeaway from this blockbuster scoop in The Post:

      On the day the U.S. military killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad, U.S. forces carried out another top secret mission against a senior Iranian military official in Yemen, according to U.S. officials.

      The strike targeting Abdul Reza Shahlai, a financier and key commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force who has been active in Yemen, did not result in his death, according to four U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

      The unsuccessful operation may indicate that the Trump administration’s killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week was part of a broader operation than previously explained, raising questions about whether the mission was designed to cripple the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or solely to prevent an imminent attack on Americans as originally stated.

      The attempt to take out Shahlai simultaneously with Soleimani suggests that this wasn’t an isolated, defensive operation but may have been part of a broader attack on the Quds Force.

      http://archive.li/NNIH1

      • Peter 1.2.1

        Watching the whole interview is more instructive than seeing just that clip. A child in action reliant on the audience being other children.

        The imminent threat? 1:20 – 2:20

        And not long after dissing NATO for their $3 billion building, uses, strange, strange his fave 'fake news.' Yes that building, the $1.45 billion one.

      • Andrea 1.2.2

        Apparently Suleimani was better on Twitter than Trump. Stinging comments. Ouch.

        What else was God's Chosen to do with such an impious upstart?

        Everything else is simply excuses and justification…

    • Macro 1.3

      Well Yeah – But Faux News has an obviously higher security rating apparently than Congress. If those Dems in Congress – knew what was going on they might go and blab about it to the Russians!

      Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-revealed-highly-classified-information-to-russian-foreign-minister-and-ambassador/2017/05/15/530c172a-3960-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html

    • Fireblade 1.4

      Fox faux news update:
      Trump said Iran were coming "for American Embassies" not "four American Embassies".

  2. Sabine 2

    well he does not need to see anything, he just needs to sign the paper work.

  3. adam 3

    Tāmaki Anarchist Bookfair 2020! If you have some free cash, then some fiscal help to run this event would be great.

    More info in the link.

    https://chuffed.org/project/tamaki-anarchist-bookfair-2020

  4. Gosman 4

    Given there is a President in the White House who is quite open in his views about putting the US interests first and even has stated he would grab oil resources if necessary what I am interested in knowing is how those people who think that these views are exactly what drives US foreign policy any way think about the fact that the US is immediately invading Iran. If you think the US used the WMD fear as an excuse to attack Iraq and take the oil (the results of which suggest otherwise) then why isn't someone as blatantly pro-American interests not sending the Marines in to seize the Iranian oil assets in the Gulf?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.1

      "If you think the US used the WMD fear as an excuse to attack Iraq…"

      Definitely do think that, and I'm not alone.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationale_for_the_Iraq_War

      So, why not now? Well, for one thing the US has ramped up its domestic oil production.

      "Any attempt by oil producers to support high prices by cutting production is likely to be met by a surge of American oil. The United States oil industry has the ability to increase its rate of production by more than one million barrels of oil a day every year and has done so regularly since 2011."
      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/07/business/United-States-tight-oil-market.html

    • adam 4.2

      For someone who supposed to understand capitalism, your basic lack of understanding of market manipulation is hilarious.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8Zb8615ib0&feature=em-uploademail&ab_channel=EmpireFiles

    • McFlock 4.3

      On a more practical level, Iraq was a totalitarian regime under a single tyrant (ISTR the yanks even started the shock&awe with an attempted decapitation strike against a restaurant Hussein was supposedly arranged to dine at).

      Iran is a totalitarian regime that is operated by a more stable system which has some support and legitimacy at a local level. Additionally, it is well supplied with both domestically- and internationally-produced advanced weapons. A lot of the domestic stuff is vaporware (the stealth jet comes to mind) or gimmicky (the mg-mounted open-cockpit tankette is a bit of a joke), but they had at least one missile type able to consistently do precisions strikes against airbase hangers from hundreds of miles away, as well as advanced torpedoes.

      Short answer: even the initial invasion stage will hurt a lot more than Iraq. Not the battle you want in any election year. No "mission accomplished" banners for this one.

      • aom 4.3.1

        At present, it appears that the US isn't far short of a totalitarian regime.

        • McFlock 4.3.1.1

          I was merely comparing the different governing structures of Iraq and Iran, and why Iran is a bigger problem for invaders than Iraq was.

    • joe90 4.4

      Seems tRump put Saudi interests first.

  5. soddenleaf 5

    The way in which the eu handled Greece, both before and after. Before in Greece borrowing, and after by cracking down, undermines Europe's independence. As Trump chides the eu to take up a larger share of world security, highly foolish for the USA but hey that's Trump. The Eu history of colonies, a world currency, would mean economic expansion outside of Europe. Imagine a greater common market.

    History though, given the outcome of French former imperial colonies, suggest Napoleonic thinking still infects modern Europe, and undermines its future.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Catriona MacLennan writes "we need a law against ecocide". I agree. She's "a barrister and founder of Animal Agenda Aotearoa". https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/118704148/why-we-need-a-law-against-ecocide

    "Australia is guilty of ecocide. More than one billion animals have been killed in the multi-state bushfires, and that toll is expected to climb sharply. The scale of the loss of life is unprecedented and beyond comprehension."

    But if we pass a law against ecocide, the Aussies will just ignore it, right? Plus the animals got killed by either God or Gaia, depending on your belief system, not the Aussie govt. Yeah, I know, who would expect a lawyer to be rational? 🙄

    Nonetheless I can't help but feel she's on the right track, so maybe I'm just as irrational. I was pleased to see her quoting international law context:

    "The late British barrister Polly Higgins led a decade-long campaign to make ecocide a crime. In a submission to the United Nations Law Commission in 2010, she explained ecocide as being "the loss, damage or destruction of ecosystem(s) of a given territory … such that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants has been or will be severely diminished." Ecocide covers the direct damage done to sea, land, flora and fauna, as well as the cascading impact on the world's climate. The term was first used in the 1970s at the Conference on War and National Responsibility in Washington, and academics and lawyers have in the decades since then argued for the criminalisation of ecocide."

    "Ecocide would sit alongside the four other international crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression – which are set out in the 1998 Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court."

    "Higgins' website, http://www.ecocidelaw.com, explains that there is currently no international, legally binding duty of care towards the Earth. This means that companies can destroy environments and communities for profit without fear of prosecution." This problem has been evident most of my life and I'm delighted to see her initiative.

    "Ecological Defence Integrity was founded by Higgins and Jojo Mehta in June 2017 to lobby for the creation of a crime of ecocide under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. It launched the public campaign Stop Ecocide in November 2017… Ecocide is already recognised as a crime in 10 nations, including the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Vietnam and Belarus."

    Aotearoa needs to pull finger, get into catch-up mode, eh? The Green Party ought to get onto it pronto.

    "Four elements would comprise the crime of ecocide:

    * A perpetrator's acts or omissions causing ecocide

    * The actions severely diminishing peace

    * The perpetrator having knowledge of actual or possible outcomes; and

    * The perpetrator being a senior official."

    First element is essential, the fourth needs amendment because official implies govt & therefore lets corporate offenders off the hook. The second requires a rewrite – no obvious link between peace & animal deaths. The third looks arguable: how can anyone prove knowledge of possible outcomes?? Clearly a work in progress…

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Interesting. I'd guess we're a decade or so from a widespread acceptance of this, but it's definitely doable.

  7. RedLogix 7

    OK so I've bored everyone witless on the MSR topic; I'd like to take a breather for a while and finish with this presentation. It's an excellent summary, not highly technical, accessible, realistic and inspiring. It doesn't shy away from the challenges.

    The first 20 min are the essence of it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIbeYKGqt3g

  8. Exkiwiforces 9

    Look like the poor bloody Kola is now a endangered species with the current Oz bushfires and I wonder what else has suffered in the plant and animal kingdom over in Oz of late?

    https://mobile.twitter.com/australian

    • Macro 9.1

      I fear for the wombat. Underground they might just survive – I sure hope so. And those echinda – They don't run too fast. But there are so many, and so unique, this is the beginning of the end for many I fear.,

      • joe90 9.1.1

        Apparently fire threatened beasties are taking shelter in wombat burrows.

        Smaller animals will happily crash a wombat burrow if it means surviving a fire. Burrows buffer animals from the heat of fires, depending on their depth and nearby fuel loads.

        https://theconversation.com/animal-response-to-a-bushfire-is-astounding-these-are-the-tricks-they-use-to-survive-129327

        • Macro 9.1.1.1

          Aww that's awesome Joe.

          One of my favourite jaunts when visiting the mokopuna in Perth is a trip to the WA Zoo especially to visit the wombats, koala, tree kangaroo, and if they are around the Quokka – who have to rival the koala for cuteness. 🙂

      • Exkiwiforces 9.1.2

        I forgot about those wee hairy breasts, I did an Ex (well we spent more time drinking in the down at Anglers Rest pub and trout fishing than chasing a bunch of muppets through the Bush as there were more important things to Lol.) around Anglers Rest, Vic in 01 and there was a lot of those wee hairy beastie's among other things like Platypus's in the river etc etc which quite nice to see in the wild.

    • I fear for most Australian wildlife – not so much for the supposedly civilised.

      At least the wildlife have probably not come across the saying "None so Blind………" (except some of that bloody Abbo wildlife of course – who probably invented the saying in the first place)

      Edit: There probably needs to be a ‘/sarc” at the end of all that – just in case

      • Exkiwiforces 9.2.1

        50% of Kangroo Island is wipe out so far and there was some interesting wildlife that was endangered as well. Last heard that there was a small patch of unburnt bush and there's a mad rush to cat/ dog proof that area before the feral animals move in.

        • Jenny How to get there 9.2.1.1

          The first rule of climate change denial. Don't talk about climate change.

          (The climate change ignorers are having too much to deny.)

          Kangaroo Island Mayor Michael Pengilly responded to a tweet by Barack Obama by saying climate change was not connected with the bushfire that has burnt almost half of the 4,400-square-kilometre island.

          "So, so foolish in your pronouncement. My respect for you has totally evaporated. Pathetic," Mr Pengilly said of the former president on Twitter.

          Mr Obama had tweeted a New York magazine article criticising the lack of international media coverage of the blazes….

          …..Mr Pengilly told ABC News that Mr Obama's tweet "wasn't helpful".

          "I don't think he should have entered into it," he said….

          …..Opposition environment spokeswoman Susan Close said Mr Pengilly was "wrong is to ignore scientific evidence and to dismiss it in a very brief tweet"…..

          ….."The onus is on Michael Pengilly to explain why he thinks talking about climate change — when we're already at 1 degree Celsius of warming across the planet — is 'foolish' or 'pathetic'."

          https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-10/kangaroo-island-mayor-rebukes-barack-obama-bushfire-tweet/11858654

        • OnceWasTim 9.2.1.2

          And there are various volunteers from around the Whurl I hear that are doing their best to save what's left in various places. Huge huge kudos to them – in the scheme of things, it may prove to be all a little pathetic. Such is the nature of the shit we are going to have to face from here on in.

          I wonder how the pentecostal are all feeling now that the great exorcism is, and has taken place, and what plans they have for healing (going forward and in the fullness of time – in this space)

          Btw @ ExKiwiforces – why the fuck are you still there? (just curious). Family? Relatives? Livelihood?. It might soon prove to be a livelihood that's really not worth having – so prepare yourself to become an economic migrant, a "queue jumper", call it what you will. Make sure you don't come back on a rickety boat tho' eh bro

          • Exkiwiforces 9.2.1.2.1

            I'm in Oz mainly for lifestyle reasons now as my poor old at the age of 46 can't handle the cold anymore as I have osteoarthritis and the wife works from the NT public service in the log cell for the NT PFES (Police, Fire and Civil Defence Service). Or else I would be back home probably on the Coast somewhere aka Nth of Greymouth or in the Golden Bay area close to the bush and rivers where I can live of the land, run a few sheep or cattle and dabble in a bit Gold panning or in a bit of research if I was to live in the Blackball.

            The wife does love the Coast as well and found it rather cool with native wildlife running about on one of the cousins properties aka Kiwi's, weka's and Pigeons etc with me knock off any feral animals etc. But I think we are going to move the Mareeba in the end and there is a enough to keep me busy there from Warbirds, to Tanks (there is tank museum at Mareeba), old Trains and a bit of Fire Fighting, but close for her to visit Cairns and its has an Airport, the Tilt Train to Bris Vergas and a Base Hospital.

  9. Andrea 10

    It's the chorus.

    Someone got it right.

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