Feanor

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Feanor last won the day on March 14

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About Feanor

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  • Birthday 01/21/1990

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  1. I think we have, it's just been better concealed in the past. But I also think the world is rapidly becoming less and less monopolar. The US shat the bed badly in the Middle East, and missed the rise of China, the resurgence of Russia, and the fact that many of America's old allies are pursuing a much more independent foreign policy.
  2. I will be for sure. At the very least I will play through all the campaigns and see if the multi-player scene is any good.
  3. Care to weigh in on diplo's latest bout of teenage drama?
  4. Hey Feanor, long time my old friend. Sorry I don't come around much anymore - hopefully change that now. Having knee reconstruction surgery for a torn ACL and miniscus damage tomorrow, so I'll be immobile and unemployed for a bit

    It was my own damn fault. I was marking one of Trudeau's child refugees, and if he would have gotten one more touch on the ball, he was going to move him and his 6 children into my apartment and make me pay for it. Over extended and pivoted on the knee and felt it go pop. Now I'm getting fat

     

    Anyway, I would send you a personal message but apparently my inbox is 1036% full and deleting individual messages doesn't make much of a difference in that. Hope you've been doing well

     

    PS. I still owe you a goodie box that Grunty1 never sent you

  5. This goes well beyond mere exercise of political power. It's a claim to global hegemony, and one that the US is backing with both military and economic coercion. It goes well beyond what Russia or China have done in scope and scale. Even the USSR wasn't anywhere near this ambitious globally.
  6. Will the U.S. put sanctions on every country that doesn’t bend to its will? The objectives are the same: the US will suffocate a country as long as it does not do what the US want it to do The phrase is used over and over again by the government of the United States. “Strongest sanctions in history”—now against Iran, then against Venezuela. U.S. government officials revel in the timbre of exaggeration, their phrases shaking countries and overturning civilizations. It is hard to keep track of how many countries the United States currently sanctions. There are the obvious ones: China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela. But, in fact, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctions list begins with “Balkans-Related Sanctions” and ends with “Zimbabwe Sanctions.” This is not the total list. There are sanctions for counterterrorism and for counternarcotics, for the rough diamond trade and for non-proliferation. These are not always the “strongest sanctions.” Those are reserved for a handful of countries, the ones that are at the center of the international news cycle. Rogue States The objectives of these sanctions are broadly all the same—that the United States will suffocate a country’s ability to trade and access finance as long as it does not do what the United States of America asks it to do. Little wonder that the 1990s name for the countries that are targeted for sanctions was “rogue states” (a term adopted by U.S. National Security Adviser Anthony Lake). If they were “rogue”—meaning that they were unwilling to bend to U.S. power—then they needed to be brought to heel. The initial list of “rogue states” from 1994 included Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea. The current list of “rogue states” (although the term has not been used officially since 2000) includes Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela. The change in the list came not because of sanctions but because of massive U.S. military intervention against Iraq and Libya, killing their leaders and destroying their state institutions. When U.S. officials added Venezuela to the list of highly sanctioned states, they called it a “rogue regime” (Donald Trump) and they called it a “violent narco-state” (Nikki Haley). Propaganda The use of terms like “rogue regime” and “violent narco-state” is intended for a global public relations campaign. No sanctions policy, even if driven by the U.S. government, can succeed without international support, whether through the United Nations or with the conventional partners of the United States (principally the European Union). The point of using such harsh language and of reproducing a repertoire of clichés about a country (dictator, authoritarian, starvation, terrorism, drug cartels) is to delegitimize the government of that state and to begin to legitimize much more dramatic regime change protocols. Massive military attack (Iraq and Libya) is the ultimate weapon to overthrow a government, while authorizing political change through the use of local force (Honduras, Haiti) is a preferable—because less bloody—option. Ground-level realities are irrelevant to this propaganda exercise. It is far more important to remain with the talking points, to flood media channels with the view that the government of this or that state is diabolical and that only its removal will open the way to solve the problems of the country. Excuses It is a wonder that the major media outlets find themselves so easily sucked into the worldview of the U.S. State Department. There is no disbelief with the narrative produced out of Washington, D.C., whether the policy is being driven by an Obama or a Trump administration. Trump’s Venezuela policy is being pushed by John Bolton and Elliott Abrams, two men—one a convicted criminal—whose words should be carefully scrutinized for falsehoods. It beggars belief that anyone would accept that Bolton and Abrams—even Trump—have any concern for the humanitarian situation in Venezuela. Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, put it clearly, “Forgive me if I cast a tad of doubt on the humanitarian intentions of a President who locked little kids up in cages and tried to cut the State… [Department budget] by 40%.” Murphy means Trump, not Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro. Against Venezuela, the United States government first attempted a coup in 2002—when “humanitarian aid” was not the pretext. Obama ramped up sanctions in 2015, not on “humanitarian” grounds. The “humanitarian” issue was only raised in late 2018—years after collapsed oil prices had created a serious problem inside Venezuela. The underlying U.S. policy is to change the government in Venezuela. Sanctions have been the instrument. The excuse for the sanction policy changes, whipping from human rights issues to concerns about hunger. But these lose their credibility. U.S. embargo and sanctions against Iran began in 1979, when the United States used its power to try to suffocate the Islamic Republic. There was no talk then of nuclear proliferation. That became an issue decades later. Again, the policy of sanctions remains. The excuse for the sanction policy changes. Destroy the Country to Save It It’s hard to take seriously the outrage in Washington when the words “weapons of mass destruction” or “humanitarian catastrophe” fly out like fiery spit onto the dry tinder ready to explode. Irony dies a million times. To disarm a country, it must be bombed to smithereens. To feed a country, it must be prevented from freely importing food. A country is in distress; increase the distress to end the distress, destroy the country to save it. In Agricola (98 AD), the Roman historian Tacitus quoted from Calgacus, the chief of the Caledonians (ancient Britons). Rome had invaded the British Isles. Calgacus had seen their ways up close. His speech is about the Romans, but it might as well apply today: “These plunderers of the world, after exhausting the land by their devastations, are rifling the ocean. If the enemy is rich, they are motivated by greed. If the enemy is poor, they lust for domination. Neither the east nor the west satisfies them. Alone amongst men, they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To ravage, to slaughter, to plunder—this is what they call empire. And where they make a desert, they call it peace.” Calgacus, the Scot, is not remembered. We know the Roman leaders. That’s what gives arrogance to those with firepower. They think that history is on their side because they can bomb the world into their image. And indeed, the history books do side with them. So do newspapers. In Caracas, Venezuela, I met many people like Calgacus. They had his views close to them, the sense that they could be fodder for the ambitions of people far away. Do the Koch brothers want Venezuelan heavy oil for their Flint Hills Resources Refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas? Does the U.S. right wing want to demolish the socialist experiments in Venezuela and Cuba? They channel the words of Calgacus, and—like the Iraqis before them—wonder if the pilots of U.S. bombers that circle above and the bankers of U.S. banks that seize their funds smile when they make Venezuela a ruin, a ruin that they will rename peace. https://www.salon.com/2019/03/06/WILL-THE-U-S-PUT-SANCTIONS-ON-EVERY-COUNTRY-THAT-DOESNT-BEND-TO-ITS-WILL_PARTNER/?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral Personal Comment: US behavior towards Venezuela is unusually transparent even for the US. I suspect that US influence globally is slipping, and this is causing them to act more and more blatantly as they attempt to maintain hegemony.
  7. You're barking up the wrong tree. There are no sexual deviants in the Soviet Union.
  8. I don't actually know. @CNiper care to weigh in on rumors of your possible pregnancy?
  9. The US Humanitarian Aid Ploy to Venezuela Explained Venezuela has recently come under fire for “refusing humanitarian aid” from the United States and Brazil. American pundits have said that President Nicolas Maduro’s refusal to allow this aid through is proof that he supports poverty and should be overthrown. After all, who would refuse aid, right? Well, it’s not that simple. First of all, saying that Venezuela is refusing aid is simply incorrect. Venezuela has accepted aid; that is, aid from its allies like Russia, Iran, China, and Cuba. Russia recently delivered 300 tons of aid to Caracas, aid that Maduro accepted with open arms. What the Maduro government is refusing is U.S. and Brazilian aid. But isn’t aid neutral? Does it matter that it’s American aid and not Russian or Chinese aid? Yes, it does. The mother of all ulterior motives The most obvious question we need to ask ourselves is why Washington wants to send humanitarian aid to Venezuela? After all, if the US wanted to help Venezuela, why wouldn’t they just end their own debilitating sanctions regime against Venezuela, as the Maduro government has repeatedly demanded. Well, the answer is actually pretty simple, because Washington talks about its goals fairly openly. The aid has nothing to do with humanitarianism and everything to do with regime change. Humanitarianism is simply the cover story they chose to disguise their true motives. The U.S. used security concerns to justify invading Iraq in 2003; it used humanitarian concerns to justify bombing Libya in 2011; and it used humanitarian concerns on several occasions to justify its ongoing bombing and occupation of Syria. Washington wants to replace the socialist Maduro government with the rule of right-winger, Juan Guaido, who plans to privatize Venezuela’s resource wealth and will use Humanitarianism the exact same way they did before to make this change. In fact, Elliott Abrams, the current U.S. Envoy to Venezuela, sent weapons to the anti-government Contra rebels in Nicaragua in aid shipments where weapons were hidden among food and medical supplies. The unfolding scandal became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. This is probably why Trump appointed Abrams to oversee the coup in Venezuela — because of his experience using aid as a trojan horse for regime change. As far as this latest aid package goes, it’s quite obvious that it’s not aid. This is aid so good, it actually has to be forced on people. Doing the aid/sanctions math We have to ask ourselves why the U.S. is so desperate to get this relatively small, $20 million aid package into Venezuela when it is upholding a sanctions regime that has cost Venezuela $38 billion. $38 billion minus $20 million is 37 billion, 980 million dollars — in other words, this aid, if it even is aid, is insignificant compared to the damage caused by the sanctions. The sanctions regime have prevented countries and companies from doing business with and lending money to Venezuela, which catalyzed the massive devaluing of the Venezuelan currency, the Bolivar. The economic crisis in Venezuela is a direct consequence of the sanctions. Venezuela wouldn’t need aid if the sanctions regime were lifted. The media claims the aid package is composed solely of food, sanitary products, and medicine, but earlier this month Venezuelan authorities found a shipment of American made, M-16 pattern rifles and ammunition sent from Miami in the storage yard of Arturo Michelena International Airport in Venezuela. So, the same country claiming to send aid to Venezuela is also sending assault rifles? But if we remember Elliott Abrams history of hiding weapons in aid shipments, this contradiction makes sense and there is no reason to think he won’t do this again. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the one seen in the previous clip, tweeted a not-so-subtle death threat to Maduro, posting a picture of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi before and after NATO-backed rebels captured and killed him, implying the same would happen to Maduro. These are the faces of the Venezuela aid package. These faux-humanitarians have stated their desire to KILL this man, and Maduro has every right and reason to be skeptical of that. But Kei, what about all of these headlines saying the Venezuelan National Guard set aid trucks on fire? Being skeptical of aid is one thing but burning aid trucks? Well, recently surfaced video clearly shows it was opposition protesters throwing molotov cocktails at the trucks that started the fire, making this yet another clever media distortion to demonize Venezuela. Trump and Bolsonaro, world-renowned humanitarians Finally, we have to ask ourselves if the people backing this aid ever cared about humanitarianism. On one hand, we’ve got Donald Trump. You know? Notorious humanitarian, Donald Trump? The guy that beat drone king Barack Obama’s eight-year drone strike record his first year in office. The same guy who called the still colonized island of Haiti a shit-hole country. And on the other, we’ve got Jair Bolsonaro who said the 1964 Brazilian dictatorship should have executed quote, “at least 30,000 people,” and described himself as a “proud homophobe.” If you’ve ever thought Donald Trump’s rhetoric regarding immigration and Latino people was racist, why should his attitude towards Venezuela be any different? Because if Donald Trump actually cared about poverty, he would start by sending aid packages to Flint, Michigan; Oakland; Detroit; or the Bronx. As you watch this video, nearly 40 million Americans are experiencing poverty. Every single penny spent on meddling in Latin American affairs instead of American healthcare, education, jobs, and infrastructure is an attack on the poor and working class of this country. Personal Comment: Take this humanitarian aid. Oh and America gets to decide who your president is.
  10. There's diplo drama since @CNiper discovered his inner womanhood. At least that's what I got out of the whole thing.
  11. One person, one vote. And that person is our very own, beloved, Joseph Stalin! *applause*
  12. It depends on how you look at it. For example if Russia has proof that Hillary Clinton is corrupt, what do you do? Help bury it, or help bring it to the public spotlight? If you do the first you're guilty of helping Russia tamper with the elections. If you do the second you're covering up corruption.
  13. Like I said, I'm not following it so I mostly don't care what the testimony says. I was responding to your post, and the verbage "rigged election" comes from you not me. Just to be clear I 1) don't think Russia rigged the US elections or has anywhere near that kind of soft power and 2) don't think the US has any room to complain about Russian information campaigns regarding US elections, after the kind of behavior the US engages in.
  14. Pretty sure a heart attack will get your heart before I do.