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Biden isn’t going anywhere – Another betting angle – politicalbetting.com

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  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 44,652
    stodge said:

    I don't think this is mentioned enough in the debate over vaxxing the kids in well-off countries. Seems odd that 'right-on' iSAGE doesn't factor this in, despite iirc the inventor of AZ/Ox saying the same thing:

    Michael Absoud
    @MAbsoud·
    9h
    A morale failure

    Rich countries vaccinating million of 12-15 year olds

    Whilst millions of over 60s and health workers waiting for 1st dose

    When I suggested back in April or May we should be providing vaccination doses to poorer countries, I was roundly condemned on the basis "we should vaccinate our own first, then we can help others".

    Now, it seems we are considering vaccinating older children - then it seems we are all to get a "booster" vaccination even though AZ are claiming the efficacy of their vaccine is such it will get us through the winter and we don't need booster vaccinations.

    At what point are we going to consider the vaccination of the poorest in the rest of the world? What is the current rate of vaccination in Burundi, Bhutan or Bolivia? Do they have access to enough vaccine or the means to distribute them?

    Are we genuinely going to undertake a round of further booster vaccinations if the scientific evidence is growing they aren't necessary?
    On the latter, I rather worry we are.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 38,637
    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:


    It was Napoleon’s talent that kept a smaller army more or less undefeated fighting on every front for a decade, and his madness in needlessly attacking Sweden and Russia that brought his ultimate downfall.

    Spain and Russia, surely?


    No, Sweden. He invaded Pomerania in 1812 and turned it from an uneasy ally into an active enemy.
    But surely Napoleon's occupation of Spain was more costly to him, along with the 1812 (mis)adventure to Moscow.


    Napoleon did not invade Pomerania in 1812. It was in in 1807. Pomerania was given back to Sweden in 1810.
    And, if you check, he invaded it again in 1812.
    And how was that attack a disaster?

    It was his follies in Spain and Russia that brought his ultimate downfall, NOT Sweden and Russia.
    Are you unaware of the importance of the Swedish army in the war of the Sixth Coalition? Not to mention Bernadotte’s personal generalship?

    If so I’m surprised given how knowledgable you usually are about military history.
    You mean like at Leipzig?

    Out of a Coalition Army of 365,000 troops, only 25,000 were Swedes.
    Or at Berlin?
    Battle of Berlin? I think you're getting confused with the Russians of 1945!

    You have to remember Napoleon had already messed up in Russia the year before. He was already retreating FAST back to France. Albeit a fighting retreat.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 43,238
    209 to win for India.

    Flattening pitch.

    No spinner.

    Rain needed.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    The Polish government is on the verge of giving in when it comes to its rule-of-law feud with the EU, after the deputy prime minister said it would drop a controversial judicial oversight mechanism.

    https://twitter.com/POLITICOEurope/status/1424049012144017412?s=20
  • Richard_NabaviRichard_Nabavi Posts: 29,186
    Candy said:



    Sweden was neutral wasn't it rather than an "uneasy ally"?

    One of Napoleon's Generals, Jean Bernadotte, got invited to become heir to the King of Sweden and Norway in 1810, and he succeeded to the throne in 1818 as Charles XIV John. While he was still Prince Charles John, he was instrumental in allying Sweden with Russia and Britain, against France. Which must have surprised Napoleon.

    Fun fact: the current Swedish royal family are direct descendants of Bernadotte.
    And that is why Chateau Bernadotte from the Medoc features a crown on its label.
  • AslanAslan Posts: 734

    stodge said:

    I don't think this is mentioned enough in the debate over vaxxing the kids in well-off countries. Seems odd that 'right-on' iSAGE doesn't factor this in, despite iirc the inventor of AZ/Ox saying the same thing:

    Michael Absoud
    @MAbsoud·
    9h
    A morale failure

    Rich countries vaccinating million of 12-15 year olds

    Whilst millions of over 60s and health workers waiting for 1st dose

    When I suggested back in April or May we should be providing vaccination doses to poorer countries, I was roundly condemned on the basis "we should vaccinate our own first, then we can help others".

    Now, it seems we are considering vaccinating older children - then it seems we are all to get a "booster" vaccination even though AZ are claiming the efficacy of their vaccine is such it will get us through the winter and we don't need booster vaccinations.

    At what point are we going to consider the vaccination of the poorest in the rest of the world? What is the current rate of vaccination in Burundi, Bhutan or Bolivia? Do they have access to enough vaccine or the means to distribute them?

    Are we genuinely going to undertake a round of further booster vaccinations if the scientific evidence is growing they aren't necessary?
    On the latter, I rather worry we are.
    The scientific evidence is actually pointing the other way, that boosters are needed.

    As for the developing world, the responsibility for them lies with their own governments.
  • felixfelix Posts: 13,722
    stodge said:

    I don't think this is mentioned enough in the debate over vaxxing the kids in well-off countries. Seems odd that 'right-on' iSAGE doesn't factor this in, despite iirc the inventor of AZ/Ox saying the same thing:

    Michael Absoud
    @MAbsoud·
    9h
    A morale failure

    Rich countries vaccinating million of 12-15 year olds

    Whilst millions of over 60s and health workers waiting for 1st dose

    When I suggested back in April or May we should be providing vaccination doses to poorer countries, I was roundly condemned on the basis "we should vaccinate our own first, then we can help others".

    Now, it seems we are considering vaccinating older children - then it seems we are all to get a "booster" vaccination even though AZ are claiming the efficacy of their vaccine is such it will get us through the winter and we don't need booster vaccinations.

    At what point are we going to consider the vaccination of the poorest in the rest of the world? What is the current rate of vaccination in Burundi, Bhutan or Bolivia? Do they have access to enough vaccine or the means to distribute them?

    Are we genuinely going to undertake a round of further booster vaccinations if the scientific evidence is growing they aren't necessary?
    I would expect any British, or other government, to follow the scientific advice and prioritise its own citizens. Can you name any country which is taking a different approach?
  • AslanAslan Posts: 734
    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    Carnyx said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who could have guessed this happening...

    BBC News - Afghanistan war: Taliban say jail captured and prisoners freed
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-58127407

    Trying to control Afghanistan from outside has been a damnfool idea from day 1. If I'm not mistaken Alexander the Great came a bit of a cropper there, and no-one else has come closer.
    We did not invade to colonise Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of it in 1996 and we left them in power for 5 years.

    We only invaded in 2001 because 9\11 was launched by Bin Laden from Afghanistan and the Taliban refused to hand him over.

    Bin Laden is now dead but we will have to do a deal with the Taliban to give them some of rural Afghanistan in return for not allowing Al Qaeda back in
    It was still a damnfool idea. The US would have done far better to offer money for him. Somebody would have bitten. That's how Afghanistan seems to work.

    If you think 'we'...... the US will have to 'give' the Taliban 'some of rural Afghanistan' you'd better think again. Afghanistan will soon all be under Taliban control and, seriously, our best hope is to ignore the US and concentrate on encouraging their very capable cricket team.
    If the US had not invaded Bin Laden would still be alive and Al Qaeda still in the country.

    If the Taliban retake the whole country (which is unlikely given US air support still for the elected government and warlords who will resist them) and invite Al Qaeda back we would have no choice but to re invade or face future 9/11s and terrorist attacks launched on New York, London and Paris from cells trained in Afghanistan
    AQ is still in the country, and across the world. It might not be called AQ, there’ll be many names for the many groups, but they’ll all share the same broad Islamist ideology. It’s a franchise model.

    One of Bin Laden’s main objectives for 9/11 broadly succeeded. We were deliberately sucked into an unwinnable war. We have been stung, and we will no longer commit ourselves to large scale combat operations in Muslim countries. Western populations won’t accept it.

    The Islamists will regain full control of Afghanistan. Call them AQ, call them Talibs, call them what you like. A rose by any other name, and all that.

    The Islamists will carry out their struggle for years to come and apart from firing missiles from drones and a few Special Forces on the ground we will probably do very little, unless there’s another big terrorist spectacular in the West. And why would they do that? Let sleeping dogs lie.
    If I may continue from the post above, in light of subsequent discussion about Brexit and how it could/will weaken the UK/EU.

    9/11 was designed to weaken the West, to suck us into inwinnable wars, to split us, weaken our alliances, to allow Islamists a free hand in Muslim lands, to ultimately establish a Caliphate. That struggle will go on for decades, maybe centuries, that is the timescale they are thinking in.

    I’m sure many will disagree but I think it can be argued that one of the effects, aftershocks, of 9/11 was Brexit.

    If we hadn’t had 9/11 we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq and Afghan. Therefore we wouldn’t have had a wave a domestic terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims, radicalised by Al Qaeda, and it’s offshoots’, propaganda.

    If we hadn’t had that experience of Islamist terrorism and the dog whistle that Muslims = terrorists, and being in the EU will allow more Muslims in (Turkey will join, refugees flooding in from the Middle East) - cheers Nige - then perhaps Leave wouldn’t have scraped home.

    Because I think many people voted Leave, at least ooop North, because they simply don’t like Muslims. Or they don’t like the image of Muslims they have in their head.

    So if you accept that view, and you think that Brexit will weaken the UK and the EU, and our and the EU’s security alliances, then Brexit is fuelled, to a degree, by the fallout from 9/11.

    I’m sure many of you will disagree…
    Unsurprisingly I 100% disagree.

    For one thing 9/11 didn't begat Islamic terrorism, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism preceded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    9/11 was the second time the World Trade Centre was attacked by Islamists not the first. There were plane bombings, embassy bombings and much more through the seventies, eighties, nineties all before 9/11.

    In the UK we tended to pay less attention then because we had our own Troubles but it's entirely plausible we would have seen the 7/7 bombing, and attacks like Charlie Hebdo, or the Paris attacks etc even without 9/11.

    Islamist terrorism is occuring because radical Islam is an extremely violent, medieval and disturbing religion that hasn't undergone a Reformation. And is being state sponsored not least by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not because of wars in the Middle East that came after terrorism was well set.
    Of course 9/11 didn’t cause Islamist terrorism. But the success of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was to build a narrative that the West, from the Crusades onwards, through colonialism, had interfered in and damaged Muslim culture in Muslim lands. Another key plank of their argument was the obscenity of US troops stationed in Saudi, the home of Islam’s holiest sites.

    You don’t have to find that persuasive, you’re not the intended audience. Many do, to a greater or lesser extent. And from that pool radicals will emerge, have emerged.

    When we went into Iraq and Afghan it reinforced Bin Laden’s propaganda again. So radicalised Muslims carried out terrorist attacks here.

    That tarnished Muslims, which led, in part, to a successful Leave vote.

    You argue Islamist is evil, and backwards, and didn’t have a Reformation. There is much truth in there but it is also simplistic, you fail to understand the enemy. A counter argument is that Islamism is a reaction to colonialism, to the impact European countries had carving up the Middle East between themselves, to the Sykes-Picot agreement, to arbitrary lines drawn across maps by European administrators, to a thousand other slights real or imagined.

    The genius of Bin Laden’s propaganda is that it is built on a kernel of truth.
    Islam absolutely had a reformation. It is called salafism and its various types reject the religious establishment, want to return to literalist scripture and are generally all round intolerant of anyone that disagrees, just as early Protestantism was.

    The problem with Islam is that (a) Mohammed was less pleasant in his original message than Jesus of Nazareth so there's more support for the extremist position and (b) it didn't have an Enlightenment, which is what really made the West into a good place to live.
    Hmmmm...the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the French Revolution.

    I’m not sure those who were massacred in the Terror, murdered in the Vendee or killed in Napoleon’s interminable wars would altogether agree with you.
    No, the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the Glorious Revolution. The second was the American Revolution.
    Can you justify those statements? Because I have to say I do not agree with you.
    Both were based on the concepts of natural liberties, implicit social contracts between ruler and ruled, and the concept of constitutionality. All were Enlightenment concepts, developed by Algernon Sidney, John Locke and others.
    Not really. Be careful about retrospective attempts to shoehorn them into Whiggish ideals.

    The Orange Revolution was ultimately caused by King James VII and II having a nosebleed. Nothing else. It takes on a far greater significance with hindsight, especially in light of Locke and later Burke’s writings, than it ever had at the time.

    Similarly, the American Revolution was ultimately a tax dispute that got a bit out of hand. Had Townshend acted a week sooner than he did, it wouldn’t have happened. I agree, to an extent, that the subsequent federal state had enlightenment ideals under it - those of Tom Paine and Benjamin Franklin, to take the most obvious examples - but many of them really came into play only some years later under Jefferson and Madison.

    Be wary about confusing cause and effect.
    Presumably both are nice examples of Whig historiography?
    This is all nonsense. It's like saying the French Revolution wasn't an Enlightenment revolution because it was just a fiscal crisis that got out of hand. The Founding Fathers of the United States explicitly used language from John Locke in the Declaration of Independence for goodness sake.
    Even if I accepted your statements on the American Revolution - which I still don’t, by the by, as it seems to me you are confusing the causes of the rebellion with the way it subsequently developed - but it doesn’t seem worth arguing about it - your argument was that the Enlightenment made the West a pleasant place to live.

    Do you still stand by that argument in light of the counter example I have offered of Revolutionary France?
    Yes. Just because there are examples of the Enlightenment having some bad results, the overall impact of it was overwhelmingly positive. Prior to the Enlightenment, life for the vast majority of people was oppressive, poor and short. In societies that embraced the Enlightenment, life afterwards became increasingly free and wealthy.
  • CandyCandy Posts: 51
    stodge said:



    At what point are we going to consider the vaccination of the poorest in the rest of the world? What is the current rate of vaccination in Burundi, Bhutan or Bolivia? Do they have access to enough vaccine or the means to distribute them?

    Are we genuinely going to undertake a round of further booster vaccinations if the scientific evidence is growing they aren't necessary?

    The RAF started flying out AZ doses to the rest of the world on 28th July. See

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58004934

    Kenya is getting 817,000 doses, Indonesia 600,000 and Jamaica 300,000.

    The United States has also been sending out lots of doses - 111,000,000 so far. See the following for a breakdown of who has received them:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E73h5GzVIAQY4XX?format=jpg&name=medium

    The Biden administration's comms team is so useless that no-one seems to know that the Americans have sent doses out, they only remember the embargo on exports from two months ago.
  • AslanAslan Posts: 734
    malcolmg said:

    sarissa said:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html

    DavidL said:

    MaxPB said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    malcolmg said:

    tlg86 said:

    I see we now have six medals in track and field. Disappointing to not get a gold, but I think it’s a decent return.

    Sounds absolute crap to me.
    I think that you are being harsh. Laura Muir's medal in particular was a really excellent effort.
    It would have been gold if Scotland was independent. ;)
    It would have been fuck all outside of Team GB/BOA funding tbh. It's what's turned the UK into a sporting powerhouse compared to years gone.
    It will be interesting to see if there is an effect from Scots so clearly proud to wear a team GB strip and doing really well in these games. According to Sky News Scotland has more medal winners than any other part of the UK per head of population but they all seem very proud to wave the Union Jack.
    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html
    They don't have any other option than waving the Butcher's Apron. It is a bloody scandal that there is not a Scottish team at the Olympics.
    The majority of Scots athletes are proud to embrace their British identity, just as a majority of Scots voted to stay British.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 43,238
    Aslan said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    Carnyx said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who could have guessed this happening...

    BBC News - Afghanistan war: Taliban say jail captured and prisoners freed
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-58127407

    Trying to control Afghanistan from outside has been a damnfool idea from day 1. If I'm not mistaken Alexander the Great came a bit of a cropper there, and no-one else has come closer.
    We did not invade to colonise Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of it in 1996 and we left them in power for 5 years.

    We only invaded in 2001 because 9\11 was launched by Bin Laden from Afghanistan and the Taliban refused to hand him over.

    Bin Laden is now dead but we will have to do a deal with the Taliban to give them some of rural Afghanistan in return for not allowing Al Qaeda back in
    It was still a damnfool idea. The US would have done far better to offer money for him. Somebody would have bitten. That's how Afghanistan seems to work.

    If you think 'we'...... the US will have to 'give' the Taliban 'some of rural Afghanistan' you'd better think again. Afghanistan will soon all be under Taliban control and, seriously, our best hope is to ignore the US and concentrate on encouraging their very capable cricket team.
    If the US had not invaded Bin Laden would still be alive and Al Qaeda still in the country.

    If the Taliban retake the whole country (which is unlikely given US air support still for the elected government and warlords who will resist them) and invite Al Qaeda back we would have no choice but to re invade or face future 9/11s and terrorist attacks launched on New York, London and Paris from cells trained in Afghanistan
    AQ is still in the country, and across the world. It might not be called AQ, there’ll be many names for the many groups, but they’ll all share the same broad Islamist ideology. It’s a franchise model.

    One of Bin Laden’s main objectives for 9/11 broadly succeeded. We were deliberately sucked into an unwinnable war. We have been stung, and we will no longer commit ourselves to large scale combat operations in Muslim countries. Western populations won’t accept it.

    The Islamists will regain full control of Afghanistan. Call them AQ, call them Talibs, call them what you like. A rose by any other name, and all that.

    The Islamists will carry out their struggle for years to come and apart from firing missiles from drones and a few Special Forces on the ground we will probably do very little, unless there’s another big terrorist spectacular in the West. And why would they do that? Let sleeping dogs lie.
    If I may continue from the post above, in light of subsequent discussion about Brexit and how it could/will weaken the UK/EU.

    9/11 was designed to weaken the West, to suck us into inwinnable wars, to split us, weaken our alliances, to allow Islamists a free hand in Muslim lands, to ultimately establish a Caliphate. That struggle will go on for decades, maybe centuries, that is the timescale they are thinking in.

    I’m sure many will disagree but I think it can be argued that one of the effects, aftershocks, of 9/11 was Brexit.

    If we hadn’t had 9/11 we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq and Afghan. Therefore we wouldn’t have had a wave a domestic terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims, radicalised by Al Qaeda, and it’s offshoots’, propaganda.

    If we hadn’t had that experience of Islamist terrorism and the dog whistle that Muslims = terrorists, and being in the EU will allow more Muslims in (Turkey will join, refugees flooding in from the Middle East) - cheers Nige - then perhaps Leave wouldn’t have scraped home.

    Because I think many people voted Leave, at least ooop North, because they simply don’t like Muslims. Or they don’t like the image of Muslims they have in their head.

    So if you accept that view, and you think that Brexit will weaken the UK and the EU, and our and the EU’s security alliances, then Brexit is fuelled, to a degree, by the fallout from 9/11.

    I’m sure many of you will disagree…
    Unsurprisingly I 100% disagree.

    For one thing 9/11 didn't begat Islamic terrorism, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism preceded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    9/11 was the second time the World Trade Centre was attacked by Islamists not the first. There were plane bombings, embassy bombings and much more through the seventies, eighties, nineties all before 9/11.

    In the UK we tended to pay less attention then because we had our own Troubles but it's entirely plausible we would have seen the 7/7 bombing, and attacks like Charlie Hebdo, or the Paris attacks etc even without 9/11.

    Islamist terrorism is occuring because radical Islam is an extremely violent, medieval and disturbing religion that hasn't undergone a Reformation. And is being state sponsored not least by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not because of wars in the Middle East that came after terrorism was well set.
    Of course 9/11 didn’t cause Islamist terrorism. But the success of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was to build a narrative that the West, from the Crusades onwards, through colonialism, had interfered in and damaged Muslim culture in Muslim lands. Another key plank of their argument was the obscenity of US troops stationed in Saudi, the home of Islam’s holiest sites.

    You don’t have to find that persuasive, you’re not the intended audience. Many do, to a greater or lesser extent. And from that pool radicals will emerge, have emerged.

    When we went into Iraq and Afghan it reinforced Bin Laden’s propaganda again. So radicalised Muslims carried out terrorist attacks here.

    That tarnished Muslims, which led, in part, to a successful Leave vote.

    You argue Islamist is evil, and backwards, and didn’t have a Reformation. There is much truth in there but it is also simplistic, you fail to understand the enemy. A counter argument is that Islamism is a reaction to colonialism, to the impact European countries had carving up the Middle East between themselves, to the Sykes-Picot agreement, to arbitrary lines drawn across maps by European administrators, to a thousand other slights real or imagined.

    The genius of Bin Laden’s propaganda is that it is built on a kernel of truth.
    Islam absolutely had a reformation. It is called salafism and its various types reject the religious establishment, want to return to literalist scripture and are generally all round intolerant of anyone that disagrees, just as early Protestantism was.

    The problem with Islam is that (a) Mohammed was less pleasant in his original message than Jesus of Nazareth so there's more support for the extremist position and (b) it didn't have an Enlightenment, which is what really made the West into a good place to live.
    Hmmmm...the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the French Revolution.

    I’m not sure those who were massacred in the Terror, murdered in the Vendee or killed in Napoleon’s interminable wars would altogether agree with you.
    No, the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the Glorious Revolution. The second was the American Revolution.
    Can you justify those statements? Because I have to say I do not agree with you.
    Both were based on the concepts of natural liberties, implicit social contracts between ruler and ruled, and the concept of constitutionality. All were Enlightenment concepts, developed by Algernon Sidney, John Locke and others.
    Not really. Be careful about retrospective attempts to shoehorn them into Whiggish ideals.

    The Orange Revolution was ultimately caused by King James VII and II having a nosebleed. Nothing else. It takes on a far greater significance with hindsight, especially in light of Locke and later Burke’s writings, than it ever had at the time.

    Similarly, the American Revolution was ultimately a tax dispute that got a bit out of hand. Had Townshend acted a week sooner than he did, it wouldn’t have happened. I agree, to an extent, that the subsequent federal state had enlightenment ideals under it - those of Tom Paine and Benjamin Franklin, to take the most obvious examples - but many of them really came into play only some years later under Jefferson and Madison.

    Be wary about confusing cause and effect.
    Presumably both are nice examples of Whig historiography?
    This is all nonsense. It's like saying the French Revolution wasn't an Enlightenment revolution because it was just a fiscal crisis that got out of hand. The Founding Fathers of the United States explicitly used language from John Locke in the Declaration of Independence for goodness sake.
    Even if I accepted your statements on the American Revolution - which I still don’t, by the by, as it seems to me you are confusing the causes of the rebellion with the way it subsequently developed - but it doesn’t seem worth arguing about it - your argument was that the Enlightenment made the West a pleasant place to live.

    Do you still stand by that argument in light of the counter example I have offered of Revolutionary France?
    Yes. Just because there are examples of the Enlightenment having some bad results, the overall impact of it was overwhelmingly positive. Prior to the Enlightenment, life for the vast majority of people was oppressive, poor and short. In societies that embraced the Enlightenment, life afterwards became increasingly free and wealthy.
    Fair enough.

    I still think you’re wrong, incidentally, as I would ascribe that to the Industrial Revolution, but it was a long, slow process for many to benefit from that, as I can say from my research into living conditions in nineteenth century Merthyr Tydfil.
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 46,320
    ydoethur said:

    209 to win for India.

    Flattening pitch.

    No spinner.

    Rain needed.

    We have plenty of spare rain here
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    Old man in a hurry?

    So I promised some thoughts from Kabul. After many conversations tonight: unanimous view that never has America made a more irrational decision. No casualties over many months, people you made commitments to, a decision overnight with no thinking...

    https://twitter.com/MacaesBruno/status/1424050345014136836?s=20

    Too many commentators are blaming the Afghan government/people. This is on us. We did not need to leave so recklessly and suddenly. US and NATO air support was vital, relatively low risk, and sustainable. We could and should have continued support. We are betraying Afghanistan.

    https://twitter.com/RoryStewartUK/status/1423767696701853700?s=20
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 15,611
    Aslan said:

    malcolmg said:

    sarissa said:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html

    DavidL said:

    MaxPB said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    malcolmg said:

    tlg86 said:

    I see we now have six medals in track and field. Disappointing to not get a gold, but I think it’s a decent return.

    Sounds absolute crap to me.
    I think that you are being harsh. Laura Muir's medal in particular was a really excellent effort.
    It would have been gold if Scotland was independent. ;)
    It would have been fuck all outside of Team GB/BOA funding tbh. It's what's turned the UK into a sporting powerhouse compared to years gone.
    It will be interesting to see if there is an effect from Scots so clearly proud to wear a team GB strip and doing really well in these games. According to Sky News Scotland has more medal winners than any other part of the UK per head of population but they all seem very proud to wave the Union Jack.
    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html
    They don't have any other option than waving the Butcher's Apron. It is a bloody scandal that there is not a Scottish team at the Olympics.
    The majority of Scots athletes are proud to embrace their British identity, just as a majority of Scots voted to stay British.
    As it is illegal for Olympic athletes to manifest any other identity, that statement is not based on fact.

    And a majority of Scots did not vote to stay British. They voted to remain in the UK. Very different things in Scotland, given the amboguity of 'British'.
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 30,260
    Aslan said:

    malcolmg said:

    sarissa said:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html

    DavidL said:

    MaxPB said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    malcolmg said:

    tlg86 said:

    I see we now have six medals in track and field. Disappointing to not get a gold, but I think it’s a decent return.

    Sounds absolute crap to me.
    I think that you are being harsh. Laura Muir's medal in particular was a really excellent effort.
    It would have been gold if Scotland was independent. ;)
    It would have been fuck all outside of Team GB/BOA funding tbh. It's what's turned the UK into a sporting powerhouse compared to years gone.
    It will be interesting to see if there is an effect from Scots so clearly proud to wear a team GB strip and doing really well in these games. According to Sky News Scotland has more medal winners than any other part of the UK per head of population but they all seem very proud to wave the Union Jack.
    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html
    They don't have any other option than waving the Butcher's Apron. It is a bloody scandal that there is not a Scottish team at the Olympics.
    The majority of Scots athletes are proud to embrace their British identity, just as a majority of Scots voted to stay British.
    Yep.
    This guy for example.


  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 20,901

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who could have guessed this happening...

    BBC News - Afghanistan war: Taliban say jail captured and prisoners freed
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-58127407

    Trying to control Afghanistan from outside has been a damnfool idea from day 1. If I'm not mistaken Alexander the Great came a bit of a cropper there, and no-one else has come closer.
    We did not invade to colonise Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of it in 1996 and we left them in power for 5 years.

    We only invaded in 2001 because 9\11 was launched by Bin Laden from Afghanistan and the Taliban refused to hand him over.

    Bin Laden is now dead but we will have to do a deal with the Taliban to give them some of rural Afghanistan in return for not allowing Al Qaeda back in
    It was still a damnfool idea. The US would have done far better to offer money for him. Somebody would have bitten. That's how Afghanistan seems to work.

    If you think 'we'...... the US will have to 'give' the Taliban 'some of rural Afghanistan' you'd better think again. Afghanistan will soon all be under Taliban control and, seriously, our best hope is to ignore the US and concentrate on encouraging their very capable cricket team.
    If the US had not invaded Bin Laden would still be alive and Al Qaeda still in the country.

    If the Taliban retake the whole country (which is unlikely given US air support still for the elected government and warlords who will resist them) and invite Al Qaeda back we would have no choice but to re invade or face future 9/11s and terrorist attacks launched on New York, London and Paris from cells trained in Afghanistan
    AQ is still in the country, and across the world. It might not be called AQ, there’ll be many names for the many groups, but they’ll all share the same broad Islamist ideology. It’s a franchise model.

    One of Bin Laden’s main objectives for 9/11 broadly succeeded. We were deliberately sucked into an unwinnable war. We have been stung, and we will no longer commit ourselves to large scale combat operations in Muslim countries. Western populations won’t accept it.

    The Islamists will regain full control of Afghanistan. Call them AQ, call them Talibs, call them what you like. A rose by any other name, and all that.

    The Islamists will carry out their struggle for years to come and apart from firing missiles from drones and a few Special Forces on the ground we will probably do very little, unless there’s another big terrorist spectacular in the West. And why would they do that? Let sleeping dogs lie.
    If I may continue from the post above, in light of subsequent discussion about Brexit and how it could/will weaken the UK/EU.

    9/11 was designed to weaken the West, to suck us into inwinnable wars, to split us, weaken our alliances, to allow Islamists a free hand in Muslim lands, to ultimately establish a Caliphate. That struggle will go on for decades, maybe centuries, that is the timescale they are thinking in.

    I’m sure many will disagree but I think it can be argued that one of the effects, aftershocks, of 9/11 was Brexit.

    If we hadn’t had 9/11 we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq and Afghan. Therefore we wouldn’t have had a wave a domestic terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims, radicalised by Al Qaeda, and it’s offshoots’, propaganda.

    If we hadn’t had that experience of Islamist terrorism and the dog whistle that Muslims = terrorists, and being in the EU will allow more Muslims in (Turkey will join, refugees flooding in from the Middle East) - cheers Nige - then perhaps Leave wouldn’t have scraped home.

    Because I think many people voted Leave, at least ooop North, because they simply don’t like Muslims. Or they don’t like the image of Muslims they have in their head.

    So if you accept that view, and you think that Brexit will weaken the UK and the EU, and our and the EU’s security alliances, then Brexit is fuelled, to a degree, by the fallout from 9/11.

    I’m sure many of you will disagree…
    Unsurprisingly I 100% disagree.

    For one thing 9/11 didn't begat Islamic terrorism, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism preceded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    9/11 was the second time the World Trade Centre was attacked by Islamists not the first. There were plane bombings, embassy bombings and much more through the seventies, eighties, nineties all before 9/11.

    In the UK we tended to pay less attention then because we had our own Troubles but it's entirely plausible we would have seen the 7/7 bombing, and attacks like Charlie Hebdo, or the Paris attacks etc even without 9/11.

    Islamist terrorism is occuring because radical Islam is an extremely violent, medieval and disturbing religion that hasn't undergone a Reformation. And is being state sponsored not least by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not because of wars in the Middle East that came after terrorism was well set.
    Of course 9/11 didn’t cause Islamist terrorism. But the success of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was to build a narrative that the West, from the Crusades onwards, through colonialism, had interfered in and damaged Muslim culture in Muslim lands. Another key plank of their argument was the obscenity of US troops stationed in Saudi, the home of Islam’s holiest sites.

    You don’t have to find that persuasive, you’re not the intended audience. Many do, to a greater or lesser extent. And from that pool radicals will emerge, have emerged.

    When we went into Iraq and Afghan it reinforced Bin Laden’s propaganda again. So radicalised Muslims carried out terrorist attacks here.

    That tarnished Muslims, which led, in part, to a successful Leave vote.

    You argue Islamist is evil, and backwards, and didn’t have a Reformation. There is much truth in there but it is also simplistic, you fail to understand the enemy. A counter argument is that Islamism is a reaction to colonialism, to the impact European countries had carving up the Middle East between themselves, to the Sykes-Picot agreement, to arbitrary lines drawn across maps by European administrators, to a thousand other slights real or imagined.

    The genius of Bin Laden’s propaganda is that it is built on a kernel of truth.
    Islam absolutely had a reformation. It is called salafism and its various types reject the religious establishment, want to return to literalist scripture and are generally all round intolerant of anyone that disagrees, just as early Protestantism was.

    The problem with Islam is that (a) Mohammed was less pleasant in his original message than Jesus of Nazareth so there's more support for the extremist position and (b) it didn't have an Enlightenment, which is what really made the West into a good place to live.
    Hmmmm...the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the French Revolution.

    I’m not sure those who were massacred in the Terror, murdered in the Vendee or killed in Napoleon’s interminable wars would altogether agree with you.
    Okay, here's an o/t question.

    I am not an historian (tm). Recently I listened to the excellent Revolutions Podcast on the French Revolution, and read/listened to other stuff on it (including the less-excellent Napoleon Podcast). Being British, my pre-existing viewpoint was that Napoleon was a sh*t. After all this listening/reading/?learning?, my viewpoint is still that he was a sh*t.

    So: am I right, despite my rather biased British upbringing? Taken in totality, was he a hero or villain?

    https://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/revolutions_podcast/
    https://napoleonbonapartepodcast.com/
    This is a massive gap for me too. I basically know about this stuff through reading the Sharpe books. I keep meaning to learn more about Napoleon but I never get round to it.
    It rather depends on your perspective. The British like to think of themselves as being on the side of liberty and against tyrants like....er..... Napoleon.

    But in Naples when there was a rebellion against the Bourbon kings, inspired by Napoleon, and the Parthenopean Republic set up, it was the British - led by one Admiral Nelson - who crushed the rebellion and put the dim-witted Bourbons back on the throne. The main road round the bay is Via Caracciolo named after the Admiral the British hanged.

    So was Napoleon the villain? Or was it perhaps the British?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 43,238

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:


    It was Napoleon’s talent that kept a smaller army more or less undefeated fighting on every front for a decade, and his madness in needlessly attacking Sweden and Russia that brought his ultimate downfall.

    Spain and Russia, surely?


    No, Sweden. He invaded Pomerania in 1812 and turned it from an uneasy ally into an active enemy.
    But surely Napoleon's occupation of Spain was more costly to him, along with the 1812 (mis)adventure to Moscow.


    Napoleon did not invade Pomerania in 1812. It was in in 1807. Pomerania was given back to Sweden in 1810.
    And, if you check, he invaded it again in 1812.
    And how was that attack a disaster?

    It was his follies in Spain and Russia that brought his ultimate downfall, NOT Sweden and Russia.
    Are you unaware of the importance of the Swedish army in the war of the Sixth Coalition? Not to mention Bernadotte’s personal generalship?

    If so I’m surprised given how knowledgable you usually are about military history.
    You mean like at Leipzig?

    Out of a Coalition Army of 365,000 troops, only 25,000 were Swedes.
    Or at Berlin?
    Battle of Berlin? I think you're getting confused with the Russians of 1945!

    You have to remember Napoleon had already messed up in Russia the year before. He was already retreating FAST back to France. Albeit a fighting retreat.
    There were two battles around Berlin in 1813, at Grossbeeren and Dennewitz. Both were fronted by the Swedish army under Bernadotte, both were Coalition victories and both left Napoleon not only unable to capture Berlin and divide the Coalition, but led to the Bavarians, the Tyrolese and ultimately to the Saxons switching sides. The last rebelled in the middle of the Battle of Leipzig.

    The Swedes were really important in the final defeat of Napoleon. And had it not been for the invasion of Pomerania, they would have kept quiet.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 6,638
    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who could have guessed this happening...

    BBC News - Afghanistan war: Taliban say jail captured and prisoners freed
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-58127407

    Trying to control Afghanistan from outside has been a damnfool idea from day 1. If I'm not mistaken Alexander the Great came a bit of a cropper there, and no-one else has come closer.
    We did not invade to colonise Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of it in 1996 and we left them in power for 5 years.

    We only invaded in 2001 because 9\11 was launched by Bin Laden from Afghanistan and the Taliban refused to hand him over.

    Bin Laden is now dead but we will have to do a deal with the Taliban to give them some of rural Afghanistan in return for not allowing Al Qaeda back in
    It was still a damnfool idea. The US would have done far better to offer money for him. Somebody would have bitten. That's how Afghanistan seems to work.

    If you think 'we'...... the US will have to 'give' the Taliban 'some of rural Afghanistan' you'd better think again. Afghanistan will soon all be under Taliban control and, seriously, our best hope is to ignore the US and concentrate on encouraging their very capable cricket team.
    If the US had not invaded Bin Laden would still be alive and Al Qaeda still in the country.

    If the Taliban retake the whole country (which is unlikely given US air support still for the elected government and warlords who will resist them) and invite Al Qaeda back we would have no choice but to re invade or face future 9/11s and terrorist attacks launched on New York, London and Paris from cells trained in Afghanistan
    AQ is still in the country, and across the world. It might not be called AQ, there’ll be many names for the many groups, but they’ll all share the same broad Islamist ideology. It’s a franchise model.

    One of Bin Laden’s main objectives for 9/11 broadly succeeded. We were deliberately sucked into an unwinnable war. We have been stung, and we will no longer commit ourselves to large scale combat operations in Muslim countries. Western populations won’t accept it.

    The Islamists will regain full control of Afghanistan. Call them AQ, call them Talibs, call them what you like. A rose by any other name, and all that.

    The Islamists will carry out their struggle for years to come and apart from firing missiles from drones and a few Special Forces on the ground we will probably do very little, unless there’s another big terrorist spectacular in the West. And why would they do that? Let sleeping dogs lie.
    If I may continue from the post above, in light of subsequent discussion about Brexit and how it could/will weaken the UK/EU.

    9/11 was designed to weaken the West, to suck us into inwinnable wars, to split us, weaken our alliances, to allow Islamists a free hand in Muslim lands, to ultimately establish a Caliphate. That struggle will go on for decades, maybe centuries, that is the timescale they are thinking in.

    I’m sure many will disagree but I think it can be argued that one of the effects, aftershocks, of 9/11 was Brexit.

    If we hadn’t had 9/11 we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq and Afghan. Therefore we wouldn’t have had a wave a domestic terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims, radicalised by Al Qaeda, and it’s offshoots’, propaganda.

    If we hadn’t had that experience of Islamist terrorism and the dog whistle that Muslims = terrorists, and being in the EU will allow more Muslims in (Turkey will join, refugees flooding in from the Middle East) - cheers Nige - then perhaps Leave wouldn’t have scraped home.

    Because I think many people voted Leave, at least ooop North, because they simply don’t like Muslims. Or they don’t like the image of Muslims they have in their head.

    So if you accept that view, and you think that Brexit will weaken the UK and the EU, and our and the EU’s security alliances, then Brexit is fuelled, to a degree, by the fallout from 9/11.

    I’m sure many of you will disagree…
    Unsurprisingly I 100% disagree.

    For one thing 9/11 didn't begat Islamic terrorism, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism preceded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    9/11 was the second time the World Trade Centre was attacked by Islamists not the first. There were plane bombings, embassy bombings and much more through the seventies, eighties, nineties all before 9/11.

    In the UK we tended to pay less attention then because we had our own Troubles but it's entirely plausible we would have seen the 7/7 bombing, and attacks like Charlie Hebdo, or the Paris attacks etc even without 9/11.

    Islamist terrorism is occuring because radical Islam is an extremely violent, medieval and disturbing religion that hasn't undergone a Reformation. And is being state sponsored not least by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not because of wars in the Middle East that came after terrorism was well set.
    Of course 9/11 didn’t cause Islamist terrorism. But the success of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was to build a narrative that the West, from the Crusades onwards, through colonialism, had interfered in and damaged Muslim culture in Muslim lands. Another key plank of their argument was the obscenity of US troops stationed in Saudi, the home of Islam’s holiest sites.

    You don’t have to find that persuasive, you’re not the intended audience. Many do, to a greater or lesser extent. And from that pool radicals will emerge, have emerged.

    When we went into Iraq and Afghan it reinforced Bin Laden’s propaganda again. So radicalised Muslims carried out terrorist attacks here.

    That tarnished Muslims, which led, in part, to a successful Leave vote.

    You argue Islamist is evil, and backwards, and didn’t have a Reformation. There is much truth in there but it is also simplistic, you fail to understand the enemy. A counter argument is that Islamism is a reaction to colonialism, to the impact European countries had carving up the Middle East between themselves, to the Sykes-Picot agreement, to arbitrary lines drawn across maps by European administrators, to a thousand other slights real or imagined.

    The genius of Bin Laden’s propaganda is that it is built on a kernel of truth.
    Islam absolutely had a reformation. It is called salafism and its various types reject the religious establishment, want to return to literalist scripture and are generally all round intolerant of anyone that disagrees, just as early Protestantism was.

    The problem with Islam is that (a) Mohammed was less pleasant in his original message than Jesus of Nazareth so there's more support for the extremist position and (b) it didn't have an Enlightenment, which is what really made the West into a good place to live.
    Hmmmm...the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the French Revolution.

    I’m not sure those who were massacred in the Terror, murdered in the Vendee or killed in Napoleon’s interminable wars would altogether agree with you.
    Okay, here's an o/t question.

    I am not an historian (tm). Recently I listened to the excellent Revolutions Podcast on the French Revolution, and read/listened to other stuff on it (including the less-excellent Napoleon Podcast). Being British, my pre-existing viewpoint was that Napoleon was a sh*t. After all this listening/reading/?learning?, my viewpoint is still that he was a sh*t.

    So: am I right, despite my rather biased British upbringing? Taken in totality, was he a hero or villain?

    https://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/revolutions_podcast/
    https://napoleonbonapartepodcast.com/
    This is a massive gap for me too. I basically know about this stuff through reading the Sharpe books. I keep meaning to learn more about Napoleon but I never get round to it.
    It rather depends on your perspective. The British like to think of themselves as being on the side of liberty and against tyrants like....er..... Napoleon.

    But in Naples when there was a rebellion against the Bourbon kings, inspired by Napoleon, and the Parthenopean Republic set up, it was the British - led by one Admiral Nelson - who crushed the rebellion and put the dim-witted Bourbons back on the throne. The main road round the bay is Via Caracciolo named after the Admiral the British hanged.

    So was Napoleon the villain? Or was it perhaps the British?
    While it is tempting to reframe history as a battle between heroes and villains it’s a fundamentally reductive thing to do.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 43,238
    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who could have guessed this happening...

    BBC News - Afghanistan war: Taliban say jail captured and prisoners freed
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-58127407

    Trying to control Afghanistan from outside has been a damnfool idea from day 1. If I'm not mistaken Alexander the Great came a bit of a cropper there, and no-one else has come closer.
    We did not invade to colonise Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of it in 1996 and we left them in power for 5 years.

    We only invaded in 2001 because 9\11 was launched by Bin Laden from Afghanistan and the Taliban refused to hand him over.

    Bin Laden is now dead but we will have to do a deal with the Taliban to give them some of rural Afghanistan in return for not allowing Al Qaeda back in
    It was still a damnfool idea. The US would have done far better to offer money for him. Somebody would have bitten. That's how Afghanistan seems to work.

    If you think 'we'...... the US will have to 'give' the Taliban 'some of rural Afghanistan' you'd better think again. Afghanistan will soon all be under Taliban control and, seriously, our best hope is to ignore the US and concentrate on encouraging their very capable cricket team.
    If the US had not invaded Bin Laden would still be alive and Al Qaeda still in the country.

    If the Taliban retake the whole country (which is unlikely given US air support still for the elected government and warlords who will resist them) and invite Al Qaeda back we would have no choice but to re invade or face future 9/11s and terrorist attacks launched on New York, London and Paris from cells trained in Afghanistan
    AQ is still in the country, and across the world. It might not be called AQ, there’ll be many names for the many groups, but they’ll all share the same broad Islamist ideology. It’s a franchise model.

    One of Bin Laden’s main objectives for 9/11 broadly succeeded. We were deliberately sucked into an unwinnable war. We have been stung, and we will no longer commit ourselves to large scale combat operations in Muslim countries. Western populations won’t accept it.

    The Islamists will regain full control of Afghanistan. Call them AQ, call them Talibs, call them what you like. A rose by any other name, and all that.

    The Islamists will carry out their struggle for years to come and apart from firing missiles from drones and a few Special Forces on the ground we will probably do very little, unless there’s another big terrorist spectacular in the West. And why would they do that? Let sleeping dogs lie.
    If I may continue from the post above, in light of subsequent discussion about Brexit and how it could/will weaken the UK/EU.

    9/11 was designed to weaken the West, to suck us into inwinnable wars, to split us, weaken our alliances, to allow Islamists a free hand in Muslim lands, to ultimately establish a Caliphate. That struggle will go on for decades, maybe centuries, that is the timescale they are thinking in.

    I’m sure many will disagree but I think it can be argued that one of the effects, aftershocks, of 9/11 was Brexit.

    If we hadn’t had 9/11 we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq and Afghan. Therefore we wouldn’t have had a wave a domestic terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims, radicalised by Al Qaeda, and it’s offshoots’, propaganda.

    If we hadn’t had that experience of Islamist terrorism and the dog whistle that Muslims = terrorists, and being in the EU will allow more Muslims in (Turkey will join, refugees flooding in from the Middle East) - cheers Nige - then perhaps Leave wouldn’t have scraped home.

    Because I think many people voted Leave, at least ooop North, because they simply don’t like Muslims. Or they don’t like the image of Muslims they have in their head.

    So if you accept that view, and you think that Brexit will weaken the UK and the EU, and our and the EU’s security alliances, then Brexit is fuelled, to a degree, by the fallout from 9/11.

    I’m sure many of you will disagree…
    Unsurprisingly I 100% disagree.

    For one thing 9/11 didn't begat Islamic terrorism, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism preceded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    9/11 was the second time the World Trade Centre was attacked by Islamists not the first. There were plane bombings, embassy bombings and much more through the seventies, eighties, nineties all before 9/11.

    In the UK we tended to pay less attention then because we had our own Troubles but it's entirely plausible we would have seen the 7/7 bombing, and attacks like Charlie Hebdo, or the Paris attacks etc even without 9/11.

    Islamist terrorism is occuring because radical Islam is an extremely violent, medieval and disturbing religion that hasn't undergone a Reformation. And is being state sponsored not least by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not because of wars in the Middle East that came after terrorism was well set.
    Of course 9/11 didn’t cause Islamist terrorism. But the success of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was to build a narrative that the West, from the Crusades onwards, through colonialism, had interfered in and damaged Muslim culture in Muslim lands. Another key plank of their argument was the obscenity of US troops stationed in Saudi, the home of Islam’s holiest sites.

    You don’t have to find that persuasive, you’re not the intended audience. Many do, to a greater or lesser extent. And from that pool radicals will emerge, have emerged.

    When we went into Iraq and Afghan it reinforced Bin Laden’s propaganda again. So radicalised Muslims carried out terrorist attacks here.

    That tarnished Muslims, which led, in part, to a successful Leave vote.

    You argue Islamist is evil, and backwards, and didn’t have a Reformation. There is much truth in there but it is also simplistic, you fail to understand the enemy. A counter argument is that Islamism is a reaction to colonialism, to the impact European countries had carving up the Middle East between themselves, to the Sykes-Picot agreement, to arbitrary lines drawn across maps by European administrators, to a thousand other slights real or imagined.

    The genius of Bin Laden’s propaganda is that it is built on a kernel of truth.
    Islam absolutely had a reformation. It is called salafism and its various types reject the religious establishment, want to return to literalist scripture and are generally all round intolerant of anyone that disagrees, just as early Protestantism was.

    The problem with Islam is that (a) Mohammed was less pleasant in his original message than Jesus of Nazareth so there's more support for the extremist position and (b) it didn't have an Enlightenment, which is what really made the West into a good place to live.
    Hmmmm...the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the French Revolution.

    I’m not sure those who were massacred in the Terror, murdered in the Vendee or killed in Napoleon’s interminable wars would altogether agree with you.
    Okay, here's an o/t question.

    I am not an historian (tm). Recently I listened to the excellent Revolutions Podcast on the French Revolution, and read/listened to other stuff on it (including the less-excellent Napoleon Podcast). Being British, my pre-existing viewpoint was that Napoleon was a sh*t. After all this listening/reading/?learning?, my viewpoint is still that he was a sh*t.

    So: am I right, despite my rather biased British upbringing? Taken in totality, was he a hero or villain?

    https://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/revolutions_podcast/
    https://napoleonbonapartepodcast.com/
    This is a massive gap for me too. I basically know about this stuff through reading the Sharpe books. I keep meaning to learn more about Napoleon but I never get round to it.
    It rather depends on your perspective. The British like to think of themselves as being on the side of liberty and against tyrants like....er..... Napoleon.

    But in Naples when there was a rebellion against the Bourbon kings, inspired by Napoleon, and the Parthenopean Republic set up, it was the British - led by one Admiral Nelson - who crushed the rebellion and put the dim-witted Bourbons back on the throne. The main road round the bay is Via Caracciolo named after the Admiral the British hanged.

    So was Napoleon the villain? Or was it perhaps the British?
    Ah, the Hornblower interpretation. ‘For twenty years he had fought for liberty and Bonaparte for tyranny, and the fight had ended in Bonaparte’s fall.’

    I remember reading an attempted exculpation for Nelson over the attack on Naples by Andrew Lambert. I remember it was interesting but I don’t remember it was very persuasive.
  • AslanAslan Posts: 734
    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who could have guessed this happening...

    BBC News - Afghanistan war: Taliban say jail captured and prisoners freed
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-58127407

    Trying to control Afghanistan from outside has been a damnfool idea from day 1. If I'm not mistaken Alexander the Great came a bit of a cropper there, and no-one else has come closer.
    We did not invade to colonise Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of it in 1996 and we left them in power for 5 years.

    We only invaded in 2001 because 9\11 was launched by Bin Laden from Afghanistan and the Taliban refused to hand him over.

    Bin Laden is now dead but we will have to do a deal with the Taliban to give them some of rural Afghanistan in return for not allowing Al Qaeda back in
    It was still a damnfool idea. The US would have done far better to offer money for him. Somebody would have bitten. That's how Afghanistan seems to work.

    If you think 'we'...... the US will have to 'give' the Taliban 'some of rural Afghanistan' you'd better think again. Afghanistan will soon all be under Taliban control and, seriously, our best hope is to ignore the US and concentrate on encouraging their very capable cricket team.
    If the US had not invaded Bin Laden would still be alive and Al Qaeda still in the country.

    If the Taliban retake the whole country (which is unlikely given US air support still for the elected government and warlords who will resist them) and invite Al Qaeda back we would have no choice but to re invade or face future 9/11s and terrorist attacks launched on New York, London and Paris from cells trained in Afghanistan
    AQ is still in the country, and across the world. It might not be called AQ, there’ll be many names for the many groups, but they’ll all share the same broad Islamist ideology. It’s a franchise model.

    One of Bin Laden’s main objectives for 9/11 broadly succeeded. We were deliberately sucked into an unwinnable war. We have been stung, and we will no longer commit ourselves to large scale combat operations in Muslim countries. Western populations won’t accept it.

    The Islamists will regain full control of Afghanistan. Call them AQ, call them Talibs, call them what you like. A rose by any other name, and all that.

    The Islamists will carry out their struggle for years to come and apart from firing missiles from drones and a few Special Forces on the ground we will probably do very little, unless there’s another big terrorist spectacular in the West. And why would they do that? Let sleeping dogs lie.
    If I may continue from the post above, in light of subsequent discussion about Brexit and how it could/will weaken the UK/EU.

    9/11 was designed to weaken the West, to suck us into inwinnable wars, to split us, weaken our alliances, to allow Islamists a free hand in Muslim lands, to ultimately establish a Caliphate. That struggle will go on for decades, maybe centuries, that is the timescale they are thinking in.

    I’m sure many will disagree but I think it can be argued that one of the effects, aftershocks, of 9/11 was Brexit.

    If we hadn’t had 9/11 we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq and Afghan. Therefore we wouldn’t have had a wave a domestic terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims, radicalised by Al Qaeda, and it’s offshoots’, propaganda.

    If we hadn’t had that experience of Islamist terrorism and the dog whistle that Muslims = terrorists, and being in the EU will allow more Muslims in (Turkey will join, refugees flooding in from the Middle East) - cheers Nige - then perhaps Leave wouldn’t have scraped home.

    Because I think many people voted Leave, at least ooop North, because they simply don’t like Muslims. Or they don’t like the image of Muslims they have in their head.

    So if you accept that view, and you think that Brexit will weaken the UK and the EU, and our and the EU’s security alliances, then Brexit is fuelled, to a degree, by the fallout from 9/11.

    I’m sure many of you will disagree…
    Unsurprisingly I 100% disagree.

    For one thing 9/11 didn't begat Islamic terrorism, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism preceded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    9/11 was the second time the World Trade Centre was attacked by Islamists not the first. There were plane bombings, embassy bombings and much more through the seventies, eighties, nineties all before 9/11.

    In the UK we tended to pay less attention then because we had our own Troubles but it's entirely plausible we would have seen the 7/7 bombing, and attacks like Charlie Hebdo, or the Paris attacks etc even without 9/11.

    Islamist terrorism is occuring because radical Islam is an extremely violent, medieval and disturbing religion that hasn't undergone a Reformation. And is being state sponsored not least by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not because of wars in the Middle East that came after terrorism was well set.
    Of course 9/11 didn’t cause Islamist terrorism. But the success of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was to build a narrative that the West, from the Crusades onwards, through colonialism, had interfered in and damaged Muslim culture in Muslim lands. Another key plank of their argument was the obscenity of US troops stationed in Saudi, the home of Islam’s holiest sites.

    You don’t have to find that persuasive, you’re not the intended audience. Many do, to a greater or lesser extent. And from that pool radicals will emerge, have emerged.

    When we went into Iraq and Afghan it reinforced Bin Laden’s propaganda again. So radicalised Muslims carried out terrorist attacks here.

    That tarnished Muslims, which led, in part, to a successful Leave vote.

    You argue Islamist is evil, and backwards, and didn’t have a Reformation. There is much truth in there but it is also simplistic, you fail to understand the enemy. A counter argument is that Islamism is a reaction to colonialism, to the impact European countries had carving up the Middle East between themselves, to the Sykes-Picot agreement, to arbitrary lines drawn across maps by European administrators, to a thousand other slights real or imagined.

    The genius of Bin Laden’s propaganda is that it is built on a kernel of truth.
    Islam absolutely had a reformation. It is called salafism and its various types reject the religious establishment, want to return to literalist scripture and are generally all round intolerant of anyone that disagrees, just as early Protestantism was.

    The problem with Islam is that (a) Mohammed was less pleasant in his original message than Jesus of Nazareth so there's more support for the extremist position and (b) it didn't have an Enlightenment, which is what really made the West into a good place to live.
    Hmmmm...the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the French Revolution.

    I’m not sure those who were massacred in the Terror, murdered in the Vendee or killed in Napoleon’s interminable wars would altogether agree with you.
    Okay, here's an o/t question.

    I am not an historian (tm). Recently I listened to the excellent Revolutions Podcast on the French Revolution, and read/listened to other stuff on it (including the less-excellent Napoleon Podcast). Being British, my pre-existing viewpoint was that Napoleon was a sh*t. After all this listening/reading/?learning?, my viewpoint is still that he was a sh*t.

    So: am I right, despite my rather biased British upbringing? Taken in totality, was he a hero or villain?

    https://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/revolutions_podcast/
    https://napoleonbonapartepodcast.com/
    This is a massive gap for me too. I basically know about this stuff through reading the Sharpe books. I keep meaning to learn more about Napoleon but I never get round to it.
    It rather depends on your perspective. The British like to think of themselves as being on the side of liberty and against tyrants like....er..... Napoleon.

    But in Naples when there was a rebellion against the Bourbon kings, inspired by Napoleon, and the Parthenopean Republic set up, it was the British - led by one Admiral Nelson - who crushed the rebellion and put the dim-witted Bourbons back on the throne. The main road round the bay is Via Caracciolo named after the Admiral the British hanged.

    So was Napoleon the villain? Or was it perhaps the British?
    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who could have guessed this happening...

    BBC News - Afghanistan war: Taliban say jail captured and prisoners freed
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-58127407

    Trying to control Afghanistan from outside has been a damnfool idea from day 1. If I'm not mistaken Alexander the Great came a bit of a cropper there, and no-one else has come closer.
    We did not invade to colonise Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of it in 1996 and we left them in power for 5 years.

    We only invaded in 2001 because 9\11 was launched by Bin Laden from Afghanistan and the Taliban refused to hand him over.

    Bin Laden is now dead but we will have to do a deal with the Taliban to give them some of rural Afghanistan in return for not allowing Al Qaeda back in
    It was still a damnfool idea. The US would have done far better to offer money for him. Somebody would have bitten. That's how Afghanistan seems to work.

    If you think 'we'...... the US will have to 'give' the Taliban 'some of rural Afghanistan' you'd better think again. Afghanistan will soon all be under Taliban control and, seriously, our best hope is to ignore the US and concentrate on encouraging their very capable cricket team.
    If the US had not invaded Bin Laden would still be alive and Al Qaeda still in the country.

    If the Taliban retake the whole country (which is unlikely given US air support still for the elected government and warlords who will resist them) and invite Al Qaeda back we would have no choice but to re invade or face future 9/11s and terrorist attacks launched on New York, London and Paris from cells trained in Afghanistan
    AQ is still in the country, and across the world. It might not be called AQ, there’ll be many names for the many groups, but they’ll all share the same broad Islamist ideology. It’s a franchise model.

    One of Bin Laden’s main objectives for 9/11 broadly succeeded. We were deliberately sucked into an unwinnable war. We have been stung, and we will no longer commit ourselves to large scale combat operations in Muslim countries. Western populations won’t accept it.

    The Islamists will regain full control of Afghanistan. Call them AQ, call them Talibs, call them what you like. A rose by any other name, and all that.

    The Islamists will carry out their struggle for years to come and apart from firing missiles from drones and a few Special Forces on the ground we will probably do very little, unless there’s another big terrorist spectacular in the West. And why would they do that? Let sleeping dogs lie.
    If I may continue from the post above, in light of subsequent discussion about Brexit and how it could/will weaken the UK/EU.

    9/11 was designed to weaken the West, to suck us into inwinnable wars, to split us, weaken our alliances, to allow Islamists a free hand in Muslim lands, to ultimately establish a Caliphate. That struggle will go on for decades, maybe centuries, that is the timescale they are thinking in.

    I’m sure many will disagree but I think it can be argued that one of the effects, aftershocks, of 9/11 was Brexit.

    If we hadn’t had 9/11 we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq and Afghan. Therefore we wouldn’t have had a wave a domestic terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims, radicalised by Al Qaeda, and it’s offshoots’, propaganda.

    If we hadn’t had that experience of Islamist terrorism and the dog whistle that Muslims = terrorists, and being in the EU will allow more Muslims in (Turkey will join, refugees flooding in from the Middle East) - cheers Nige - then perhaps Leave wouldn’t have scraped home.

    Because I think many people voted Leave, at least ooop North, because they simply don’t like Muslims. Or they don’t like the image of Muslims they have in their head.

    So if you accept that view, and you think that Brexit will weaken the UK and the EU, and our and the EU’s security alliances, then Brexit is fuelled, to a degree, by the fallout from 9/11.

    I’m sure many of you will disagree…
    Unsurprisingly I 100% disagree.

    For one thing 9/11 didn't begat Islamic terrorism, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism preceded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    9/11 was the second time the World Trade Centre was attacked by Islamists not the first. There were plane bombings, embassy bombings and much more through the seventies, eighties, nineties all before 9/11.

    In the UK we tended to pay less attention then because we had our own Troubles but it's entirely plausible we would have seen the 7/7 bombing, and attacks like Charlie Hebdo, or the Paris attacks etc even without 9/11.

    Islamist terrorism is occuring because radical Islam is an extremely violent, medieval and disturbing religion that hasn't undergone a Reformation. And is being state sponsored not least by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not because of wars in the Middle East that came after terrorism was well set.
    Of course 9/11 didn’t cause Islamist terrorism. But the success of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was to build a narrative that the West, from the Crusades onwards, through colonialism, had interfered in and damaged Muslim culture in Muslim lands. Another key plank of their argument was the obscenity of US troops stationed in Saudi, the home of Islam’s holiest sites.

    You don’t have to find that persuasive, you’re not the intended audience. Many do, to a greater or lesser extent. And from that pool radicals will emerge, have emerged.

    When we went into Iraq and Afghan it reinforced Bin Laden’s propaganda again. So radicalised Muslims carried out terrorist attacks here.

    That tarnished Muslims, which led, in part, to a successful Leave vote.

    You argue Islamist is evil, and backwards, and didn’t have a Reformation. There is much truth in there but it is also simplistic, you fail to understand the enemy. A counter argument is that Islamism is a reaction to colonialism, to the impact European countries had carving up the Middle East between themselves, to the Sykes-Picot agreement, to arbitrary lines drawn across maps by European administrators, to a thousand other slights real or imagined.

    The genius of Bin Laden’s propaganda is that it is built on a kernel of truth.
    Islam absolutely had a reformation. It is called salafism and its various types reject the religious establishment, want to return to literalist scripture and are generally all round intolerant of anyone that disagrees, just as early Protestantism was.

    The problem with Islam is that (a) Mohammed was less pleasant in his original message than Jesus of Nazareth so there's more support for the extremist position and (b) it didn't have an Enlightenment, which is what really made the West into a good place to live.
    Hmmmm...the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the French Revolution.

    I’m not sure those who were massacred in the Terror, murdered in the Vendee or killed in Napoleon’s interminable wars would altogether agree with you.
    Okay, here's an o/t question.

    I am not an historian (tm). Recently I listened to the excellent Revolutions Podcast on the French Revolution, and read/listened to other stuff on it (including the less-excellent Napoleon Podcast). Being British, my pre-existing viewpoint was that Napoleon was a sh*t. After all this listening/reading/?learning?, my viewpoint is still that he was a sh*t.

    So: am I right, despite my rather biased British upbringing? Taken in totality, was he a hero or villain?

    https://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/revolutions_podcast/
    https://napoleonbonapartepodcast.com/
    This is a massive gap for me too. I basically know about this stuff through reading the Sharpe books. I keep meaning to learn more about Napoleon but I never get round to it.
    It rather depends on your perspective. The British like to think of themselves as being on the side of liberty and against tyrants like....er..... Napoleon.

    But in Naples when there was a rebellion against the Bourbon kings, inspired by Napoleon, and the Parthenopean Republic set up, it was the British - led by one Admiral Nelson - who crushed the rebellion and put the dim-witted Bourbons back on the throne. The main road round the bay is Via Caracciolo named after the Admiral the British hanged.

    So was Napoleon the villain? Or was it perhaps the British?
    Or perhaps the British were the relatively good guys against Napoleon's French Empire and the relatively bad guys against the Italian revolutionaries. Just like we were the good guys while liberating France in the 1940s and the bad guys oppressing India at the same time.
  • AslanAslan Posts: 734

    Aslan said:

    malcolmg said:

    sarissa said:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html

    DavidL said:

    MaxPB said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    malcolmg said:

    tlg86 said:

    I see we now have six medals in track and field. Disappointing to not get a gold, but I think it’s a decent return.

    Sounds absolute crap to me.
    I think that you are being harsh. Laura Muir's medal in particular was a really excellent effort.
    It would have been gold if Scotland was independent. ;)
    It would have been fuck all outside of Team GB/BOA funding tbh. It's what's turned the UK into a sporting powerhouse compared to years gone.
    It will be interesting to see if there is an effect from Scots so clearly proud to wear a team GB strip and doing really well in these games. According to Sky News Scotland has more medal winners than any other part of the UK per head of population but they all seem very proud to wave the Union Jack.
    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html
    They don't have any other option than waving the Butcher's Apron. It is a bloody scandal that there is not a Scottish team at the Olympics.
    The majority of Scots athletes are proud to embrace their British identity, just as a majority of Scots voted to stay British.
    Yep.
    This guy for example.


    Still struggling with the term "majority" I see. Bless.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 20,901
    Aslan said:



    It’s a branch of Sunni Islam. There’s fundamentalists in all religions who want to go back to basics, as it were. Though the spread of salafism is a bit worrying.

    We’re getting down to the brass tacks here of the western approach to modern Islam. Those on the right view it as a fundamentally violent and oppressive religion. Others, like me I suppose, see modern strains of fundamentalist Islam as a reaction to colonialism and it’s aftermath. The willingness of the West to tolerate, indeed prop up, oppressive regimes in oil rich states, and the like.

    Islam has had long periods of moderation, toleration, peaceful existence, of progress in science, literature and the arts. Much of the classical literature we have today only survived in Islamic libraries, for example.

    Why has part of it, in the relatively recent past, become so absolutist, and why does that view find traction in the places it does?

    The willingness to blame the West for everything is ridiculous. South Korea and Poland and Taiwan were all victims of colonization, but aren't hotspots of extremism. Most of the idolized "periods of Islamic moderation" were merely moderate for the time period. They would be considered oppressive by today's standards.

    When you have dozens of Muslim countries in the world and not a single one is a wealthy democracy, there is clearly a problem. If you look at the groups most struggling with life in wealthy democracies, they are almost all Muslim. The only way the Islamic world moves past oppression is by rejecting the oppressive parts of the Koran, as most Christians have done for the Bible. But there is currently no sign of that happening, as literalism is still accepted in every form of Islam with any serious presence.
    The reason they are not democracies is because the culture in those countries is a credal one. And a credal culture is fundamentally incompatible with democracy. Christian credal culture only developed into democracy because of two critical differences with Islam:

    (1) the belief that there was a difference between rendering unto Caesar and rendering unto God. While not sufficient in itself it allowed space for the development of the distinction between the laws of God and the laws of men.

    (2) the challenge - often very harsh - against religion and rule by churches and the wresting back of owner from churches. This took time. It was motivated by many things and the intellectual currents of the Enlightenment helped. But it did not start then. Christianity has in the West faced continuous challenge to its authority.

    Without these two it is not at all clear that democracy as we know it - or at all - would have developed in the West.

    Neither of these are really present, as far as I can tell, in Islamic cultures.
  • AslanAslan Posts: 734
    Carnyx said:

    Aslan said:

    malcolmg said:

    sarissa said:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html

    DavidL said:

    MaxPB said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    malcolmg said:

    tlg86 said:

    I see we now have six medals in track and field. Disappointing to not get a gold, but I think it’s a decent return.

    Sounds absolute crap to me.
    I think that you are being harsh. Laura Muir's medal in particular was a really excellent effort.
    It would have been gold if Scotland was independent. ;)
    It would have been fuck all outside of Team GB/BOA funding tbh. It's what's turned the UK into a sporting powerhouse compared to years gone.
    It will be interesting to see if there is an effect from Scots so clearly proud to wear a team GB strip and doing really well in these games. According to Sky News Scotland has more medal winners than any other part of the UK per head of population but they all seem very proud to wave the Union Jack.
    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html
    They don't have any other option than waving the Butcher's Apron. It is a bloody scandal that there is not a Scottish team at the Olympics.
    The majority of Scots athletes are proud to embrace their British identity, just as a majority of Scots voted to stay British.
    As it is illegal for Olympic athletes to manifest any other identity, that statement is not based on fact.

    And a majority of Scots did not vote to stay British. They voted to remain in the UK. Very different things in Scotland, given the amboguity of 'British'.
    Any Scottish athlete is allowed to make clear he is pro-independence and has plenty of opportunities to do so. The crying victim act is so unbecoming. Advocate for independence all you want, but the ridiculous overstatement over perfectly reasonable trivialities just makes the movement look pathetic.

    The adjective of the UK is "British". Voting to remain part of the UK is voting for Scotland to remain British.

  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 4,598

    Major trigger warning for the COVIDiots:

    Prof Francois Balloux

    You have stated that a “non-trivial” number of long-Covid cases are psychosomatic.
    We know that infections such as Covid lead to post-viral syndromes. At the risk of being insensitive, I would be surprised if there wasn’t a link between disease severity and the severity of follow-up symptoms. Like tuberculosis or influenza, people who have a severe case should expect to take a long time to recover fully. And sometimes recovery is never complete.

    I would like to stress: if you have a serious infection, do not necessarily expect to be back to full fitness in three months. The situation is more complicated with a mild infection. Post-viral symptoms can happen but it seems relatively implausible to me that this would happen very frequently. In all likelihood, some cases are psychosomatic – though this doesn’t make the suffering less real for those affected or reduce the cost to society. All disease is real, irrespective of its root cause.

    There is a mental component to health and disease. Just the fear of something bad happening to us can make us feel unwell. A remarkable example of this process can be seen in the way over 30% of the people who were enrolled in the control arm of the Pfizer vaccine trial reported headaches and fatigue, despite not being injected with a vaccine.


    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/07/prof-francois-balloux-the-pandemic-has-created-a-market-for-gloom-and-doom

    I have stated my belief before that for some, long Covid is likely a psychological condition. This does not make it less real, but should influence how it is approached. Whenever I hear about shifting symptoms and people who know they’ve done too much, so will be exhausted the next day, I think of Suzanne O’Sullivan’s books about this kind of condition. I am certain many with long Covid have physical damage, but by no means all. But all need help.
  • AslanAslan Posts: 734
    Cyclefree said:

    Aslan said:



    It’s a branch of Sunni Islam. There’s fundamentalists in all religions who want to go back to basics, as it were. Though the spread of salafism is a bit worrying.

    We’re getting down to the brass tacks here of the western approach to modern Islam. Those on the right view it as a fundamentally violent and oppressive religion. Others, like me I suppose, see modern strains of fundamentalist Islam as a reaction to colonialism and it’s aftermath. The willingness of the West to tolerate, indeed prop up, oppressive regimes in oil rich states, and the like.

    Islam has had long periods of moderation, toleration, peaceful existence, of progress in science, literature and the arts. Much of the classical literature we have today only survived in Islamic libraries, for example.

    Why has part of it, in the relatively recent past, become so absolutist, and why does that view find traction in the places it does?

    The willingness to blame the West for everything is ridiculous. South Korea and Poland and Taiwan were all victims of colonization, but aren't hotspots of extremism. Most of the idolized "periods of Islamic moderation" were merely moderate for the time period. They would be considered oppressive by today's standards.

    When you have dozens of Muslim countries in the world and not a single one is a wealthy democracy, there is clearly a problem. If you look at the groups most struggling with life in wealthy democracies, they are almost all Muslim. The only way the Islamic world moves past oppression is by rejecting the oppressive parts of the Koran, as most Christians have done for the Bible. But there is currently no sign of that happening, as literalism is still accepted in every form of Islam with any serious presence.
    The reason they are not democracies is because the culture in those countries is a credal one. And a credal culture is fundamentally incompatible with democracy. Christian credal culture only developed into democracy because of two critical differences with Islam:

    (1) the belief that there was a difference between rendering unto Caesar and rendering unto God. While not sufficient in itself it allowed space for the development of the distinction between the laws of God and the laws of men.

    (2) the challenge - often very harsh - against religion and rule by churches and the wresting back of owner from churches. This took time. It was motivated by many things and the intellectual currents of the Enlightenment helped. But it did not start then. Christianity has in the West faced continuous challenge to its authority.

    Without these two it is not at all clear that democracy as we know it - or at all - would have developed in the West.

    Neither of these are really present, as far as I can tell, in Islamic cultures.
    I agree with much of this. Though I would say that places like Japan and India (at least for a while) embraced democracy despite having a lack of historical secularism and powerful religious establishments. They got past those barriers by simply rejecting core religious concepts, like the Emperor as a God or a religiously ordained cast order. Muslim countries can get there too. They just need to reject some currently core aspects of Islam to do it. They will never do that while they can blame the West for occupation etc, so the best thing we can do is just stay the hell out of them, except in cases of direct retaliation or prevention of a terrorist attack. This also applies to ending funding of the segregationist Israeli regime.
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 30,260
    Aslan said:

    Aslan said:

    malcolmg said:

    sarissa said:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html

    DavidL said:

    MaxPB said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    malcolmg said:

    tlg86 said:

    I see we now have six medals in track and field. Disappointing to not get a gold, but I think it’s a decent return.

    Sounds absolute crap to me.
    I think that you are being harsh. Laura Muir's medal in particular was a really excellent effort.
    It would have been gold if Scotland was independent. ;)
    It would have been fuck all outside of Team GB/BOA funding tbh. It's what's turned the UK into a sporting powerhouse compared to years gone.
    It will be interesting to see if there is an effect from Scots so clearly proud to wear a team GB strip and doing really well in these games. According to Sky News Scotland has more medal winners than any other part of the UK per head of population but they all seem very proud to wave the Union Jack.
    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html
    They don't have any other option than waving the Butcher's Apron. It is a bloody scandal that there is not a Scottish team at the Olympics.
    The majority of Scots athletes are proud to embrace their British identity, just as a majority of Scots voted to stay British.
    Yep.
    This guy for example.


    Still struggling with the term "majority" I see. Bless.
    Oh? I thought I was engaging with your simplistic, 2 dimensional point about athletes and their identities.

    Good to see my ‘people who end their posts with bless are wankers’ suspicion continues to gather supporting evidence.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 69,759
    edited August 7
    Aslan said:

    malcolmg said:

    sarissa said:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html

    DavidL said:

    MaxPB said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    malcolmg said:

    tlg86 said:

    I see we now have six medals in track and field. Disappointing to not get a gold, but I think it’s a decent return.

    Sounds absolute crap to me.
    I think that you are being harsh. Laura Muir's medal in particular was a really excellent effort.
    It would have been gold if Scotland was independent. ;)
    It would have been fuck all outside of Team GB/BOA funding tbh. It's what's turned the UK into a sporting powerhouse compared to years gone.
    It will be interesting to see if there is an effect from Scots so clearly proud to wear a team GB strip and doing really well in these games. According to Sky News Scotland has more medal winners than any other part of the UK per head of population but they all seem very proud to wave the Union Jack.
    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html
    They don't have any other option than waving the Butcher's Apron. It is a bloody scandal that there is not a Scottish team at the Olympics.
    The majority of Scots athletes are proud to embrace their British identity, just as a majority of Scots voted to stay British.
    I'm sure most would be happy to fly the scottish flag too in future should events develop that way. Statistically fair number are bound to be sindy supporters.

    But no point made with teenage style 'edginess' about a butchers apron can be taken very seriously.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 20,901
    edited August 7
    DougSeal said:

    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who could have guessed this happening...

    BBC News - Afghanistan war: Taliban say jail captured and prisoners freed
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-58127407

    Trying to control Afghanistan from outside has been a damnfool idea from day 1. If I'm not mistaken Alexander the Great came a bit of a cropper there, and no-one else has come closer.
    We did not invade to colonise Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of it in 1996 and we left them in power for 5 years.

    We only invaded in 2001 because 9\11 was launched by Bin Laden from Afghanistan and the Taliban refused to hand him over.

    Bin Laden is now dead but we will have to do a deal with the Taliban to give them some of rural Afghanistan in return for not allowing Al Qaeda back in
    It was still a damnfool idea. The US would have done far better to offer money for him. Somebody would have bitten. That's how Afghanistan seems to work.

    If you think 'we'...... the US will have to 'give' the Taliban 'some of rural Afghanistan' you'd better think again. Afghanistan will soon all be under Taliban control and, seriously, our best hope is to ignore the US and concentrate on encouraging their very capable cricket team.
    If the US had not invaded Bin Laden would still be alive and Al Qaeda still in the country.

    If the Taliban retake the whole country (which is unlikely given US air support still for the elected government and warlords who will resist them) and invite Al Qaeda back we would have no choice but to re invade or face future 9/11s and terrorist attacks launched on New York, London and Paris from cells trained in Afghanistan
    AQ is still in the country, and across the world. It might not be called AQ, there’ll be many names for the many groups, but they’ll all share the same broad Islamist ideology. It’s a franchise model.

    One of Bin Laden’s main objectives for 9/11 broadly succeeded. We were deliberately sucked into an unwinnable war. We have been stung, and we will no longer commit ourselves to large scale combat operations in Muslim countries. Western populations won’t accept it.

    The Islamists will regain full control of Afghanistan. Call them AQ, call them Talibs, call them what you like. A rose by any other name, and all that.

    The Islamists will carry out their struggle for years to come and apart from firing missiles from drones and a few Special Forces on the ground we will probably do very little, unless there’s another big terrorist spectacular in the West. And why would they do that? Let sleeping dogs lie.
    If I may continue from the post above, in light of subsequent discussion about Brexit and how it could/will weaken the UK/EU.

    9/11 was designed to weaken the West, to suck us into inwinnable wars, to split us, weaken our alliances, to allow Islamists a free hand in Muslim lands, to ultimately establish a Caliphate. That struggle will go on for decades, maybe centuries, that is the timescale they are thinking in.

    I’m sure many will disagree but I think it can be argued that one of the effects, aftershocks, of 9/11 was Brexit.

    If we hadn’t had 9/11 we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq and Afghan. Therefore we wouldn’t have had a wave a domestic terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims, radicalised by Al Qaeda, and it’s offshoots’, propaganda.

    If we hadn’t had that experience of Islamist terrorism and the dog whistle that Muslims = terrorists, and being in the EU will allow more Muslims in (Turkey will join, refugees flooding in from the Middle East) - cheers Nige - then perhaps Leave wouldn’t have scraped home.

    Because I think many people voted Leave, at least ooop North, because they simply don’t like Muslims. Or they don’t like the image of Muslims they have in their head.

    So if you accept that view, and you think that Brexit will weaken the UK and the EU, and our and the EU’s security alliances, then Brexit is fuelled, to a degree, by the fallout from 9/11.

    I’m sure many of you will disagree…
    Unsurprisingly I 100% disagree.

    For one thing 9/11 didn't begat Islamic terrorism, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism preceded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    9/11 was the second time the World Trade Centre was attacked by Islamists not the first. There were plane bombings, embassy bombings and much more through the seventies, eighties, nineties all before 9/11.

    In the UK we tended to pay less attention then because we had our own Troubles but it's entirely plausible we would have seen the 7/7 bombing, and attacks like Charlie Hebdo, or the Paris attacks etc even without 9/11.

    Islamist terrorism is occuring because radical Islam is an extremely violent, medieval and disturbing religion that hasn't undergone a Reformation. And is being state sponsored not least by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not because of wars in the Middle East that came after terrorism was well set.
    Of course 9/11 didn’t cause Islamist terrorism. But the success of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was to build a narrative that the West, from the Crusades onwards, through colonialism, had interfered in and damaged Muslim culture in Muslim lands. Another key plank of their argument was the obscenity of US troops stationed in Saudi, the home of Islam’s holiest sites.

    You don’t have to find that persuasive, you’re not the intended audience. Many do, to a greater or lesser extent. And from that pool radicals will emerge, have emerged.

    When we went into Iraq and Afghan it reinforced Bin Laden’s propaganda again. So radicalised Muslims carried out terrorist attacks here.

    That tarnished Muslims, which led, in part, to a successful Leave vote.

    You argue Islamist is evil, and backwards, and didn’t have a Reformation. There is much truth in there but it is also simplistic, you fail to understand the enemy. A counter argument is that Islamism is a reaction to colonialism, to the impact European countries had carving up the Middle East between themselves, to the Sykes-Picot agreement, to arbitrary lines drawn across maps by European administrators, to a thousand other slights real or imagined.

    The genius of Bin Laden’s propaganda is that it is built on a kernel of truth.
    Islam absolutely had a reformation. It is called salafism and its various types reject the religious establishment, want to return to literalist scripture and are generally all round intolerant of anyone that disagrees, just as early Protestantism was.

    The problem with Islam is that (a) Mohammed was less pleasant in his original message than Jesus of Nazareth so there's more support for the extremist position and (b) it didn't have an Enlightenment, which is what really made the West into a good place to live.
    Hmmmm...the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the French Revolution.

    I’m not sure those who were massacred in the Terror, murdered in the Vendee or killed in Napoleon’s interminable wars would altogether agree with you.
    Okay, here's an o/t question.

    I am not an historian (tm). Recently I listened to the excellent Revolutions Podcast on the French Revolution, and read/listened to other stuff on it (including the less-excellent Napoleon Podcast). Being British, my pre-existing viewpoint was that Napoleon was a sh*t. After all this listening/reading/?learning?, my viewpoint is still that he was a sh*t.

    So: am I right, despite my rather biased British upbringing? Taken in totality, was he a hero or villain?

    https://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/revolutions_podcast/
    https://napoleonbonapartepodcast.com/
    This is a massive gap for me too. I basically know about this stuff through reading the Sharpe books. I keep meaning to learn more about Napoleon but I never get round to it.
    It rather depends on your perspective. The British like to think of themselves as being on the side of liberty and against tyrants like....er..... Napoleon.

    But in Naples when there was a rebellion against the Bourbon kings, inspired by Napoleon, and the Parthenopean Republic set up, it was the British - led by one Admiral Nelson - who crushed the rebellion and put the dim-witted Bourbons back on the throne. The main road round the bay is Via Caracciolo named after the Admiral the British hanged.

    So was Napoleon the villain? Or was it perhaps the British?
    While it is tempting to reframe history as a battle between heroes and villains it’s a fundamentally reductive thing to do.
    Agreed. But I was responding to the original poster asking if Napoleon was a "shit" or not.

    My view: a superb military leader. Less good as a politician. Changed Europe - in some ways for the better. But believed his own propaganda, overreached and came a cropper
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 9,837
    Aslan said:

    Aslan said:

    malcolmg said:

    sarissa said:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html

    DavidL said:

    MaxPB said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    malcolmg said:

    tlg86 said:

    I see we now have six medals in track and field. Disappointing to not get a gold, but I think it’s a decent return.

    Sounds absolute crap to me.
    I think that you are being harsh. Laura Muir's medal in particular was a really excellent effort.
    It would have been gold if Scotland was independent. ;)
    It would have been fuck all outside of Team GB/BOA funding tbh. It's what's turned the UK into a sporting powerhouse compared to years gone.
    It will be interesting to see if there is an effect from Scots so clearly proud to wear a team GB strip and doing really well in these games. According to Sky News Scotland has more medal winners than any other part of the UK per head of population but they all seem very proud to wave the Union Jack.
    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html
    They don't have any other option than waving the Butcher's Apron. It is a bloody scandal that there is not a Scottish team at the Olympics.
    The majority of Scots athletes are proud to embrace their British identity, just as a majority of Scots voted to stay British.
    Yep.
    This guy for example.


    Still struggling with the term "majority" I see. Bless.
    You trolls all look the same to me, but aren't you the guy who was giving it large a couple of days ago about how a "tiny, tiny minority" of the 2x vacced contract Delta, when actually the vaccines are about 60% effective against it?
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 34,992
    Good refereeing…
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 9,837
    Cyclefree said:

    DougSeal said:

    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who could have guessed this happening...

    BBC News - Afghanistan war: Taliban say jail captured and prisoners freed
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-58127407

    Trying to control Afghanistan from outside has been a damnfool idea from day 1. If I'm not mistaken Alexander the Great came a bit of a cropper there, and no-one else has come closer.
    We did not invade to colonise Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of it in 1996 and we left them in power for 5 years.

    We only invaded in 2001 because 9\11 was launched by Bin Laden from Afghanistan and the Taliban refused to hand him over.

    Bin Laden is now dead but we will have to do a deal with the Taliban to give them some of rural Afghanistan in return for not allowing Al Qaeda back in
    It was still a damnfool idea. The US would have done far better to offer money for him. Somebody would have bitten. That's how Afghanistan seems to work.

    If you think 'we'...... the US will have to 'give' the Taliban 'some of rural Afghanistan' you'd better think again. Afghanistan will soon all be under Taliban control and, seriously, our best hope is to ignore the US and concentrate on encouraging their very capable cricket team.
    If the US had not invaded Bin Laden would still be alive and Al Qaeda still in the country.

    If the Taliban retake the whole country (which is unlikely given US air support still for the elected government and warlords who will resist them) and invite Al Qaeda back we would have no choice but to re invade or face future 9/11s and terrorist attacks launched on New York, London and Paris from cells trained in Afghanistan
    AQ is still in the country, and across the world. It might not be called AQ, there’ll be many names for the many groups, but they’ll all share the same broad Islamist ideology. It’s a franchise model.

    One of Bin Laden’s main objectives for 9/11 broadly succeeded. We were deliberately sucked into an unwinnable war. We have been stung, and we will no longer commit ourselves to large scale combat operations in Muslim countries. Western populations won’t accept it.

    The Islamists will regain full control of Afghanistan. Call them AQ, call them Talibs, call them what you like. A rose by any other name, and all that.

    The Islamists will carry out their struggle for years to come and apart from firing missiles from drones and a few Special Forces on the ground we will probably do very little, unless there’s another big terrorist spectacular in the West. And why would they do that? Let sleeping dogs lie.
    If I may continue from the post above, in light of subsequent discussion about Brexit and how it could/will weaken the UK/EU.

    9/11 was designed to weaken the West, to suck us into inwinnable wars, to split us, weaken our alliances, to allow Islamists a free hand in Muslim lands, to ultimately establish a Caliphate. That struggle will go on for decades, maybe centuries, that is the timescale they are thinking in.

    I’m sure many will disagree but I think it can be argued that one of the effects, aftershocks, of 9/11 was Brexit.

    If we hadn’t had 9/11 we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq and Afghan. Therefore we wouldn’t have had a wave a domestic terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims, radicalised by Al Qaeda, and it’s offshoots’, propaganda.

    If we hadn’t had that experience of Islamist terrorism and the dog whistle that Muslims = terrorists, and being in the EU will allow more Muslims in (Turkey will join, refugees flooding in from the Middle East) - cheers Nige - then perhaps Leave wouldn’t have scraped home.

    Because I think many people voted Leave, at least ooop North, because they simply don’t like Muslims. Or they don’t like the image of Muslims they have in their head.

    So if you accept that view, and you think that Brexit will weaken the UK and the EU, and our and the EU’s security alliances, then Brexit is fuelled, to a degree, by the fallout from 9/11.

    I’m sure many of you will disagree…
    Unsurprisingly I 100% disagree.

    For one thing 9/11 didn't begat Islamic terrorism, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism preceded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    9/11 was the second time the World Trade Centre was attacked by Islamists not the first. There were plane bombings, embassy bombings and much more through the seventies, eighties, nineties all before 9/11.

    In the UK we tended to pay less attention then because we had our own Troubles but it's entirely plausible we would have seen the 7/7 bombing, and attacks like Charlie Hebdo, or the Paris attacks etc even without 9/11.

    Islamist terrorism is occuring because radical Islam is an extremely violent, medieval and disturbing religion that hasn't undergone a Reformation. And is being state sponsored not least by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not because of wars in the Middle East that came after terrorism was well set.
    Of course 9/11 didn’t cause Islamist terrorism. But the success of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was to build a narrative that the West, from the Crusades onwards, through colonialism, had interfered in and damaged Muslim culture in Muslim lands. Another key plank of their argument was the obscenity of US troops stationed in Saudi, the home of Islam’s holiest sites.

    You don’t have to find that persuasive, you’re not the intended audience. Many do, to a greater or lesser extent. And from that pool radicals will emerge, have emerged.

    When we went into Iraq and Afghan it reinforced Bin Laden’s propaganda again. So radicalised Muslims carried out terrorist attacks here.

    That tarnished Muslims, which led, in part, to a successful Leave vote.

    You argue Islamist is evil, and backwards, and didn’t have a Reformation. There is much truth in there but it is also simplistic, you fail to understand the enemy. A counter argument is that Islamism is a reaction to colonialism, to the impact European countries had carving up the Middle East between themselves, to the Sykes-Picot agreement, to arbitrary lines drawn across maps by European administrators, to a thousand other slights real or imagined.

    The genius of Bin Laden’s propaganda is that it is built on a kernel of truth.
    Islam absolutely had a reformation. It is called salafism and its various types reject the religious establishment, want to return to literalist scripture and are generally all round intolerant of anyone that disagrees, just as early Protestantism was.

    The problem with Islam is that (a) Mohammed was less pleasant in his original message than Jesus of Nazareth so there's more support for the extremist position and (b) it didn't have an Enlightenment, which is what really made the West into a good place to live.
    Hmmmm...the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the French Revolution.

    I’m not sure those who were massacred in the Terror, murdered in the Vendee or killed in Napoleon’s interminable wars would altogether agree with you.
    Okay, here's an o/t question.

    I am not an historian (tm). Recently I listened to the excellent Revolutions Podcast on the French Revolution, and read/listened to other stuff on it (including the less-excellent Napoleon Podcast). Being British, my pre-existing viewpoint was that Napoleon was a sh*t. After all this listening/reading/?learning?, my viewpoint is still that he was a sh*t.

    So: am I right, despite my rather biased British upbringing? Taken in totality, was he a hero or villain?

    https://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/revolutions_podcast/
    https://napoleonbonapartepodcast.com/
    This is a massive gap for me too. I basically know about this stuff through reading the Sharpe books. I keep meaning to learn more about Napoleon but I never get round to it.
    It rather depends on your perspective. The British like to think of themselves as being on the side of liberty and against tyrants like....er..... Napoleon.

    But in Naples when there was a rebellion against the Bourbon kings, inspired by Napoleon, and the Parthenopean Republic set up, it was the British - led by one Admiral Nelson - who crushed the rebellion and put the dim-witted Bourbons back on the throne. The main road round the bay is Via Caracciolo named after the Admiral the British hanged.

    So was Napoleon the villain? Or was it perhaps the British?
    While it is tempting to reframe history as a battle between heroes and villains it’s a fundamentally reductive thing to do.
    Agreed. But I was responding to the original poster asking if Napoleon was a "shit" or not.

    My view: a superb military leader. Less good as a politician. Changed Europe - in some ways for the better. But believed his own propaganda, overreached and came a cropper
    But there's nothing superb about being a military leader, let's not fall for "Vainqueurs d'Austerlitz" sentimentality. He inflicted as much unnecessary misery on mankind as Hitler did (NB that Goya's Disasters of War are from his watch).
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 38,755
    EXC: Boris Johnson threatened to demote Rishi Sunak from chancellor to health secretary last week (in front of a dozen witnesses)

    https://twitter.com/shippersunbound/status/1424053828207394820
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 34,992
    edited August 7
    That’s a try. No clear evidence of a forward pass.
  • NEW THREAD

  • AslanAslan Posts: 734
    IshmaelZ said:

    Aslan said:

    Aslan said:

    malcolmg said:

    sarissa said:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html

    DavidL said:

    MaxPB said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    malcolmg said:

    tlg86 said:

    I see we now have six medals in track and field. Disappointing to not get a gold, but I think it’s a decent return.

    Sounds absolute crap to me.
    I think that you are being harsh. Laura Muir's medal in particular was a really excellent effort.
    It would have been gold if Scotland was independent. ;)
    It would have been fuck all outside of Team GB/BOA funding tbh. It's what's turned the UK into a sporting powerhouse compared to years gone.
    It will be interesting to see if there is an effect from Scots so clearly proud to wear a team GB strip and doing really well in these games. According to Sky News Scotland has more medal winners than any other part of the UK per head of population but they all seem very proud to wave the Union Jack.
    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html
    They don't have any other option than waving the Butcher's Apron. It is a bloody scandal that there is not a Scottish team at the Olympics.
    The majority of Scots athletes are proud to embrace their British identity, just as a majority of Scots voted to stay British.
    Yep.
    This guy for example.


    Still struggling with the term "majority" I see. Bless.
    You trolls all look the same to me, but aren't you the guy who was giving it large a couple of days ago about how a "tiny, tiny minority" of the 2x vacced contract Delta, when actually the vaccines are about 60% effective against it?
    A troll because I pointed out the huge logical gap in the response. Sure buddy.

    And no, that wasn't my claim. Seems like dictionaries all round are needed.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 43,238

    EXC: Boris Johnson threatened to demote Rishi Sunak from chancellor to health secretary last week (in front of a dozen witnesses)

    https://twitter.com/shippersunbound/status/1424053828207394820

    Because Sunak would obviously have taken such a demotion rather than going to the backbenches and making a devastating resignation speech.

    Forget Boris Derangement Syndrome, this is Deranged Boris Syndrome.
  • stodgestodge Posts: 9,371
    Cyclefree said:


    Agreed. But I was responding to the original poster asking if Napoleon was a "shit" or not.

    My view: a superb military leader. Less good as a politician. Changed Europe - in some ways for the better. But believed his own propaganda, overreached and came a cropper

    Hard to argue with that. There were a couple of opportunities when, with a little magnanimity and some shrewder politics, Napoleon could have achieved a lasting peace.

    The first of those was Amiens - the British recognised the French Republic and were happy to see a return of normal economic activity. Then, Tilsit and if Napoleon had resisted trying to spread the Continental System to Portugal and Sweden, he could probably have enjoyed an extended period of peace on land.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 34,484
    Aslan said:

    malcolmg said:

    sarissa said:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html

    DavidL said:

    MaxPB said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    malcolmg said:

    tlg86 said:

    I see we now have six medals in track and field. Disappointing to not get a gold, but I think it’s a decent return.

    Sounds absolute crap to me.
    I think that you are being harsh. Laura Muir's medal in particular was a really excellent effort.
    It would have been gold if Scotland was independent. ;)
    It would have been fuck all outside of Team GB/BOA funding tbh. It's what's turned the UK into a sporting powerhouse compared to years gone.
    It will be interesting to see if there is an effect from Scots so clearly proud to wear a team GB strip and doing really well in these games. According to Sky News Scotland has more medal winners than any other part of the UK per head of population but they all seem very proud to wave the Union Jack.
    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html
    They don't have any other option than waving the Butcher's Apron. It is a bloody scandal that there is not a Scottish team at the Olympics.
    The majority of Scots athletes are proud to embrace their British identity, just as a majority of Scots voted to stay British.
    JOG ON LOSER
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 34,097
    kle4 said:

    kle4 said:

    ydoethur said:

    Aslan said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who could have guessed this happening...

    BBC News - Afghanistan war: Taliban say jail captured and prisoners freed
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-58127407

    Trying to control Afghanistan from outside has been a damnfool idea from day 1. If I'm not mistaken Alexander the Great came a bit of a cropper there, and no-one else has come closer.
    We did not invade to colonise Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of it in 1996 and we left them in power for 5 years.

    We only invaded in 2001 because 9\11 was launched by Bin Laden from Afghanistan and the Taliban refused to hand him over.

    Bin Laden is now dead but we will have to do a deal with the Taliban to give them some of rural Afghanistan in return for not allowing Al Qaeda back in
    It was still a damnfool idea. The US would have done far better to offer money for him. Somebody would have bitten. That's how Afghanistan seems to work.

    If you think 'we'...... the US will have to 'give' the Taliban 'some of rural Afghanistan' you'd better think again. Afghanistan will soon all be under Taliban control and, seriously, our best hope is to ignore the US and concentrate on encouraging their very capable cricket team.
    If the US had not invaded Bin Laden would still be alive and Al Qaeda still in the country.

    If the Taliban retake the whole country (which is unlikely given US air support still for the elected government and warlords who will resist them) and invite Al Qaeda back we would have no choice but to re invade or face future 9/11s and terrorist attacks launched on New York, London and Paris from cells trained in Afghanistan
    AQ is still in the country, and across the world. It might not be called AQ, there’ll be many names for the many groups, but they’ll all share the same broad Islamist ideology. It’s a franchise model.

    One of Bin Laden’s main objectives for 9/11 broadly succeeded. We were deliberately sucked into an unwinnable war. We have been stung, and we will no longer commit ourselves to large scale combat operations in Muslim countries. Western populations won’t accept it.

    The Islamists will regain full control of Afghanistan. Call them AQ, call them Talibs, call them what you like. A rose by any other name, and all that.

    The Islamists will carry out their struggle for years to come and apart from firing missiles from drones and a few Special Forces on the ground we will probably do very little, unless there’s another big terrorist spectacular in the West. And why would they do that? Let sleeping dogs lie.
    If I may continue from the post above, in light of subsequent discussion about Brexit and how it could/will weaken the UK/EU.

    9/11 was designed to weaken the West, to suck us into inwinnable wars, to split us, weaken our alliances, to allow Islamists a free hand in Muslim lands, to ultimately establish a Caliphate. That struggle will go on for decades, maybe centuries, that is the timescale they are thinking in.

    I’m sure many will disagree but I think it can be argued that one of the effects, aftershocks, of 9/11 was Brexit.

    If we hadn’t had 9/11 we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq and Afghan. Therefore we wouldn’t have had a wave a domestic terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims, radicalised by Al Qaeda, and it’s offshoots’, propaganda.

    If we hadn’t had that experience of Islamist terrorism and the dog whistle that Muslims = terrorists, and being in the EU will allow more Muslims in (Turkey will join, refugees flooding in from the Middle East) - cheers Nige - then perhaps Leave wouldn’t have scraped home.

    Because I think many people voted Leave, at least ooop North, because they simply don’t like Muslims. Or they don’t like the image of Muslims they have in their head.

    So if you accept that view, and you think that Brexit will weaken the UK and the EU, and our and the EU’s security alliances, then Brexit is fuelled, to a degree, by the fallout from 9/11.

    I’m sure many of you will disagree…
    Unsurprisingly I 100% disagree.

    For one thing 9/11 didn't begat Islamic terrorism, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism preceded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    9/11 was the second time the World Trade Centre was attacked by Islamists not the first. There were plane bombings, embassy bombings and much more through the seventies, eighties, nineties all before 9/11.

    In the UK we tended to pay less attention then because we had our own Troubles but it's entirely plausible we would have seen the 7/7 bombing, and attacks like Charlie Hebdo, or the Paris attacks etc even without 9/11.

    Islamist terrorism is occuring because radical Islam is an extremely violent, medieval and disturbing religion that hasn't undergone a Reformation. And is being state sponsored not least by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not because of wars in the Middle East that came after terrorism was well set.
    Of course 9/11 didn’t cause Islamist terrorism. But the success of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was to build a narrative that the West, from the Crusades onwards, through colonialism, had interfered in and damaged Muslim culture in Muslim lands. Another key plank of their argument was the obscenity of US troops stationed in Saudi, the home of Islam’s holiest sites.

    You don’t have to find that persuasive, you’re not the intended audience. Many do, to a greater or lesser extent. And from that pool radicals will emerge, have emerged.

    When we went into Iraq and Afghan it reinforced Bin Laden’s propaganda again. So radicalised Muslims carried out terrorist attacks here.

    That tarnished Muslims, which led, in part, to a successful Leave vote.

    You argue Islamist is evil, and backwards, and didn’t have a Reformation. There is much truth in there but it is also simplistic, you fail to understand the enemy. A counter argument is that Islamism is a reaction to colonialism, to the impact European countries had carving up the Middle East between themselves, to the Sykes-Picot agreement, to arbitrary lines drawn across maps by European administrators, to a thousand other slights real or imagined.

    The genius of Bin Laden’s propaganda is that it is built on a kernel of truth.
    Islam absolutely had a reformation. It is called salafism and its various types reject the religious establishment, want to return to literalist scripture and are generally all round intolerant of anyone that disagrees, just as early Protestantism was.

    The problem with Islam is that (a) Mohammed was less pleasant in his original message than Jesus of Nazareth so there's more support for the extremist position and (b) it didn't have an Enlightenment, which is what really made the West into a good place to live.
    Hmmmm...the first major political fruit of the Enlightenment was the French Revolution.

    I’m not sure those who were massacred in the Terror, murdered in the Vendee or killed in Napoleon’s interminable wars would altogether agree with you.
    Okay, here's an o/t question.

    I am not an historian (tm). Recently I listened to the excellent Revolutions Podcast on the French Revolution, and read/listened to other stuff on it (including the less-excellent Napoleon Podcast). Being British, my pre-existing viewpoint was that Napoleon was a sh*t. After all this listening/reading/?learning?, my viewpoint is still that he was a sh*t.

    So: am I right, despite my rather biased British upbringing? Taken in totality, was he a hero or villain?

    https://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/revolutions_podcast/
    https://napoleonbonapartepodcast.com/
    A lot of figures can achieve a lot and be great and also be shits.
    I didn't pose it well, but I think my question is more: is the world better for him having got power, than it would have been if he had not? Some people (and I'm looking at the presenters of one of the podcasts above), seem to excuse all his bad points with things like 'metricisation'! 'stable government'! 'Modern law system'!

    Whereas I wonder if, once the monarchy had been dispatched, the same could have been achieved without the constant warfare he felt necessary. What if he had looked a little more at what his international competitors wanted, and the Treaty of Amiens had not failed? (and yes, I know that wasn't totally in his hands.)

    It just seems that he caused an awful lot of deaths and hardship, to leave a politically unstable France and millions of deaths.
    I'm no historian, but I'd probably fall on that side. Those achievements don't necessitate all the negative things that he caused. One of those 'Die a hero, or live long enough to become a villain' situations perhaps? It#s not like the chaos and death was all down to him, but his personality and choices seem to have a big impact on the path taken.
    Everything else apart, war is immensely destructive, and he kept a large scale one going for well over a decade.
    Had he been either slightly less of a megalomaniac, or less talented as a general, he would not have been so destructive.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 11,996
    malcolmg said:

    Aslan said:

    malcolmg said:

    sarissa said:

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html

    DavidL said:

    MaxPB said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    malcolmg said:

    tlg86 said:

    I see we now have six medals in track and field. Disappointing to not get a gold, but I think it’s a decent return.

    Sounds absolute crap to me.
    I think that you are being harsh. Laura Muir's medal in particular was a really excellent effort.
    It would have been gold if Scotland was independent. ;)
    It would have been fuck all outside of Team GB/BOA funding tbh. It's what's turned the UK into a sporting powerhouse compared to years gone.
    It will be interesting to see if there is an effect from Scots so clearly proud to wear a team GB strip and doing really well in these games. According to Sky News Scotland has more medal winners than any other part of the UK per head of population but they all seem very proud to wave the Union Jack.
    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/08/just-reminder-that-we-have-hard.html
    They don't have any other option than waving the Butcher's Apron. It is a bloody scandal that there is not a Scottish team at the Olympics.
    The majority of Scots athletes are proud to embrace their British identity, just as a majority of Scots voted to stay British.
    JOG ON LOSER
    Caps lock always win the ARGUMENT for me. Now a Sindy FAN!
  • FairlieredFairliered Posts: 737
    kle4 said:

    MaxPB said:



    Lol

    Devastating for the poor athlete of course, though perhaps due to my vestigial lower middle class roots I find it hard to feel too bad for anyone in a silly jacket and hat on top of a horse.
    As the parent of a horse dancing daughter and granddaughter, I should feel sorry for the rider. But I just can’t. I hope an independent Scotland spends nothing at all on supporting professional sport, including the willy waving Olympics, even if it means winning no medals. Ordinary folk deserve government support more than sporting prima donnas. As long as Scotland is part of the UK, I wish the UK Government would stop wasting money on sport and spend it to help increase benefits for those that need it. If the Olympic medal table was based on pensions, sick pay or benefits for unemployed people, we wouldn’t be anywhere near the top.
This discussion has been closed.