Create an Account
username: password:
  MemeStreams Logo

Lost's MemeStream


Picture of Lost
My Blog
My Profile
My Audience
My Sources
Send Me a Message

sponsored links

Lost's topics
Health and Wellness
Home and Garden
Current Events
Local Information

support us

Get MemeStreams Stuff!

Current Topic: Society

Stratfor | Rhetoric and Reality: The View from Iran
Topic: Society 11:34 am EST, Jan 19, 2007

Stratfor focusing on the Iranian perspective...

By George Friedman

The Iraq war has turned into a duel between the United States and Iran. For the United States, the goal has been the creation of a generally pro-American coalition government in Baghdad -- representing Iraq's three major ethnic communities. For Iran, the goal has been the creation of either a pro-Iranian government in Baghdad or, alternatively, the division of Iraq into three regions, with Iran dominating the Shiite south.

The United States has encountered serious problems in creating the coalition government. The Iranians have been primarily responsible for that. With the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in June, when it appeared that the Sunnis would enter the political process fully, the Iranians used their influence with various Iraqi Shiite factions to disrupt that process by launching attacks on Sunnis and generally destabilizing the situation. Certainly, Sunnis contributed to this, but for much of the past year, it has been the Shia, supported by Iran, that have been the primary destabilizing force.

So long as the Iranians continue to follow this policy, the U.S. strategy cannot succeed. The difficulty of the American plan is that it requires the political participation of three main ethnic groups that are themselves politically fragmented. Virtually any substantial group can block the success of the strategy by undermining the political process. The Iranians, however, appear to be in a more powerful position than the Americans. So long as they continue to support Shiite groups within Iraq, they will be able to block the U.S. plan. Over time, the theory goes, the Americans will recognize the hopelessness of the undertaking and withdraw, leaving Iran to pick up the pieces. In the meantime, the Iranians will increasingly be able to dominate the Shiite community and consolidate their hold over southern Iraq. The game appears to go to Iran.

Americans are extremely sensitive to the difficulties the United States faces in Iraq. Every nation-state has a defining characteristic, and that of the United States is manic-depression, cycling between insanely optimistic plans and total despair. This national characteristic tends to blind Americans to the situation on the other side of the hill. Certainly, the Bush administration vastly underestimated the difficulties of occupying Iraq -- that was the manic phase. But at this point, it could be argued that the administration again is not looking over the other side of the hill at the difficulties the Iranians might be having. And it is useful to consider the world from the Iranian point of view.

The Foundation of Foreign Policy

It is important to distinguish between the rhetoric and the reality of Iranian foreign policy. As a general principle, this should be done with all countries. As in business, rhetoric is used to shape perceptions and atte... [ Read More (1.3k in body) ]

Stratfor | Rhetoric and Reality: The View from Iran

AMAZING CGI Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Renactment
Topic: Society 1:55 am EST, Dec 28, 2006

This is amazing - I think it is a must see.

It is VERY well done.

AMAZING CGI Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Renactment

The Volokh Conspiracy - Ten Years in Prison for 17-Year-Old Who Had Consensual Oral Sex with 15-Year-Old:
Topic: Society 9:58 am EST, Dec 19, 2006

If you are wondering who these criminal sex offenders that legislators are jumping up and down to defend you from are, you might look no further than this case:

Accordingly, while I am very sympathetic to Wilson's argument regarding the injustice of sentencing this promising young man with good grades and no criminal history to ten years in prison without parole and a lifetime registration as a sexual offender because he engaged in consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old victim only two years his junior, this Court is bound by the Legislature's determination that young persons in Wilson's situation are not entitled to the misdemeanor treatment now accorded to identical behavior under OCGA � 16-6-4 (d) (2).

Yes, thats Georgia. And, God forbid this person might use a website when finally released from prison! Won't somebody please save us from these people!!@

The Volokh Conspiracy - Ten Years in Prison for 17-Year-Old Who Had Consensual Oral Sex with 15-Year-Old:

Move Over, Hoover -
Topic: Society 4:10 pm EST, Dec  3, 2006

Some presidents, such as Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy, are political sailors -- they tack with the wind, reaching difficult policy objectives through bipartisan maneuvering and pulse-taking. Franklin D. Roosevelt, for example, was deemed a "chameleon on plaid," changing colors regularly to control the zeitgeist of the moment. Other presidents are submariners, refusing to zigzag in rough waters, preferring to go from Point A to Point B with directional certitude. Harry S. Truman and Reagan are exemplars of this modus operandi, and they are the two presidents Bush has tried to emulate.

The problem for Bush is that certitude is only a virtue if the policy enacted is proven correct. Most Americans applaud Truman's dropping of bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because they achieved the desired effect: Japan surrendered. Reagan's anti-communist zeal -- including increased defense budgets and Star Wars -- is only now perceived as positive because the Soviet Union started to unravel on his watch.

Nobody has accused Bush of flinching. After 9/11, he decided to circumvent the United Nations and declare war on Iraq. The principal pretext was that Baghdad supposedly was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. From the get-go, the Iraq war was a matter of choice. Call it Mr. Bush's War. Like a high-stakes poker player pushing in all his chips on one hand, he bet the credibility of the United States on the notion that Sunnis and Shiites wanted democracy, just like the Poles and the Czechs during the Cold War.

Move Over, Hoover -

Hard To Do Any Worse
Topic: Society 4:58 pm EDT, Sep 28, 2006

BURIED IN THE complex Senate compromise on detainee treatment is a real shocker, reaching far beyond the legal struggles about foreign terrorist suspects in the Guantanamo Bay fortress. The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.

Oh Fuck...

Hard To Do Any Worse

Flickr: Ass-praisal
Topic: Society 10:53 pm EDT, Sep 23, 2006

You can rate the sizes of azz this way. Useful frame of reference for... azz discussions.

Flickr: Ass-praisal

TOKYO DAMAGE REPORT: japan, punk, hentai, engrish, goth, robot, kogal, otaku, shibuya, harajuku, schultz, fetchi, etc.
Topic: Society 8:49 am EDT, Sep 16, 2006

This guy details his two year exploration of the more bizarre extremes of Japanese culture. hahahaha

TOKYO DAMAGE REPORT: japan, punk, hentai, engrish, goth, robot, kogal, otaku, shibuya, harajuku, schultz, fetchi, etc.

Learning English, Japanese-style Archives
Topic: Society 7:03 pm EDT, Sep  7, 2006

Nobody does weird like the Japanese. Sometimes it's deliberately weird - like those anime films that consists mainly of demons killing each other in bizarre ways. But what to make of Zuiiken English?

This program seems to be geared towards helping Japanese people learn to speak English, but its methods and scenarios are strange to say the least.

Take a look at this clip for example:

Learning English, Japanese-style Archives

Foreign Affairs - Is There Still a Terrorist Threat? - John Mueller
Topic: Society 12:56 am EDT, Sep  5, 2006

Summary: Despite all the ominous warnings of wily terrorists and imminent attacks, there has been neither a successful strike nor a close call in the United States since 9/11. The reasonable -- but rarely heard -- explanation is that there are no terrorists within the United States, and few have the means or the inclination to strike from abroad.

Foreign Affairs - Is There Still a Terrorist Threat? - John Mueller

War Within War
Topic: Society 12:47 am EDT, Sep  5, 2006

Many Lebanese remain puzzled by the strategic thinking behind a month-long aerial campaign that killed approximately 1,287 people, injured 4,054, severed three quarters of the country's roads and bridges, smashed some fifty factories, and left an estimated 100,000 people homeless. But one goal was nearly achieved by the last days of fighting. Aside from the general infrastructural damage and occasional effectiveness at hitting probable rocket-launching sites, as well as at clobbering Hezbollah targets that ranged from its main offices in the Dahiya suburb to party-run village orphanages, clinics, and schools, the bombing did succeed in displacing some nine tenths of Lebanon's estimated 1.2 million Shias. Touching nearly every concentration of Shias in the country, the nine thousand air strikes emptied not just the Dahiya and the southern borderlands. Shia villagers even in the northern Bekaa Valley, fifty miles from the front, also found it wise to seek shelter in public schools, stadiums, and private homes across the Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Druze- dominated regions of the country.

This Israeli campaign appears to have had two purposes. One was psychological: underlining the fact that Hezbollah had failed to fulfill its role as a protector of even its own people, the Shia, let alone of Lebanon as a whole. The other was military: to clear the south Lebanon "fighting box" of civilians, so as to allow the Israeli army to make use of its heaviest antipersonnel weaponry without fear of bad publicity. In the very last hours of the war, Israel does seem to have saturated parts of the border landscape with cluster bombs. But either its army was given too little time and leeway or the technique was inefficient. The final twenty-four hours of fighting saw Hezbollah firing its single largest daily volley of rockets, some 250, at northern Israel. Many were shot from positions that had been repeatedly bombed, often within sight of Israel's border.


Israel's loss of 116 soldiers was not large as major wars go. Hezbollah claims to have lost a smaller number of front-line fighters, although many more troops associated with Hezbollah may have been lost as well. It is difficult to judge, since rearguard reserves are typically dressed as civilians. Israel's claim to have destroyed up to 70 percent of the guerrillas' longer-range rocket launchers may also be correct. But the uncomfortable fact for Israel is that whereas Hezbollah killed two Israeli soldiers for every Israeli citizen it killed, Israel's ratio in inflicting "collateral damage" was, at best, exactly the reverse.

War Within War

(Last) Newer << 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 >> Older (First)
Powered By Industrial Memetics