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25 May 2017

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Babak Makkinejad

You cannot expect them to state:

1 - "We adjudicated among Muslims and chose side."
2 - "The one we chose was the wrong one."
3 - "Nothing now can be done to rectify our position."
4 - "We still need them "wrong" Muslims."

trinlae

Well, from the South and East and Northeast Asian religious perspectives of Vedic and Buddhist (Sanskrit and later Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Mongolian language based) dharma traditions, which count many millions of adherents/practitioners, Jews, Christians, and Muslims are all Abrahamic in theological history and lineage of divinity construction (David, Moses, etc) and Semitic langage based vs Indo-European Sanskrit.

However, culturally, Shia or Sufi style Islam shares more similarities with South Asian religious cultures i.e., mala rosary meditation practice, prostration (bowing/humility) devotional practices, sitting on floor mats, daily rhythms of prayer/meditation. It is interesting and hard to know who influenced who first in these matters, and is a very interesting cultural history question (to theology scholars/people like me lol). I would guess influence of Persian culture as a bridge w earlier Happaran civilizations.

I feel there are several important considerations and factors in the "new" 350bn ksa relations worth considering carefully, especially in light of current scrutiny of Congressional IT/Blackberry security vis a vis Pakistani agents:

* Massive deal cutting by DT & MIC w KSA brings former MO of Clinton Foundation money laundering "charity" murkiness into daylight and before the cameras. A side effect is that while KSA prince still has majority private shareholder privileges at Citigroup, and while Wall St would still make a lot of money on transaction fees, going directly to KSA cuts out Wall St as political middlemen possibly less able to nefariously influence further down stream from WH executive, at least in the dark

* Massive fund is almost a giant money laundering to Israel via USA, introducing a 'sort of' balance of power that Israel and KSA get to wield over DC. It is sort of, because KSA would seem to be far from enjoying US-Israeli ties in nuke tech and insec

* However, w nuked Pakistan across the Arabian Sea, it would, imho, be a mistake to fail to preserve the Shia-Sunni balance of power atop which pinnacle Pakistan seems to sit in unstable equilibrium, propped up in some ways by India and Iran respectively. Angling for some kind of west Asia sunni utopia w shia Islam obliterated is not going to work, without going for final nuke apocalypse.

As an addendum, if war on drugs could get someone more informed than Sessions (preferably someone from Europe where successful work with heroin addicts has been validated by evidence) to get Cannibis and Heroin mfg & export legalized but controlled for recreational (or latter case) medicinal use, these black market economies could be brought into the fold akin to farming subsidies enjoyed by rest of the world, and then perhaps Afghanistan could further stabilize at least economically. I am obviously not an expert, do this is just an example of merely one way thinking about this shadow dimension is part of the trifecta of nukes, petrodollars, and dope trade (w associated evils like human trafficking). Chinese would also have to upgrade the thinking on this too, given their economic presence in w asia, which in view of opium wars history may be a touchy subject, but they have plenty of oncology units w controlled narco RX, social work expertise also. It does sound a bit like a pipe dream, but better than continued shadows for narco trade spilling over into the other areas.

Babak Makkinejad

Western Fortress chose sides in that religious war; Westerners chose Catholic Croats, Russians the Orthodox Serbs, and Muslim states the Bosnian Muslims.

Did Tito - a Croat - protect the war-criminals?

trinlae

In psychology there are known human fallacies of thinking/cognitive biases.

An AI system designed to work qualitatively and voluntarily w humans to consider these systematically in decision making especially in strategic critical areas could help.

i.e., ai has taken up some of this quantitatively via auto pilot controls and air traffick controls but for example in finance and banking known yo be prone to excessive risk taking and in some cases psychopathology, politics, business marketing, mfg, military, and especially group consensus processes wrt to these, having an impartial 3rd party feedback a cognitive bias report based on inputs could be helpful if designed to work systematically integrated in processes vs fire fighting reactivity.

trinlae

Well neary all hard labor is imported from South Asia and paid lower than Saudi wages (but still higher than these people can make at home in Bangaladesh, Nepal etc)

Pundita

KSA's low oil production cost is famously known in the business. One of the Oil Price links I provided above discusses the cost in some detail:

To repeat the link:

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Saudi-vs-Shale-The-Breakeven-Myth.html

"Saudi Arabia is well known for its super low production costs for oil. In fact, its oil is almost the cheapest to extract. Only Kuwait sports even lower costs, according to a ranking by Rystad Energy and CNN. And yet, the Kingdom has been at the forefront of production cut efforts as it obviously can’t cope with the current price levels.

According to a Wall Street Journal breakdown of production costs per barrel for 13 large producers, Saudi Arabia can extract a barrel of crude at US$8.98, just a little bit less than Iran, at US$9.08. To compare, the cost per barrel of U.S. shale comes in at US$23.35.

This cost includes taxes, pure production costs, administrative costs, and capital expenditure. When it comes to production costs, Saudi Arabia actually ranks below Iraq, Iran, and Russia, but in other areas—taxes for example—it has an advantage over almost everybody else as its oil production is not taxed.

U.S. shale, on the other hand, has to bear US$6.42 in gross taxes per barrel, while non-shale producers are marginally better, with gross tax due at US$5.03 per barrel. Russian producers have to pay US$8.44 into the state budget for each barrel they extract.

So, based on these figures, which are from last year, Saudi Arabia has a substantial advantage over its main rivals—its oil is near the surface, the weather is not as harsh as in Siberia, and Aramco does not pay taxes. So why are some analysts claiming that shale is taking the upper hand?

Of course, not everyone agrees that U.S. shale is gaining on Saudi Arabia. In fact, some observers and industry insiders argue that shale will never be able to compete with Saudi oil on an equal footing due to production costs. Some insist that what the shale producers are doing right now is creating a bubble by increasing production on the back of rising debt. The bubble, they warn, will soon burst and take many of them down.

[...]"

I suggest you read the entire report if you're interested in the issue. But the costs cited in the report are beyond dispute although some analysts contend that the Saudi cost is the lowest, period; either way, the cost hovers around $9/bbl. Given the factors that create the low cost, there's no reason for the production costs to increase unless the Saudis start taxing the production, which is unlikely. If they should start taxing, you may trust the IMF will know about it -- and be the first to know.

As to diversification -- the fund for Vision 2030 is the neighborhood of $4 trillion, if my memory serves -- that's trillion with a t.

Now whether that figure is just blowing smoke -- okay so maybe it will work out to 1 or 2 trillion. It's still a mountain of money. And nobody says the Saudis have to diversify within the confines of their own geography, which affords them little opportunity for diversification. If you're interested, study up on the plans that MbS has already announced for diversification.

The point is that there is no way that Iran and Iraq can match the amount of money the Saudis have available for diversification, and nobody says the Saudis have to do it themselves. They can hire the best brains to do it for them.

But diversification isn't the issue, which is why I didn't spend time on the topic. It's going to take years before diversification can match what the Saudis are taking in now in oil revenues. Meanwhile the future is bearing down fast, as I noted, and it's a future that calls for much less petroleum.

And the future is not a tinker-toy, where events fit neatly into each other. So there could be a gap -- maybe not big, maybe as little as five or ten years, where the diversification isn't yet up to speed and the oil revenues are working out to less than $35/bbl. That's the abyss opening up before KSA.

So in my view they should not be listening to talk about an Arab NATO; they shouldn't listen to anything the US tells them because of the very fast differences between the two countries. And they should cut bait in Yemen and Syria, unless it's for offers to do reconstruction, which is how they can get lots of favorable press and make piles of money.

For God's sake -- they know they need to diversify and war isn't diversification unless standing in quicksand is somebody's idea of diversifying.

So don't worry about saving Face or being seen as weaklings for withdrawing from war. Hello, the future is breaking down the gates, and the Whirlwind will be in charge once those gates fall. In an uncertain world, the Saudis can be certain of that. So use this time of relative peace and order wisely. Beep this is a recording.

Babak Makkinejad

You write:

"...to get Cannibis and Heroin mfg & export legalized but controlled for recreational..."

Do you support the creation and maintenance of a publicly available databases of individuals who partake in this "re-creation"?

In US, there is a publicly database of sex offenders and their addresses.

In regards to Afghanistan: legitimate authority is needed to stabilize it. None exists.

Fred

Babak,

For the right price Google analytics will provide sell it to you.

Allen Thomson


Yes, I've had similar experiences and made similar observations: https://tinyurl.com/yahm5klw

Another example is the vulnerability of satellite systems the US depends on greatly.

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

What if our not knowing what thinking or intelligence is . . . merely renders us unable to see it if the computers develop a thinking intelligence of their own?

" It's life, Jim. But not as we know it!"

Imagine

NYT sources VOA and Bellingcat(!), it is a surprisingly nice analysis. If we continue to have multiple cameras on episodes, and actual analyses, it will be very healthy and counteract state thuggism, hopefully of all sorts. Sunlight kills vampires.

MRW

Furthermore, she’s Catholic. And that is part of the understanding as well.

MRW

The State Department would have informed them of the protocol.

Imagine

Allen Thomson, Babak Makkinejad, trinlae: Thank you gentlemen. Good stuff.

Jov

It's a bit more complicated situation, than a religious war, especially in the 1918-1941 period. There was no Czarist Russia, but instead a communist state / Soviet union which was more or less hostile to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (e.g. the Soviet union supported the Kemalist Turkey against Greece in the Greco-Turkish war, because Ataturk was a smart leader, presenting him at times close to communist ideas).

There were no strong Muslim countries which would influence the Yugoslav state, although there was a young Albania which drained Yugoslav/Serb forces trying to have a peaceful, maybe even obedient neighbor, instead of a neighbor specialized in raids.
The new state didn't expel Muslims, it even enforced the principal of personal law application - that means Shariah law was enforced for Muslims through Yugoslav courts and laws. On the other hand, the state did nothing to prevent emigration of ethnic Turks to Kemalist Turkey from ''passive'' regions such as Macedonia , it even tacitly encouraged it.

Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic in 1918. proclaimed unification into a single Yugoslavia, without a popular consensus, joining Serbia which was devastated by WWI (relatively, compared to the size of pre war population and economy, Serbia had the biggest casualties in WWI) with Croatia and Slovenia, where many Croats fought the Serbs in K&К uniforms, and many perpetuated crimes as parts of Schutzkor of regular forces, mostly in Macva-today's Serbia. This was a cardinal mistake from the perspective of the Serbs, which proved to have devastating consequences in the 1941-1945 genocide.
Add to this the Great depression of 1929, the attempts of the Habsburgs to regain power in Austria, the rise of Nazism, and the soup is just half cooked. Some argue, that if the Yugoslav melting pot had more time to cook, it would have resembled to a small USA.

Never mind the context, the point is the Croat perpetuated genocide during WWII tends to be incomprehensible to a reasonable person, how ever you combine the facts, history or and other factor.
The other point is if people (e.g. the Serbs) forget their fallen, those people have no future.

And yes, Tito for personal power reasons did everything to relativize the genocide, he never visited any extermination camp, many of them were demolished, and the official story was ''of brotherhood and unity'' of Yugoslav people, and there was as a ban on talking about the before mentioned tragic events.
Many war criminals, Croat monsters, were evacuated through Vatican ''ratlines'', about which there is e.g. this documentary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggXyQoTwO7g

mistah charley, ph.d.

Combine this with the anti-Iranian attitude Trump promoted in KSA and it looks like things will stay the same, except worse, in our relations with our fellow followers of Abrahamic religions. I just read Brzezinski's obit at the NYT and was struck by how many of the policies he advocated, because of his hatred of the USSR, got us further stuck to the tar baby. I felt sad. May the Creative Forces of the Universe have mercy on all our souls, if any.

mistah charley, ph.d.

As Heraclitus said, "Lovers of wisdom must be inquirers into many things indeed."

In my web wanderings I came across the following:

http://vidmax.com/video/140066--Ottoman-Germania-a-Turkish-biker-gang-releases-a-Rap-Music-video-threatening-to-takeover-Germany

Clwydshire

Thanks. They might be moving arms around, as well as ordering more. I came across the following a while ago and it was interpreted as indicating the movement of arms, though whether that notion is plausible or not, I do not know enough to assess.
"North European shippers of heavylift and out-of-gauge cargo to the Middle East and Asia are being told by container lines there is no hope of shipment before June." https://theloadstar.co.uk/carriers-slammed-capacity-crunch-makes-waves-project-cargo-shippers/ Apparently capacity had been heavily advertised previously, and then it disappeared.

Babak Makkinejad

You cannot create something that is superior to yourself.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you.

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

Artificial Intelligence would not have to be superior, just different. It could be way inferior to Man the Spiritual Animal and Lover of Good Food but still become a monomaniacal sort of Artificial Idiot-Savant dedicated to ruling the earth-as-it-knows-it for its own mysterious-to-the-humans reasons.

Allen Thomson


Late in the game here, but another thing come up on another blog: preservation of institutional memory. It appeared there in the context of NASA, but I certainly saw examples of significant loss of institutional memory from within the CIA and, as a visitor, in DARPA. Once the people who had the memory weren't there, it seemed to evaporate in a decade or less even though it was still in the filing cabinets.

So an AI might help remember where we've seen this stuff before.

trinlae

For the heroin, probably yes, although if i am dying of cancer without institutionalized health care due to lack of access, I probably won't care if it comes from the underground or legit economies.

For cannibis, Switzerland, Germany, and Netherlands already have over the counter recreational cannibis in a variety of products such as flower buds, oils, meusli, pasta, etc., with TCH concentrations disclosed much in the same way grain alcohol is marked on alcohol products.

The cannibis paranoia and abolition is ultimately racist, imo, even if couched in standardized regulation concerns: Cannibis has been an indigenous plant and psychospiritual substance in south Asian vedic culture for many thousands of years (I've heard the number 7 thousand). That these countries should be bullied into criminalizing indigenous culture because of paranoid and failed Western control protocols is immoral, given that such a large percentage of the population are historically farmers.

So, instead of a young Nepali man, for example, staying on his own land, which he already owns in full, to farm a product with international and/or domestic demand that would fund a sufficient economic lifestyle, he is slaving away as little more than a bonded laborer on some god-forsaken building site in Qatar or Saudi Arabia, apart from his wife and kids and elderly parents he probably will only see a few times while his health allows him to work abroad.

Interestingly, a day after I penned the first reply above, the DIY investigative journalist G Webb announced his own (conspiracy) theory of controlled substance trafficking: he proposed that a Iran-contra like network is operating between USA VA hospital networks and Afghanistan via Pakistan and Turkey, based on looking at publicly available metadata for logistics and resource allocations and public records:

https://youtu.be/Em8qrgj1vYM

a related (amateur but empirical) logistics report re VA system followed a day later:

https://youtu.be/669TAuq9ZV0


He reckons that everyone in DC of both legacy parties know all about this, and that just the public have never been told. I.e., the public that usually goes back to sleep a month or two after elections, but seems to be staying awake with eyes wide open now.

trinlae

Illicit narco economy undermines legitimate authority or at least financial basis for it.

When was the last time, before British era, that Afghanistan had a legitimate indigenous authority of self governance?

confusedponderer

James,
"What is interesting to me is why the neocon leaning news media have turned against Erdogan."

Well, it appears that Lord Erdogan, somewhat impolite and atypical for a GUEST in a foreign country, actually commanded his group of bodyguards to go after the demonstrants, and give it to them really hard. He was heared saying things like that. That's not a way to get friends.

Brutal his bodyguards got: I read about one victim, a turkish-amrican protester, who got a tooth kicked out by them, and several other teeth kicked loose when Erdogan's bodyguards kicked his head when he fell to the ground after the initial hits. Acting that way, they could have killed him.

Such acts speak a long tale about what individual rights practically are worth in turkish policy. Erdogan's brutality, arrgoance and indifference to politeness showed by his bodyguards probably did lead to US media to turn against the new 'King of Turkey'. Probably rightly so.

Well, that written, 'bodyguards' is, of course, a bad joke. They certainly didn't guard the bodies of the protesters. They not only did act brutally, but also with the practical benefit of a diplomat status. Such brutal dumbness only happened in the US this time. In Turkey, such behaviour plays a role every day.

Amusingly, Lord Erdogan has recently issued a new emergency decret, conveniently sidelining the parliament:

His issue was the term 'arena' and he issued in the decree that using the term 'arena' is no longer allowed in turkey ... because the romans butchered people in 'arenas' etc. and for such a thing there was no turkish term. So, in turkey football arenas are from now on only to be called ... football stadion!

http://www.balkaneu.com/with-a-decree-erdogan-abolishes-the-name-arena-from-turkeys-football-grounds/

He also recently made another brilliant, parliament sidelining, emergency decree that said that laser depilation now is allowed to be done by pedicurists, not just by medical doctors.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/recep-tayyip-erdogan-turkey-referendum-signs-laser-hair-removal-emergency-decree-win-turkish-votes-a7678631.html

So severe problems, brilliantly solved, with emergency decrees. No nasty debations where nasty accidents could happen - like parliamentartians die from laughter ...

If Erdogan has time for nonsense like that, then Turkey apparently - beyond of course beating up and/or arresting and/or firing critics - does not have really important things to do.

If that is so, then that 'lack of other stuff to do' is a choice:

Beyond the folks Erdogan fired out of the army (40.000 + or so) Erdogan has since the coup attempt last year had some 100.000 + or so folks arrested. Likely, he isn't done yet.

I wonder, if he has so much time, couldn't he start to do something sensible about the inflation and, say, the crash of the lira? Oh yes, and while at thinking, what about the invasion troops he, well, just sent to Syria and Iraq? Will they be led well by who's left, say, by AKP preachers? Like this: 'If someone shoots at you - pray, allahu akbar, and the bullets will miss you?

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