US politics - fried (part 5)

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You know that the only reason Russia is running a trade surplus is because the sanctions mean that hardly anyone will sell them anything, right? They can still export gas etc but the money coming in for that isn’t doing them any good. Their industrial base and tech infrastructure is crumbling through lack of imported spare parts, and they’re spending vast amounts of the gas money immediately on military expenses which do nothing to grow their economy.

Trade surplus is an utterly meaningless measure for a country in Russia’s self-inflicted situation.

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From what I’ve looked at, the main reason the Afghan army collapsed was the US withdrew all the logistics and intelligence support. Stopped. Cold Turkey. Gone overnight.

That meant that the systems that the Afghan military relied on no longer functioned properly. The equipment no longer had a support service. The command and control started to fall apart.

Pulling the rug out from underneath the Afghan army had an immense impact on morale. Why fight if it’s obvious your army has been hollowed out?

From everything I’ve read and listened to, that’s the story that best explains why the collapse happened so fast and so unexpectedly. This was avoidable, but there was an understandable political drive in the US to untangle themselves from the 20 year conflict.

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Are you able to send me links for something for me to read so I can adjust my view to yours potentially?

What did you look at, as you say?

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Sure man, I’m happy to share some content. I’ll have a dig around tomorrow and flag your name in the Ukraine thread.

To be clear, I’m not in a super optimistic headspace with Ukraine right now, but the situation isn’t as dire as you’ve been led to believe.

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Cheers ty

Send me the Ukraine stuff in the Ukraine sure by all means, but we were talking about about the afghan exit - my request was about that. Probably not a Ukraine thread thing.

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Oh yeah. I’ll try to work out where I got that from. I think it was podcasts… I’ll have a think.

Yep, that article pretty much confirms a lot of what i was saying.

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Just for historical context for you and those others who were not old enough to be politically aware in the 1980’s…

While most left-leaning people thought Reagan was — how shall we say – not the sharpest tool in the shed, there was no indication then from the MSM at all that he had dementia. Many of us did suspect it - and you can see from any of his old speeches on video that he could not do anything except read off his screens that were positioned at either side of the stage.

The first insight came from Helen Caldicott, a doctor and campaigner for nuclear disarmament. [This was actually a popular thing in Australia in the '80s - cf Midnight Oli’s countdown album for example.]

Anyway, this allowed her to get to have a meeting with Reagan. With her clinical experience and empathy she quickly diagnosed his condition.

I recall this from a public lecture she gave some time around 1986. She was one of the most impressive public speakers I have EVER seen.

Her revelation was the first disclosure that Reagan had dementia. Of course he served out the rest of his presidency without any offical acknowledgement, and it was not until the '90s that the “sad news” was finally revealed.

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I was 18 months old at the conclusion of the 1980s, so I wholeheartedly reject the notion that I was politically unaware.

Seriously though, thank you for that added context. The way that information is distributed and absorbed has changed immensely since then, so it’s insightful to know what the general feeling was

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I’m a bit confused about the status of Kari Lake.
Reading from afar, it seems to me she has lost every election she has entered of late.
Most people would say ‘OK, thats enough for me’. Is she not reading the room?

Trump proved that you don’t need to win to grift. So what if you lose elections, that just gives you ammo to ask for more donations to fight the good fight.

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Couldn’t find the Afghan withdrawal stuff, probably read/listened to it 6-12 months ago but I can’t remember the outlet.

It went into a bit of detail on the logistics and support infrastructure that the US provided. Things ranging from repairing humvees to F-16s dropping guided bombs when called upon.

When the US withdrew, those services dried up. The Afghan army was flawed, but was moderately competent with that infrastructure behind them. When it was pulled out from underneath them, they fractured. The Taliban was able to isolate units and force them to surrender or flee. The Afghan army’s morale collapsed and they fell apart. Compared to the investment over the previous 20 years, the security assistance needed to keep the Afghans in the fight was relatively insignificant.

It was a story that made a lot sense to me, but you’ll need to take it with a grain of salt because I can’t find the source.

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I found it curious that the government left behind by the USSR in 1989 was able to survive for three years and outlast the fall of communism itself, while the government left behind by the U.S capitulated almost immediately.

That’s a succinct summary which makes a lot of sense

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I can’t say I agree with Maplestone on his assessment that Biden is an incompetent/disaster. Owtte. By running his administration as a chairman in a collegiate manner, using the strengths of his department heads, he can and has run a very functional administration. The style of Trump would be extreme, “its my way or the highway” and he would only have sycophants working for him. He would run a much closer to a Hitler type of operation and I think that is bad. Very bad.

Having said that there are signs Joe is declining and I would like to see a new Democrat nominee emerge. Newsom, to me is outstanding. Speaks very well, looks good, probably has charisma and importantly thinks fast on his feet, which is necessary head to head with Trump in the candidates debate.

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I don’t know much about Newsom, but a Californian of any variety will be a tough sell in some of the marginal states.

Not sure you can debate Trump, any more than you can debate the crazy homeless guy at the railway station screaming at God at the top of his lungs. Debate is only useful when reality matters.

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