The strategic suicide of aligning with Russia in Syria - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Stars and Stripes wrote:The strategic suicide of aligning with Russia in Syria

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Donald Trump wants to make a partner of Russia in Syria. One of Trump's most consistently expressed foreign policy ideas, both during the campaign and now since his election, is that the United States and Russia are natural counterterrorism allies, and that the obvious place to begin such cooperation is in Syria, against the Islamic State. Both the United States and Russia are waging war against the Islamic State, Trump's reasoning goes, so the best way to hasten the defeat of that organization, and perhaps to launch a broader U.S.-Russia rapprochement, is by bringing Russia into the counter-Islamic State fold and undertaking more coordinated military action targeting the group. In a recent Fox interview, in which Trump controversially drew a moral equivalence between the United States and Vladimir Putin's Russia, he said "it's better to get along with Russia than not and if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world, major fight, that's a good thing."

Trump's sentiments on this score are not new. But in the past four weeks, there have been repeated hints that such cooperation might simply be part of a larger U.S.-Russia "grand bargain," in which Moscow agrees to provide enhanced cooperation on counterterrorism and counter-Islamic State operations, and Washington does away with economic sanctions related to Russian aggression in Ukraine. On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence suggested that the Trump administration's decision on sanctions would depend on whether "we see the kind of changes in posture by Russia and the opportunity perhaps to work on common interests," including making common cause against the Islamic State.

This idea fits squarely within the overarching themes of Trump's grand strategy, which we described in a previous article. The idea that the conflict with "radical Islamic terrorism" is all-consuming and existential; the willingness to cut transactional deals with any actor with whom the United States shares even the most passing interests; the aspiration to get other countries to do more in the world so that the United States can slough off some of the burdens of superpowerdom – all of these concepts are at play in Trump's advocacy of a counterterrorism partnership with Putin. But hopping in bed with Russia in Syria is an ill-considered and potentially dangerous proposition, and trading away Ukraine-related sanctions for this cooperation would be an even worse idea, for several reasons.

Contrary to what Trump has often asserted, the fact is that Russia's military campaign in Syria – the campaign that Trump essentially wants to marry with U.S. military efforts against the Islamic State – has never actually been about counterterrorism. Its overarching goal, and one that it has been fairly successful in achieving, is to fortify the Assad regime in power and thereby protect Russia's strategic position in Syria and the broader Middle East. This means that the vast majority of Russian airstrikes and other operations have not targeted extremist groups, whether the Islamic State or the Nusra Front (al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, which now calls itself Jabhat Fatah al-Sham). Rather, Moscow has most aggressively targeted the non-extremist opposition to Assad (and civilians in opposition-held areas), in an effort to eliminate any sort of politically plausible and internationally acceptable alternative to the regime. From the outset of the Russian intervention in September 2015, in fact, as much as 85-90 percent of Russian airstrikes have targeted this moderate opposition. Russia is fighting a war in Syria, all right, but it certainly isn't our war.

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Cooperating with Russia would also likely mean allying with Assad – Russia's junior partner in the conflict – and thus partnering with a regime that is responsible for the worst humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century. Just this week, Amnesty International reported that 13,000 people have been hanged in Saydnaya military prison since 2011, in addition to countless others who have died from torture or inhumane conditions. This probably doesn't bother Trump – he has asserted (mostly erroneously) that "Assad is killing ISIS," and he has made clear that he believes the United States needs to be willing to play rough, perhaps to the point of committing war crimes, in the struggle against jihadist terror groups. But the dangers of allying, whether explicitly or tacitly, with Assad go far beyond humanitarian concerns.

If the United States casts its lot with forces that are killing countless Syrians, mostly Sunnis, in the context of the Syrian civil war, that will only foster more extremism – directed at America – over the long-term. The next time Russia and Assad pull an Aleppo (in Idlib province, for example), by bombing and starving a vulnerable civilian population into de facto surrender, the United States will be complicit, and it will eventually reap all the ideological blowback that comes with such complicity. Moreover, it will also be complicit in behavior that is likely to worsen the ongoing migration crisis, which continues to destabilize Europe politically, and which Trump himself has blamed for the spread of Islamic radicalism on the continent.

That's not the only way in which partnering with Russia and Assad will undercut, rather, than enhance, U.S. counterterrorism efforts. This approach is likely to alienate precisely the Middle Eastern allies the United States needs in the counter-Islamic State fight. If Trump wants to intensify the campaign against the Islamic State, he will need Saudi Arabia, the other Persian Gulf monarchies, and Turkey to intensify their own efforts. But many of those countries loathe Assad – so much, in fact, that they have been supporting Syrian opposition forces for several years. If the United States effectively joins forces with Putin and Assad in Syria, it runs the risk of undercutting cooperation with these Middle Eastern partners. If a U.S.-Russian partnership in Syria also leads to a further weakening of the non-extremist opposition – as it almost certainly will – the Gulf countries and Turkey (which already back a number of hardline Islamist opposition groups) might also respond by becoming even less discriminating with respect to which groups they support in Syria, thereby fueling rather than extinguishing the forces of extremism in that country.

As this danger implies, the most likely beneficiaries of a U.S.-Russia compact are the exact same extremist groups against which that partnership would ostensibly be directed. For if the remaining moderate Syrian opposition groups perceive that the United States has abandoned them and made common cause with Moscow, they will have no incentive to resist aligning with Nusra and other extremists, if only as a means of survival. The result is that Nusra and other extremist groups will become even more deeply woven into the fabric of the Syrian opposition than they already are, giving them greater political and military leverage down the road. Extremist groups are most easily targeted and defeated when they are isolated; partnering with Moscow would have precisely the opposite effect.

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Moreover, it will be extremely difficult to pursue any sort of partnership with Russia in Syria without cutting across another one of Trump's oft-stated foreign-policy priorities – pushing back more aggressively against Iran. Last week, both Trump and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn put Tehran "on notice" that their destabilizing activities across the Middle East would no longer be tolerated, and quickly announced new sanctions related to Iran's ballistic missile program. Yet Iran is aligned with Putin and Assad in Syria, and it has a fundamental strategic interest in seeing Assad's regime preserved. Iran is, therefore, likely to gain significantly from any situation in which Washington casts aside the Syrian opposition and joins up with Moscow and its allies. In an effort to work with Russia to create a "safe zone" in southern Syria, for example, the United States might find itself in the position helping Iran consolidate its supply lines to Hezbollah and its influence in the Levant – a prospect that the Trump administration, to say nothing of the Israelis – would presumably find horrifying.

The Trump administration could attempt to mitigate this danger by conditioning its cooperation with Russia on it and the Assad regime cutting ties with Iran and Hezbollah and requiring their forces to depart the country. (The Trump administration may also attempt to get Moscow to cut off its military sales to Iran.) A deal like this could conceivably keep Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other regional states "on side" since their opposition to Assad mostly stems from his alliance with Tehran. But there's a catch: given the broad and deep role Iran, Hezbollah, and Iranian-backed Shiite militias play in propping up Assad's forces on the ground, it is highly unlikely Assad would jettison this partnership – and, if he tried, Tehran would push back hard. Previous ceasefires cut behind Iran's back have been scuttled by Iranian-backed forces. Any attempt to completely box Iran out of Syria would go to the heart of Tehran's interest in maintaining an ability to project power into the Levant and support Hezbollah against Israel. Thus, if Team Trump tries to cut a deal with Putin at Iran's expense they should expect to see Iran's well-armed proxies – in both Syria and Iraq – play a spoiler's role that could undermine counter-Islamic State efforts and incentivize Iranian-backed forces to target vulnerable U.S. forces on the ground in those countries.

For all of these reasons, joining forces with Russia would be a dangerous gambit. The Obama administration understood those dangers when it considered pursuing more limited military cooperation with Russia in Syria in 2016. As was widely reported at the time, the internal administration debate over whether to pursue even minimal military cooperation was one of the most contentious issues of Obama's second term. Thus, the Obama administration always made any possible counterterrorism cooperation with Russia in Syria subject to strict conditions.

In the summer and early fall of 2016, during the negotiations over a potential "Joint Implementation Center" to conduct coordinated targeting against Nusra and the Islamic State, Obama insisted that Moscow enforce a nationwide ceasefire (including in besieged Aleppo) and ensure unfettered humanitarian access across Syria for the United Nations as preconditions. Obama also required that, if and when the Joint Implementation Center was established, Russia commit to following the laws of war, avoid targeting the moderate opposition, ground Assad's air force over most of the country, provide the United States a veto over Russian counterterrorism targets, and press the Assad regime back into negotiations on a political transition. Ultimately, the Russians proved unable or unwilling to convince Assad (and Iran) to meet these conditions, and the proposal collapsed.

This should be an obvious warning to Trump. If his administration engages in no-strings attached cooperation with Moscow, it will be complicit in Russian actions fueling the civil war and Islamic extremism. And if Trump attempts to impose meaningful conditions, Putin is unlikely to agree to, or consistently honor, the deal.

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If going all-in with Russia in Syria is thus likely to prove counterproductive, the irony is that it is also unnecessary. Trump often alleges that the counter-Islamic State campaign is failing, and that Russia can bring a great deal of counterterrorism capability to the table. But neither assertion is true. On the few occasions when Russia has actually targeted the Islamic State, it hasn't done that well. In fact, one of the few areas in which the Islamic State has gained territory in the past 18 months has been against Russian and Syrian regime forces around Palmyra. Nor can Russia bring much effective military muscle to a campaign to liberate Raqqa; its forces are largely committed to fighting the opposition and stabilizing Assad's regime in western Syria, far from the de facto capital of the Islamic State.

Most importantly, the counter-Islamic State campaign is not failing; it is progressing steadily and is now on the verge of success. U.S. and U.S.-supported operations have significantly reduced the Islamic State's manpower, territory, combat capabilities, financial resources, and morale – especially since the campaign was intensified in mid– and late 2015. The Islamic State has not taken significant territory from U.S.-backed forces since the fall of Ramadi in May 2015; it has lost control of cities from Fallujah and Ramadi in Western Iraq, to Manbij and Jarabulus in Northern Syria. Operations to retake Mosul and Raqqa – the geographic hubs of the so-called caliphate, and the last major population centers under Islamic State control – are underway; approximately half of Mosul has been retaken and Raqqa is being encircled by a U.S.-backed coalition of Syrian Kurds and aligned-Arab forces. Even if Trump does nothing new to augment the counter-Islamic State campaign, those cities are likely to be liberated in the next several months.

To be sure, there are still very tough issues that have to be navigated in these fights – including post-liberation governance challenges in Mosul and managing tensions between Syrian Kurds and NATO ally Turkey in the context of Raqqa. But deeper cooperation with Moscow would do almost nothing to address these lingering challenges.

Looking beyond the Islamic State, potential external operations by Nusra represent a threat that will likely grow in the years ahead. But this threat will be made worse – not better – if Trump aligns with Russia in a manner that pushes more opposition groups into Nusra's clutches. To address this threat, it would be better for the United States to work with all parties to advance a political settlement that reduces incentives for opposition groups to cooperate with Nusra, while intensifying its unilateral operations against that group's external operators.

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Last but not least, if the idea of lining up with Russia against the Islamic State isn't bad enough, the notion of trading away Ukraine-related sanctions relief to obtain such cooperation is even worse. The Trump team may view such a deal as a shrewd bargain that exchanges something the president doesn't care about – Ukraine – for Russian cooperation where the United States needs it most. But in reality, this would be a needless giveaway. The one thing that became very clear to us in working on this issue in 2015-2016 is that Russia wants counterterrorism cooperation in Syria as a goal in and of itself. Putin sees such cooperation as a way of legitimizing his pro-Assad campaign and breaking Russia's diplomatic isolation. In other words, there is no need for any unrelated side payments to sweeten the deal. If Trump executes such a "bargain," then one imagines that there will be a lot of quiet Kremlin gloating about "the art of the steal." The only thing throwing Ukraine under the bus would accomplish is to gravely damage U.S. credibility in Europe, unnerve other anxious front line states along Russia's border, and embolden further aggression by Moscow.

We suspect that none of these issues may be enough to dissuade Trump from pursuing a Russian gambit. Trump has consistently demonstrated that his geopolitical illiteracy knows few bounds. Senior advisors like Secretary of Defense James Mattis and General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, likely understand the risks – but the president's reasoning is frequently impervious to contradictory information or expertise. Still, the very real dangers attached to a U.S.-Russia partnership in Syria really ought to give the president and those around him some pause. Trump wants a stronger and more effective counterterrorism strategy – but playing Russian roulette in Syria is not the right answer.

https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/the-strategic-suicide-of-aligning-with-russia-in-syria-1.453543

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#14775164
Russia backed Syria has already won in Syria. The US wanting to join forces is the only door open to the US in Syria. This also places the US in a position to control Iran. I doubt any agreement between the US and Russia will leave out Iran considerations.
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That's not the only way in which partnering with Russia and Assad will undercut, rather, than enhance, U.S. counterterrorism efforts. This approach is likely to alienate precisely the Middle Eastern allies the United States needs in the counter-Islamic State fight. If Trump wants to intensify the campaign against the Islamic State, he will need Saudi Arabia, the other Persian Gulf monarchies, and Turkey to intensify their own efforts. But many of those countries loathe Assad – so much, in fact, that they have been supporting Syrian opposition forces for several years. If the United States effectively joins forces with Putin and Assad in Syria, it runs the risk of undercutting cooperation with these Middle Eastern partners.

:lol: I'm sure they do, but its got absolutely zero to do with barrel bombs, alleged torture chambers or lack of due process in dealing with dissident suspects. Do you think any of these regimes would hesitate for one second to use the same if not worse methods than Assad if their regimes were threatened. In fact we know exactly what a threatened / attacked Sunni Arab regime looks like: Its called the Islamic State. George W Bush, peace be upon his name and America and Blair brought democracy to Iraq and just look at how the Sunni Arabs reacted. No these regimes are perfectly happy with Assad's "human rights" record. A regime that respected human rights would be an embarrassment to them. It would be a threat to them. They loath Assad because he's not a Sunni Muslim. He's not even a Muslim really he only pretends to be, because in Muslim land even dictators must bow down to this piece of garbage you call a religion.

When will people get it in to their thick heads, Muslims couldn't give a rat's arse about human rights? And in as much Muslims do care about human rights they are not real Muslims. Look I'm sorry to upset all the SJWs, reality is not the way it should be, religions are not equal the way they should be, as it says is in the SJW handbook, but idealising a murdering, genociding, thieving, slaving, paedophile as the best human that ever lived is just not compatible with "human rights".
Last edited by Rich on 12 Feb 2017 12:49, edited 1 time in total.
#14775203
Colin Kahl served as a senior advisor to President Obama from 2014, prior to this he was a senior policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen to name a few. So here we have one of the architects of this on-going disaster in US foreign policy making the same mistakes, projecting their problems and no closer to any solution.
#14775212
We suspect that none of these issues may be enough to dissuade Trump from pursuing a Russian gambit. Trump has consistently demonstrated that his geopolitical illiteracy knows few bounds. Senior advisors like Secretary of Defense James Mattis and General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, likely understand the risks – but the president's reasoning is frequently impervious to contradictory information or expertise.

The American elite spent decades during the Cold War reducing the majority of its population to a state of geopolitical imbecility in order to keep them docile and obedient, and now it's coming back to bite them on the ass in the form of Trump, the living embodiment of that self-confident imbecility. The irony is delicious. :lol:
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Potemkin wrote:The American elite spent decades during the Cold War reducing the majority of its population to a state of geopolitical imbecility in order to keep them docile and obedient, and now it's coming back to bite them on the ass in the form of Trump, the living embodiment of that self-confident imbecility. The irony is delicious. :lol:

It is a bit much to expect anyone elected by popular vote to be savvy at geo-politics; civilians choosing civilians is not going to produce good soldiers. That doesn't even necessarily matter that much if the deep state has people practiced in that sort of thing to help steer elected people in the "right" direction, which of course they do.

It is easy to mock US foreign policy as stupid or bunglingly brutal but I don't think any of us could do better without the benefit of hindsight. Certainly the US has come up trumps (no pun intended) in a good majority of the geo-political scuffles it has engaged in. Where is the USSR, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan now? Gone, client state, client state. If it wasn't winning more often than losing then it wouldn't be the superpower it is today.
#14775225
It is a bit much to expect anyone elected by popular vote to be savvy at geo-politics; civilians choosing civilians is not going to produce good soldiers. That doesn't even necessarily matter that much if the deep state has people practiced in that sort of thing to help steer elected people in the "right" direction, which of course they do.

It is easy to mock US foreign policy as stupid or bunglingly brutal but I don't think any of us could do better without the benefit of hindsight. Certainly the US has come up trumps (no pun intended) in a good majority of the geo-political scuffles it has engaged in. Where is the USSR, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan now? Gone, client state, client state. If it wasn't winning more often than losing then it wouldn't be the superpower it is today.

Granted, but that's largely because the elite were careful to ensure that their own offspring were properly educated. The peons have to be kept stupid, but the ruling elite have to be kept smart. Even Reagan or George W Bush, who liked to portray themselves as no-nonsense populists, actually listened to their advisers. Indeed, in his final term Reagan was little more than a figurehead and his advisers and their various factions were running the show. Only time will tell whether Trump will actually listen to reason or not. I suspect not; as a pathological narcissist, he's just way too self-confident in his imbecility.
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Potemkin wrote:Granted, but that's largely because the elite were careful to ensure that their own offspring were properly educated. The peons have to be kept stupid, but the ruling elite have to be kept smart. Even Reagan or George W Bush, who liked to portray themselves as no-nonsense populists, actually listened to their advisers. Indeed, in his final term Reagan was little more than a figurehead and his advisers and their various factions were running the show. Only time will tell whether Trump will actually listen to reason or not. I suspect not; as a pathological narcissist, he's just way too self-confident in his imbecility.

Doing the work of the cultural marxists are we? Look it is clear that elites as you call them will want the best education for their children that would go for any responsible parent. Beyond that though mandatory fee free secular state education was created by elites in the first place to make sure that the "peons" transcend their natural stupidity and become smart people who know math, science and history for the good of the country and its progress (real progress not cultural marxist "progress" which is really debilitating sickness.) The problem now with this public education system is that since 60s at least it has become infiltrated by cultural marxists. The elites are now stuck subsidising agents of national decay and some of those agents of decay have made into the elite.

Trump is here to clean house. In a way he is the American analogue to Stalin and his purges. kek?

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#14775249
Doing the work of the cultural marxists are we? Look it is clear that elites as you call them will want the best education for their children that would go for any responsible parent.

Indeed. And one method of ensuring the (relatively) 'best' education for one's own offspring is to ensure that the education of the horny-handed sons of toil is underfunded and that their aspirations are deliberately suppressed. For example, when Thatcher was a schoolgirl she wanted to apply for a place at Oxford. Her school's careers adviser spent half an hour trying to persuade her that she "wasn't the type" to go to Oxford. I think we both know what that adviser actually meant, eh? :lol:

Beyond that though mandatory fee free secular state education was created by elites in the first place to make sure that the "peons" transcend their natural stupidity and become smart people who know math, science and history for the good of the country and its progress

If the stupidity of the peons is "natural", then it cannot be transcended, hmm? :eh: And the purpose of the class-tiered British educational system is clearly to reproduce the existing class hierarchy from generation to generation. This, indeed, is its primary purpose; actually educating people is merely a secondary purpose.

(real progress not cultural marxist "progress" which is really debilitating sickness.) The problem now with this public education system is that since 60s at least it has become infiltrated by cultural marxists. The elites are now stuck subsidising agents of national decay and some of those agents of decay have made into the elite.

Tell me, 'SolarCross', would these "agents of decay" happen to be oily Levantine types...? :eh:

Trump is here to clean house. In a way he is the American analogue to Stalin and his purges. kek?

I love it when you talk dirty, SolarCross. :excited:
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Potemkin wrote:Indeed. And one method of ensuring the (relatively) 'best' education for one's own offspring is to ensure that the education of the horny-handed sons of toil is underfunded and that their aspirations are deliberately suppressed. For example, when Thatcher was a schoolgirl she wanted to apply for a place at Oxford. Her school's careers adviser spent half an hour trying to persuade her that she "wasn't the type" to go to Oxford. I think we both know what that adviser actually meant, eh? :lol:
I am not familiar with that particular event but in searching for it on google I found this:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/margaret-thatcher/margaret-thatcher-biography/11904625/margaret-thatcher-biography-oxford-university-snub.html
When she received the official invitation to allow her name to go forward for the degree, she also got a letter from the Conservative historian Robert Blake, who was Provost of the Queen’s College, Oxford. He said how delighted he was, and told her not to worry about the proviso that a vote on the matter might be taken in Congregation (that is, among all the university’s academic staff): “it is conceivable that some left-wing don might mount a challenge. I personally think it is very unlikely, but I might be wrong. I am confident, however, that if there were a vote, you would win it.”

Her principal private secretary, Robin Butler, was not so sure. He wrote a note accompanying Blake’s letter warning her that “left-wingers in the university will take the opportunity of running a campaign against you before the vote in Congregation”.

He advised her to reconsider the invitation at a later date but she said, “Robin, if Oxford wants to confer an honorary degree on me, who am I to make terms about it?” In her letter of acceptance, she said that the proposal gave her “the greatest pride and pleasure”, which was true.

However, her opponents were more diligent than her supporters. Congregation rejected an honorary degree by 738 votes to 319. Those who supported the honorary degree thought that the dons who voted it down were resentful of the loss of their privileged status in society as intellectuals automatically deferred to and subsidised by governments and saw Mrs Thatcher as a parvenue.

"If they do not wish to confer the honour, I am the last person who would wish to receive it.”

What seems most strange in retrospect is how little prominence was given to the point about Mrs Thatcher being Oxford’s own, and the first of her sex. One needs to imagine Harvard refusing an honorary degree to America’s first black president Barack Obama (who attended Harvard Law School) because of disagreement with his education policies, to see how extraordinary the Oxford decision looks today – and looked even at the time – to the wider world.

Margaret Thatcher received an honorary docotorate from Buckingham University in 1984

Mrs Thatcher’s own public reaction was laconic: “if they do not wish to confer the honour, I am the last person who would wish to receive it”. But Robin Butler felt that privately, “the degree of hurt was huge”. His wife, Jill, an Oxford graduate, was clear: “They would never have done this to a man.”


So what type is that female or "right wing"?

Potemkin wrote:If the stupidity of the peons is "natural", then it cannot be transcended, hmm? :eh: And the purpose of the class-tiered British educational system is clearly to reproduce the existing class hierarchy from generation to generation. This, indeed, is its primary purpose; actually educating people is merely a secondary purpose.

Word games. A person who knows not math, science and history is a obviously stupider than someone well versed in the subjects yet someone who knows not math, science and history is as about as natural as a person can be. To not know of those things is to be naturally stupid, to be educated in these things is to be artificially clever.

As for your class conspiracy, well it is a necessary gambit for a marxist to punt I suppose, you would be a traitor to your ideological masters if you didn't try it on. Caste systems aren't designed phenomena they are emergent and Britain has certainly had one that with many mutations persists to this day. Lawyers tend to begat lawyers, soldiers tend to begat soldiers, farmers begat farmers, tradesmen begat tradesmen. People can be cliquey too. Caste rivalry is a thing for sure but that isn't what went wrong with public education. What do you think of Paxman's complaint about leftist "educators" throwing the whole history of the British Empire down the memory hole?

Paxman attacks the 'dreary educational establishment' that is erasing Empire from history

In the UK for the most part class sizes are not too terrible and teacher's pay is certainly comfortable if not extravagant. State schools are decently equipped too. I have a son who goes to state school so unlike yourself I have an actual stake in the functioning of the education system.

Potemkin wrote:Tell me, 'SolarCross', would these "agents of decay" happen to be oily Levantine types...? :eh:

Lebanese arabs? :?: wtf

Potemkin wrote:I love it when you talk dirty, SolarCross. :excited:

heh, I sniff a sea change. It may do well for some to switch sides while they can. Who wants to be in Trump's equivalent of a gulag? Cultural marxism and all that bullshit was never going to work anyway and now it is going to be rolled up and burned. All hail kek!

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#14775359
I am not familiar with that particular event but in searching for it on google I found this:

No, that happened when she was already Prime Minister. In my opinion, refusing to award her the honorary doctorate for political reasons was petty. She was, after all, a woman from a provincial petty-bourgeois background who had, against all the odds, managed to graduate from Oxford and had gone on to become Prime Minster of Great Britain. She actually merited that honorary doctorate. And I say that as someone who loathes Thatcher's politics and record in office. No, I'm referring to when she was a schoolgirl - the class system was working against her even then, ironically enough. As always, the bourgeoisie were being a bunch of ungrateful little shits. :lol:

So what type is that female or "right wing"?

Neither. In both cases, Thatcher had committed the unpardonable sin of being born into a provincial lower-middle class family.

Word games. A person who knows not math, science and history is a obviously stupider than someone well versed in the subjects yet someone who knows not math, science and history is as about as natural as a person can be. To not know of those things is to be naturally stupid, to be educated in these things is to be artificially clever.

That's a strange definition of the word "stupidity", SolarCross. :eh: Intelligence and intellect are two different things. The first is something one is born with, and the second is something one acquires through education.

As for your class conspiracy, well it is a necessary gambit for a marxist to punt I suppose, you would be a traitor to your ideological masters if you didn't try it on.

My 'ideological masters'? Lol. That's like me referring to your 'upper-class masters'. ;)

Caste systems aren't designed phenomena they are emergent and Britain has certainly had one that with many mutations persists to this day. Lawyers tend to begat lawyers, soldiers tend to begat soldiers, farmers begat farmers, tradesmen begat tradesmen.

Beget, SolarCross. The word is "beget". "Begat" is the past tense. Clearly, you're not an Oxbridge graduate. ;)

People can be cliquey too. Caste rivalry is a thing for sure but that isn't what went wrong with public education. What do you think of Paxman's complaint about leftist "educators" throwing the whole history of the British Empire down the memory hole?

I agree with Jeremy Paxman. The British Empire should indeed be taught at school, for the purpose of teaching our nation's children about the iniquity of capitalist-imperialism.

Lebanese arabs? :?: wtf

I was referring to the children of Abraham, SolarCross. If that was not your meaning, then you seem to have ill-advised in your choice of username - the 'hooked cross' of the swastika is a sun wheel, to which your username refers. And, to be fair, I'm not getting a fascist vibe from your posts - you simply seem to be a traditionalist British Tory. Maybe you should change your name...? :)
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Potemkin wrote:No, I'm referring to when she was a schoolgirl - the class system was working against her even then, ironically enough. As always, the bourgeoisie were being a bunch of ungrateful little shits. :lol:


Except of course she did go to Oxford so if the class system was working against her it wasn't working very hard at it now was it? All they had to do was send a letter back saying "no" for kek's sake, it wouldn't be hard for them, half the world wants to go to Oxford they have to say "no" quite a lot. So what if her school's counselor spends half an hour trying to talk her out of applying. Was he an Oxbridge agent? No probably he was just vaguely aware that half the world wanted to go to Oxford but there were only spaces for a few. He was probably just thinking it was too much of a long shot, like winning the lottery. Alternatively maybe he didn't like her much on a personal level and hated the idea she might actually get in. Those aren't narratives that work for someone with your ludicrous ideological beliefs but they are no less plausible.

Potemkin wrote:My 'ideological masters'? Lol. That's like me referring to your 'upper-class masters'. ;)

Indeed, so suck it up, fair is fair.

Potemkin wrote:Beget, SolarCross. The word is "beget". "Begat" is the past tense. Clearly, you're not an Oxbridge graduate. ;)


Indeed, I went to the Universites of Waterstones, Amazon, Google and Wiki.
When my browser has a grammar checker as good as its spell checker my education will be complete.

Potemkin wrote:I was referring to the children of Abraham, SolarCross. If that was not your meaning, then you seem to have ill-advised in your choice of username - the 'hooked cross' of the swastika is a sun wheel, to which your username refers. And, to be fair, I'm not getting a fascist vibe from your posts - you simply seem to be a traditionalist British Tory. Maybe you should change your name...? :)

Oh right jews, thanks for being so cryptic, I guess :?: . Of course many jews played a big part in socialism and boshevism but it is a bit crude to blame all of them for that. As for the spin off that is Cultural Marxism I don't know off-hand how may involved are jews but it could well be quite a few. My opinion on jews as far as it intersects history and politics is pretty close to that expressed by Winston Churchill in his essay Zionism versus Bolshevism - A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People minus the rather garish adulation with which he sugar coats his message. If you are wondering if i am some kind of anti-semite I would say I am rather less of one than Ken Livingston or George Galloway or indeed your hero Stalin the gentile father of nations.. Whatever annoyance I feel at jewish bolshevism, I am quite happy with regular jews and zionists.

The sun wheel is a very ancient symbol, a better label for it would be pagan rather than fascist or Nazi. Of course I guess Hitler may have had some pagan leanings since he chose the similar swastika for his flag, or perhaps he was just trolling German Christians. I don't think I am a fascist and I am certainly not that particular kind of fascist that is a Nazi but I am a pagan.

All of this is wildly off-topic of course.
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