1 February 2017

Past and Present - 02/2017

Oh man, what a start to the year. It's fun to live in such interesting times. This'll be the Feb. edition of my Past and Present series.
Pre-battle speeches in Graeco-Roman warfare: Ha, here's something I never considered before: practicality and likelihood of pre-battle speeches by generals. Guess that's another thing movies lied to us about.

Long transition from natural state to liberal order: Great paper that really highlights the different dynamic at play in England that allowed it to distinguish itself from Poland or Hungary, despite them also having documents similar to the Magna Carta.

Cultural Revolution's Paradoxical Legacy: I'm a big fan of unanticipated outcomes in history, which I feel is an important recurrent theme in history the more I read about world history. If you feel the same way, this is an interesting paper that argues how Mao Zedong, in trying to revive the Communist spirit via the Cultural Revolution, unwittingly sowed the seeds to the capitalist country with a Communist facade that China is today.
Narrative and Counter-narratives of a Korean General: I'm gonna go ahead and assume like 1% of people reading this blog is interested in some 17th century Korean general, but I'm still posting this for people who're interested in the process of historical memory. Basically, this paper is about how a Korean general-turned deserter who was initially scorned by the royal court became transformed into a popular national hero. It seems these weird shifts in popular historical narratives are common in any culture interested in its history. For America, of course, the best recent example would be the idolization of Alexander Hamilton.
Economic Motives of Foot-Binding: See this is why I love economic historians. As a cis-male, I admit I have a bias against feminist historians, but c'mon, this economic motive is hell of a lot more interesting to read about than an essay whining about patriarchy and subjugation of women.

Ukraine, the powder keg of Europe... Here's a useful article on the latest rumblings.

Trump's actions warrant a general national strike: As a non-American, let me say to Americans this is exactly THE WRONG ACTION regardless of your stance on Trump, immigrants, or politics. I personally think the two most critical issues facing America right now is government corruption and rising political division among ordinary citizens. The people living on the coast (aka. leftist bubble) might think they have a moral duty to protest every action Trump makes, but they need to realize that at the end of the day, nearly 63 fucking million people voted for him. Think about what that map above really means. Look at how those Trump supporters are reacting to his 1st week in office. These people weren't swayed by the massive vilification campaign the MSM staged in the run-up to the 2016 elections, and they're probably not gonna be swayed by the Left's new wave of protests either. What they're going to see is a whiny Left that protests a man who legitimately won a democratic election with the current electoral college rules in place and is actually fulfilling his campaign promises (who'da thunk it?). When the Acting attorney general Sally Yates refuses to enforce a law, yet can't even claim that it's unconstitutional, they're not going to share the same sense of leftist outrage. If anything, they're gonna be permanently turned off from what they see as hypocrisy and the Left's rage is only going to add to their schadenfreude since their views have been ignored or mocked for years.

It's time to admit Trump is actually a "good" politician because a politician is, in reality, simply a modern-day tribal leader. With every government official that Trump fires or foreign countries he insults and bars from immigration, he's succeeding tremendously in shaming the impotence of the tribe's enemies while projecting the tribe's prestige and power. So if Trump is the worst nightmare for the Left, then they need to realize that he's merely a symptom of the petty tribalism that US. political discourse is. A real solution to that symptom is to transcend tribalism, not fight back with more tribalism... but I won't hold my breath for that to happen.

U.S. hardly wide open to Muslims before Trump: Some interesting context behind the immigration order.

Israel authorises 4th batch of settlement building in West Bank since Trump's inauguration: Wew, talk about a Likud par-taaay. With the 50th anniversary of the 6-day war coming up, if Trump actually goes through with his pledge to approving the Jerusalem Embassy Act, there'll be some fireworks for the party too.

Also, does anybody else think this whole Israeli-Palestine conflict is the world's slowest case of peeling off a bandaid? If genocide were still fashionable, Zionists probably would've killed all the Palestinians and settled this whole issue by now.

Hotel chain CEO's book denying Rape of Nanjing stirs backlash: The quotes in this article are golden. The hotel has since decided to "temporarily remove" the books. If you live in the West, you'd be surprised by how openly bookstores in East Asia carry books that would never in a million fucking years fly at a place like Barnes & Noble. Try it next time if you visit a bookstore in Japan instead of staying only in the manga corner!

"I'm 12 and what is this?"
Can Bana even speak English?: (full video here)
If you follow the shitshow that is the West's piss-poor coverage on the Syrian Civil War, you might've heard about the 7 year old girl who tweeted during the siege of Aleppo. Here's more background info on her authenticity. See, THIS is what modern-day propaganda looks like. I don't know which side is easier to fool these days into war. The bleeding-heart liberals who only need a "Think of the WOMEN AND CHILDREN" or the jingoistic right who only need a "They hate our FREEDUMZ!"? Either way, both sides are dumb as fuck and prime targets to be duped by politicians and MSM.

Iran is world's biggest state-sponsor of terrorism, US says: Very convincing words coming from a country who, along with her allies, was instrumental to creating ISIS, funding various jihadist groups in Syria, and going so far as to even foster a de facto alliance with fucking AL QAEDA. And no, pointing out US hypocrisy doesn't mean I support Iran.
Romanian government backs down: Can we still feed'em to the gypsies?

Korean Entertainment Businesses' Stock Values Plummet from THAAD: Muh K-pop! On a serious note though, I think South Korea's making a bad move with the THAAD deal. The way I see it, North Korea's simply the boogeyman in East Asian geopolitics. Great tool for gooks and nips to exploit and get more army funding and US support, but not a serious threat in the long-term. Sure in the 70s, the Norks were a serious threat, but their industry's since been dwarfed by their Southern rival, suffered a huge famine in the 90s, and much of their population today knows there's a better Korea South of the border. And despite all the loony memes we have about Kim Jong-Il or his currently ruling son, Jong-Un, I'm quite sure they're still rational actors, and as such, they won't ever use their nukes unless confronted by an existential crisis. So if nukes are off the table, the NK army is a joke.

On the other hand, the specter of a military confrontation with China is an actual, credible threat. South Korean politicians would do well to think carefully on all the possible consequences THAAD could have in fostering a US-China war. Same goes to the Japanese right dreaming to revitalize their military.

Israel retroactively legalizes West Bank Settlements: Theft, you say? How can it be theft if it's now legal?
-t. Zionist-

Le Pen backs Putin and denies invasion of Crimea: I ain't a frog, and I haven't read enough on Marine Le Pen to form an educated opinion about her but... Can someone, anyone, in the Western media PLEASE GIVE ME some actual fucking evidence that the Crimeans would rather be with the now burning wreckage of a state known as Ukraine rather than Russia? For fuck's sake, radical skepticism doesn't exactly get us anywhere, y'know? I understand being suspicious of the 2014 referendum results, considering Russia's not exactly known for clean elections. But show me some positive evidence for majority of Crimeans who disapprove the union with Russia before and/or since the 2014 referendum. Because as far as I can see, the only substantial evidence so far seems to suggest the direct opposite, which makes perfect sense considering both the ethnic makeup of Crimea and its recent history since the 90s which has had a lot of popular political movements advocating a pro-Russia and more autonomy from Ukraine stance.

When the Zionists impose a military occupation on Palestine and illegally build settlements, no one that matters in the West gives a fuck. But when the Crimeans willingly join Russia... we've gotta delegitimize it as much as possible, facts be damned, and if you're against that, you're clearly a Putin stooge. Gee, I sure wish the Russian government could send me some money for writing this propaganda piece...
U.S. press secretary falsely accuses Iran of attack on US ship: U.S. Middle East foreign policy in a nutshell: "If something bad happens, blame Iran." Also, you gotta admit it is funny seeing all the articles titled "8 YEAR OLD GIRL KILLED" in light of the failed raid in Yemen. When Obama drone strikes the shit outta Yemen or helps Saudi Arabia starve Yemeni kids, everything's peachy. But when Trump approves a raid against Yemen... What's the appropriate internet expression for this? Oh right, "Wtf I love Yemenis now."

Also, just so ya know, Obama's drone strikes killed said 8 year old girl's brother back in 2010. If Obama winning the Nobel peace prize wasn't enough to show what a joke of a prize that is, I suggest giving one to Trump as well.
"Macedonia not a country," says GOP Lawmaker: Holy shit, who the fuck is this Rohrabacher dude? *Looks at campaign contributors, sees Albanian lobby...* Ohh... Guess that makes sense. Here's a better article on the Macedonian issue.

Critique from a Marine Captain: Absolutely savage.

White House abandons 2 state solution in Israel-Palestine conflict:
"A two-state solution that doesn't bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve," the official said on condition of anonymity. Peace is the goal, whether that comes in the form of a two-state solution if that's what the parties want, or something else if that's what the parties want."
 Isn't it amazing how "nice" that sounds to people who don't follow the Israel-Palestinian conflict? "Look at us, we're sooo open-minded! Being flexible is clearly gonna help us reach a lasting peace!" O-FUCKING-KAY, like that's gonna actually work instead of just giving more tacit support to Israel for a 1-state solution...

Immigrant integration via camel park in Sweden: I don't like bringing up these kinds of articles but this one was just too hilarious to pass up.

Leakers who exposed National Security Advisor Flynn's Calls: While America falls into another hysteric wave of Russophobia over Flynn's resignation, I'll yawn and wait for some actual hard evidence of collusion or treason. I'm not saying it shouldn't be seriously investigated, but it's just been one incident like this after another and I still haven't seen any solid proof on Russia "hi-jacking" the U.S.

However, there are two aspects of this new fiasco that I do find interesting. One is that since Trump is taking a YUUUUUGE hit in legitimacy, can we expect to see a 180 reversal in his Russia policy? He might be fine with Russia, but I doubt he loves Russia that much not to throw it under a bus in order to save himself. The other really intriguing aspect is the ongoing battle between the Trump administration and the "deep state" of the US, spearheaded by agencies like the CIA, who would much rather continue on with their traditional foreign policy track. I guess only time will tell if Trump's really been neutered or not...

China-India-Sri Lanka Love Triangle: China-India relations are bad enough as it is already, what with China-Pakistan relations. While it's easy to view the world in terms of what the U.S. does and how others respond to the U.S., I think the independent actions Japan, China, and India take will matter more for how Asia turns out in this century, assuming that a US-China war fizzles out. I wish Netflix could put up the 21st season of World History so I can marathon this shit already.
Turkish Magazine Shut down over cartoon on Moses: Hey, Erdogan. You really oughta use Mustafa Kemal's wildly spinning corpse to help generate cheap electricity, just like the Americans do with the dead bodies of their founding fathers. This is the 21st century, after all. Renewable energy is the future!

JUST A PRANK, BRO...?: I didn't want to comment on Kim Jong-Nam's assassination yet because the details are still murky but how can I resist this...?

RIP Richard Pankhurst: Probably a literally-who for most people, but if you've ever read anything on Ethiopian history, you would've come across him in one way or other. Say what you will about British imperialism, but those bongs sure did churn out good academics for non-Western history.
Decline of the West? Milo Yiannopoulos vs. Yuja Wang: As far as culture opinion pieces go, this is a creative write-up, even if you don't agree with the author.

TIME interview with Montenegrin PM on NATO bid: Stability, stability, stability. A term so easily bandied about and uncritically accepted to be the prize of a zero-sum game.

Step 1. Expand NATO to counter Russian aggression
Step 2. Expand Russian power to counter NATO aggression
Step 3. ?????

Ahh, who am I kidding? We all know what step 3 really is. It's war.

Croatian Fascism: Another reason why I'm interested in the process of historical memory. For me, history is less interesting as some crystal orb one can use to divine the future on the premise that the past repeats itself. Rather, people should study history in order to understand how our identities today are formed and question the way that the present and future are framed.

Russian Strategy: Measure Twice, Invade Once: Very well-argued piece. Must-read for anyone interested in military history or strategy in general.
Tale of Two Allies: Japan and Australia: While typical Western news outlets are using the recent Trump-Abe meeting to laugh at the orange-haired buffoon's uncomfortably long handshake or the "earpiece-gate," here's an article actually worth reading about.

Malaysian Pro-Hudud Rally: Another sign of rising Islamism, which is certainly shaping up to be a defining ideology of the 21st century. One hopes that the states of Indonesia and Malaysia are strong enough to maintain their traditional syncretic tolerance, but who knows if the forces of "globalization" (by which I mean the export of Salafist jihadism in this context) won't be stronger? It's curious how many people of the late 20th century hoped globalization would be an ultimately positive process, bridging diverse cultures together in wonderful harmony. Did they just completely forget about how worked up they were over the "pernicious spread of communism" that plagued the 20th century? Did they forget that ideas of peace and tolerance aren't the only thing that can cross national boundaries, but also ideas of war and intolerance?

And the Oscar (may) goes toooo...: Not that I seriously care about the Oscars, but here's something worth reading about if you've heard of the valiant "White Helmets" in the Syrian Civil War.
Sadiq Khan enrages Scottish Nationalists: There's a lot of fuss in the West about the death of liberalism and the rise of the far-right (above video is the best analysis I've seen so far). I think the London Mayor Sadiq Khan's quote encapsulates one important factor contributing to this thread, which is the denial of identities which have been central for so many centuries. As the old saying goes, "All politics is local," and globalist elites living in a bubble may be surprised to find out that the provincial peasant rabble don't exactly value their status as "international citizens." Identities can only be inclusive to a point before they lose all meaning, which is why all the meaningful identities you see in history have always developed with a contrasting identity in mind. The internet and globalization has not changed that yet. Just look at how online communities evolve, for example. For all its users, 4chan or Reddit isn't a single monolithic board/page/forum that everyone browses. There's a ton of sub-communities within them, and it's with them that users will often feel the strongest attachment towards.


  1. The lengths that the US' liberal left has gone to repudiate Trump since the election baffle me. You see people wishing for anything short of a coup(!) to get him out of office, in some sort of insane logical conclusion. One would think that in the country with the longest standing democratic institutions that sort of reaction would be, at the very best, fringe. Have they forgotten the rules of the game? (Got a crappy president? Wait four years then change it up).

    I guess these are the signs that the US' political institutions are finally unraveling. I mean, can they even resist this ridiculous level of polarization? When was the last time this happened? In the Civil War? And that didn't exactly end nicely.

    This year, things sure have gotten interesting.

    1. It's hilarious because the inauguration protests were doing exactly the shit they said about Trump and his supporters. I can understand protesting for electoral college reforms, but just vaguely whining and dismissing 63 million votes Trump earned is disgraceful.

      In terms of crime and extremist groups, it's still nowhere near as bad as the 1970s, but I do feel like among the ordinary person, the US is more divided than ever.

  2. They still had pre-battle speeches, they just were inversely proportional in length with relation to the size of the army, which makes a lot of sense.

    Of course it wont happen, 63 fucking million voted for him and are happy with him, thanks to that very tribalism, if anything they will work towards its survival rather than its demise.

    Man every time i read news about Israel i get antisemitic feelings brewing within me, there must be a way to deal with this. Anyway how many years do you give Palestine before it ceases to be?

    Japan loves to bring the bomb back while hiding all the bullshit they did, oooh this is so sweet, as if temporarily removing the book was a solution, but if it works i will shit myself from laughter take a video and upload it to the internet.
    This is actually really interesting, so Mr Hox could you please make a revisionist blog-post about Japan's war actions in the second world war? maybe the infamous Unit 731 never existed, maybe the Burma Railway was a Thailandese project all along and the Empire of Japan had nothing to do with it, and we all know that Asian women (except Japanese ones which are the only proper kind of women) specially Korean women are a bunch of sluts so all those stories about the "comfort women" are clearly another fabrication.

    1. >Anyway how many years do you give Palestine before it ceases to be?

      Like I said, it's the world's slowest case of peeling off a band-aid, so maybe by the end of this century?

      I really do think that if the Zionists just settled in Madagascar, or anywhere outside the middle east, there would be a lot less terrorism today. Why can't I live in that universe?

  3. On the Trump Era (even though I don't like the rat bastard, the effect he has had on the precious snowflakes makes me wish I could have voted for him twice), I think it is an indictment on the media atmosphere. Aside from Fox News (which at times could give the old Beobachter a run for its money), every "news" organization acts like any view outside of NYC/LA is pre-Neanderthal and only worthy of derision and ridicule. They made the idea of a Trump presidency seem impossible, while completely ignoring the fact that outside the coasts EVERYBODY was itching for a revolution against the PC/SJW order, and doubled down on the idea the HRC was "entitled" to the Presidency (I could write a book on why she was the worst possible candidate for 2016 (2008 was her only chance and she blew it much the same way she blew 2016)). So, now the precious snowflakes who came of age during Obama, have spent their whole lives being told how special they are, and were told by all those "smart" NYC people that the nasty people in flyover country still did not matter, see that things don't always work out the way they want them to and, incapable of coping with reality, have lost their minds.
    On Israel/Palestine, I find your "If genocide were still fashionable" line hilarious and right on the nose. In the "bad old days" when you captured a land and the locals refused to convert/cooperate/integrate, you killed them (sometimes you killed them anyway...see Mongols and Turks), problem solved (regardless of what the revisionists say, this was very rare before industrial times since the locals were just interested in living their lives and which flag flew above the castle mattered very little). This leads to the Israel/Palestine catch 22, the Jews won the war therefore they own the land (other then the Basques who have been sitting on the same rock for the last 50K years, every other race/nationality has only the right of conquest to justify their holdings), but the Palestinians are still there and want the land they got from the Turks (or Romans depends on how you interpret Palestinian history) back. The final solution will be the current solution, a de-facto two state solution with continued violence. The Jews have nowhere else to go (they tried the integration route and that cost them 4-6 million dead, far more if Stalin had lived to 1955) and the Palestinians don't have any powerful friends (KSA and Egypt view Israel, and its nukes, as their ultimate defender against the Persians).
    Japanese revisionism, or...why you shouldn't kill white people. If Hitler had decided that blacks were the untermensch there would be statues to him in every capital today (the lives of blacks under AH would not have changed much, crazy Adolf just had it in for the Jews and the Slavs had the bad luck of being in his way to new real estate). The Japanese, quite wisely, decided to exterminate yellow people (yes, a few white women and POWs got the worst of it, but not in numbers high enough than the Emperor giving MacArthur a hummer couldn't solve) in numbers and barbarity that neither the Germans nor Soviets could match. So now we have a nation that never had to own up to its crimes (hell, even Russia has more remorse over its adventures) facing its old victims that are no longer third world crapholes but rather advanced modern economies (there is a reason VW is the top seller in PRC instead of Toyota).

    1. >mrw I look at MSM these days

  4. Methylsulfonylmethane?

    Also boobs!
    Ok fair, correction, shiny boobs!

  5. Yeah Hox, I don't think there is anyone in the western media saying good things about the annexation of Crimea; to do so is equated with liking Putin and, therefore, hating the US and democracy in general.

    Which is, of course, bullshit. Most analysts that I see writing for major newspapers, regardless of political leaning, seem to treat foreign relations as a moral crusade to shape the world in the US' image. Basic geopolitical moves known for centuries seem to have been thrown out of the window, replaced by a staunch defense of the global order, seen as the right (and the only) way to do things.

    I suppose these are the results of obliterating the Soviet Union in the nineties; without any serious opposition to the US, why should anyone concern themselves with silly geopolitics? Just do what you want, no one can stop it anyway.

    I suppose this blatant disregard of opposition has finally come to bite the US in the ass. Now that the world has countries that can (and will) resist the US - though doing so looks to the media (and the people who listen to it) evil and wrong.

    Besides the obvious hypocrisy and staunch denial of obvious political reality, I do find it really baffling that people think that the current world order is nice and just. Maybe having an uncontested superpower for so long makes it hard to see any other way the world could be arranged. History is a nice antidote for that problem, though.

    1. An aside on the Crimea, I think it was Putin's worst mistake. Putin, like most spooks, is a great tactician, but a crappy strategician. The Crimea was 60% pure Russian and probably another 20% pro-Russian, only the Tartars and some Ukrainians were actually pro-Ukraine. Any referendum would have handed the Crimea to Russia by at least 65%. What Putin should have done is have his spooksville launch a Crimean Maidan movement, forcing the Ukrainian government to either grant them a referendum (i.e. support the will of the people) or crush the movement, thereby proving Putin's point that they were not democrats, but fascists. A couple of dead protestors and the Ukrainian government would have lost all foreign support and Putin's gang could just waltz in. Yes, it would have taken a month or two, instead of a week, but Putin would have the Crimea with international support and the rest of Ukraine would be isolated as the bad guys, so he could do the same thing to the east. Probably by now Ukraine would be back under Putin's thumb, or east-bank Ukraine would be part of Russia with no sanctions or any other problems.

    2. Crimea wouldn't have been allowed any referendum for the simple reason that NATO wanted Sevastopol as a naval base. Any pro-Russian movement would've been declared "separatist" and suppressed most brutally. See what's happening in the Eastern Ukraine since 2014. I don't see Kiev losing any support from the West after shelling the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk. I think that the annexation was executed flawlessly at the most ripe moment. At the very least, the peninsula's population has been spared the civil war.

    3. As for the sanctions applied as a result, they are mostly beneficial for Russia, strategically speaking, because they allow local producers to develop. It is especially noticeable in the food industry. Many local brands have appeared on the market only thanks to this involuntary protectionism. Yes, the quality of goods have reduced as is inevitable when competition is restricted. And most western delicacies are unavailable. But in the perspective, when the sanctions are finally lifted, be it two or ten years, the local producers would occupy a considerably larger share of market and compete more successfully because they had a chance to develop.

    4. From the military perspective, the Crimean operation was a large-scale exercise and at the same time a demonstration of the ability of Russian military to operate quickly and professionally to be noticed by any country that might consider relying on external help to solve problems such as terrorism or territorial disputes. Which of course is a long-term investment.

    5. I view Crimea as a brilliant symbolic move and a decent strategical move. Putin gets his absurd approval ratings not just because of a largely pro-government media, but because of the fact that authoritarianism and strong military moves are what the Russian people seem to genuinely want (Gorbachev became very hated partially because of that - he acted too weak).

      By making such a move Putin pretty much secured approval inside of Russia (inside of which the US desperately tries to back any opposition without much success, it seems). By getting sanctions to boot, he revived the old myth (or reality, really) of Russia versus the world - a strong tradition in Russian politics.

      As far as the economy goes, it would be shit with or without sanctions - oil's got the lowest prices in a long while and Russia just doesn't survive very well with low commodity prices. But with the sanctions Putin gets an excuse for the terrible state of economic affairs that the Russian electorate (can you even call it that? I don't really think Putin would ever lose an election - though his party may, I suppose) buys without questioning much.

      Besides that, it opened up the doors for Russian intervention in other countries like Syria, making it easier to approach and better relations with key states, such as Turkey.

      All in all, I see Crimea as a long-term victory with some short-term concessions (which seems to be Putin's general strategy anyway, rebuilding the "Russian empire" by means of a strong, mostly independent national industry and some military projection in the regional sphere).

  6. I can't believe you are trash-talking True Korea, SMDH!!!

    You sure it will take a century? they are working fast and steady on this, gave it less, like 50 or 30 years, that's my call.

    Say ins't Forbes pretty much MSM too? what's the point of telling us how biased and corrupt their propaganda is if they are also your sources?

    Pff stop sounding so butthurt, people where giving Obama shit about his drone strikes before, indeed we know about it because people never stopped complaining, give it half a year and people will go back to stop caring about them, they are just pissy because the orangutan became president.

    The Nobel peace prize is the only prize awarded to people for just trying without accomplishing anything, there are a myriad of examples that are better than my nigga, rather than centering on cheap stuff like this, it would be better if you made a detailed commentary on where this new administration wants to take US relationships in the middle east, since that's what actually matter, not how much liberals want to bitch and cry about Trump.

    1. The Forbes article isn't the source here. It's the Western polls linked in it. And it's a good one to point out precisely because of that. My point is that while even polls by Western companies like Gallup and GfK have admitted how Crimeans approve of the union, the political discussion regarding Crimea by actual state officials and politicians has been completely blind to it. And because of this blindness, much of the MSM perpetuates those views as well, meaning that the forbes article in question is the exception, not a rule. This shouldn't be surprising because that's generally how the media is. There's always some voices to represent the other side but that's not relevant in disproving the overall slant or corruption. What is relevant is the preponderance of one side.

      Same thing with the West Bank settlements. There's quite a lot of Western news agencies which cast the settlements in the most negative light. But when push comes to shove, how many of those same news agencies show Israel as a whole in a negative light? How many question whether Israel is a beneficial ally to keep?

      The drone strike debate back a couple years ago is actually rather strange. Much of the debate was centered around whether drone strikes are a moral thing to do, rather than questioning the greater US. foreign policy in the M.E. I still think it's worth bringing up not just because of the Trump controversy, but a lot of people seem to frame the recent US. past only in terms of presidential administrations and not the longer time scale, which only feeds into party-bashing arguments or the idea that Republicans and Democrats have very distinct foreign policies.

    2. The GfK link gives me a 404 error, and i don't really know how trust worthy the Gallup company is, one of their most recent polls http://www.gallup.com/poll/201617/gallup-daily-trump-job-approval.aspx say that Trump's approval is in an all time low despite him doing everything he campaigned for, and eventually got him elect.

      I have a better question, why would they even bother doing that? they just need to sell news, but without getting completely involved so that they can get an easy exit regardless of what happens, journalist integrity has been dead for a while now.
      Israel may be more trouble than it is worth, but at this rate that's pretty much what they are stuck with, what would you replace Israel with?

      And this current debate is not escalating beyond that neither, is just as shallow, precicelly because there's no real concern behind it... that's precisely why i said that, in other words, instead of talking about some 8 year old girl in here too, why not tackle the issue at base.

  7. The Trump phenomena, or at least something similar, is happening al over europe too. The brexit referendum comes to mind, not to mention that right wing partys score considerable gains in recent elections/polls.

    I am from central europe (austria),in the last two years alone roughly 120.000 refugees came across the border and applied for asylum, many more (about 1mio) passed through our country because they wanted to germany. That such a big migration causes social tensions is obvious, but just how much public opinion changed in our country in the last two years, you can't even begin to imagine. Some people now say things in public that were not acceptable before, our promintent tabloid media spreads fear and hate against migrants on a daily basis(almost every day a story about crimes committed by refugees and how much money in the form of social welfare they receive from the state gets published)

    New refugees don't know our language yet and are not allowed to work until their asylum proces is decided, so the state has to pay for everything until then and even after that, they will receive the same social benefits as a citizen, becauses discrimination against refugees with a positive asylum claim is illegal, a lot of people are mad about that)

    We have a prominent right wing party too (strong charismatic leader, they are closly tied to other right wing parties in europe (they regularly meet up with the front national and other right wing parties) they adore putin and trump too.

    The problem is not that they are right wing. Some policies they suggest should be discussed and could be implemented in some form, the problem is that they spread hate and fear on an unprecedented level, they are throwing whole barrels of oil into the fire to let the flame of peoples passions burn ever more brightly.

    Its frightening, a lot of people slowly lose their empathy. There is this feeling, that things may get ugly in a few years in europe...

    1. You might find this video to be of interest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bkm2Vfj42FY

  8. Hox, how do you find all these great articles? I have a hard time finding anything but trash mainstream media articles - especially when it concerns US-Russian relations.

    1. One way is start by browsing major news sites, and then upon finding a certain news, googling for alternate takes on it.

      Another way is find an interesting article, and then google it to see who's sharing it on twitter. And then go through their twitter account to see what he/she and his/her friends have been sharing. I don't have a twitter account myself, but it's been great for finding non-mainstream stuff about the Syrian Civil War or US-Russia relations.