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Progressive Watch Thread

Progressives Socialism Marxism Communism (anti)Fa Centralisation Discrimination Sexism Racism Identity Politics

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#1
eacao

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If you love progressive thought, I DON'T HATE YOU! I love you very much, we're all brothers and sisters in these great democracies of ours and all worldviews feed into the wisdom of the crowd. It's the basis of democracy. I ask nothing of you, if you want to troll, please troll. If you want to hate, then at least be witty about it. Don't embarrass yourself with a cringy joke. But above all else: please, PLEASE comprehend that nobody is God's gift to the world imbued with his divine wisdom. Not me (lol, kinda), not you, not even Roosevelt himself (of which one do I speak? who knows? maybe both. maybe neither). 

 

So this is a thread that I have created so that we might discuss openly the failings of 'progressive' ideology, even though it is not a single monolithic doctrine. It can be un-neatly grouped based on opinion leaders, elected representatives, and popular organisations. 

 

And let's straighten something out--you and I!

 

I, the OP, am somewhat biased here. I acknowledge it. I won't lie to you about that, I will tell you, respectfully, to your face! Is that a crime? I don't believe so. I'm quite anti 1984 thought police. I'm not looking to incite hatred. I don't want anybody bashed or harmed. I just want dialogue. 

 

So to you, my fellow conservative weirdos, and to YOU my sibling progressives, let us break bread, drink wine, and discuss progressive ideology in a respectful and constructive manner, shining the bright light of Gondor itself on both achievements and shortfalls alike. 

 

Hazzah!


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If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill

You don't decide your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln.


#2
eacao

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I think some left wingers in Australia and maybe America want the government to take on too much duty. pls don't hit me. 


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If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill

You don't decide your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln.


#3
Archimedes

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I think left wingers in Aus and maybe America want the government to take on too much duty. pls don't hit me. 

 

For what it's worth, I find a number of these quite interesting:

 

efn0IAb.png

 

I'm not quite sure if I'd call myself a "progressive", though.


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#4
eacao

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I think left wingers in Aus and maybe America want the government to take on too much duty. pls don't hit me. 

 

For what it's worth, I find a number of these quite interesting:

 

efn0IAb.png

 

I'm not quite sure if I'd call myself a "progressive", though.

 

 

I'm not sure who most of these people are but it's an interesting network of differing centrepoints. 

 

I have been, for some time, pretty fond of Direct Democracy, or at least semi-Direct based on the Swiss system. But after learning a tiny bit more about the U.S. system, and the threats the 'Founding Fathers' (as they do be called) were trying to preempt, I've developed an appreciation for the constitutional representative republic of the USA. 

 

I ain't choosing sides just yet! but both have merits and while a semi-direct democracy (until BCIs habibi) fits in the most neatly with my own incomplete comprehension of our beautiful world, I have to admit the pessimistic view taken on by the U.S. system also strikes a chord. 

 

I'm happy to acknowledge that I'm not well versed enough to take a concrete stand here, but had the U.S. operated under a (technically) democratic system in 2016, Australia would be in a more vulnerable position now. Not to make it about a specific candidate, but I'm quite a bit more comfortable with the U.S. in a stern state with a strict whip hand. 


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If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill

You don't decide your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln.


#5
Erowind

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Have you ever read any Thomas Paine Eacao? I've only read Common Sense to be fair, but his version of democracy is a lot closer to what I desire from what I've read. He wanted much shorter terms for political offices to take an example. 


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#6
eacao

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Have you ever read any Thomas Paine Eacao? I've only read Common Sense to be fair, but his version of democracy is a lot closer to what I desire from what I've read. He wanted much shorter terms for political offices to take an example. 

Nah I've actually never read Paine. If you think it's worth a read (you probs know roughly what things will tickle my fancy by this day and age) then I'll give him a squizz (Common Sense specifically?).

 

So I can't discuss Paine with you yet, but for what it's worth, John Stewart Mill was foundational in my worldview. In particular, there's the passage (in vhere elze but On Liberty?) along the lines of "all of society is no more justified in silencing one dissenting man than that one man is in silencing the rest of society". 

 

Individualism, huzzah!

 

I don't know whether or not you know, Ero, but I was a left a time ago. What I mean is, the rank ordered list of issues I voted on where 'left' positions, like climate change, liberal (adjective not noun) immigration policies, and the apparently inexorable march of the good globalisation of trade. Many of these positions still rank high in my own idiosyncratic list of the world, but as time passed, I developed new appreciations for issues that I thought were exceedingly important for the health & wellbeing of society, but weren't represented in left-wing discourse. 

 

On economics, I was fortunate enough to be an imbecile at the end of High School. I didn't care about any of that, let alone know anything. In Ender's Game, one lassy says to Ender, upon being asked to teach him to shoot, "Good. You don't know anything. That means I don't have to un-teach you bad habits" or something along them lines. In uni, I studied economics and pretty quickly started forming views. It made me lean economically right (and also neolib). It might be reasonable to think, hearing that story, that my university (and certainly the economics department) was geared from the get-go to spawn little capitalists but it really wasn't it. I might say that the culture and the material hung left, and I can remember at least one instance where a debate erupted over whether Bangladeshis were disenfranchised by globalisation and capitalism. More than half of the class roared the resounding "yes!", "it's unethical for western companies to contract manufacturers that pay their employees slave wages, huzzah!", but for me it was as clear as day, "this is how economies develop, these employees live tragic lives but they cannot compete in high value-added industries, so their options are menial work with food for their families, or starvation on the cold streets of Bangladesh. Their children, or their children's children will be able to go to school on the back of their parent's sacrifice and they will climb out of poverty, just like the British poor in the 18th century or the Germans after WW2". 

 

But before I spiel on further about economics (bleh), what ultimately pulled me out of my left-leaning default position was the entire kerfuffle over free speech. It was my disenfranchisement over the public crucifixions of people who I personally admired as level-headed and reasonable intellectuals over controversial topics. I'm a weird one, and I've always been a black sheep with regards to my views, so naturally freedom of speech tops the scale as the most important issue in my rank-order list. I like learning and hearing from a diversity of views. Sadly, the Classical Liberal roots of the left have evaporated and conforming "empathy" (sometimes this reeks of resentment) has taken root at the expense of individualism. Noam Chomsky specifically mentioned Johnny Mill when he said something to the effect of "the values of classical liberalism have been lost. The lessons from John Stewart Mills are no longer the values of the left". I have to agree with the big fella. 

 

At heart, I'm simply an individualist. Left-leaning values throughout the anglosphere (and apparently beyond) value things like centralised economics / economic planning, a grander duty for government to interfere in people's personal value judgements, international pacifism in the face of China (after learning about the preamble to WW2, this one especially freaks me out), and above all else, political correctness. 

 

Just ain't me. 


If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill

You don't decide your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln.


#7
Alislaws

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I don't really see climate change as either a left or a right issue. 

 

It tends to be championed by the left simply because its a pressing issue where the obvious solutions involve individuals modifying their behaviour for the collective good. 

 

Historically anti-science thought has been associated with the right, but only because it has traditionally been religious in origin and religions are mostly conservative in nature.

 

These days you have plenty of people embracing anti-science like flat earthers, anti-vaxxers etc. with little influence from religion involved (unless facebook and youtube count?) so pro-science vs anti-science is a spectrum that does not really line up with normal left-right definitions anymore (if it ever really did).

 

Politcially I'd say the inability for left wing groups to put whatever their personal crusade is aside for the benefit of other more achievable (Or more generally acceptable) causes. 

 

The main stereotypical example would be the inability for the left to make any forward progress on economic matters (i.e. the absolute overwhelming primary cause of inequality in developed nations) because everyone is tearing themselves apart over identity politics. But it happens with almost anything, people are often more concerned with fighting for their idea of perfection immediately, when compromise (with other progressive groups) would win them much more success. 

 

Like the classic "Theres no such thing as racism against whites" thing. That is a statement basically designed to make everyone in the middle or on the other side of these issues stop listening to you. Even if it was completely true it would still be a dumb thing to say. I know what people mean by that* but that's because I looked into it because I was already sympathetic. I think these things come about from people existing in bubbles where they only talk to other people who already agree. That inability to keep in mind the average non-political person's viewpoint is a big issue.

 

(*the occasional racism by non-whites against whites in white majority countries is a trivial issue in comparison to systemic racism against non-whites in white majority countries)


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#8
eacao

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Mark Esper is the U.S.' new Secretary of Defence. 

 

On his wikipedia page, under subheading 'Political Positions', the only subject matter mentioned is his position on transgender people in the military. 

 

There's no mention of modernisation programs. There's no mention of dilapidated shipyards. There's no mention of his position on the South China Sea or Crimea or the Middle East. The one and only political position mentioned in the wikipedia page for the Secretary of Defence is his views on transgender people. 

 

 

Political positions

 

One February 15, 2018, Esper, when asked by reporters whether soldiers had concerns about serving beside openly transgender individuals, he told the reporters that "It really hasn't come up."[27] After being picked for the position of Secretary of Defense, he stated that being "transgender" is not an issue with him, stating that he has met with several transgender service personnel members and was very impressed with many of them. He supports Directive-type Memorandum-19-004, claiming it is not a "blanket ban" on transgender military service and stated that he believes that anyone who can meet the military standards without "special accommodations" and is worldwide deployable should be able to serve, including transgender individuals as long as they can adhere to cisgendered standards associated with their biological sex. He stated that individuals in the military with gender dysphoria would have their condition looked and "in many cases", be offered waivers on a case-by-case basis and would be allowed to serve. He cited the United States Department of Defense's 2018 Report and Recommendations on Military Service by Transgender Persons, which claims that persons who have a history of gender dysphoria, who have undergone medical treatments for gender transition, or who are unable or unwilling to meet the military’s standards associated with their biological sex, could adversely impact military readiness and effectiveness and should be evaluated for the purposes of either accession or retention.[28][29]

 

 

 

headaches-in-temples.jpeg


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If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill

You don't decide your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln.


#9
Yuli Ban

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Seems more like an issue with Wikipedia not having enough information at the moment. Whoever wrote that was probably rushing to add something that made him out to be an enemy of LGBT, and you can tell because of the typo at the literal start of the paragraph.

 

Anywho, to answer an old question: https://www.futureti...ve-rant-thread/


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#10
wjfox

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Moved back to News & Current Events.


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#11
eacao

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Pew: 40% of Millennials OK with limiting speech offensive to minorities

 

 

American Millennials are far more likely than older generations to say the government should be able to prevent people from saying offensive statements about minority groups, according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data on free speech and media across the globe.

 
...
 
Nearly twice as many Democrats say the government should be able to stop speech against minorities (35%) compared with Republicans (18%). Independents, as is often the case, find themselves in the middle. One-third of all women say the government should be able to curtail speech that is offensive to minorities vs. 23% of men who say the same.

 

FT_15.11.19_speech.png

 

https://www.pewresea...-to-minorities/


If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill

You don't decide your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln.


#12
Alislaws

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Mark Esper is the U.S.' new Secretary of Defence. 

 

On his wikipedia page, under subheading 'Political Positions', the only subject matter mentioned is his position on transgender people in the military. 

 

I like that the one political opinion of his that was mentioned was essentially "It hasn't come up, I don't personally care, and IMO transgender people can serve in the military, provided accommodating them doesn't cause problems in effectively defending our country"

 

OR "exactly what you would expect an avg. military officer to think, assuming they had no personal biases either way"

 

 

 

Pew: 40% of Millennials OK with limiting speech offensive to minorities

 

On further reading I found this data in one of the appendices of the report:

 

People should be able to make statements that __ publicly

UK:

Criticize the government’s policies 94%  

Are offensive to minority groups 54%  

Are offensive to your religion and beliefs 57%

Are sexually explicit 31%

Call for violent protests 22%

 

US:

Criticize the government’s policies 95%  

Are offensive to minority groups 67%  

Are offensive to your religion and beliefs 77% 

Are sexually explicit 52%

Call for violent protests 44%

 

I'd be really interested in seeing the detailed split of the other categories of censorship follows the same age and party lines.

My guess would be the younger/older split is closer to equal on religious offensiveness and possibly even reversed for sexually explicit speech. 

 

At the same time "offensive to minorities" is a major democrat hot button as is "offensive to religions" on the republican side (As far as I can tell from over here!), so it would be interesting to see to what extent the pattern is reversed given the more common republican hatred for govt. interference. 

 

Also very interesting that the UK is apparently much more prudish than the USA! I think this may be a result of many of the more prudish Americans also hating unnecessary govt. interference which is also why the USA is ahead of most nations on legalising drugs. 

 

EDIT: Ooh, this data is from 2015! i.e. pre-trump and the massive polarisation of American political groups, so would we see much more pronounced swings between the two parties in more recent data? Surely democrats would be higher than 35% these days?


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#13
starspawn0

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Tulsi Gabbard’s Reports on Chemical Attacks in Syria – A Self-Contradictory Error Filled Mess

https://www.bellingc...or-filled-mess/

"Got to resist American imperialism every way we can, even if it means denying the truth and becoming apologists for dictators." seems to be the thinking.

Addendum: And here are the kind of responses Eliot Higgins / Bellingcat has to put up with on Twitter (from Progressives):

https://twitter.com/...110047571595265
 

What neoliberals and neoconservatives fail to understand is that disinformation cannot beat disinformation.
@Twitter
needs a reporting tool so propagandists like you can be flagged. Otherwise people get trapped in endless disinformation cycles. cc:
@jack


LOL!!! This person is declaring it "fake news" just because they don't like it, and want Jack Dorsey to censor them (or made to wear a digital armband in public on Twitter).

Eliot Higgins responds:
 

Did you actually read my article?


Another Progressive writes:

https://twitter.com/...108315701379072
 

Gabbard (US Army soldier, 2 tours of duty). Went to Syria on a congressional fact finding mission with Denis Kucynich. Met with opposition members & government and pushed for peaceful resolution to civil war.

What are your credentials besides underwear sales?


Higgins, again:
 

Did you actually read my article?


I support a lot of Progressive positions... but, MAN, are these guys thick. It's really sad, and pathetic.



#14
johnnd

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Tulsi Gabbard’s Reports on Chemical Attacks in Syria – A Self-Contradictory Error Filled Mess

https://www.bellingc...or-filled-mess/

"Got to resist American imperialism every way we can, even if it means denying the truth and becoming apologists for dictators." seems to be the thinking

 

While I am not convinced that Assad used chemical weapons, I think Gabbard's broader point that the US needs to get out of Syria makes total sense, because we're dealing with a no-win scenario.

A few years ago, there was a report of militias armed by the Pentagon fighting those armed by the CIA. A think tank found that around 60% of the so-called 'moderate' Syrian rebels are actually violent Salafi-jihadist extremists that sympathize with ISIS; remnants of Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, etc. And the US is indirectly funding them through the proxy of Saudi Arabia.

 

Similar to what happened in Iraq, after Assad is toppled a power vacuum will be created -- and then what? Install a friendly puppet dictator? Ruling with what army? It sounds like a cockamamie scheme.



#15
caltrek

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While I am not convinced that Assad used chemical weapons

 

Even Gabbard does not seem to be disputing the notion that "Assad used chemical weapons."  She only seems to be making the dubious point that :

 

 

There is evidence that both the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad as well as the armed opposition groups aligned against him have used chemical weapons (CW) during the Syrian war.

 

 

Note the word both.

 

 

I think Gabbard's broader point that the US needs to get out of Syria makes total sense

 

 

This is a much stronger point.  First, all of this controversy just underscores how little we really understand what the hell is going on.

 

Second, the U.S. seems prone to align itself with forces in the region that are themselves neither democratic or particularly protective of human rights.  Consider this news item:

 

House Intelligence Committee Revs Up Probe Into Saudi Influence Efforts Targeting Trump
 

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) The House Intelligence Committee is ramping up an investigation into alleged efforts by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states to use financial inducements and other means to win favorable policies from the Trump administration. Starting in April, the panel “issued several subpoenas and requests for information relating to Gulf influence, and we have received documents from certain witnesses,” a committee official says. “We expect to issue another wave of requests shortly.”

 

Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has previously said the panel would conduct a “deep dive” into US relations with Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries. As part of that effort, the committee is investigating “the extent to which Saudi Arabia or other Gulf states have sought to influence the Trump campaign, transition, and administration so as to encourage the administration to pursue policies antithetical to US interests,” the committee official says.

 
 

Schiff said this probe was necessitated by special counsel Robert Mueller’s decision to limit his investigation to Russian interference, even though the order appointing Mueller authorized him to look into “any matters that arose” from his investigation. The Special Counsel did not ask “whether financial inducements from any Gulf nations were influencing this US policy, since it is outside the four corners of your report, and so we must find out,” Schiff told Mueller at the conclusion of the special counsel’s testimony before the intelligence committee last month.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#16
johnnd

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It's funny (also tragic) how supreme cuckboy Donny did a complete 180 on his "tough on Saudi Arabia" stance after a Saudi lobbying firm funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into his D.C. hotel.


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#17
starspawn0

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She only seems to be making the dubious point that :


And she makes several more claims, as outlined in the Bellingcat piece. It's kind of like: "There is evidence for use of chemical weapons on both sides. However, I'm skeptical of two of the claims made against Assad's regime [giving an air of skepticism about Assad's use of chemical weapons, in general]... Here's some stuff by Ted Postol... And here's some stuff, based on my misreading of OPCW FFM... etc." Also, saying "evidence for both sides" doesn't speak to the amount and quality of the evidence, or the size of the problem on one size versus another; e.g. if one rebel used a small chlorine munition versus 50 different uses by Assad.

I liked how Gabbard cleaned Kamala Harris's clock during debate, and I'm glad to see Harris probably won't win the Democratic nomination. Too bad it had to be marred by this stuff about Syria.

....
 

Similar to what happened in Iraq, after Assad is toppled a power vacuum will be created -- and then what? Install a friendly puppet dictator? Ruling with what army? It sounds like a cockamamie scheme.


There was a great question posed in a Democracy Now interview a couple months ago, to Noam Chomsky I think; and I think the question was asked by Nermeen Shaikh, but could be wrong. The question was something like: surely taking the stance "we'll not oppose dictators, because the result will be even worse; what's done is done -- we can hope the country slowly transitions to a better one" is a bad idea as a universal principle. Surely there are cases where you really do want to oppose the dictator -- e.g. by equipping rebels. Is Syria one of those cases?

Another point is: it's not always easy to tell what the outcome of a power vacuum will be. It was a disaster in Iraq, but does it always have to be? What does the data tell us? I think I saw a report a year or so ago on that very question, and if I remember correctly, it's not always easy to tell.
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#18
johnnd

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There was a great question posed in a Democracy Now interview a couple months ago, to Noam Chomsky I think; and I think the question was asked by Nermeen Shaikh, but could be wrong. The question was something like: surely taking the stance "we'll not oppose dictators, because the result will be even worse; what's done is done -- we can hope the country slowly transitions to a better one" is a bad idea as a universal principle. Surely there are cases where you really do want to oppose the dictator -- e.g. by equipping rebels. Is Syria one of those cases?

Another point is: it's not always easy to tell what the outcome of a power vacuum will be. It was a disaster in Iraq, but does it always have to be? What does the data tell us? I think I saw a report a year or so ago on that very question, and if I remember correctly, it's not always easy to tell.

 

I agree that there probably isn't any one universal principle that you should follow every time. With that said, I believe the US already supports something like 73% of the world's dictatorships - so what's the motive to attack here? Assad does not seem like a direct threat to America. It's more about Russia, China and Iran moving in the region, and gaining geopolitical power, than any humanitarian reason. The US-Saudi Coalition is a one-stop shop to debunking all who say otherwise. Also, I seem to recall US soldiers stationed in Afghanistan being relieved of their duties after blowing the lid off US-allied Afghan warlords keeping child sex slaves. How is that any better than the Talban?

 

There are many parallels between Iraq and Syria, being run by neo-Ba'athist, secular leaders ruling with an iron fist that could be seen as a moderating force in keeping the country's more radical factions in check. The real downfall in Iraq was due to the al-Maliki led Shia-Kurdish government's policies that alienated and excluded the Sunni minority, leading to sectarian violence, and eventually the birth of ISIS. Could it have gone another way? Who knows.

 

At the very least, if you're going to equip Syrian rebels, make sure you're propping up the ones that share your ideology and will not fight each other (e.g., even YPG–FSA relations are unclear, with several clashes having taken place). But even then, if the majority of the rebels are jihadists, how do you make sure they will not seize power after you defeat Assad?


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#19
starspawn0

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Noah Smith Tweets:
 
https://mobile.twitt...255583381680129
 

Let's see what Tankie Twitter thinks about those videos of Hong Kong police beating up protesters on the train...

...ah.


And he shows a Ben Norton tweet, where Norton writes
 

The US-backed right-wing Hong Kong rioters continue sabotaging public infrastructure like the metro -- a perfect symbol of their reactionary politics

The is an ANTI-working class movement led by pro-Western rioters supported by right-wing pro-US oligarchs


Noah further tweets
 

He just does this all damn day.


And links to another Norton gem:
 

At @Moderate_Rebels we spoke with China expert @CarlZha about Hong Kong and the anti-Chinese right-wing nativism fueling the violent protests.

HK media oligarchs publish ads comparing mainlanders to locusts, and "protesters" attack mainlander journalists


If Beijing kills thousands of protesters, Norton will either say it's a Western media lie, or that the protesters were "terrorists", just like all the rebels in Syria.
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#20
starspawn0

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Syrian students ‘put off’ attending UoE by lecturer accused of spreading pro-Assad propaganda

https://thetab.com/u...ropaganda-58786
 

Professor Hayward is a founding member of the “Working Group on Syria, Propaganda, and Media" (WGPS), a group which claims the White Helmet civilian volunteer force in Syria fabricate video evidence of attacks in Syria.

Professor Hayward has also claimed on his blog there is "zero likelihood" Assad has ever carried out chemical attacks on Syria.

....

"He is part of a campaign legitimising horrible war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is especially difficult for Syrians themselves to speak because they are still going through it.

"His denial of atrocities I have seen take place live online is extremely painful and he gets away with it."

Professor Hayward denies Joey’s claims, and told The Edinburgh Tab: “I am one of those trying to insist that war crimes be properly investigated. I have never denied any atrocity. The working group is working hard to get atrocities properly investigated.”


I'm not actually sure that Hayward is a "progressive" or a Leftist, but he does seem to have beliefs similar to a specific set of American Leftists, who are so blinded by rage against "Western imperialism" that they deny reality.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Progressives, Socialism, Marxism, Communism, (anti)Fa, Centralisation, Discrimination, Sexism, Racism, Identity Politics

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