China to increase Military budget

[quote=BBC]China has said its military spending will increase by 7.5% in 2010, ending a long run of double-digit growth.
[/quote]

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8548803.stm

[quote=BBC]Speaking at a news conference, Mr Li claimed China was increasing transparency on this issue.
He said the extra money being spent on the military would help it meet various security threats, without specifying what those threats were.
But he added: “The only purpose of China’s limited military strength is to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
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[quote=BBC]Many experts believe the actual amount spent by China on its armed forces is far higher than the published amount.
And Washington, among others, worries about what the country’s ultimate goals may be.
In a recently published book, called The China Dream, a senior officer in China’s People’s Liberation Army said the country should aim to build a major military force that could challenge the US this century.
[/quote]

Yep.

And along with this, we have Russian bombers making passes over American aircraft carriers off Japan:

Four U.S. fighter jets were scrambled on February 9 to escort Russian bombers that approached the USS Nimitz south of Japan. One Russian bomber flew over the deck of the aircraft carrier, escorted by a U.S. fighter jet.....The last time a Russian bomber flew over a U.S. aircraft carrier was in July 2004, and Russian bombers have increased their flights near U.S. territory to demonstrate their long-range strike capability.

reuters.com/article/idUSN1238070820080212

But that's okay. Nobody intends us any harm; not even al-Qaeda wishes us any harm.

Everything's fine. We have Obama apologizing for us all over the world, so everybody loves us now, and we can all breathe a deep sigh and relax. Put your feet up and tune in to Desperate Housewives or the latest college football game.

Go on back to sleep, America You don't need to worry any more.

Exactly why Americans were ever worried about Russians invading them or bothering them was always a puzzle to me. The Russians are thousands of miles away from you and have their own concerns. However as Putin was wont to point out over the last few years it's interesting how when you invade Afghanistan it's an act of liberation but when the Soviet Union did the same thing they were just showing how naughty they were. Funny things, double standards.

Afghanistan was a retaliation against the Taliban because they refused to give up the masterminds of the deadly 9/11 attacks. The Russians merely went in to establish a puppet government and increase their influence over the region. Nobody allied with the Russians. Many allied with the Americans because they know that it was a war of self defense.

The war in Iraq is much more complicated though, the merits of our activity there being somewhat questionable.

Considering that the Soviet Union entered Afghanistan at the request of the Afghan government at the time, and the United States attacked Afghanistan not to liberate the populace but to topple the Taliban, which was supporting al-Qaeda, you’re comparing apples and oranges. Funny thing, poor knowledge of history.

[quote="AJTheMan, post:4, topic:189443"]
Afghanistan was a retaliation against the Taliban because they refused to give up the masterminds of the deadly 9/11 attacks. The Russians merely went in to establish a puppet government and increase their influence over the region. Nobody allied with the Russians. Many allied with the Americans because they know that it was a war of self defense.

The war in Iraq is much more complicated though, the merits of our activity there being somewhat questionable.

[/quote]

The analysis you have applied to the Russians can be turned around and applied to the US as the Russians claimed that forces in Afghanistan represented threats to them. Also if it comes to puppet goverments I would say American and Russia are both world leaders in that department over the last century.

Iraq is simply an exercise in illegal invasion which was justified in Britain where I live currently via material that was fundamentally unsound.

You see, on 9/11, the U.S.A. was attacked by a group called Al-Qaeda and thousands of innocents died. Al-Qaeda was based in Afghanistan which provided it refuge and support. The Taliban refused to give them up after fair warning from the U.S.A.; hence the invasion.

During the Soviet era, the country of Afghanistan did not send in planes into Moscow to kill people. The Soviets, or Russians as you now say, invaded Afghanistan because of imperialist reasons and the desire for a warm-water port under Brezhnev. There was a Russian General, Boris Gromov, who had the Soviet Airforce specifically drop timebombs from Soviet bombers camouflaged as toys so that Afghan children could then pick them up and lose their limbs. I remember these poor children. Some of their families came to Canada after the refugee camps became overfilled in Pakistan as people fleed from Russian and/or Soviet barbarism, however you wish to call it.

Yes, funny thing double standards. Had the Soviets never invaded Afghanistan in the first place to expand the Communist Imperium and brutalized the Afghan society, it is doubtful Al-Qaeda would have ever emerged.

So, if you had your choice of being occupied by the United States or the Soviet Union, which one would you choose?

[quote="KyivAndrew, post:7, topic:189443"]
You see, on 9/11, the U.S.A. was attacked by a group called Al-Qaeda and thousands of innocents died. Al-Qaeda was based in Afghanistan which provided it refuge and support. The Taliban refused to give them up after fair warning from the U.S.A.; hence the invasion.

During the Soviet era, the country of Afghanistan did not send in planes into Moscow to kill people. The Soviets, or Russians as you now say, invaded Afghanistan because of imperialist reasons and the desire for a warm-water port under Brezhnev. There was a Russian General, Boris Gromov, who had the Soviet Airforce specifically drop timebombs camouflaged as toys so that Afghan children could pick them up and lose their limbs. I remember these poor children. Some of their families came to Canada after the refugee camps became overfilled in Pakistan as people fleed from Russian and/or Soviet barbarism, however you wish to call it. Yes, funny thing double standards.

[/quote]

Yeah but you absolutely loathe Russia as is evident from many of your posts I've read. My wife is Russian and has Ukrainian ancestry herself and has pointed out that many of your posts tend to show how bad the Ukrainians had it but tend to forget to mention that during the Holodomor millions of Russians weren't exactly partying down around the Black Sea either.

America is just as culpable of war crimes over the last 40 years as Russia and both of them at their worst were the biggest threats in their respective local regions to peace. Russia no longer maintains the military might to be such a threat but America does. I like how whenever you mention Russia though the word barbarism is never far from your lips - got a wee bit of an agenda going on there I'd say. Russia's biggest issue of imperalism I'd say over the last 15 years or so was the unfortunate handling of the Chechen situation which rapidly became an ongoing disaster.The problem with Afghanistan is that on one hand we were regaled and rallied with the news that the Taliban were only self-appointed lords of the country so since they by this line of reasoning were not a legitimate govt. why was the release of Bin Laden etc. sought through them? Obviously the fact they would not give him up was a foregone conclusion and served as a a reason (of sorts anyway) to 'liberate' Afghanistan. Cue a cock up as is traditional for armies invading Afghanistan which has been the bane of three world power's armies now in the last 150 years alone. The Russians got, shall we say, mildy emberassed out there. Tbe British suffered one of their worst military defeats and so far the combined US/British presence doesn't seem to have produced much in the way of lasting stability.

Neither America nor Russia are totally barbaric or totally civilised, in that respect they are like all other places on Earth. America is in some respects more civilised than Russia but Russia is in some respects more adult as a culture and less infantile than much of what constitutes American art and literature. Although both can be shockingly crude and rough-edged on occassion. Again a truth common to all cultures.

Russia has served as a traditional bogeyman for several generations of Americans. Islam is slowly filling that niche now but the old view of the Russians as the naughty, naughty Soviets still has some resonance.

So, if you had your choice of being occupied by the United States or the Soviet Union, which one would you choose?

First off. I do not loathe the Russian people but their rulers, as do many Russians themselves - Mikhail Kasyanov, Gary Kasparov, the Russian members of Memorial dedicated to preserving the memory of Russian victims persecuted in the Soviet Union who had their offices raided by Putin. I despise any authoritarian ruler who does not allow the Russian people freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly. Such it was under the Soviet Union, and so it is under Putin. If you wish to make the case for Putin as “humanitarian democrat” as opposed to Chekist be my guest. Putin indeed had official stamps issued commemorating the heads of the Soviet Secret Police during the Holodomor like Vsevolod Balitsky given place of honor. I WANT the Russian people to live free of corruption, dictatorship, immorality - the exact same I wish for Ukrainians. Indeed, I will criticize the current President of Ukraine to the hilt on this.

And thank you for being so kind as to accuse me of an “agenda”. I wish nothing less for the Russian people for once in their lives not to be ruled by a one-party government, or the Cheka, or secret police, or an authoritarian ruler. As long as Putin goes on glorifying the Soviet past or secret police I believe it fair to criticize as many Russians have done. I’m sorry you cannot see the distinction. Have you never heard of Anna Politkovskaya?

Secondly, right now, the U.S.A., Canada, and the United Kingdom have members of their armed forces dieing in Afghanistan. I sometimes see the funeral columns of dead Canadian soldiers who fell in Afghanistan pass along the highway by my home. I think it disgraceful to put these men and women from your country and my own on the same moral level as the Red Army; evidently you don’t.

Let’s be clear: do you wish to make the case for moral equivalence between the Soviet Union and the United States in the 20th century. I would love to hear the case. You believe American democracy morally akin to Soviet atheist totalitarianism in the last century, is that correct?

Jharek I think you owe me an apology. I have just read your response linking me to some post in an Edmonton Journal of which I am not aware with respect to "bandera". Look through CAF; I have never posted anything to do with such an individual. You are linking me fallaciously to some article I've never come across. That is pretty vicious.

I think you owe me an apology, seriously, because you have linked me with something I abhor.

Neither - and since where I come from was occupied for the best part of 800 years in some form or another (although that’s a simplistic rendering of a very complex time line) I would say that any country occupying another tends at times to be brutal, including the USA or England/ Great Britain which was our occupier. At best occupiers tend towards the paternalistic in a patronising manner where they suppose the native culture is deficient and seek to enlighten the inhabitants of the land. At the worst they seek to obliterate the inhabitants. Most occupiers of countries where previous groups have lived and continue to do so tend to fall somewhere in the middle or combine aspects of both tendencies. Witness the American experience with the native peoples they encountered. Or in fairness even witness some of the native groups interactions with each other.

Given enough span of time and enough resistance by those been occupied and the difference between the US or Soviet Union as occupiers would blur considerably.

[quote="KyivAndrew, post:11, topic:189443"]
First off. I do not loathe the Russian people but their rulers, as do many Russians themselves - Mikhail Kasyanov, Gary Kasparov, the Russian members of Memorial dedicated to preserving the memory of Russian victims persecuted in the Soviet Union who had their offices raided by Putin. I despise any authoritarian ruler who does not allow the Russian people freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly. Such it was under the Soviet Union, and so it is under Putin. If you wish to make the case for Putin as "humanitarian democrat" as opposed to Chekist be my guest. Putin indeed had official stamps issued commemorating the heads of the Soviet Secret Police during the Holodomor like Vsevolod Balitsky given place of honor. I WANT the Russian people to live free of corruption, dictatorship, immorality - the exact same I wish for Ukrainians. Indeed, I will criticize the current President of Ukraine to the hilt on this.

And thank you for being so kind as to accuse me of an "agenda". I wish nothing less for the Russian people for once in their lives not to be ruled by a one-party government, or the Cheka, or secret police, or an authoritarian ruler. As long as Putin goes on glorifying the Soviet past or secret police I believe it fair to criticize as many Russians have done. I'm sorry you cannot see the distinction. Have you never heard of Anna Politkovskaya?

Secondly, right now, the U.S.A., Canada, and the United Kingdom have members of their armed forces dieing in Afghanistan. I sometimes see the funeral columns of dead Canadian soldiers who fell in Afghanistan pass along the highway by my home. I think it disgraceful to put these men and women from your country and my own on the same moral level as the Red Army; evidently you don't.

Let's be clear: do you wish to make the case for moral equivalence between the Soviet Union and the United States in the 20th century. I would love to hear the case. You believe American democracy morally akin to Soviet atheist totalitarianism in the last century, is that correct?

[/quote]

None of the soldiers dying in Afghanistan are from my country. I am not from the UK, I merely reside there. I abhor their deaths as they are fellow human beings but I do not think individually they are generally more or less moral than members of the Red Army, including members of my own family such as my wife's grandfather who was a Col. in that organisation or my brother-in-law who served as a junior officer in it and is now a Col. in the Russian army.

Let's just say for a non-American observer America can seem as brutal at times looking at if from a historical perspective as did the Soviet Union. Indeed so can my own country when looked at objectively enough.

[quote="JharekCarnelian, post:13, topic:189443"]
Given enough span of time and enough resistance by those been occupied and the difference between the US or Soviet Union as occupiers would blur considerably.

[/quote]

Sure. If we were to interview a German inside the Soviet occupation zone and a German inside the American occupation zone, say, about circa 1960, we'd see how well that would hold up. But you're entitled to your opinion, so you go right ahead and believe what you like.

Cheers.

Jharek. This may sound corny but I just got back from taking my mum to Divine Liturgy (Saturday Service) at my Church and I promised myself at the beginning of Lent to abstain from engaging in heated debates on CAF. I’m stopping here, whatever my disagreement, just because it doesn’t feel right. I wish you and your wife a Happy Lent.

God Bless.

Andrew

[quote="Wolseley, post:15, topic:189443"]
Sure. If we were to interview a German inside the Soviet occupation zone and a German inside the American occupation zone, say, about circa 1960, we'd see how well that would hold up. But you're entitled to your opinion, so you go right ahead and believe what you like.

Cheers.

[/quote]

Let's for fairness sake interview a number of residents of reservations or some members of AIM and ask their opinions on the 'American occupation zone' as defined by them. In any case the Americans re-employed a large number of known Nazis to keep post-war Germany running. Indeed, no matter whether the Americans had been in charge or any other power that would have happened of neccesity as no other individuals as a group with enough administrative ability were available to keep things running.

Americans tend to forget that non-Americans do not always see you as the bastions of moral resoluteness admidst a chaotic world that your media tends to portray you as. We see you as better than many states but not infinitely better and more tarnished than many here would see America as. Indeed I feel modern America has departed largely from the ideals of it's founding fathers in many respects. Not that all the founding fathers were that idealistic in any case although there were some who were.

[quote="KyivAndrew, post:16, topic:189443"]
Jharek. This may sound corny but I just got back from taking my mum to Divine Liturgy (Saturday Service) at my Church and I promised myself at the beginning of Lent to abstain from engaging in heated debates on CAF. I'm stopping here, whatever my disagreement, just because it doesn't feel right. I wish you and your wife a Happy Lent.

God Bless.

Andrew

[/quote]

My own feeling is that politics do not utterly define people and I have met conservatives who I would trust at an individual level more than fellow socialists. I personally begin to feel as I grow older that to a large extent TH White who pointed out that nationalities are really an excuse for humans to keep behaving like monkeys and throwing bones at each other from trees was to a certain extent correct.

Didn't this thread have something to do with China?

All things considered, and knowing how the rest of the world usually feels about us, believe me, nothing would make me happier than for us to remain right here at home and mind our own business, and let the rest of the world take care of itself. I see no reason for us to involve ourselves in any foreign country, anywhere, for any reason whatsoever—not for their wars, their natural disasters, their famines, or their crises.

The next time some European country needs to be saved from an aggressor, or some Latin American or African or Asian country bailed out of an earthquake or a typhoon or a famine, let them go someplace else. After all, we’re horrible, evil, wicked people, we Americans, worse than Hitler and Stalin and Attila the Hun and Pol Pot and Idi Amin all rolled up together in one big greasy, slimy gob, and certainly deserving of the world’s hate—why would they want our help?

People condemn isolationism. I think it’s a grand idea. We have our own oil, our own coal, our own iron, our own wood, and our own corn and wheat. We should just stay here and take care of ourselves, and the world can take care of itself. As long as nobody attacks us, we should be happy to stay completely out of everyone else’s affairs. Just leave us alone, and we’ll leave them alone.

As Pat Buchanan has wisely observed, we’re supposed to be a republic, not an empire.

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