Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Military News and current conflicts. Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
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RF
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby RF » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:19 pm

Byron Angel wrote:[





..... I get the sense that you view it as a relatively isolated and inconsequential event. If so, I disagree. The Mahdist phenomenon, originally germinated in the Sudan in the second half of the 19th century, spread and engulfed the region from Ethiopia to Nigeria in warfare, industrial scale slave trade, and political instability for more than twenty years. Over that period, Great Britain participated in a number of Anglo-Egyptian military expeditions into the Sudan seeking to re-establish (titular Egyptian) control over the region. Kitchener's final victorious expedition was only the culmination of a series of such ventures.


Byron


It was isolated from the British point of view that I am taking - and as you say it did have a substantial effect in Africa, not least in ultimately spreading colonialism into virtually all of Africa. But it wasn't on our doorstep, as it is now.
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RF
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby RF » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:24 pm

hammy wrote:
Had the western leaders ever read a history of that conflict then some of the grosser stupidities of the last quarter century might have been avoided .


Might have been avoided, but personally I very much doubt it. The ''experts'' in the US State Department and British FCO advising the politicians should have a knowledge of the areas involved and their history and the politicians act on their advice...... subject to political expediency of course.
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby hammy » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:08 pm

I was at the old Lanchester Polytechnic in Coventry in the late 70s ( reading Business studies ) and had friends who were doing Modern Studies ( Political and modern History ) . One of these aquaintances went on to join the FCO , and is now one of the senior staffers there .
I remember that she neither knew nor cared about history , as an interest in itself , and was singularly ignorant ( in the sense of simple unknowing ) about the world .
God help us with people like her at the core .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:14 pm

hammy:

I remember that she neither knew nor cared about history , as an interest in itself , and was singularly ignorant ( in the sense of simple unknowing ) about the world .
God help us with people like her at the core .


Man, you have just described the woman that is running as a Presidential Candidate here in Costa Rica! And she is likely to win! You are right: God help us.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

Byron Angel

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby Byron Angel » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:30 pm

RF wrote: It was isolated from the British point of view that I am taking - and as you say it did have a substantial effect in Africa, not least in ultimately spreading colonialism into virtually all of Africa. But it wasn't on our doorstep, as it is now.



..... Fair comment from the geographical point of view.


Byron

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RF
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby RF » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:53 pm

hammy wrote:I was at the old Lanchester Polytechnic in Coventry in the late 70s ( reading Business studies ) and had friends who were doing Modern Studies ( Political and modern History ) . One of these aquaintances went on to join the FCO , and is now one of the senior staffers there .
I remember that she neither knew nor cared about history , as an interest in itself , and was singularly ignorant ( in the sense of simple unknowing ) about the world .
God help us with people like her at the core .


How did she manage to graduate, if she had no interest in the subject matter of her degree?
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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hammy
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby hammy » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:35 pm

She got her degree by confining her studies to the narrow fields covered in her course , and by preparing for the final exam by paying attention to the very strong hints given out by the lecturers as to what subject the exam questions would cover .

For example , one of the topics covered by her course was Modern China , post 1945 . She could give you chapter and verse on Mao and the "cultural revolution" , but only in isolation .
The Boxer Rebellion , Treaty Ports , The Kuomintang and the Warlords in the 20s , The Opium Wars and Britains role in them , the Different Dynasties , Marco Polo and Kubla Khan , she neither knew ( except at a Ladybird book sort of level ) or cared about ."Thats not part of the course " she'd tell me .
As part of her course , a group of 12 students , including her , had a field trip to Russia . Destination Volgograd .
"That'll be nice for you " says I , " Stalingrad in the Springtime " .
" Oh no , we aren't going anywhere like that ! " she said - didnt even know that it was the same city !

That was 1978 , its got much worse since . The Universities now are just sausage machines for churning out Graduates , but instead of people who had been trained for independence and initiative in thinking , we now produce biddable team players who have been narrowly trained for vocations -- unless you are a well off mature student who can afford to choose their own areas of study .
And the Lecturers at our local , the UEA ( home to the hilarious environmental studies department and its recently banana-skinned Climate Change Unit ) tell me that half of the kids cant write , spell , do simple maths , and have no intention of doing any peripheral reading around the subjects .
Example ; - A first year undergraduate doing Modern Languages with French Literature as their specialism was given a four page copy of a review article on Balzac from one of the French "sunday supplements" magazines - not a high brow thing , just intelligent middle-of-the-road , to prepare for a seminar discussion the following week . The day before he is due to lead off , he turns up at the Lecturers office and says he cant do it , cant they do something shorter and easier .
I suggested she should have tried him with " Baba the Elephant " , which got a wry smile .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

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RF
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby RF » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:18 pm

What you say doesn't show higher education in a particulary good light, even for a student going to Tsaritsyn.

I read for my degree in the early 1980's. This degree course no longer exists, apparently on the grounds that a specialist degree in economics is too narrowly academically based, despite the fact that it included interdisciplinary studies covering all of the other social sciences and some of the humanities.....
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby Kyler » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:41 pm

Hammy,

I can understand your frustration with the academic world. I agree many universities and colleges are more interested in producing students than making intelligent students. I attended two University's during college, St. Louis University (Private Jesuit) and the University of Southern Indiana (State Public). The difference in the quality of students and teachers was mind blowing besides the cost. While attending St. Louis U, most of the professor reminded us that even a "C" at SLU would be at most state schools an "A." I didn't think much about that until I transferred, and wow were my St. Louis professors right. USI would accept students basically if they could spell their name correctly on SAT or ACT's tests. I had friends and fellow students who couldn't even read at a high school level in college! Reading 10 pages a night or writing a 2 page paper was hard work. Though that doesn't mean all public colleges and universities are junk. I had some great professors at USI, they tended to be the hards ones according to everyone else, but I learned a lot from them. In addition I had some really awful professors at SLU as well, one who couldn't even speak English and was to teach us Calculus. Try that, it isn't fun. Truth be told colleges and universities need to be revamped, and more strict emphasis on quality of education needs to enforced. Less emphasis on core classes that are not degree related. I don't know how many useless class at both universities I took that served no purpose but both schools said I needed them.

Though if you looking a specific degree program, the State of Indiana has a unique program for public colleges and universities. You can make up your own degree. Than the university helps find classes on and off campus that will provide the knowledge for your specific degree. While nearly all students do not do this degree program, it does provide the option of focus on areas where people wouldn't not normally be allowed to at most other schools.
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Wrong f@%king ship!" Commander Stewart-Moore (HMS Ark Royal)

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hammy
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby hammy » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:29 am

The problem in the U K stems from about 20 years ago when Graduates with Qualifications suitable for careers in the Financial Sectors were relatively in short supply , pushing up the cost of hiring them . Our ( then Conservative ) Government decided to make many more , thus flooding the market and reducing the cost . At the same time they decided that another bastion of wicked socialist power , the universities , should be brought under the governments thumb , and made to jump through a whole series of hoops and to generally toe the line .

The suceeding Government ( Labour this time , or should we say "New Labour" under dear mr Blair ) continued with this witless programme , but now under the banner of granting aspirations to higher things to the great unwashed , and "Maintaining our place" in the standings in the world economy .

What we produce from the Universities now tend to be economic human fodder for the capitalist system , biddable and unimaginative "Team Players" every one , the better to serve the masters . Burdened with debt , any penchant for independent thought is stifled by the economic necessity of conforming -- salary-men in short .

I wonder whether the recent banking catastrophe is the result not so much of malignant or careless actions , so much as mass bovine indifference to an obvious cliff-edge , on the grounds that this was "Somebody elses problem"
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

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RF
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Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Postby RF » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:19 am

The ''banking catastrophe'' is an example of power without responsibility, accountability or real consequence for the perpetrators, who have escaped with very lucrative payoffs and no punishment at all, beyond having to say ''sorry'' to a parliamentary select committee. In the Soviet Union they would have been shot under any of its leaders up to and including Brezhnev and under later leaders put into a Gulag.
We have had spectacular bank failures in the past. The Great Depression in the US following the Wall Street Crash featured and indeed was largely triggered by a collapse in the US banking system. So the current malaise in higher education isn't to blame entirely for this current failure, although it may certainly be a contributory factor.
What is a common factor in all banking crisis and failures is an economy living on a pile of credit and debt. The problem now with ''fiscal stimulus'' and what in the UK is called ''quantitative easing'' is that another credit binge is being used to stave off recession. It may work for a while, but then the problems of the 1970's will recur, with ''stagflation'' namely simultaneous high levels of inflation and unemployment. It makes me think of Irving Fischers' equation of exchange from the 1920's, and then we shall need another Milton Friedman to fathom out an economic policy to deal with that. As usual it will be the unemployed and long term unemployed that will suffer. It makes the world a far more dangerous place.
Meanwhile the bankers and former bankers will be doing very nicely. They are at least inflation proof.
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