Events in Syria and Iraq Thread #2

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Yazata, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    So what? It was one of two sources, the Russian one claimed to be it is the second, business insider claimed it is first. Given that weapon trade is not the most public one, I expect great uncertainties about this, so I personally would not guess who is right here.
    You may have a point here, the weapons market seems indeed much smaller than presented by some anti-war-propagandists who tend to present it as very large.

    Whatever, the more important point is that for Russia the export and import is much less relevant than, for example, for Norway or Saudi Arabia. Simply because the economy as a whole is greater, and the role of the inner market is more important in comparison with the foreign markets.
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  3. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    Sorry, posted to wrong thread. Plz delete
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, so what? You were being very disingenuous.

    The unfortunate fact for you is 2/3rd s of Russia's exports are directly attributable to oil and natural gas, another 10% is attributable to other minerals. The unpleasant fact for you is that Mother Russia is a one horse economy. It is highly dependent upon commodity prices and oil and natural gas in particular. Per previous references, Russia's military exports account for just a tiny fraction of Russian exports. Military equipment sales will not save Mother Russia's ass. That's a fact.

    Russian arms exports cannot and will not replace the 75 percent of its economy which is based on commodity exports - 75% is larger than less than .2%.

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  7. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    ??? I quote different sources, which make different claims about a particular question without much interest for me, make no own claims about this question, what is disingenuous here?
    Its export largely depends on oil and gas, but not the economy itself. Russia is not Luxembourg, therefore export is less important for its economy.

    There is no need to save it, it is sufficiently safe anyway. And you seem to like to repeat numbers already known to be false. You want to show everybody that you are uneducable? The different numbers from various other sources are something between 3% and 6% or so, but not 0.2%.

    Don't forget, btw, that for a country with such a large territory, which obviously contains a lot of natural resources, it is quite natural to mine and sell them.

    BTW, your source tells nothing about "to prop up its foreign currency reserves" or so.
  8. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    I suggest you go back and reread.

    As has been endlessly explained to you, Mother Russia needs its exports in order to obtain the foreign currency it needs to pay its bills and for its businesses to conduct business and stabilize its currency.

    Well, not surprisingly, you are being disingenuous again. You have been repeatedly shown evidence to the contrary. Mother Russia is in deep doo-doo. It can't pay its bills. It's economy is in the midst of a depression. Using Russian data, Russia's economy is in an extended depression.

    What does that have to do with anything? Nothing....absolutely nothing. As has been endlessly pointed out to you, Russia is a commodity dependent country and commodity prices are down and will likely remain down for the foreseeable future. That's very bad news for Mother Russia.

    Well what do you think Mother Russia was doing with all the foreign currency it borrowed?

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  9. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    It has a positive trade balance and quite low debt, so this is not a problem. That the sanctions plus low oil price is not positive for the Russian economy is a triviality, but in comparison to the Western dreams of collapse Russia is quite fine.
    Commodity prices down is, of course, an indication of a world economic crisis. And, of course, a world economic crisis is not good news for Russia too. But this will last as long as the corresponding crisis.
    Building all the infrastructure projects necessary for the Silk Road.
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member


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    As previously and repeatedly pointed out to you, Russia's positive balance of trade has shrunk by about 50% over the course of the last year. While you may wish to believe sanctions and low commodity prices are not affecting the Russian economy, as evidenced by their public statements, Russian officials know better. And you should know better too, because this too has been repeatedly been pointed out to you. You are not being honest comrade.

    Here's news for you Schmelzer, no one of merit wants Mother Russia to collapse yet again. The last time Mother Russia collapsed, the West collaborated to assist Mother Russia. It gave her food and money to keep Russians fed, clothed and sheltered. No one of merit wants to see Mother Russia collapse yet again. But that's exactly where Mother Russia is headed as has been endlessly pointed out to you. She is repeating all the mistakes of the former Soviet Union.

    The West wants to see a peaceful, democratic stable government in Mother Russia. The West wants a responsible Mother Russia. The West would love to see a stable and peaceful Mother Russia. That's why Mother Russia was given a seat on the Security Council by Western powers. That's why the West responded to Mother Russia's troubles by giving her food, money, and clothing when the Soviet Union collapsed. That's why the West gave Mother Russia a seat on the G7 (e.g. 7+1, G8).

    The West wants to see a peaceful, democratic, stable Russian society. That's not where Mother Putina has taken the country. Repeatedly invading, occupying, and annexing the lands of its neighbors as Mother Russia has done isn't peaceful nor is it responsible.

    Except it isn't. There isn't a "world economic crisis". China's economy is growing at a very good clip. Europe's economy is growing and the US economy is growing and has been growing at reasonable pace for the last 7 years. Only Mother Russia and a few other economies like Brazil are troubled. The world isn't in an economic crisis, Mother Russia is. Mother Russia is in a depression. The crisis for Mother Russia is already more than a year old and there is no end in sight for Mother Russia.

    LOL, well for that Mother Russia doesn't need much foreign capital right? Never mind the fact that the infrastructure project has been put on hold. China doesn't need Mother Russia's oil.

    The reason why oil prices are low is because there is a glut of oil on the market. It's not because demand has slowed, because it hasn't. Demand for oil continues to grow, but supply has greatly exceeded demand. As previously and repeatedly explained to you, over supply in the oil market isn't going to change any time soon for all the previously stated reasons.

    So the glory days of high oil prices are over, and Mother Putina never saw it coming.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
  11. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    So what - a shrinking is what has to be expected if the prices for the main things sold are low.
    Start yourself with becoming honest. I have never questioned that they are affecting the economy. My point is that the effects are less serious than the NATO propaganda wants and presents them.

    The main mistake - anti-capitalism - is not repeated. Russia is a capitalist economy now. The second big mistake was to try to export her own system - communism - to other countries. No such attempts are made now. Allies can have their own religion, their own system, this is their internal problem.
    Feel free to believe this. Low commodity prices have always been indications of economic crisis. The oil price will raise again in the long run, because nobody invests now in oil. One has to wait, that's all.
  12. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    By the way, a lot of news from Syria.

    The greatest news: It seems, Qaratayn has been taken by the Syrian army. This is yet another great victory against Daesh after Palmyra. A Christian town, by the way. This also clears an important road from Palmyra.

    On the other hand, there have been even two offensives of Al Nusra and friends. One in Latakia, where they seem to have taken a village, which already seems to have been retaken by the Syrian army again, so that this offensive seems to have failed. Another one in the South of Aleppo, where the situation is less clear, an attack on Khan Touman seems to have been repelled but Tal Eis, an important hill, seems to have been taken by Nusra.

    At the same time, another attack - of Azerbaidshan against the Armenian enclave of Karabach.
  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I was going to post about that, but you beat me to it.

    The Syrian army has had that town surrounded for weeks and was apparently trying to starve ISIS out in a siege. They attacked the town from multiple directions yesterday and reportedly met resistance. Today the word is that they hold the town. Reportedly the Syrian army attack was supported by a lot of Russian air activity.

    I wonder how many Christians remained there when ISIS took over and how many fled. My guess is that it was probably pretty empty of its local population and largely occupied by a few hundred ISIS fighters.

    Here's a recent map of the Palmyra area. Qaratayn is southwest of Palmyra in the direction of Damascus.

    I'm guessing that the next logical target for Syrian army operations is the collection of ISIS-held villages east of Hama and al Salamiya. Taking Palymyra puts the SAA east of that area as well.

    Hopefully these Syrian army victories will stop and even roll-back the feared expansion of ISIS into the more populated Syrian west.

    Given that this thread has followed the other one in become an 'I-hate-Russia' thread (why, I don't know), I'll add that the news is reporting that Russian army engineers and bomb-disposal specialists have entered Palmyra to help the Syrians clear the town of hundreds of improvised explosive devices that the ISIS fighters left behind.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
  14. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, so what?

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    You have misrepresented and based your argument on a number which has lost half its in the course of 1 year. Its positive trade balance in vanishing, along with Mother Russia's chief source of foreign currency.

    When have I not been honest comrade?

    We have been trough this before, you have denied sanctions were adversely affecting Russia's economy and you have denied Russia's economy was significantly adversely affected by oil prices all of which are demonstrably untrue. The truth isn't NATO propaganda. It's just the truth. As has been repeatedly pointed out to you, you cannot prove there is NATO propaganda much less that all the unpleasant facts you like to summarily and without merit are propaganda.

    You don't remember recently writing this, "Commodity prices down is, of course, an indication of a world economic crisis. And, of course, a world economic crisis is not good news for Russia too. But this will last as long as the corresponding crisis."?

    Well, not really. The Russian government still owns or directly controls most of the countries businesses. It owns the media. It owns its oil producers. It really isn't that different from the old system of Russian Communism. What we see in Mother Russia is something called "State Capitalism". That isn't free market capitalism.

    I don't want to debate whither this is first or second, but you are understating and attempting to minimize this particular problem. The mistake was to try to take on more than Mother Russia could support. Mother Russia over stretched its resources in an attempt to compete with the West. Had it not done that, it is likely the old Soviet Union would be alive today. It's the same mistake many others have made in the past (e.g. Napoleon). Mother Russia is a backward state which wants to act like a first rate world power and it isn't. It likes to be the big man on campus, but it can't pay the bills required for that kind of lifestyle. It's a recipe for failure.

    Well this isn't a matter of belief, this is a matter of fact. The fact is there is an oversupply of oil which has driven down commodity prices. Oil prices are not down because there has been a change in the demand function, but rather a change in the supply function. And as much as you dislike it, it's a fact. And just because prices are down, it doesn't mean they will magically come back someday. That's magical thinking comrade. There is an oversupply of oil in the world and despite Mother Russia's desperate attempts to reduce oil supply, it's not going to happen. The cartel that once kept oil prices artificially high is over. If prices rise much above 40 dollars a barrel the world's largest oil producer (i.e. the US) will begin pumping more oil and once again flooding the world with oil. That's a problem for oil export dependent nations like Mother Russia.

    China's Growth Rate:

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    China's economic growth rate is slowing to more modest and sustainable growth rate. But it is still growing at a very good clip.

    US economic growth rate:

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    The EU economic growth rate:

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    Mother Russia's economic growth rate:

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    The unfortunate fact for you is the world isn't in a recession or a depression, Mother Russia is.
  15. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    It is nonetheless positive. Which is what matters.
    The sanctions have, of course, some effect. Clearly they decrease growth now, given that one does not get credits. But as the result, one has less debt, which makes live easier in future. Then, the countersanctions protect the Russian agrarian market from Western competition. From an ideal free market theory, the resulting effect is nonetheless negative. But, on the other hand, this makes Russia more independent from the world market. Thus, if a big crisis comes, Russia will be less damaged. And there will be less possibilities for the US for economic pressure on Russia. So, these are costs, which may increase the security of Russia in future - but, without doubt, costs to be paid now.

    The question is not how much the state owns, but how much private enterprise is restricted. This is something difficult to decide from outside.

    In fact, from a libertarian point of view simple state ownership of some companies is the most harmless part of what the state is doing, because it is not connected with any legal monopoly. The state owns firm A, I own firm B, so what? There will always be others owning other things, why should I care who owns how much of the rest of the world? Everything else is much more harmful, because it forbids others to do the same thing too.
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, I get that, facts don't matter to you. That's very obvious.

    Yeah, on the good side, once you have completely destroyed an economy, it's difficult to go lower. Mother Putina's counter sanctions are nothing but Putina PR material. The bottom line is Mother Russia is suffering from sanctions and lower oil prices, neither of which are likely to go away anytime soon.

    How many things do you own that you do not control? The fact is Mother Russia isn't a free market economy. Mother Russia's economy is much like the Russian economy under the communist system. The state still controls production.

    That's nonsense. I don't know of a single validated libertarian who holds that viewpoint. Ownership is the ultimate government intrusion into free markets which libertarians venerate. Government ownership is an anathema to all card carrying Libertarians. And Russia's ownership of institutions gives it a monopoly. The Russian government owns and controls the media in Mother Russia. Mother Russia doesn't have a free press. The bottom line here is there is no freedom, the Russian government owns and controls virtually everything inside Mother Russia. That's very much like it was under communist rule.
  17. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    The fact is that half of a good thing remains to be a good thing.
    They have hit the agrarian sector of some European states quite seriously.
    If this control is the same as that I can do on my own property, and I can buy property myself, what is the problem? Why should I care who owns the other things?
    Yet another thing you simply don't know. The ultimate libertarian ideal is that the state becomes a security firm.
    And, another thing you don't know, libertarians do not care much about de facto monopolies, but a lot about legal monopolies. That the government owns some media would not be a problem as long as it allows other media. In this domain, Russia is far away from libertarian ideals. The West too, btw.
  18. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    The point is Mother Russia is rapidly losing it's good thing.

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    It if loses as much as it did last year, contrary to your assertions, it will not have a good

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    Nonsense, as previously demonstrated, the European economy is growing. Mother Russia isn't.

    The point being just as you control the things you own, Mother Russia controls the things the country owns. Contrary to your previous assertion, ownership matters and what we see in Mother Russia is state capitalism which isn't much different from the old communist system where control of industry is vested in the hands of a few government officials.

    Uh, no. I was a Libertarian for a brief period largely to protest my disgust for the Democratic and Republican parties. That's not the Libertarian ideal.

    Libertarians do care about government control and intervention. They don't care about private industry monopolization legal or otherwise as long as government isn't involved. Government ownership of anything except what is absolutely necessary is taboo in Libertarian circles and absolutely necessary would be mutual dense, enforcement of contract law, and that's about it.

    You know very little about the ideology you proclaim to subscribe to.
  19. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    We will see. Once we seem to agree that the size of this good thing depends on the oil price, the rapid loss has a quite simple explanation, and one which suggests that this rapid loss will not continue for long. Given the size of the reduction of the oil price, it is already difficult to imagine a loss of a similar size next year. Would an oil price of 0\$ do the job? One would have to check.

    Nice to see you happy if somebody else loses something. Quite typical for American zero sum thinking, it seems.
    So Europe (except Norway) wins a lot by a low oil price.
    Of course, ownership matters - to the owner. But the economic problems of communism are of a different type. In particular, there is no market at all in communism, so that the firms simply do not have the relevant information contained in the market price. And those who evaluate the local administrators of the state-owned firms do not have the relevant information about the profit made by this firm.
    Yes. But once the government does not control my property, and does not intervent if my firm makes contracts with third sides, everything is fine. That the government owns something, and does with its own property what everybody is allowed to do with his own property is nothing worth to object.

    Among libertarians there are, of course, also stupid people who don't understand libertarian concepts. But, in this case, I suspect this was not the problem of libertarians, but your problem of understanding them.
  20. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well, here is the thing, you keep ignoring evidence. The decline in oil prices was certainly a factor and is certainly problematic. But Russia's oil dependency on oil prices is just one part of its problem, another is Mother Russia's declining oil production. Mother Russia doesn't have bottomless wells. Mother Russia needs to invest in new oil wells and in maintaining its existing oil infrastructure. If it doesn't, oil production begins to fall. Per previously referenced materials, Russia now appears to be raping its oil industry, for lack of a better term, in order to raise needed cash. That's a long term prescription for disaster.

    That's really funny coming from you comrade. As has been repeatedly pointed out to you, the only one playing the zero sum game is your beloved Mother Putina. Additionally, just acknowledging facts doesn't mean one is joyful. Mother Putina is in a mess of his own making and the people of Russia are paying for his mistakes and poor leadership. Those are easily verifiable facts. As previously and repeatedly pointed out to you, no one celebrates Russia's demise. The West wants a stable, prosperous, responsible Russian state. But that state doesn't exist today. Mother Russia under Mother Putina's rule has become rogue state and as a result is in economic decline. As you have been repeatedly told Mother Russia is repeating all of the mistakes of the former Soviet Union. Mother Russia is once again on the path of destruction, and that is indeed very sad. But only Russians can fix it, and unfortunately it doesn't look like they will fix it anytime soon.

    Yes, Europe and other benefit from lower oil prices.

    Yes, contrary to your previous assertion, ownership matters. And the economic problems of communism are not different from those of the current Russian state. As has been pointed out to you the state still controls production. The state still owns the means of production. The state still controls production. While local government inspectors may not have access to detailed financial information, as an owner, the state does. Contrary to your assertion, the state does know.

    As previously pointed out to you, you control what you own. The Russian government also controls what it owns. Mother Russia still has a government run economy.

    Well before you go calling other stupid, you should take a long and serious look at yourself. Below is a statement from the Libertarian Platform:

    "The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected."

    So are you calling the Libertarian Party to which you claim to subscribe stupid?
  21. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Which one can see, for example, at LOL
    First, high taxes on oil was one of the first things Putin has made, and was the main conflict with Chodorkowski, who wanted the whole profit of his stolen oil companies for himself. Putin, instead, wanted the oil profits not going to Chodorkowski's bank account, but to the Russian state. And such high taxes have always been the way to diminish the role of crude oil exports in the long term.
    Yes, the point was that you have added even two smilies.
    This is what the Russians have believed 1990 too. They have understood now that they have been wrong. By the way, much faster than I have understood this. There was a time when they have already name democracy "dermocracy" (means something like "shitocracy") when I was yet more or less in favor of democracy. But I have accepted that I was wrong, and that they have had a better understanding of the nature of the West at that time.
    Nonsense. The problems are completely different.
    This is the only place where some libertarians (named minarchists) think that a legal monopoly by the government is justified. Anarchists do not agree about this, but reject legal monopoly completely. The stupid person here is you, because you don't understand what is the important point. Nobody wants to forbid the government guys to breathe, but this is not mentioned, because every human being, even a government guy, has this right. As well, everybody has the right to own property. Everybody, as well as every organization. So, this is nothing worth to be mentioned.
  22. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member


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    Ok, it's the old scapegoat Chodorkowski routine.

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    The fact is per my previous references, Mother Russia is sacrificing future oil production in order to be able to pay her bills.

    So you like my smilies?

    Yes Russian's haven't been able manage democracy. But Japan has, Western Europe has, North America has and many other countries have. Russians apparently prefer a dictator telling them what to think and what to do.

    No they aren't. They are the same, and Mother Russia is making the same mistakes she made before.

    Well you are being more than a little melodramatic comrade. Just where did I say or even hint "Nobody wants to forbid the "government guys to breath"? That's a straw man. The point is you don't understand what Libertarianism is and what it is not. In my last post I cited the Libertarian Party directly. I gave you a link to their website.
  23. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    The point being? You argue that the oil price will remain low for a long time. That means, it makes no sense to invest much in future oil production. Decide yourself what you think.

    I think oil is artificially low today, and that it will raise in future. So let's wait until oil is high again, and your ideas are really proven to be nonsense, before investing a lot of money into oil.
    They give some information about you. That you are happy if something is bad for Russia.

    Are you unable to understand a simple analogy?

    Every human has the right to breath - government guy or not. Every human has the right to own property - government guy or not. So there is no reason for libertarians against some ownership of whatever by government, for the same reason there is no reason for libertarians against government guys breathing. What libertarians object to are special, monopolistic rights of the government.

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