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Afrin has fallen to Turkey

Afrin has fallen to Turkey and is being looted and culturally cleansed. Large portions of the Kurdish population have already left.

The question now is if Turkey will attack Manbij. If it does, it could bring the Turkish army into direct conflict with US troops. That, in turn, would lead to either war between the US and Turkey or American withdrawal in the face of Turkish aggression. I'm honestly not sure which one is worse.

This is a "Hitler annexes the Sudetenland" moment. If Turkish expansionism is not checked, it could lead to a wider ethnic war against the Kurds.

A rare agreement with Trump

This is another rare instance where I agree with Trump. There are major gaps between the US and the DPRK on a huge number of issues, but a large part of the bad relations between the two countries comes from constant failure to communicate.

The Gaseous Truth in Syria

As I sometimes do, I engaged in some correspondence on a matter of politics and war recently. Specifically it involved an individual who was promoting the idea that the United States has "admitted" that it has no evidence that the Syrian government used Sarin against civilians in 2013 and 2017 [1]. I pointed out that this was a misrepresentation, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Mattis, that this was in reference to the most recent claim, as the U.S.

Syria Update February 2018

There are reports that al-Qaeda (namely Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) is getting kicked out of a bunch of locations in Idlib, including Deiret Izza and Kafranbel. It looks like it's a new group (groups? operation room?) that's doing it, but I'm seeing a number of possible names for them. Based on the iconography on one of the press releases, I'd guess they're moderate Islamist, but Zinki (the militant group, not the Secretary of the Interior) also seems to be involved, which would suggest they have more of an edge to them.

I swear this war gets weirder every day.

A Contentious Debate

Between 1979 and 1996, 104 people were killed and at least 52 were wounded in 13 mass shootings in Australia. Since national gun control laws were introduced in 1996 there have been no mass shootings in Australia.

In 2018 there have been 34 mass shootings in the US, killing 51 people and injuring 106. In 2017 there were 346 mass shootings in the US.

When asked to comment on the debate on gun control in the US, Malcolm Turnbull responded:

“It’s not for me to get involved in a contentious domestic political debate here."

Here's a pledge for you Peter Dutton

“In my view, there is a place for the pledge in a broader rejuvenated civics effort with school-aged children, regardless of their background,”
- Mr Dutton 21/02/2018

Here's a pledge for you Peter Dutton, none of my children will be making any pledge to a government consisting of crooks, liars and shit stains like yourself.

While we're on the subject of pledges, here's one you made on becoming an MP, and also on becoming a minister:

"I, Peter Dutton, do swear that I will well and truly serve the people of Australia."

Happy New Year Malcolm Turnbull!

So the Government has kicked off 2018 with:

A racist Senator and accused war criminal who makes no apology for posting 'Britain First' memes, but demands a grovelling apology for being called a coward for doing so;

Peter Dutton undermining the legal system, spreading fear of non-existent African gangs in Melbourne and encouraging the rise of white supremacist vigilantism;

Something good about Facebook

First off, the bad grammar in the following is intentional, because screw grammar/spelling authoritarians! Language is the only real direct democracy dammit, so don't let the fascist English teachers take that away from you with their arbitrary rules!

Facebook says today is a "friendversary," marking the day that me and Mitchell became friends on Facebook. Normally, I ignore Facebook when it spams me with such things, but I couldn't help but notice the huge impact that Mitchell has had on my life.

Turkish tanks in Aleppo

Turkish tanks are going deep into Aleppo to head off a potential regime offensive toward Foua and Kafraya. This is the offensive I expected the government to make after defeating ISIS in the east. There are a bunch of important strategic targets along the way, it would have allowed them to threaten Idlib and Saraqib, diverting rebel forces away from the front lines in Hama, and it would have severely disrupted rebel supply chains to the south.

Australia, we gotta change the date.

Australia did not begin on January 26, 1788. It is a lie. Our First People lived here for 60,000 years before our colonization, and Australian civil society began millenia before the British arrived and massacred.

It's not so different from Israel-Palestine.

But the British believed the land belonged to them. They had no good intentions to assimilate into Aboriginal Australian society or, as we now say, 'don't like it, don't stay.'

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