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joined 2022 November 02 04:32:50 UTC


User ID: 1778



1 follower   follows 0 users   joined 2022 November 02 04:32:50 UTC


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User ID: 1778

My comment, which you are responding to, should not be interpreted as having any moral meaning. I was not trying to come out either in favor or against the Gazans. Personally I root against Israel, but generally try to keep my bias out of my geopolitical comments because I find that in geopolitical discussion, arguments about morality and arguments that are fundamentally based on tribal rooting for one side or the other are both profoundly boring. Most geopolitics discussion online is constantly getting flooded by people arguing about morality or just simply rooting for their side. Not that I consider morality to be unimportant, but it often hinders looking at geopolitics clearly.

Fundamentally it is because I root against the US/Israel team, not for rational reasons but because I just do.

But tangentially, Iran having nukes would at least end all anti-Iranian hopes of destroying the current Iran regime, which I hope might add some much-needed cooling to the heat of the current geopolitical situation there.

I am fine with all of those outcomes, including the Saudis building nukes. I think this almost certainly, none of the sides involved would actually use their nukes, but Iran having nukes would at least end all anti-Iranian hopes of destroying the current Iran regime, which I hope might add some much-needed cooling to the heat of the current geopolitical situation there.

I am not pretending that Iran is just "some poor oppressed country". But it is also not simply some unprovoked aggressor. There has been a long history of violence from both sides. The West's conflict with Iran predates 1979. For example, you could trace it back to the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in 1941.

As I said, this is a preference. I am not going to try to justify it rationally or through moral arguments, and I would fail even if I tried. As a spectator, I am against team US/Israel. So I want their enemies to have nukes.

I want myself and those I root for to have nukes, that's about all there is to it as far as I am concerned.

At the same time, I am not a sociopath. I am fine with the US having nukes in order to actually defend itself. But I want others to also be able to defend themselves. Also, I don't actually like Iran. I hate their social conservatism and authoritarianism. I only like them insofar as they are a thorn in the US and Israel's sides. In any case, US/Israeli attacks on Iran have done nothing to actually make Iran less conservative or authoritarian, so I see no point in rooting for team US/Israel even in order to help Iran's people.

I don't want Iran to actually nuke anyone, but I want them to be able to deter team US/Israel. Which, if they got nukes, is what I think would almost certainly happen. They might be a bit crazy over there in Tehran, but if so then not much more than the average politician, and I don't think they want to engage in mutually assured destruction. As this latest round of very limited escalation actually shows very well.

I find moral arguments in geopolitics to be pretty pointless in general, and they rarely go anywhere. And very often they just disguise irrational tribal preferences anyway, even when the people engaging in them do not realize it. I am more interested in talking about power and capabilities.

I agree, but even if Iran launched every single asset that they have, I think that while it would kill many people, it would not knock Israel's military out of war-fighting shape. And that's even before accounting for the fact that it would do even less to hinder the US' war-fighting capability. Ukraine shows that a military that is being heavily supported by the West can endure two years of war against an opponent that has a very large arsenal of missiles, including ones that are better than anything Iran has. Granted, Ukraine is much larger than Israel, but on the other hand the US would have no reason to limit its direct help to Israel as much as it limits its direct help to Ukraine, since Iran does not have nuclear weapons. I hope that soon they will have nuclear weapons, but for now they do not.

It was definitely a limited attack. A full attack would have involved more missiles and drones, and almost certainly would have also included Hezbollah launching an attack.

But I'm not sure "everyone" knows this. I just responded to a comment that argued the opposite in fact.

Yep, many people didn't know it of course. But people who even half-seriously follow modern war without being blinded by some sort of bias knew it.

Probably, but as this isn't 1990 it matters a lot less.

Sure, but having the Persian Gulf closed down for months would still be a giant shit show for the world economy. And probably not good for the Democratic Party in an election year given that in today's US political situation, there is unlikely to be some sort of "rally around the flag" effect as a result of any war that didn't start with the US getting directly attacked, and the Democratic Party base is divided about Israel to begin with.

Yes. That's the meat. Will Israel attack Iran's nuclear capability? It will be good for the world if they do. Terrorists should not have nukes.

This is a matter of preference. Personally, I am in favor of Iran getting nukes because I do not wish them to be continually threatened by Israel and the US. The "world" would largely be unaffected. It's not like if Iran gets nukes, they are going to nuke Zimbabwe or Thailand or something. In fact, even if they got nukes, given the reality of mutually assured destruction they almost certainly would not even nuke Israel or any US assets.

I don't think today's strike will significantly change the US and its clients' current stance on Iran. The drone strikes against Saudi facilities a few years ago, which were probably at least funded by Iran if not directly launched by Iran, did not change it. Also, almost nobody who thinks that Israel is not the victim is going to have their minds changed because of today's strike into thinking that Israel is the victim. Iran launched a limited strike against, it seems to me so far at least, military targets. As long as this does not spiral into a full-blown war, the world news will very soon go back to covering the sufferings of people in Gaza the same way as they were doing before.

It was already known by people who closely follow modern war that Iran's missiles and drones have very limited ability to impact Israel's war-fighting capability. I'm not even that much of a war nerd, but I knew it. What happened today is not news in that sense. It changes little about what people who closely observe military stuff think about Iran's military capabilities.

Iran's missiles and drones do, however, have the power to close the Persian Gulf down for a long time if Iran wanted to. They also could severely hurt Saudi Arabia's oil producing capability.

These recent back-and-forth airstrikes are a side show anyway. The key thing for the Iranians is, or at least should be, to build a nuclear deterrent as soon as possible. From what I understand, they are pretty close to it. To the point that I'm actually surprised that they risked destabilizing the status quo by retaliating for the Israeli strike against their leaders in Syria. The status quo actually favors Iran because Westerners are increasingly turning against Israel and have not been doing anything directly to slow the Iranian nuclear program. On the other hand, I think that today's retaliatory strike is unlikely to expand into a full-blown conflict, and the Iranians know this, so it changes little. Today's strike will also do almost nothing to alter Westerners' opinions about which side they want to win, since it is clearly a limited military retaliation for the Israeli strike in Syria.

This was to have been expected given how the Ukraine war has been going. Both sides in that war routinely get a large fraction of their attacking assets intercepted when they attack targets that have substantial air defense protecting them. And Russia has better technology than Iran does, plus does not have to fly their assets over non-friendly airspace first before even getting to the target country. And Israel is small, so relatively easy to cover by air defense, and it has put a lot of resources into air defense. Based on all this, I predicted earlier today, when the news that Iran was launching the attack broke, that about 95% of Iranian striking assets would be intercepted, and it looks like I was pretty correct.

Also, it was obvious almost as soon as the news broke earlier today that Iran had started the strike that they were going for a limited attack, not starting a full-scale war against Israel. Firstly, because Iran has no rational reason to start a full-scale war with Israel, especially not before they have created a nuclear deterrent. Of course, states do not always behave in rational ways. However, secondly, if Iran was launching a full-scale war they would have launched more assets and would have probably managed to get Hezbollah to simultaneously attack Israel.

I am completely against banning Holocaust deniers for being Holocaust deniers. I'm not even in favor of SecureSignals' temporary ban, despite the fact that his posts are pretty tiresome to me. My comment that you are replying to is in the nature of a vent about my experience with Holocaust deniers, and it is also my trying to say that, while I am staunchly in favor of free speech, this place would also probably degrade if let's say 30% of top-level posts were by Holocaust deniers. My solution to that is not to ban Holocaust denial. I 100% support Holocaust denial being allowed here. But I also personally find most Holocaust deniers to be ridiculous people. SecureSignals makes some good points but he is so utterly convinced that the Holocaust didn't happen, as opposed to being genuinely open-minded, that arguing with him is similar to arguing with a religious fanatic.

Trump himself isn't any sort of libertarian's dream when it comes to people like Assange and Snowden. From what I recall, he made some vague murmurs about possibly pardoning Assange at one point, but that went nowhere. Meanwhile, when he was on the campaign trail in 2016, he strongly hinted that Snowden should be executed as a traitor. Which also went nowhere, of course. But my point is that on this issue, Trump has made as many pronouncements which are more authoritarian than the typical establishment politician as he has made pronouncements that are less authoritarian than the typical establishment politician.

However, I agree that Trump has acted like slightly less of a neocon than the typical US president, although that is a low bar to clear.

unlike Snowden Assange didn’t flee to an enemy state

Even today, Russia is not an enemy of the US by the strict definition of "has war been declared?". That might seem like semantics, but it has consequences. For example, I think that it would be almost impossible in the US to convict someone of treason for helping Russia, since at the very minimum (and even then it would be hard) I think the US would have to have declared war for the "adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort" part of the US Constitution to apply. But I could be wrong, maybe someone more legally versed can weigh in.

In 2013, when Snowden went to Russia, I don't see how Russia could have been considered an enemy of the US through any other than a very belligerent geopolitical worldview on the part of the US. A geopolitical rival? Sure. But not a full-blown enemy. Those were still the days of close economic ties and small, limited wars like the ones in Serbia and Georgia.


Oh, well I at least don't have any moral issue with Holocaust denial. I'm not against Holocaust revisionism in principle, I'm just against Holocaust revisionism if it's badly argued.

Not sure where else to put this so I'll put this here as an addition to what I have already said about Holocaust deniers elsewhere in this thread.

Holocaust deniers present a real challenge to free speech loving forums and, on such forums, largely create their own problems by turning people against them.

The challenge, at least for US-hosted websites, is not that Holocaust denial will bring the "Eye of Sauron" on the forum or anything similar. The Motte, for example, is in no danger because it hosts Holocaust deniers. 4chan is still merrily chugging along even though Holocaust denial is almost the norm there.

The actual challenge is that Holocaust deniers are a very highly motivated group of people who swarm to free speech forums because they are instantly banned in most other places. And the majority of them, whether they consciously realize this or not, are not really interested in having a real debate - they want to proselytize. And the majority of them have a poor understanding of history and/or poor critical thinking skills.

The combination of these things means that when a large enough group of them come to any given forum, they tend to mess up the place by derailing as much discussion as they possibly can into the service of their own interests while also not actually making particularly good arguments. In this, ironically, they are similar to the woke.

Free speech forum participants usually have an eclectic range of interests. Holocaust deniers, on the other hand, are usually highly passionate about Holocaust denial, not very interested in other topics, and their beliefs are highly coherent with the beliefs of other deniers, so once enough of them have come to a site one's experience there becomes similar to fighting against an army of bots.

Some might laugh at this, but I remember that 4chan's /his/ at one point a few years ago was actually a relatively decent (by 4chan standards) place to discuss history. Most of it was typical stupid 4chan-tier discussion, but there was also a decent number of intelligent participants. But the board kept getting constantly shit up by wave upon wave of Holocaust deniers. So the typical state of the board would be a bunch of small threads about eclectic stuff, and then a few 100-200 reply threads full of repetitive arguing between Holocaust deniers and other people. Almost all of the deniers were firmly unwavering in their beliefs and I doubt many a mind was ever changed. I have a theory that over time, the board got significantly worse at least in part because a lot of the intelligent posters got bored/tired of the deniers and stopped engaging as much.

Imagine that you are running a history forum and you are firmly devoted to the cause of free speech and "no topic is off limits". But imagine also that it so happens that the Internet has a strongly motivated, passionate, and fairly large contingent of people who are convinced that Napoleon never existed and was actually just a hoax. You want to allow people to discuss whatever they want with no restrictions on their speech - however, then you notice that now 20% of your board is made up of people who claim that Napoleon was a hoax, have a poor understanding of history, are impossible to persuade, and constantly accuse those who disagree with them of being part of a conspiracy to suppress the truth. The constant debates between the Napoleon deniers and their opponents are sucking all the air out of the room. What do you do?

Personally I am not in favor of banning Holocaust denial. I am pretty staunchly in favor of free speech!

So why did I write all this? It is to explain why, to some of us who have been discussing history online for a long time, Holocaust deniers are just so utterly tiresome. We have debated with them a hundred times on a dozen different forums. That is why when they show up, our response isn't to think "Oh goody, what an interesting new take on this historical matter!". Our response is "Ah man, it's these people again... Here come the same repetitive, pointless debates that I've already seen so many times before."

Yes, but I can't think of any reason why pre-war governments in Eastern Europe would have wanted to invent millions of Jews out of thin air for their censuses.

But there is a rule against single issue posting. Which is not to say that SecureSignals necessarily got banned only and precisely because he broke that rule, but there is a rule against it.

The problem with ignoring identity in making mod decisions is that it would leave the site open to people just repeatedly posting minor variations on the same exact thing whether or not it withstood rational analysis, since if mods ignored identity they would be forced to respond to each new iteration as if it was the first ever.

There is a "Post on multiple subjects" rule in the sidebar.

I think they would look much more ridiculous if they banned him for being a "wrongthinker", given the stated goals of this site, as opposed if they banned him for violating some listed rule(s). But in this case there actually is a listed rule. And in any case, mods have given themselves the option of using the "metarule".

So the question then is, did SecureSignals just get banned because he is a Holocaust denier? I don't think so. I've been around here for a long time and I haven't seen anything to make me think that Holocaust denial, in itself, gets people banned.

It's not the first time he's levied this accusation, for what it's worth.

Lol, I just followed that link and saw the following:

I think your problem is typical for Indians (and most other non-WEIRDs and non-Japanese, to be fair, including my people… but worse so in Indians): you have no taste, not even the notion of "taste", to you it's probably an arbitrary set of markers of one's social milieu rather than some relatively lawful intuition.

The idea that Indians have no taste seems so silly to me as a fan of Indian music that I'm not sure where even to start here.

Not only that, but even a cursory glance at Indians' extensive history of writing and arguing about what constitutes good taste shows that, far from having no notion of taste and considering it to be arbitrary, they are in fact probably one of the ethnic groups that believes most heavily in taste being something that follows lawful intuition. Indeed, they perhaps follow this idea excessively, hence the numerous attempts in Indian writing to argue things such as why one performer's rendition of a raga follows the raga's essence more closely than another's, or why some given language adheres more closely to a Platonic ideal of grammar than another language does.

Even corrupt and dysfunctional governments have a huge incentive to do accurate censuses for the purposes of taxation, conscription, and economic planning. In the case of census data about pre-war Jewish populations in Eastern Europe, we also know that this census data is corroborated by numerous literary sources, both fiction and non-fiction, which describe large Jewish populations in pre-war Eastern Europe.

Hitler himself, in Mein Kampf, wrote:

Although Vienna then had about two hundred thousand Jews among its population of two millions, I did not notice them.

Consider what it means for the Jewish population of Eastern Europe, if Vienna alone had 200,000.

As for the details of the operation of the death camps, first let us be clear. You do not simply disbelieve that the death camps operated as mainstream Holocaust theories describe them operating. You disbelieve that there was ever any deliberate Nazi campaign to exterminate the Jews at all. And you are using the argument of "if the mainstream theories get the operation of the camps wrong, it means that the mainstream theories are completely wrong and, in fact, there was no Holocaust at all".

But you have not advanced, at least not from what I have read of your posts, a comprehensive and specific alternative theory. You have the advantage of not presenting a comprehensive theory, but instead just criticizing the comprehensive theories of others. Much of your argumentation is on the hand-wavy level of "well, maybe the censuses were wrong".

But you have not presented a comprehensive theory that is more credible than the theory that the Nazis deliberately tried to exterminate the Jews.

The idea that the Holocaust is a gigantic hoax that the US, USSR, various European countries, and eyewitnesses all successfully collaborated on creating and perpetuating, even at the height of the Cold War when some of the participants in the alleged hoax were enemies, seems to me to be obviously even less probable than the idea that you can cremate a million people in a year at a small Polish camp or whatever.

The Nazis had means, motive, and opportunity. Given their ideology, why wouldn't they have tried to exterminate the Jews? The Holocaust is completely in alignment with Nazi ideology. This isn't a case of "the man who is being accused of murder is by all accounts a nice guy and it is debatable whether he was even in the vicinity when the victim died". This is a case of "the man who is being accused of murder openly told people numerous times that he hated the victim, he had a history of threatening the victim, he had a history of violence against both the victim and others, and he was there in the house with the victim on the day that the victim died".

As far as I know various mainstream Holocaust theories disagree on the degree to which the Holocaust was planned as a total extermination ahead of time as opposed to it just organically evolving over time, becoming more and more murderous. The idea that at one point there was a genuine Nazi plan to mass resettle the Jews is not outside of the mainstream Overton window. What is outside of the mainstream Overton window is the idea that the Nazis never at any point actually shifted into deliberate genocide mode.

There was an official version at Nuremberg, but there is no official version these days. There isn't even a consistent set of laws about Holocaust denial, as you know. Here in the US there are no laws against it at all.

You sarcastically called @BahRamYou's post "Holocaust denial" in order to make mainstream Holocaust theories seem ludicrous.

But this makes no sense. In my opinion, BahRamYou's post deviates from mainstream Holocaust theories in some ways. According to mainstream theories, which I happen to agree with on these points, death camps actually started in around 1942 and they likely weren't a desperation move in response to losing the war, they were created because they were a natural consequence of Nazi ideology.

However, despite the fact that BahRamYou's post disagrees with mainstream Holocaust theories in some ways, very few people would consider it to actually be Holocaust denial, and I find it hard to believe that any country in the world would legally prosecute him for it.

No mainstream Holocaust theory holds that the death camps killed 6 million people. Mainstream Holocaust theories hold that death camps killed a certain fraction of the 6 million, but the rest were killed in various other ways such as by Einsatzgruppen and other kinds of roving military units that carried out massacres, or by forced labor and poor conditions in labor camps, etc.

There isn't really any "official version". Historians debate various questions about the Holocaust all the time. This is why I talk about "mainstream theories", plural, rather than some monolithic one mainstream theory.

I mean, the very fact that there is almost certainly no European country where BahRamYou would face legal action for his post already kind of disproves the point that you are trying to make.