USA normalizes relations with Cuba

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The older part is what is making the idea of playing nice with a little more likely going forward. However, the fact it isn't reliable is exactly why the Cubanos have had such sway for all these years. A small group can very much make the difference in a tight race where it is winner take all. Thus, both parties spent a lot of time sucking up to them.
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'Oren[_2_ Wrote: > ;3324166']

> while

No, I don't think so.
Normally, whenever there's new leadership in a country, that new leader will strive to establish personal ties with the leaders of other countries that his country has economic, cultural and military ties to. That's done just so that the leaders of those countries can pick up the phone and discuss matters with each other that need to be discussed.
Un visiting Russia first IS a snub to China. Un is saying that his economic, cultural and military ties with Russia are more important to North Korea than those with China, and the Chinese won't be laughing this one off.
I expect your CIA is watching to see if and how China responds. Surely Un isn't stupid enough to offend the Chinese, who are probably the only reason that the South Koreans haven't taken Un out yet.
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'philo*[_2_ Wrote: > ;3324165']

> Iraq.

The US made a tremendous effort after 9-11 to find out who was behind the attack. They found out it was the Al Queda group headed by Osama Bin Laden, which had basically taken over the country of Afghanistan.
But, at the time, G. W. Bush had his sites set on ridding Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction. And, truth be told, Saddam Hussein did every thing he could to convince the world he was hiding something. Iraqi officials would argue with UN inspectors to stall them while trucks were hurriedly leaving inspection sites, and that made everyone believe that Iraq had WMDs.
In fact, it came out afterward that Saddam's intent was to convince Iran and the rest of the Arab world that he had WMD's so that he would command more fear and respect in the arab world.
So, largely because of Saddam Hussain pretending he had WMD's, the Bush WhiteHouse adopted the "Al Queda first" policy of trying to wipe out Al Queda before setting their sites on Iraq.
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On Sunday, December 21, 2014 7:17:11 PM UTC-5, nestork wrote:

All of that is correct and makes sense, except the last part. Bush went after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan first, because Saddam was acting like he had WMDs? Bush went after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan because of the 911 attack, end of story. At the same time, he started ratcheting up the screws on Iraq, to comply with the cease fire agreement, UN orders, etc. that called for them to fully cooperate with the UN weapons inspectors, account for all WMDS, etc. When Iraq refused to comply, over a year after Afghanistan already had been invaded, he then made the case for action against Iraq
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Oren wrote:

Now there's a thought. Have the original emigres go head to head with the original Fidelistas. Gentlemen, start your wheelchairs. It would be like Terry Pratchett's 'The Last Hero' when Cohen the Barbarian and the Silver Horde set off on their last mission.
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nestork wrote:

I think that's part of Iran's coyness. Persians aren't Arabs and they're mostly the wrong flavor of Muslims. They're trying to convince the Saudis they've really got something, while trying to convince the Israelis they don't. You have to be good at camel trading to live in that neighborhood.
Meanwhile Israel isn't talking. It would be funny if they've been running a bluff all these years too.
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From what I've read, it took considerable convincing from wiser people for him to do so.
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On Monday, December 22, 2014 8:44:26 AM UTC-5, dadiOH wrote:

I'd like to see what you read. Clearly, the day after 911, Bush, speaking at the WTC site, said we were going after those who did this. Within days or weeks he was giving Afghanistan Taliban an ultimatum and the invasion commenced shortly after, with about a month, as I recall.
This is the first I've ever heard that Bush was reluctant to go after the Taliban, Al Qaeda in Afhanistan.
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trader_4;3324428 Wrote: >

> went

> had

> attack,

Well, that's exactly what I meant.
Bush knew that Al Queda was responsible for 9-11. All of the information he had suggested that Saddam was hiding WMD's. So, the Bush Whitehouse adopted an "Afghanistan first" policy of getting rid of Bin Laden while UN weapons inspectors were dealing with Iraq, and then, after dealing with Bin Laden, getting rid of Saddam in Iraq.
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On Monday, December 22, 2014 12:17:14 PM UTC-5, nestork wrote:

But that isn't what you posted.

Iraq wasn't even on the radar map in terms of invasion before 911. After that, everything changed.
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On Tuesday, December 23, 2014 7:43:58 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That's for sure. You can ask the guy they just freed that spent years in j ail there for leaving a bible at a bar.
On another NK front, I've seen two credible internet security experts on nightly news now that say they don't believe it was NK that attacked Sony. The latest one, from a silicon valley company, says they did their own investigation and they believe they've indentified the real culprit by tracking the attack, emails, etc. They believe it was a former female employee who left Sony in May. Apparently she knew the vulnerable ways to get in, knew their security settup, etc. They say that there was a smoke screen put down to try to point the finger at NK, but every one of those that they ran down, ultimately proved to be false.
Another interesting aspect is that when this first started, the attackers never said anything about the movie. It started with demands for money... So, IDK. On the other hand, you would think the FBI would have better access to all the data as to what went on, including search warrants, cooperation from other countries, etc.
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On 12/23/2014 06:43 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

<snip>

Correct....however...
It's (possibly) better to have no tolerance for religion at all that to declare that there is only /one/ religion as does Saudi Arabia.
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trader_4 wrote:

The FBI sometimes finds answers that are politically convenient. NK's problem is like Hussein's was; throw out a constant stream of bullshit and bluster people will eventually start to believe it.
Whether Hamlet was just woofin' when he threw his two cents in remains to be seen.
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On Wednesday, December 24, 2014 10:20:41 AM UTC-5, rbowman wrote:

But in this case, blaming NK if it;s really a pissed off former employee, make no sense for obvious reasons. The PO'd employee could be tracked down, arrested, stopped. A quick victory for the FBI. The last thing the govt or Obama needs is the issue of how to retaliate against NK, where there are no good options and it just makes them all look weak. Also, if it's some individual/s and they strike again, eventually it gets figured out, then the FBI is going to look really, really dumb.
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rbowman;3325427 Wrote: >

> bull**** and bluster people will eventually start to believe it.

Have another drink, rbowman.
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'philo*[_2_ Wrote: > ;3325580']On 12/23/2014 06:43 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:-

> and

>

North Korea doesn't recognize any religion.
Karl Marx declared that religion is the opium of the people. He meant that people ingest that stuff to make them forget about the pathetic condition they live in. If they were liberated from the chains of their kings, queens and monarchs and worked together instead, they could improve their lives immensely without having to rely on some sort of Diety to give them heaven in their afterlife for all the suffering they tolerated while alive.
No communist regime that follows the teachings of Karl Marx will tolerate any form of religion. Neither North Korea, nor China, nor Russia, nor Cuba recognize any religion. Despite that, people in those countries still practice their own religions in small private groups.
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On 12/24/2014 03:42 PM, nestork wrote:

True. Under a repressive regime people are still going to carry their beliefs no matter what.
My dad always told me that "if your religion makes you a better person, I'm all for it. "
I agree with that.
It's too bad that all too often in makes people worse.
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trader_4 wrote:

Like that's anything new. He started walking back his quickdeaw comments with the Beer Summit. Maybe he'll draw a red lone for NK.
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nestork wrote:

Right. That's why Pussy Riot was charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. Cuba hasn't been officially atheist since 1992. China hosted the World Buddhist Forum in 2006 although the Dalai Lama wasn't invited.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/06/travel/china-builds-bigger-buddhas/
China has found out Buddha statues are good for the tourist trade although I understand the one the government erected in Tibet somewhat resembles Mao.
Didn't you get the memo? The Cold War is over.
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