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Posts posted by Irbis

  1. With that said, I readily stipulate that it's become unfortunately more difficult to find or hear those moderate voices.


    In societies based on personality cult speaking your mind is not always safe. Basically they have been using the same methods since the time of their prophet, of casting so much terror into the hearts of people that nobody dares to speak out and those who do are either silenced by the authority of the Qur'an/Sunns (life examples of their prophet) or literally silenced by bullets.


    In such an atmosphere of terror truth is the first casualty, unfortunately.


    Some news from Syria. The attack on the She'ar gas field proved to be a victory for Assad forces - but a costly one. 270 soldiers and militiamen were either killed or executed after the battle by ISIS and 60 more were killed during a counter-attack. An extremely pyrric victory considering that ISIS detachment that seized the field consisted of only 100 men.

  2. I seriously doubt it will stabilize anything. Note that according to Islam the establishment of the Caliphate automatically renders all other state entities in the world illegal - they must either submit to Islam or face war. So, if anything, it will bring even more war to the region.

  3. Hamas' stated goal is the destruction of Israel. They use religious rhetorics to back their claims (and they have strong arguments from their scriptures) so no matter what Israelis do, they won't stop. No amount of appeasement and no amount of money poured into Gaza will resolve that conflict. It will only make it worse as Hamas will use that money to buy more weapons and train more terrorisrs.

  4. Since about 11 days Israel began bombing Gaza again after being pissed off by shelling of Israel by Hamas. So far the whole operation has resulted with at least 400 Palestinian dead with 48-72% of them being civilians. One Israeli civilian and at least 18 IDF soldiers were killed with 13 of them killed today.


    Here you can discuss the entire issue, just remember - keep it civil.

  5. Mao was a successful military commander after all. When ww2 ended he held a small part of the country and 3x smaller forces. By 1949 he brought all of China under his control.

  6. How do you think does Sun Tzu compare to European thinkers such as Clausewitz? I got an impression that these two approaches are philosophically different, i.e. Sun Tzu's approach is based more on deception and outwitting the enemy while European thinkers were more concerned about physical annihilation of the enemy's forces. Machiavelli had an even more cunning approach but he did not discuss military matters much

  7. I don't know what exactly you mean... If you mean how they rule - they set their own administrative structures, including their own police, tax bureaus, religious schools, media offices and military training facilities. They have also set up several structures dealing with economy, power etc - but their effectiveness is not known. I don't know whether they keep at least a part of the old personel, certainly not if they're Shias or Alawis - these are killed on the spot


    What is known about them is that in terms of using modern technology they have left all other jihadist movements far behind:

    - They issue their own online magazines which look professional (as far as I know, no insurgency in the world ever had this):



    - They have their own computer databases of individuals whom they consider their enemies.

    - They collect a large amount of data about their own performance, analyze in a regular army-like manner and seem to be able to learn from their own mistakes as well as other groups' experienced (before them only Hezbollah did this)

  8. Of course I was talking about Sunnis. Shias have completely different concept of political succession (imamate instead of caliphate).


    I would like to limit ideological discussion to the minimum but people can still ask me questions as I feel knowledgeable in the matter.

  9. @iNow:

    Mostly I want to discuss short and long term (geo)political consequences for the region as well as the influence that the new state entity will have on islamist ideology all around the world. Things related to their ideology and whether they have correct understanding of it or not should not be discussed in this thread.


    Interesting events are going on in Syria now. After a de-facto collapse of the Iraqi army IS who up to that moment had been fighting almost exclusively with Kurds and other rebel groups, began their offensive against the Syrian regime. They captured Deir Ez Zor as well as She'ar gas field in eastern Homs province, killing 23-90 regime militants (fate of the remaining 270 of them is not known) + 11 workers. Now they control about 35% of Syria, many smaller rebel brigades began pledging allegiance to them.

  10. This event went appears to not have been noticed here while it's significant to world geopolitics.


    On 29th June 2014 Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS) declared the reestablishment of the Caliphate - a theological dictatorship uniting all Muslims worldwide. It's the first such attempt since 1924 when the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist, replaced by a secular republic. ISIS leader, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, A.K.A Abu Dua A.K.A Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Al Badri Al Samarri was choosen as a caliph. He holds a Ph.D in Islamic jurisprudence from Baghdad University and has been a militant since the US-led invasion of Iraq. After a blitzkrieg in June/July his state now controls most of northern Iraq and eastern Syria and ha begun large scale operations against Assad.


    The declaration seems to have been received positively by large groups of Muslims worldwide, with pro-ISIS riots erupting in several countries.


    Quite detailed summary of the concept of Caliphate can be found on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliphate

  11. I got yet another questions, directed mostly at people knowledgeable about evolution ( CharonY, Arete, chadn737 etc.)


    How did fair skin color evolve and got fixed in the population? The trait is dominant pretty much only in two regions of the world - Europe and East Asia.


    One dude whom I know from another (Polish) discussion forum says that the prevelance of fair skin and blonde hair in Europe is due to sexual selection - it is easier to spot various skin imperfections and aging signs on a lighter skin than it is on a darker one + blonde hair are (I don't know what he based his opinion at) thinner and more pleasant to touch.


    He wrote an entire lenghly essay (which was to be a refutation of racists) but unfortunately it's written in Polish and I doubt anyone here is capable of reading Polish. I will try to translate it soon


    However, what is certain is that other populations living in similar climatic conditions did not evolve these traits. Aboriginal Tasmanians have been living in isolation in an Europe-like climate for more than 10000 years, yet they were as dark as the darkest African populations. Given the fact that there are albinos born every generation in all parts of the world (including India and Africa) I doubt that not a single allelic variant for light skin/hair arise during these thousands of years in Tasmania.

  12. Amish have historically been a very closed population. They did not accept converts and were discouraged from intermarrying. Also their pattern of displaying significantly higher rates for certain genetic disorders (dwarfism and maple syrup urine disease) is consistent with being descended from a very small founding population.

  13. Hello


    I've been thinking about human population genetics, or more precisely, what's the minimum human population that can continue on growing without extinction?


    There are several human groups descended from a very small founding groups.


    1. The Amish - all Amish living to day are descended from a small group of about 200 Swiss and South German founders who migrated to the US in XVIII century. Despite having to cope with high infant mortality and several nasty genetic disorders, they managed to grow to 200,000 through breeding alone - the total number of converts to their religion is estimated at about 100 and has probably never been even as large as it's now. The same also applies to other Anabaptist populations (Hutterites and Menonnites)

    2. The population of Tristan Da Cunha is descended from 8 men and 7 women who arrived at the island between 1816 and 1908. Their descendants number 264 individuals now and don't display any significant inbreeding problems with an exception of a highly elevated risk of asthma (3 people from the founding population had it).

    3. High levels of inbreeding was shown by nobles through recorded history. It resulted in an array of bizarre genetc disorders but after generations of selection most seemed to be ok. Cleopatra had only 6 great-great grandparents (instead of 16) and despite this, she was healthy as well as a skilled politician.

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