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Middle East Running Iranian threat news and discussion thread

Marduk

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To be like NK, China would have to shut off all tourism that is not state sanctioned. Basically you can only go where the country let's you.
Already on their way there.

Only allow travel outside of the country to the elite of elite or only CCP members.
Social credit score has that function already, too low score = no passport for you.

Destroy any non state sanctioned religions.
See what happened with the Rome deal, China, unlike NK, has an extra option - money and corruption.

What makes NK diffrent is they are supplied by outside forces. For instance watching NK defectors you can learn what all they do to keep the people oppressed.
Most of tjem have never seen a lot of what China has, let alone what South Korea or Japan has.
But naturally, being defectors, they have seen plenty enough regardless, so that element kinda isn't working. NK is making defections a small scale problems through the harder means, like DMZ, family sanctions, and China being absolute dicks to defectors on their side of the border. Even in worst case scenario, defectors are less of a threat than rebels.

To make such a large country to be as isolated as NK, they would have to crack down and everything about thier country.
Considering the alternative, they would do their best, which we have only a limited idea on how well will that work, as no one in history has tested such a technologically advanced totalitarian state's resilience to rebellion.
China is way too big and populous, and its population way too educated (even if indoctrinated) to copy the NK model. It's not going to happen.
They would rather not need to, they have other, more optimized ways, but if that's all they have, i think they will try.
 

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According to a video posted on the service Telegram affiliated with Iranian-backed militia forces in Iraq, these Iranian proxies have boasted "150 separate attacks have been conducted this year." The Iranians state they are doing this to contest and interfere with the US ability to operate across the Iraqi-Syrian border and they have no intention of a drawdown of operations against US forces in the region despite the change in posture and leadership in recent months.

 

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Already on their way there.


Social credit score has that function already, too low score = no passport for you.


See what happened with the Rome deal, China, unlike NK, has an extra option - money and corruption.


But naturally, being defectors, they have seen plenty enough regardless, so that element kinda isn't working. NK is making defections a small scale problems through the harder means, like DMZ, family sanctions, and China being absolute dicks to defectors on their side of the border. Even in worst case scenario, defectors are less of a threat than rebels.


Considering the alternative, they would do their best, which we have only a limited idea on how well will that work, as no one in history has tested such a technologically advanced totalitarian state's resilience to rebellion.

They would rather not need to, they have other, more optimized ways, but if that's all they have, i think they will try.
It isn't really possible with the population they have
 

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The Original Sixth

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China is way too big and populous, and its population way too educated (even if indoctrinated) to copy the NK model. It's not going to happen.
It's not so much just the fact that China has too large of a population to easily control, the real issue I think comes down to the fact that China is not a nation-state. China is a civilization-state that pretends to be a nation-state for the sake of convenience when dealing with the West. There are different national cultures within China. There are ethnic and national identities that don't necessarily care for the Han. And while the Han are very, very powerful--if they're facing internal strife within their own ranks, then the Han region is not going to be able to keep the rest of China in line. You may see China splitting into 3-4 different states.

But there's no easy math for that. Xi has gone out of his way to eliminate dissent within his ranks, shove propaganda down the throats of his own people, has tried to make China appear very strong, has worked on causing nationalist movements, is cooking the books (even by Chinese standards), and is using every dirty trick in the book to deal with other nations, most especially the United States. So it's hard to guess where China's breaking point might be. Does it happen when the Chinese finally run out of money? And how does it manifest?

It really depends on which crack splits and how the Chinese government responds. We might see a twenty year long decline, followed by reformation and a returning China to the world stage...or do we see a sudden, bloody civil war that ends with deep, bitter feuds among the ethno-nationalist lines? We can't be sure.
 

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Already on their way there.
Absolutely true. And their experts are far more educated and better funded than North Korea.


Social credit score has that function already, too low score = no passport for you.
It'll do more than that. Social malcontents won't be able to get job or might even lose their home if the transgression is severe enough. No home/job = no woman. And with the gender in-balance, the men are not going to risk it. Especially those who HAVE something to lose. That's a security option that can keep the middle and upper class firmly in Beijing's pocket.

See what happened with the Rome deal, China, unlike NK, has an extra option - money and corruption.
The problem with this option is that China is already massively corrupt. The Chinese are the most overleveraged state in the history of the world in both absolute and relative terms. They actually make the Greeks look monetarily responsible. That's how bad it is. Every major, key sector is supported by state loans that are basically unpayable. And this is the danger that Xi is facing.

China has been able to keep apace with the insane loans because they've been feeding off the hunger for cheap goods by the West. So long as they can keep open trade with America, they can manage the situation. It may not be pretty and it may result in lots of unrest, but they could manage it. There'd be enough money to put through the system to keep total collapse. The problem for China is just as they've become almost entirely reliant upon America for its security and economics, America is pulling back.

Once the US stops giving them trade, then China isn't getting the money and investments it needs to keep the machine running. And once that happens, the Chinese have to prioritize who gets the money. But they won't have enough money to cover even their critical sectors. And when one critical sector goes down, it will probably cause a cascade effect that hits all other sectors, which in turn means that those sectors, even with cash infusions, might still plummet, setting off yet more cascades. If any single critical sector catches a cold, the entire economy might just shit out its organs.

What's made the system work is one of materialism. Everyone agrees to follow Beijing, because Beijing has made them rich(er). Once that's no longer possible--indeed, once all that wealth not only stops flowing, but the existing wealth evaporates into thin air, then following Beijing is just NOT going to cut it. And because China has for the past few decades only focused on pushing materialism, there is no cultural, national depth for the Chinese to really fall back on.

That's why Xi is trying to force a nationalist reaction within his own country by picking fights with other countries. He needs to generate hatred of other countries within China to strengthen in-group relations. Because his government is so corrupt and at opposites with much of Chinese morality that without cash infusions to paper over it, no one is going to follow him anymore.

But naturally, being defectors, they have seen plenty enough regardless, so that element kinda isn't working. NK is making defections a small scale problems through the harder means, like DMZ, family sanctions, and China being absolute dicks to defectors on their side of the border. Even in worst case scenario, defectors are less of a threat than rebels.
There is a difference though. It's not about population size; that's not the issue, though it is an issue. The real problem is different national and ethnic identities. North Korea is a nation. It was split off from the rest of the Korean Nation, but all the North Koreans see themselves as one people. Because they are a nation. China is a civilization-state. They may all look at themselves as Chinese, as a German, Italian, or a French might consider themselves European and acknowledge a shared history there--but that does not mean that a German will take orders from a Frenchman or a Frenchman orders from an Italian.

North Korea can survive as meagerly as it does because they are one people; they're all in it together. All for one, and one for all. That is not the case with China. And attempting to do the same in China as in North Korea will cause ethnic-national cracks to split wide open. And that is what Xi is trying to avoid. At the same time he's needing to handle a coming oil crises, a coming external security crises, an economic crises, and a demographic crises.

It doesn't matter which gun goes off, because China is completely boxed in. And they know it.

Considering the alternative, they would do their best, which we have only a limited idea on how well will that work, as no one in history has tested such a technologically advanced totalitarian state's resilience to rebellion.
That's true. But many times in history, totalitarian states have sought to hold down rebellion and it tends to fail in one way or another. The question is, is China advanced enough that its state can hold itself together with nearly no allies, no economic trade bloc, insufficient cash, and disintegrating social cohesion?

They would rather not need to, they have other, more optimized ways, but if that's all they have, i think they will try.
The educate people are a problem, especially because there are so many of them. And that means that the elites can't give them the promise of a better, Western life. And they're smart enough to know that they're being cheated, even if they don't understand that any attempt to change the system will destroy China as it stands now. And when there's a lot of less educated malcontents looking for an answer...well, those more educated people will fill it in for them.

China is in a precarious situation. It has the strength and money now to make external changes, but it cannot do so against the full might of the Americans and their European allies. The Russians will not aid them, unless it is to advance their own agenda and so are unreliable allies. So China must at once work slowly to avoid an American reaction--because Americans tend to overreact to any threat, while at the same time working quickly enough to outrun the coming doom of economic downturn which could cause their entire system to collapse.

What the Chinese need is for Americans to start trading with them like they did between the 1990s and 2016. Where they mostly turned a blind eye to China's activities for the sake of cheap, easily obtained goods. And they need the Americans to do that long enough for Beijing to work through the demographic and economic crises.

But that would have been a hard sell to Clinton, who would have limited China's territorial ambitions and clipped trade relations. And instead they got Trump, who destroyed the American-Chinese trade relations almost as quickly as he could tweet it out. Add in the pandemic and the Chinese cannot go back to the 90s or 00s. China will crash; that is inevitable. What Xi and his party are doing are trying to mitigate the damage of when that finally happens. Xi hopes that most of China will remain part of China (optimally, all of it) and they can all be miserable for the next 40-60 years until they ride out the demographic and economic crises. Then, when the fit has passed, they might once again stand as one of the Superpowers of the world.

But that is probably NOT going to happen.
 

Zachowon

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Absolutely true. And their experts are far more educated and better funded than North Korea.




It'll do more than that. Social malcontents won't be able to get job or might even lose their home if the transgression is severe enough. No home/job = no woman. And with the gender in-balance, the men are not going to risk it. Especially those who HAVE something to lose. That's a security option that can keep the middle and upper class firmly in Beijing's pocket.



The problem with this option is that China is already massively corrupt. The Chinese are the most overleveraged state in the history of the world in both absolute and relative terms. They actually make the Greeks look monetarily responsible. That's how bad it is. Every major, key sector is supported by state loans that are basically unpayable. And this is the danger that Xi is facing.

China has been able to keep apace with the insane loans because they've been feeding off the hunger for cheap goods by the West. So long as they can keep open trade with America, they can manage the situation. It may not be pretty and it may result in lots of unrest, but they could manage it. There'd be enough money to put through the system to keep total collapse. The problem for China is just as they've become almost entirely reliant upon America for its security and economics, America is pulling back.

Once the US stops giving them trade, then China isn't getting the money and investments it needs to keep the machine running. And once that happens, the Chinese have to prioritize who gets the money. But they won't have enough money to cover even their critical sectors. And when one critical sector goes down, it will probably cause a cascade effect that hits all other sectors, which in turn means that those sectors, even with cash infusions, might still plummet, setting off yet more cascades. If any single critical sector catches a cold, the entire economy might just shit out its organs.

What's made the system work is one of materialism. Everyone agrees to follow Beijing, because Beijing has made them rich(er). Once that's no longer possible--indeed, once all that wealth not only stops flowing, but the existing wealth evaporates into thin air, then following Beijing is just NOT going to cut it. And because China has for the past few decades only focused on pushing materialism, there is no cultural, national depth for the Chinese to really fall back on.

That's why Xi is trying to force a nationalist reaction within his own country by picking fights with other countries. He needs to generate hatred of other countries within China to strengthen in-group relations. Because his government is so corrupt and at opposites with much of Chinese morality that without cash infusions to paper over it, no one is going to follow him anymore.



There is a difference though. It's not about population size; that's not the issue, though it is an issue. The real problem is different national and ethnic identities. North Korea is a nation. It was split off from the rest of the Korean Nation, but all the North Koreans see themselves as one people. Because they are a nation. China is a civilization-state. They may all look at themselves as Chinese, as a German, Italian, or a French might consider themselves European and acknowledge a shared history there--but that does not mean that a German will take orders from a Frenchman or a Frenchman orders from an Italian.

North Korea can survive as meagerly as it does because they are one people; they're all in it together. All for one, and one for all. That is not the case with China. And attempting to do the same in China as in North Korea will cause ethnic-national cracks to split wide open. And that is what Xi is trying to avoid. At the same time he's needing to handle a coming oil crises, a coming external security crises, an economic crises, and a demographic crises.

It doesn't matter which gun goes off, because China is completely boxed in. And they know it.



That's true. But many times in history, totalitarian states have sought to hold down rebellion and it tends to fail in one way or another. The question is, is China advanced enough that its state can hold itself together with nearly no allies, no economic trade bloc, insufficient cash, and disintegrating social cohesion?



The educate people are a problem, especially because there are so many of them. And that means that the elites can't give them the promise of a better, Western life. And they're smart enough to know that they're being cheated, even if they don't understand that any attempt to change the system will destroy China as it stands now. And when there's a lot of less educated malcontents looking for an answer...well, those more educated people will fill it in for them.

China is in a precarious situation. It has the strength and money now to make external changes, but it cannot do so against the full might of the Americans and their European allies. The Russians will not aid them, unless it is to advance their own agenda and so are unreliable allies. So China must at once work slowly to avoid an American reaction--because Americans tend to overreact to any threat, while at the same time working quickly enough to outrun the coming doom of economic downturn which could cause their entire system to collapse.

What the Chinese need is for Americans to start trading with them like they did between the 1990s and 2016. Where they mostly turned a blind eye to China's activities for the sake of cheap, easily obtained goods. And they need the Americans to do that long enough for Beijing to work through the demographic and economic crises.

But that would have been a hard sell to Clinton, who would have limited China's territorial ambitions and clipped trade relations. And instead they got Trump, who destroyed the American-Chinese trade relations almost as quickly as he could tweet it out. Add in the pandemic and the Chinese cannot go back to the 90s or 00s. China will crash; that is inevitable. What Xi and his party are doing are trying to mitigate the damage of when that finally happens. Xi hopes that most of China will remain part of China (optimally, all of it) and they can all be miserable for the next 40-60 years until they ride out the demographic and economic crises. Then, when the fit has passed, they might once again stand as one of the Superpowers of the world.

But that is probably NOT going to happen.
One way to gain national pride and get that motion going.
Invade a Rouge province
 

The Original Sixth

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One way to gain national pride and get that motion going.
Invade a Rouge province
What, Taiwan?

Yeah, you could do that.

But you must realize, that Xi can't do that yet. Because any invasion of Taiwan will cause an immediate reaction from the US, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philipines, Australians, and other East Asian powers. China has begun to buckle under US trade war negotiations. Invading Taiwan will at the very least bring US-led sanctions against China. And that can come in many forms, including...

  • Making it illegal for any American company to have any business dealings with China.
  • Using SWIFT to prevent any company in the world from using the American dollar to do business with China.
  • Using the US Navy to prevent any oil from reaching China from the sea.
  • Cyberwarfare against China or simply cutting China out of the global internet.

Preventing probably 80% of global business with China will have immediate ramifications on China's economy. You can expect a cascade failure across every critical sector they have. All at once. What manages to survive that epic economic meltdown will then be hit by a lack of oil, so no energy or products (such as plastics) that require oil. And cyber attacks can lead to massive breakdown of their internal security apparatus. I mean, what happens when the US hackers decide that those social scores should really be randomly assigned? Or maybe that complicated facial recognition software shouldn't be so reliable.

On top of that, invading Taiwan is not a picnic. Taiwan is well defended, both technologically and geographically. Trying to land troops on Taiwan's coast is difficult in most places, because you basically have to scale a cliff. Which means machine gun fire. That's not even taking into account any assistance from the US or the Japanese. Or an economy that has essentially melt down overnight via sanctions.

So I only see two motivations to take Taiwan. Either through inches, as China has been doing for the past half century with Taiwan and the South China Sea, being careful not to draw the ire of the Americans, in order to secure your power in the world. Or you do so after you've had an economic meltdown (or one is close at hand), because then it doesn't really matter if the Americans use sanctions against you.
 

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Not surprising, Afghanistan government is collapsing, with Hazare part of the country already cut off from Kabul, so they are reinforcing their proxies there to counter the Talibans.
 

Zachowon

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What, Taiwan?

Yeah, you could do that.

But you must realize, that Xi can't do that yet. Because any invasion of Taiwan will cause an immediate reaction from the US, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philipines, Australians, and other East Asian powers. China has begun to buckle under US trade war negotiations. Invading Taiwan will at the very least bring US-led sanctions against China. And that can come in many forms, including...

  • Making it illegal for any American company to have any business dealings with China.
  • Using SWIFT to prevent any company in the world from using the American dollar to do business with China.
  • Using the US Navy to prevent any oil from reaching China from the sea.
  • Cyberwarfare against China or simply cutting China out of the global internet.

Preventing probably 80% of global business with China will have immediate ramifications on China's economy. You can expect a cascade failure across every critical sector they have. All at once. What manages to survive that epic economic meltdown will then be hit by a lack of oil, so no energy or products (such as plastics) that require oil. And cyber attacks can lead to massive breakdown of their internal security apparatus. I mean, what happens when the US hackers decide that those social scores should really be randomly assigned? Or maybe that complicated facial recognition software shouldn't be so reliable.

On top of that, invading Taiwan is not a picnic. Taiwan is well defended, both technologically and geographically. Trying to land troops on Taiwan's coast is difficult in most places, because you basically have to scale a cliff. Which means machine gun fire. That's not even taking into account any assistance from the US or the Japanese. Or an economy that has essentially melt down overnight via sanctions.

So I only see two motivations to take Taiwan. Either through inches, as China has been doing for the past half century with Taiwan and the South China Sea, being careful not to draw the ire of the Americans, in order to secure your power in the world. Or you do so after you've had an economic meltdown (or one is close at hand), because then it doesn't really matter if the Americans use sanctions against you.
It will most likely be the later. A last ditch effort of a dying government to try and gain support.

I also think the CCP may play into the fact the US admin has been weak as hell towards them. Along with the fact they are increasing nuclear arsenal.

Also, South Korea may bit get invovled should Taiwan invaded. It would depend on thier president at the time.

And militarily from what I gather Taiwan has enough to defend but they tech wise are outmatched.
 

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Posted by the National Council of Resistance so likely a biased source but an interesting article nonetheless about the water crisis that is at the core of the Khuzestan protests.

NCR-Iran said:
“Khuzestan province indeed is one of the most water-rich provinces in Iran, but the [regime] has built huge dams on almost all the rivers that come to Khuzestan province, and practically no water reaches the bottom of these rivers. So, in 2021 due to the severe drought, the level of many of these dams has dropped, and their water inflow has been less. Therefore, Khuzestan province will be deprived of the share of river water. Dams have dried up entire Iran,” wrote the state-run Aftab-e Yazd daily on July 17, about the construction of unscientific dams in the last few years. According to Aftab-e Yazd, the regime’s mismanagement and illicit activities “Every river that flowed in Iran were covered with several dams, and this caused the death of all rivers in the country.”

Aftab-e Yazd underlines that “Dams have caused rivers to dry up in Khuzestan province. We built the dams in places where there was no need, and now the result is water shortages. When a dam is built, a lake is created on one side, which increases water evaporation. The amount of evaporation has increased due to the construction of dams, which evaporates about a quarter of the water we consume. These lakes behind dams cause wastes about 25 percent of the country’s water resources.”
IRGC likes these damns however because they can charge for the hydroelectricity as well as diversions for drinking water to Central Iran among other things.

 

GoldRanger

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Death toll of Iranian protesters is anywhere from 3 to 8 so far (depending on source) as videos of Iranian police opening live fire on protesters circulate the net.
 

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Also Khuzestan has significant Arab population, which while Shia, is generally regarded with suspicion. Also the province has something like half Iranian oil production, which past attracted economic migration to this region, increasing ethnic tensions there, meaning IRCG is more than happy to clobber the locals.
 

GoldRanger

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Javad Foroughi won Iran's first gold medal of the games in the 10 meter air pistol and so Iranian State Media celebrated the accomplishment by pointing out he was a member of the IRGC and fought in Syria as a paramilitary.

Now allegedly this has sparked an investigation since while members of armed forces are allowed to participate in the Olympic Games, members of paramilitary groups, military organizations subject to international sanction and designated terrorist groups are not.

 
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A British and a Romanian citizens die in Iranian drone attack on a civilian ship, Japanese owned and operated by a British company belonging to an Israeli businessman.



This is an out and out terror attack. The ship is not a valid target even in wartime, it did not carry a resource of any kind, or held any strategic importance beyond being affiliated with an Israeli. But that's Iran for ya.
 

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A British and a Romanian citizens die in Iranian drone attack on a civilian ship, Japanese owned and operated by a British company belonging to an Israeli businessman.



This is an out and out terror attack. The ship is not a valid target even in wartime, it did not carry a resource of any kind, or held any strategic importance beyond being affiliated with an Israeli. But that's Iran for ya.
Its all about keeping the war proxy and plausible deniability - technically and legally it was random Houthi rebels, so no one knows how Iranian and how Yemeni the drone was really.
There's hoping that one day they hit the wrong cargo or company belonging to a country that does not subscribe to the more legal, western limitations on such tit for tat games which Iran exploits, and suddenly some IRGC owned ship will eat an anonymous torpedo spread.
 

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Its all about keeping the war proxy and plausible deniability - technically and legally it was random Houthi rebels, so no one knows how Iranian and how Yemeni the drone was really.
There's hoping that one day they hit the wrong cargo or company belonging to a country that does not subscribe to the more legal, western limitations on such tit for tat games which Iran exploits, and suddenly some IRGC owned ship will eat an anonymous torpedo spread.
Israel is certain to retaliate, although probably not in such a drastic way as you propose.
 

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Israel is certain to retaliate, although probably not in such a drastic way as you propose.
Yup. And Iran has proven again and again that it is willing to play this game at this specific level of escalation. As such, this will continue until circumstances change.
 

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Israel is certain to retaliate, although probably not in such a drastic way as you propose.
So, who wants odds on Israel knocking off another IRGC big wig, or fucking up Iranians infrastructure, again.

Or maybe something more 'creative' this time.
 
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