TV Tropes Org

Forums

search forum titles
google site search
Wiki Headlines
It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
Total posts: [483]  1  2  3  4  5
6
 7  8  9 10 11 ... 20

General Middle East & North Africa Thread:

 126 Marq FJA, Wed, 5th Mar '14 5:35:31 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
<shrug> To be honest, I never noticed that in all my readings on the subject.
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 127 Marq FJA, Thu, 6th Mar '14 12:58:29 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
... If I didn't subscribe to the Islamic taboo on drinking, I probably would be saying "I need a f***ing drink."

A few clips of the following documentary (which has English subs included, though you need to go to the Youtube page to see them) were shown on MBC's Al-Thamina show — Arabic for "Eight O'Clock" — last night (those who have a sufficient understanding of Arabic can watch the whole episode here; unfortunately they apparently don't do English subs). It's... It's horrific. A "pesticide" that is on the international list of banned products for being hideously and indiscriminately toxic to all forms of life, with no known antidote, is so commonplace in Saudi Arabia that the guy doing this documentary managed to find and buy it from a candy store. And the government has knowledge of the problem since 14 years ago! And the Ministry of Agriculture protests against any full ban on the substance because "we don't have any other alternatives!" (Right, and I suppose Kuwait and Qatar were lying when they announced their own full bans on both importing and using this... thing... in any form.)

edited 6th Mar '14 12:59:37 AM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 128 De Marquis, Thu, 6th Mar '14 5:50:16 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
I cant read the subtitles, they're too fuzzy. It is fascinating to watch all the same production tropes that I am familiar with from Western style documentaries, though.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 129 Marq FJA, Thu, 6th Mar '14 6:50:39 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
They look quite legible to me. Did you make sure that it's playing in 360p resolution at minimum? Sometimes Youtube glitches and starts the video at 144p for no apparent reason.

edited 6th Mar '14 6:51:02 AM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 130 carbon-mantis, Thu, 6th Mar '14 9:31:22 AM from the woods Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Why hello there!
Cant watch it now, but did it ever mention the name of the compound in question?
So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum.
 131 Marq FJA, Thu, 6th Mar '14 10:24:09 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
The "pesticide" compound is aluminum phosphide, which reacts with water to produce phosphine, the actual cause of the controversy. Rates of death due to it is on the order of several dozens (including whole families), typically due to someone (usually an immigrant, judging from the mentioned cases on the show) going overkill with fumigating his place with the stuff before taking a week or two off in another city, though sometimes it's due to the victims themselves being ignorant of the substance's lethal byproduct. Sadly, it's suspected that a lot more cases go unreported or even misreported as simply "food poisoning" due to similarity of symptoms.

To put this "pesticide"'s lethality in perspective, 1 milligram of aluminum phosphide reacted with water produces 1 gram of phosphine. No more than 0.3 parts per million is enough for the onset of poisoning. A single gram of phosphine — about one tablet — is enough to kill 3 people. One of the guys who assisted with the documentary — Waleed Fetayhi, the founder of Jeddah International Medical Center — revealed that a package containing about 9, 600 kilograms of phosphine were confiscated a month ago (persumably by the Saudi authorities); that's enough to kill over 28 million people. Oh, and apparently the Food and Agriculture Organization issued strong warnings against any use of aluminum phosphide for any purpose because, in their words, "the only reason for its use would be to exterminate any and all forms of life in the targeted area".

This isn't a pesticide, guys. This is a goddamn bio-weapon of terrorism and mass destruction. And it's sold like no tomorrow throughout the country! God, I want to go back in time and kill the motherfucking idiot who invented this thing!

edited 6th Mar '14 4:40:29 PM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 132 Eva Unit 01, Thu, 6th Mar '14 12:06:47 PM Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
Nerves of Gundanium
<reads above numbers>

o.0
 133 Marq FJA, Thu, 6th Mar '14 4:43:58 PM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
I KNOW, right?! All you need to do to kill a whole apartment building's inhabitants is find a good, damp place near the bottom of the building's interior to put a hundred or so grams of aluminum phosphide within an inconspicuous package, and viola! Bonus points if there's a central air condition system where you can put the deadly package in to speed up the delivery.

And to think that the Ministry of Agriculture's main complaint is that... <insert string of Angrish here>

No wonder European and US customs refuse to import Saudi Arabian dates (first time I hear of it; thanks, Al-Thamina); our Agriculture idiots spray the goddamn internationally-banned pesticide all over them willy-nilly in their phobic worry over them going bad due to vermin in the warehouse.

edited 6th Mar '14 4:46:53 PM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 134 FF Shinra, Thu, 13th Mar '14 3:34:30 PM from Ivalice, apparently Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Beware the Crazy Man.
So Saudi Arabia just gave Pakistan $1.5 (out of an eventual $3) Billion to shore up the rupee, which til now had been steadily falling against the dollar...now its made an all time record "recovery", going from 105 rupees per dollar down to 98, thanks to the infusion.

What Pakistan has done in return for this is currently the subject of much speculation and rumor. But certainly part of it was Pakistan going from neutral on the subject of Syria to anti-Assad.
Final Fantasy, Foreign Policy, and Bollywood. Helluva combo, that...
 135 Best Of, Thu, 13th Mar '14 3:59:56 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
There is a rumour that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have an agreement that if Saudi Arabia decides that it wants nuclear weapons Pakistan will provide them. If this agreement exists it would make sense for Saudi Arabia to want to oil up Pakistan every now and then.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 136 Marq FJA, Thu, 13th Mar '14 4:18:53 PM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Yeah, I heard that one too, and around here for the first time to boot. Apparently, the story goes that the two governments made an agreement that should it become clear that Iran genuinely intends to cross the Persian Gulf to invade/assault Saudi Arabia, Pakistan would bring its military forces and nukes on Saudi Arabian soil to help fend it off.
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 137 Best Of, Thu, 13th Mar '14 4:28:37 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
The last time we discussed it there was a source. I'll try to dig it up.

This was probably it. It's the BBC, and the article lists multiple, apparently independent sources that have discussed this over the years. Many of the sources, to the extent that they're named and described in the article, look like they might have sufficient motivation to lie about it, though. (For instance, a former head of Israeli military intelligence might want to make the claim to dissuade Iran from making a nuclear bomb.)

Here's an article from The Diplomat.com claiming that the story is untrue. They cite a Saudi diplomat who tried to defect to the US as an original source of the claim, and they point out that he would have had enough to gain from lying to do so. I'm not familiar with The Diplomat.com, though, so I'm not sure how reliable the source is.

EDIT: I looked up my source (The Diplomat). It's an Australian magazine that discusses international politics. These days it is only published online, and its headquarters are in Tokyo. It seems to be highly regarded in some circles - circles which I would describe, on very general impressions, as "alternative". I can't really say whether it's a credible source, but neither can I say that it's not.

I can't say if this story is true but all things considered I don't think it's implausible that such an agreement would have existed at some point. I suspect that it might not be held as binding by certain governments that Pakistan may have had (or may have in the future) so the application of this agreement, even if the agreement actually did exist at some point, would depend on a great number of circumstances, including the political allegiances of Pakistan's government at any given time the agreement may become relevant.

edited 13th Mar '14 4:51:23 PM by BestOf

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 138 FF Shinra, Thu, 13th Mar '14 6:08:23 PM from Ivalice, apparently Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Beware the Crazy Man.
Personally, I don't buy the Pakistan-sells-nukes-to-Saudia angle. Pakistan has a finite amount of nuclear fuel (a point they make often to non-proliferation groups why they need a nuclear deal a la India) and is using all of it for the arsenal or home grown power (they desperately need energy, and China is building them four more civil nuclear reactors to the four they already have), so they can't build nukes infinitely and the Pakistani military is utterly loath to give up even one nuke thanks to it's India paranoia, even for a "brother" state like Saudi Arabia. Still, it's possible.

There were rumors, right around the time the nuke sale rumors came out that Saudi Arabia was commissioning Pakistan to build a proper rebel army, consisting of Syrians for the rank and file, with Pakistani officers and Pakistani-built Chinese weapons. Said army would then fight Assad and then take over the Syrian Arab Army's duties as Syria's armed forces.

Variations of the rumor include the Pakistan Army itself being deployed into Syria, ostensibly for peacekeeping. This actually has some historical basis, as Pakistani forces have been used in both to put down Black September and when the Grand Mosque in Mecca was seized. Not to mention the times when they sent units to help fight Israel.

The other variation is that an army would be built consisting of ex-servicemen already living in the Gulf. Considering the huge bodyguard and mercenary industry there (dominated by the better trained and better experienced ex-Pakistani military, to the point where the Pakistan Army itself, via it's own personal Mega Corp., runs the best of them).

Of course, there is no way to know if this is true either. The best evidence to that is that Pakistan recently got a contract for some anti-tank weaponry for the rebels.

It may even be something far less complicated, like keeping Nawaz Sharif (a good friend and ally of the Saudis) in power, or perhaps getting a nice deal in the upcoming firesale of Pakistan state industries.

edited 13th Mar '14 6:08:45 PM by FFShinra

Final Fantasy, Foreign Policy, and Bollywood. Helluva combo, that...
 139 Marq FJA, Sat, 15th Mar '14 5:07:01 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Personally, I don't buy the Pakistan-sells-nukes-to-Saudia angle.
Not sell. Loan. The impression that I get is that it's an Enemy Mine situation, with Pakistan fearing that Iran might go after it next, and thus it being in their interest to prevent it from conquering the Arabian peninsula.

edited 15th Mar '14 5:07:15 AM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 140 FF Shinra, Sat, 15th Mar '14 10:02:49 AM from Ivalice, apparently Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Beware the Crazy Man.
[up]Again, I don't buy Pakistan giving Riyadh nukes (in whatever fashion) for the reasons I've already laid out.
Final Fantasy, Foreign Policy, and Bollywood. Helluva combo, that...
 141 Greenmantle, Sat, 15th Mar '14 3:48:22 PM from Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
"Per ardua ad astra"
[up] Even if the Saudis paid a large amount of the costs of the Pakistani Nuclear Weapon Program?

edited 15th Mar '14 3:50:05 PM by Greenmantle

 142 FF Shinra, Sat, 15th Mar '14 5:39:13 PM from Ivalice, apparently Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Beware the Crazy Man.
So did Gaddafi, and he got bupkiss in terms of actual weapons (getting, instead, the knowledge and know-how to build his own, courtesy of AQ Khan). Actually thats another reason why I think Saudi Arabia isn't buying nukes from Pakistan...they have the means to build it, but don't for political reasons.

You really can't underestimate how paranoid the Pakistan Army is about it's nukes. They already have enough to destroy India three or four times over, but still build them because thats still not enough.

The only way I can see it happening is if the Pakistan Army sends a unit of its Strategic Corps and stations it in Saudi Arabia. That's not the same as giving or loaning the nukes....and it's also very very visible. We'd know quite quickly if that were to happen. So far, no evidence to suggest that being the case.

Thats why I think the payoff was for them to build Riyadh an army instead. Easier to spin, less visibility, less political fallout.
Final Fantasy, Foreign Policy, and Bollywood. Helluva combo, that...
 143 Best Of, Sat, 15th Mar '14 6:23:03 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Having the means to build nuclear weapons doesn't mean that you're able to have them in a short time. Also, it's questionable whether Saudi Arabia actually does have everything they'd need to build nukes - the equipment and fuel are closely monitored by the IAEA, so getting one's hands on everything one needs to build a nuke is no simple matter, especially if one doesn't have years to do it.

I don't doubt that Saudi Arabia has (at least most of) the know-how; it's just that that's not enough to build a nuke, especially on a tight schedule.

On a similar note, if Canada or Japan wanted to build nukes I don't think anyone doubts that they could - but if they wanted to build a nuke in 1 month I wouldn't think they'd be able to do it.

If Pakistan is building an excess of nukes, one possible reason is that they're building more than just their own arsenal. (Of course there are other possible reasons, as well - for instance, they might want to have a sufficient arsenal to maintain MAD even if a significant part of their arsenal is hit first.)
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 144 FF Shinra, Sat, 15th Mar '14 7:39:34 PM from Ivalice, apparently Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Beware the Crazy Man.
[up]If its hard to have the materials to build nukes, how much harder do you think it would be to transfer nukes themselves?

And Pakistan builds up the arsenal because of exactly that reason: Pakistan is slim enough that all of its strategic facilities and airfields are within easy reach of India (hence trying to establish "strategic depth" in Afghanistan via the Taliban), and as such they need (in their opinion) enough to survive a first strike, especially since their navy has no nuclear capability of any kind.

And thats in addition to the other points I've made as to why they aren't doing it. But let me give you another: China. China and Iran are friendly. China is valued by Islamabad as much as Riyadh, and they won't do anything that might piss them off. Nevermind the fact that Pakistan doesn't want to be enemies with Iran anyway.

I'm surprised none of you are even entertaining the thought that they're building an army for Saudi Arabia. In terms of possibilities, it's easier, less troublesome, and there is actual evidence to the effect with recent weapons purchases.
Final Fantasy, Foreign Policy, and Bollywood. Helluva combo, that...
 145 Xopher 001, Thu, 20th Mar '14 2:25:44 PM from 38.5061° N, 76.5177° W Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Avatar drawn By Daft Punch
Can someone break down the whole thing about Iran and it's nuclear enrichment program and sanctions imposed against Iran for it; why we feel that that's a threat, etc. etc. I mean, on the one hand, they could be developing nukes. On the other, they could be working on nuclear energy, which is a much better investment technically. People seem to confuse nukes and nuclear power plants a lot. Plus, ten years ago, we thought Iraq had WM Ds. So yeah I'm just a little skeptical about this
3DS friend code:4940-5537-4719; skype- crucifixal-burden; twitter- @pricekr; Steam- x0ph3roo1; Youtube- Xopher000
 146 Greenmantle, Thu, 20th Mar '14 2:50:22 PM from Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
"Per ardua ad astra"
@ Xopher: Simply, some forms of Nuclear power plants can be used as part of the process of enriching Uranium which is then used for Nuclear Weapons. There's an article on The Rest of the Nuclear Club on this site, too — it covers Iran.

edited 20th Mar '14 2:50:42 PM by Greenmantle

 147 Xopher 001, Thu, 20th Mar '14 3:52:54 PM from 38.5061° N, 76.5177° W Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Avatar drawn By Daft Punch
But wouldn't I be more economically viable to use those plants to make power? Bluh this is complicated

Let me see if I've got this straight. Apparently since Pakistan and India both have nuclear programs, that ensures there can be no large scale conflict between them, despite long standing tensions, because if MAD. Also, nuclear power plants can be used to enrich the material used in nuclear weapons, which is why there are so many sanctions on Iran for its nuclear facilities . Iran has a complicated relationship with the rest if the Middle East. And Russia for some reason doesn't want any sanctions in their nuclear program. And the US actually kickstarted their nuclear program back in the 50s before Carter ruined our relationship with them. Assuming MAD applies, Iran couldn't really go to war with Israel if it got nukes, like many fear, since they have nukes too. But MAD is called MAD for a reason.

edited 20th Mar '14 4:00:19 PM by Xopher001

3DS friend code:4940-5537-4719; skype- crucifixal-burden; twitter- @pricekr; Steam- x0ph3roo1; Youtube- Xopher000
 148 De Marquis, Thu, 20th Mar '14 6:24:47 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
That's... quite accurate really.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 149 FF Shinra, Thu, 20th Mar '14 6:32:27 PM from Ivalice, apparently Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Beware the Crazy Man.
[up][up]And thats why I'm completely okay with Tehran having nukes. Israel's got em', Iran can have em'. If the fear is the Arabs, they'll have em' eventually considering how hell bent they are to oppose (or get the West to oppose) Iran.
Final Fantasy, Foreign Policy, and Bollywood. Helluva combo, that...
 150 Silasw, Thu, 20th Mar '14 11:58:28 PM from The UNITED Kingdom Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Globalist Bunny
The problem is that if Iran has nukes than the Saudi's might decide they need nukes (to ensure MAD between them and Iran). Plus MAD might not hold strong with Iran. Not only could someone in their government be stupid enough to think they'd 'win' a nuclear exchange (Iran is a much bigger country and I don't know how big the Israeli arsenal is), someone might think it would be worth it to wipe out "the Jewish messes", or they might just provide a nuke to Hezbollah and let them do the dirty work.
"And the Bunny nails it!" ~ Gabrael

"If the UN can get through a day without everyone strangling everyone else so can we." ~ Cyran
Total posts: 483
 1  2  3  4  5
6
 7  8  9 10 11 ... 20


TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy