While ED has a very specific niche that no other internet entity can replicate, I still believe we can expand our æmpire in a serious manner as we feast on the remains of Murdoch's empire. While I don't want to change anything with ED's heart and soul, why not expand our niches? We've been hosting that "Jews did WTC" since Weev started arguing this around 2006. Finally people of this caliber are coming out and saying shit like this I think this should be hailed as somewhat a victory for ED as we didn't give up. I think we can replicate this result with pushing the fact that our userbase isn't a bunch of dumb fucks on the internet, but a highly educated and rational userbase. The quality of our News subforum is getting slowly better as it reports/comments on lulzy to serious stories, but I believe we can expand further with this side project with EDitorials and Opinion pieces (about whatever, ranging from political news to things about how much you hate bronies) from EDiots for EDiots that would be considered equal to pieces one would find on www.economist.com www.thediplomat.com www.aljazeera.com (but better than the last one since some of their opinions are pretty shitty). So here is my attempt at this. The Syria Crisis started with opposition protests beginning on March 15, 2011, since then, over 25,000 Syrians have been killed, 1.5 million Syrians displaced, countless numbers that disappeared into secret prisons, and two Turkish F4 Phantom pilots have been killed. At this point in the conflict, the Syrian civil war has become a struggle of autocracy vs. democracy, of slavery and torture vs. freedom and liberty, that much cannot be debated. Outside of that, numerous powers are meddling in the internal conflict of Syria: The United States, The United Kingdom, France, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Iraq, and Iran. While there are numerous issues and strategic maneuvering complicating this international crisis, a major contributor towards this conflict has barely been discussed. That issue is the international weapons market. Weapons are big business in this country. In 2011, the United States sold $66 billion dollars in weapons in the international market, the bulk share of that going to Saudi Arabia with $33 billion dollars, including a $4 billion dollar deal with China selling cargo planes. In terms of who came second in weapon sales, Russia came at $4.8 billion dollars. This has been hailed by the Obama administration as a major stimulus for America, that the sales to Saudi Arabia alone will create 75,000 jobs. On the other side of the conflict, a valued customer of Russia is Syria, selling almost $1 billion to Syria in 2011. To demonstrate how special the relationship between Russia and Syria is, Syria hosts Russians’ only warm water port in Tartus on the Syrian Coast. As this conflict intensified, it has become clear that whoever wins in this civil war would become good friends with their foreign backers. This has become the case in Libya when the Russians and Chinese backed Qaddafi. The Russians lost a gun buyer and China lost access to Libyan oil. While the West stated they intervened was due to the killing of civilians is propaganda, they intervened in Libya’s revolution to keep the global oil supply flowing as the world economy was stalling and the EU crisis was starting to get worse. In Syria’s case, their oil is of limited production that if cut off, another oil supplier could easily pick up the slack. However, weapons are not oil; weapons are brought into the country, not out of. With the high demand for weapons during a civil war, and potential regional conflict with neighbors, the value of weapons inflates, making the business of selling weapons even more profitable for all merchants. Due to the horrors that have been inflicted on both sides of this conflict, though much of atrocities can be accredited to the Syrian autocratic regime, when this conflict is over, there will be many losers, some of them beyond Syria’s borders. Russia would lose 25% of their weapons exports, that additional billion dollars would be a minor increase in the United States monopoly of the world’s weapons market currently at 78%. Do not be fooled by cries from politicians that our interest in Syria is to protect their people from tyrants and uplift them with democracy. Those cries are propaganda to distract you from the $53 million dollars in arms sold to Bahrain, a country whose autocrats invited foreign soldiers from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to murder protesters demanding secular democracy in 2011. The West’s clamor for democracy and human rights is just propaganda to hide you from the truth, that all of this is about gun money. So what do you think this as a basic standard for what would be expected in our EDitorials? (as in terms of being interesting). Should ED expand our demographic appeal in this fashion? If so, in what fashion and how should it be done?