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G2
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quote:
Joe Biden, Oct 19, 2008:
"Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking," Biden said.

"Remember I said it standing here. if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he's gonna have to make some really tough -- I don't know what the decision's gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. "

6 months, how about 6 hours:

quote:
... Mr. Medvedev spoke of a “new configuration for the military forces of our country” that would include abandoning plans to dismantle some missile regiments and the stationing of missiles in Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.

“We earlier planned to take three missile regiments within the missile division stationed in Kozelsk off combat duty and discontinue the division itself by 2010. I have decided to refrain from these plans,” Mr. Medvedev said.

“The Iskander missile system will be deployed in Kaliningrad region to neutralize, when necessary, the missile shield,” Medvedev said.

“Radioelectronic equipment located in the western region” of Russia in the Kaliningrad region “will jam objects of the U.S. missile defense system,” Mr. Medvedev said.

“These are forced measures,” Mr. Medvedev said. “We have told our partners more than once that we want positive cooperation, we want to act together to combat common threats, that we want to act together. But they, unfortunately, don’t want to listen to us.”

He was apparently referring to discussions on the proposed missile shield with the United States.

<snip>

Referring to the fighting in Georgia, he said: “The conflict in the Caucasus was used as a pretext for sending NATO warships to the Black Sea and then for the forceful foisting on Europe of America’s anti-missile system, which in its turn will entail retaliatory measures by Russia.”

So will Obama's test with the Russians be just as disastrous as Kennedy's?

[ November 05, 2008, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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beefprime
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Bush is still president
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by beefprime:
Bush is still president

Technically he is. I really don't think Bush is going to make any major foreign policy commitments though. Did you ?
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Haggis
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Bush is actually President. It is still his call. He probably should include Obama in national security decisions, but until Obama is actually and technically President, it is Bush's decision.
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flydye45
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So the buck is passed.

Take comfort in that while you are still able.

[ November 05, 2008, 02:17 PM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
quote:
Originally posted by beefprime:
Bush is still president

Technically he is. I really don't think Bush is going to make any major foreign policy commitments though. Did you ?
I do. If he thought it was the right decision, and it was something that needed to be done now, he'd do it.
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Everard
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"So the buck is passed."

Putting the response on obama is passing the buck. This is Bush's responsibility. I hope he includes obama, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that bush has proven he is incompetent at handling this type of situation. But for 2 more months, its Bush's buck.

Or do you think that handling this falls into the lap of someone with no official power?

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KnightEnder
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G2,

I had the exact same thought when I read about the missiles. I think Obama will bomb Russia back to the stone age! [Smile]

Seriously; interesting timing. Does anybody think this is really to test Obama, or is there some other factors I am not aware of that brought about this announcement now?

KE

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KnightEnder
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Bush has never even tried to stop the buc (Buc is a poker term for an object representing the dealer, not a male dear (buck). I think he will toss it to Obama like a hot potato. Or is that potatoe? [Smile]

KE

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DonaldD
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I wonder how G2 would have reacted if, in response to Medvedev's statements, Obama had made a policy announcement/statement that could have been interpretetd as usurping Bush's authority... actually, I don't really have to wonder that much.
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flydye45
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No, officially it's Bush's. But excuse me if I think that that only lasts as long as Bush does something extraordinarily short term. Anything beyond 2 months and "official" gets very flexible.

Or are you saying that if Bush signed a treaty tomorrow with Iraq for a FIRM 3 year troop commitment, that you wouldn't howl like a branded calf?

[ November 05, 2008, 02:33 PM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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RickyB
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True, fly. You just did nuance! [Smile]
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Haggis
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quote:
Or are you saying that if Bush signed a treaty tomorrow with Iraq for a FIRM 3 year troop commitment, that you wouldn't howl like a branded calf?
I would howl like a branded calf if I didn't know anything about the Constitution. Treaties have to be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. Nice try.
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DonaldD
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Any international commitment the government ever makes is only as good as its will to abide by it. Would Bush catch flak for doing so? Probably. But mainly because he would be seen as embarrassing the country, knowing that the new administration would likely inform the Iraqis of its intention to break the agreement at its first opportunity (if in the interests of the U.S. to do so.)
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
I wonder how G2 would have reacted if, in response to Medvedev's statements, Obama had made a policy announcement/statement that could have been interpretetd as usurping Bush's authority... actually, I don't really have to wonder that much.

You probably should wonder, intentionally avoiding critical thought is something too many engage in too often. I encourage you to wonder about things on a more regular basis ...

Obama does not have to make a policy statement per se but he can still make a statement. He can tell Russia what he will do as president - it may be in line with Bush's policies or not but stating what the Obama administration policies will be in no way usurps Bush's authority. I am sure Medvedev is well aware of the date Bush leaves office.

Obama may very well need to pass on this right now though, I doubt he's put much thought into international issues. A fact I am sure Medvedev is counting on. The ambiguity of the transition time (where all of you seem to want Bush to stay in control and really, who can blame you?) coupled with Obama's lack of experience give Medvedev an opening of a couple of months to do whatever he wants and leave Obama's administration in a catch-up, defensive posture from the outset. Smart move on Medvedev's part.

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DonaldD
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It's funny when G2 tries to be condescending [Smile]
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Haggis
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LOL. You are in for a long four years.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Haggis:
quote:
Or are you saying that if Bush signed a treaty tomorrow with Iraq for a FIRM 3 year troop commitment, that you wouldn't howl like a branded calf?
I would howl like a branded calf if I didn't know anything about the Constitution. Treaties have to be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. Nice try.
You're ignoring the point on a technicality. It may not be a formal treaty but there are a ton of things Bush could do that would be just a binding a commitment that Obama may not support. I think there would be considerable howling if Bush did something that made a binding commitment Obama would feel obligated to uphold.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Haggis:
LOL. You are in for a long four years.

ROTFLMAO! You think it's just me in this!?!? Welcome to the party, you're going to get the same 4 years I do. [Wink]
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flydye45
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Now now, G2. Just because they don't have a clue on how to do the "loyal opposition" thing (something pretty much demonstrated on a daily basis for 8 years) doesn't mean we need to go there. The absolute LACK of decent role models on the issue will make it troublesome, I know.

I suggest snickering, silence and scotch in equal amounts.

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Haggis
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quote:
It may not be a formal treaty but there are a ton of things Bush could do that would be just a binding a commitment that Obama may not support.
So what? Until Bush does something like that, I will take him at his word that he will keep Obama informed on all of his decisions until the inauguration.

The Constitution is pretty clear on when Obama becomes President. I'm going to judge his presidency on what he actually does when he is in office.

I cannot stop you from judging Obama based on Bush's response to this situation. Feel free to have at it, though if it makes you feel better.

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Haggis
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quote:
Just because they don't have a clue on how to do the "loyal opposition" thing (something pretty much demonstrated on a daily basis for 8 years) doesn't mean we need to go there.
So are you saying that you will be the role model for loyal opposition, flydye? And we can hold you accountable for it?
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Haggis:

I cannot stop you from judging Obama based on Bush's response to this situation. Feel free to have at it, though if it makes you feel better.

Actually, I am judging Obama on his response to this situation. The lack of one tells us just as much as if he had one. If it makes you feel better to give him a pass on this, feel free but I assure you Mevedev will not. Obama's OJT has started whether you like it or not.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
The lack of one tells us just as much as if he had one.
It tells us that he's not the president yet, right?
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DonaldD
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I'm picturing GW Bush, on the ranch, interviewing and cajoling prospective cabinet members the day after his election, making a major policy statement about an emerging international situation with the real president still in office... nope, can't do it. Image does not compute.

At best, I could see the president elect reacting to the outgoing president's decision; but getting in the way before taking power? Nope.

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Viking_Longship
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Bush has a good relatioship with Putin and Medvedev (are you actually suggesting the "little bear is in charge"?) He's the best bet to smooth this over. Kaliningrad is part of Russia and is a long long way from you all, so it's not even close to what Kennedy faced.

The missle shield is a dumb expensive and pointless idea anyway. We've admitted it can't deal with Russia's aresenal yet we're talking about putting it in poland not in Turkey or Greece (or Kosovo, they definately owe us one) where it would be way closer to Iran.

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flydye45
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quote:
Originally posted by Haggis:
quote:
Just because they don't have a clue on how to do the "loyal opposition" thing (something pretty much demonstrated on a daily basis for 8 years) doesn't mean we need to go there.
So are you saying that you will be the role model for loyal opposition, flydye? And we can hold you accountable for it?
How could I be? I've had eight years of piss poor role models...and frankly eight MORE years which were just as bad the other way.

My recipe is working theory.

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TommySama
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Yawn. G2, Flydye, 2 noble men loyally committed to bitching about Obama regardless of what he does. BigTits was right, G2 would be on another thread furious if Obama usurped Bush's presidency by presumptuously putting out some statement about what he would do.

"Topic: That was probably quicker than he thought "

...

That's what she said.

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canadian
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quote:
Originally posted by KnightEnder:
G2,

I had the exact same thought when I read about the missiles. I think Obama will bomb Russia back to the stone age! [Smile]


KE

Dude, you just made me spray 2% out my nose!
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Haggis
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quote:
How could I be? I've had eight years of piss poor role models...and frankly eight MORE years which were just as bad the other way.
Wow, that was FAIR and BALANCED. That was a Shep Smith moment for you flydye. I think I just teared up a bit. [Smile]
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DonaldD
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Tommy - just in case you feel disappointed - I at least got that reference [Smile]

I'm not sure that would be appreciated as a daily nick, mind you...

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flydye45
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Tommy is following in his usual practice of being wrong and unobservant.

G2 is bitching about Obama passing the buck. I am bitching about the opposition to Bush. I am also pointing out how the loyal supporters of Obama want it both ways in this interum period...just like he accused G2.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
Yawn. G2, Flydye, 2 noble men loyally committed to bitching about Obama regardless of what he does. BigTits was right, G2 would be on another thread furious if Obama usurped Bush's presidency by presumptuously putting out some statement about what he would do.

OK, first off ... "BigTits"? [Confused]


I'm not sure how you know what I would do and that thing contradicts what I've said, guess that's your preconceived template. The reality is I'm not sure Obama can usurp the presidency right now. He is the incoming leader, he will have to create and enforce policy decisions not just in the next few weeks but over at least the next 4 years. Simply coming out and saying what his administration will do in response to Russia's actions is not a big deal.

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flydye45
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quote:
Simply coming out and saying what his administration will do in response to Russia's actions is not a big deal.

True. But first he has to have an idea of what he wants to do. I suppose I'll wait until after his intel briefings before I carp too much.
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EDanaII
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The point that seems to be missed here, for me anyway, is that Medvedev has declared Russia's intentions. So, while this is not currently a test of Obama's presidency, it will be...

Other points seemingly missed is that, since it is a declaration of intentions, Obama doesn't need to react to it immediately, but is obligated to start developing contingency plans as a byproduct of his briefings. Any actual response to this will come when the Russian's act, based on what available contingencies Obama has at the time.

Just my thoughts...

Ed.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Other points seemingly missed is that, since it is a declaration of intentions, Obama doesn't need to react to it immediately, but is obligated to start developing contingency plans as a byproduct of his briefings.
I would be deeply surprised if this were not happening.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by flydye45:
quote:
Simply coming out and saying what his administration will do in response to Russia's actions is not a big deal.

True. But first he has to have an idea of what he wants to do. I suppose I'll wait until after his intel briefings before I carp too much.
I believe he has an idea of what he wants to do. During the primaries Obama was pretty negative about missile-defense research and deployment (what Medvedev says he is responding to). In fact, Obama pledged to cut these systems claiming they were "unproven". This kind of got lost in the general election but as far as I know this is still his position.

The intel briefings may lead him to change his mind. Given his previous claim that they were unproven though it's going to be quite the backtrack to suddenly push them in Russia's face as if they are proven systems. If he backs out and let's Russia win this little game, it's Kennedy-Khrushchev all over again - just as Biden warned. Tough line for Obama to walk isn't it?

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Haggis
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Here's a question to keep things fair:

G2, what do you think the U.S. should do in this situation?

You've layed out the challenge, so what are the parameters that you will use to judge success or failure?

I think answering these questions will give you an undeniable "I told you so" moment if you are proven correct, and you can feel free to rub it in my face. The downside, of course, is that Obama could pass the test.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Haggis:
Here's a question to keep things fair:

G2, what do you think the U.S. should do in this situation?

You've layed out the challenge, so what are the parameters that you will use to judge success or failure?

I think answering these questions will give you an undeniable "I told you so" moment if you are proven correct, and you can feel free to rub it in my face. The downside, of course, is that Obama could pass the test.

I'm not really interested in an "I told you so", they're fun but it's hard to get excited about yet another one. [Razz]

I think the US should honor the commitments that have been made with the countries that will deploy these systems (e.g. Poland and Czech Republic). These systems clearly provide some kind of strategic deterrence and letting Russia know they can do whatever they want and it won't intimidate the US or force a backing down of commitments will keep things from escalating with Russia and others. Continue to project strength. If we roll over, Russia won't be the last country to test Obama.

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Haggis
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Believe it or not, I agree with you.
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