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Author Topic: Things I like about Obama
Greg Davidson
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I am reading Jonathan Alter's new book on Obama's first year (his previous book was on FDR's first year). Any book may be later proven to be false, even by a professional historian (see other ongoing thread), and I will in fact be interested if someone has other sources that paint a different picture of these specific events (not the generic Obama is a crazy socialist books, but something that actually looks at these specific times and has interviews or evidence from some of the principals that paints a different picture).
Here are a few things that made me even more pleased to have worked for Obama's election

(1) Obama appears to be choosing his priorities more on what he wants to accomplish than on polling for what is popular at the moment. According to Alter, his political advisers were unanimous in recommending against addressing health care reform in the first year. Obama had only promised to address health care reform by the end of four years, but he chose to raise the issue earlier. Originally, health care was at-best equal to the environment as a policy priority, but the stimulus bill had already provided so much in funding for alternative energy that there was less that needed doing in that arena. He defied his political experts because he figured that the best chance of achieving a difficult political win was early - using a basketball metaphor, they "needed to score points in the first quarter". There are numerous examples in the book where Democrats who worked with both Clinton and Obama note a difference in that Clinton would invariably consider politics first before policy, and with Obama it is the reverse. Many of you have legitimate disagreements with Obama's policies, but I am proud of a President who thinks of policy above polling.

(2) Obama choose a more difficult approach to the transition than FDR, who did nothing until taking office and then blamed Hoover for how bad things had gotten. Obama's team apparently knew that the bail-out would be tremendously unpopular, but responded to requests from Bush and Paulson to be supportive (Alter's description of the Bush-McCain-Obama summit on the economic collapse was striking; can't confirm it was accurate, but the story was that the meeting's creator, McCain, hadn't read even the 3 page bail-out plan and essentially had nothing to say, Bush didn't engage in details and just said "Whatever Hank says", and the Obama came out of the meeting saying to his team "Maybe I shouldn't be President... but he definitely shouldn't be"). This summit appears to be a shaping event for the attitudes of the Obama Administration. Obama decided that he needed to be engaged in dealing with the train-wreck that was the economy throughout November all the way to Inauguration. I recognize that some of you may feel that Obama did everything in his power to blame Bush, but at least my read of history is that Obama took much less advantage of that situation than did FDR (or Reagan).

I also got a better sense of the scale of activity in the first two months he was in office. For the first two weeks the White House email system was still not up, and for months the appointments of key officials were progressing very slowly. Nonetheless, the stimulus was completed in the first two months and combined what would have been five major pieces of legislation:
1. the biggest middle class tax cut since Reagan
2. the biggest infrastructure bill since the Interstate Highway Act in the 1950's
3. the biggest education bill since LBJ
4. the biggest scientific and medical research investment in 40 years
5. the biggest clean energy bill ever
Pelosi and Reid generally kept earmarks out of the process, Biden and an Inspector General were assigned the task of reviewing everything to eliminate the potential for fraud (which seems to have worked fairly well so far).

I still believe that we needed to take actions like this to avoid another Depression (and if you re-read the history from those months, let alone what Alter claims the Republican and Democratic leadership were getting in their briefings going back to fall 2008, you can see that the situation appeared dire), and so major expenditures were necessary to increase aggregate demand in the economy, but the sheer effort required to devise reasonable ways to spend that much money is staggering (I had forgotten that the fight of the Clinton stimulus package - which later failed - was over $16B, not $787B).

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JoshCrow
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Thanks, Greg, for this analysis.

I would say the biggest difficulty facing Obama going forward is the need to address the national debt and deficit. He got my unwavering support in the first election cycle because he represented (in my opinion) someone who was very deliberate, keen on reason rather than "gut feelings" and ideologies, and in fact pretty moderate about things (despite what his opponents would say - I insist that they don't know how lucky they are to not have a REAL liberal/leftist in office).

In the second term, though, he's going to have to show some teeth against elements of the left. Assuming he can get elected, I would say there's a very good chance he will raise taxes and slash military spending - if he's at all the man I think him to be. It will mean broken promises. It will have my support, because the government's monetary house has to be put in order and the process of paying down debts begun. It will be a much harder road, and less people will be defending him (since neither side likes taxes or program cuts, despite the rhetoric). If he's the man I think he is, he'll do it. We shall see.

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noel
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Things I like about Obama...

Just one; he has galvanized conservatives, beyond what even Jimmy Carter could accomplish, in less than a year.

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TommySama
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I liked when he casually started talking about Israel's nuclear arsenal.
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TomDavidson
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Why I won't be voting for him again:
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/05/21/bagram

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cherrypoptart
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I like how Predident Obama can't seem to please very many people and the hard left are as displeased with him as the hard right, right along with plenty of people caught in the middle.

I like how lucky he is that some of the biggest attempted terrorist attacks in our country lately have been duds.

Along with Noel, I am very pleased that President Obama has been so radical and over-reaching that people have finally started to sit up and take notice.

I like his focus on renewable energy, but am concerned that it'll be implemented so incompetently that we may end up like Spain. However, I still believe that more green is more good and President Obama is getting things done. Even if it's not always the most cost effective thing to do, it's still the right thing to do and can be beneficial to our country.

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Paladine
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I like the link Tom posted. Well done, Mr. President.
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flydye
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On point two, I take a slightly different tack. One stimulus one, there was broad consensus if one looks at the votes. (You can't buy anything when your currency is worthless).

On the GM thing and the second stimulus, Bush was essentially giving Obama what Obama wanted. Obama already had sufficient majorities to pass these things. Bush handed it to him, knowing it wouldn't negatively affect his polls too much (they had already tanked). Note that Republicans did not 'rubberstamp' the autobailout, putting paid to another meme of the Left of the 'lockstep party'.

What do I like about Obama? He is continuing the effective policies of the previous administration in Iraq and Afganistan.

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Michelle
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quote:
I like how Predident Obama can't seem to please very many people and the hard left are as displeased with him as the hard right, right along with plenty of people caught in the middle.
He is bringing us all together. That's the important thing!
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Pelosi and Reid generally kept earmarks out of the process ....

Obama signed over 11,000 earmarks into law in 2009. There are over 9,000 in the 2010 budget.

By the way, you still have some on your chin ...

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Pelosi and Reid generally kept earmarks out of the process ....

Obama signed over 11,000 earmarks into law in 2009. There are over 9,000 in the 2010 budget.

By the way, you still have some on your chin ...

What do the yearly totals have to do with the number of earmarks in a specific bill?
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Greg Davidson
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Yearly totals have nothing to do with the number of earmarks in a specific bill.

I recently asked G2 to clarify if he intends his posts to represent the truth as he sees it, or whether they represent efforts to throw in contrary arguments regardless of whether he believes that they are valid. He elected not to answer this direct question (despite me raising it several times in several forms), and consequently I am working with the latter assumption.

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Daruma28
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Greg - do you like Obama's response to the BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Gusher?

His administration's response has surpassed Dubya's epic Katrina response....

[Exploding]

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aupton15
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Daruma said:
quote:
Greg - do you like Obama's response to the BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Gusher?

His administration's response has surpassed Dubya's epic Katrina response....

There is no comparing the oil rig disaster to the Katrina disaster. FEMA can't do anything about an oil rig exploding out in the Gulf. It's not an issue of evacuation or even one of cleanup. There is no government agency that could reasonably be expected to solve this problem from a purely technological standpoint. It's stumping the folks at BP, who I think could be expected to have a plan for such things. I suppose they could try getting together that crew of expert drillers from Armaggedon, but half of them died on the asteroid.
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Greg Davidson
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Daruma, I hold you in far more respect than I do G2, so let me ask you:

What do you think the criteria ought to be for making judgments about the relative competence of the government response to Katrina and the government response to the BP explosion?

And what facts do consider the most germane (when applied against your criteria) that lead you to the conclusion that the level of competence of the Obama Administration here is less than the level of competence shown by the Bush Administration?

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Funean
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It's worth noting (if it hasn't been already--I only skimmed) that natural disasters are usually understood as the government's job to remediate, whereas industrial disasters are the responsibility of the business entity in question.

Mind you, that doesn't mean the fire trucks don't show up when the local warehouse explodes due to poor chemical storage, but the two situations *are* a little different.

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KidB
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It frankly blows my mind that more isn't being done by our govt. to repair this oil gusher.

What do I like about Obama? He hasn't started any new wars, and he hasn't done anything to make our current situation worse. At least not yet. Aside from that, nothing.

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TommySama
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quote:
It's worth noting (if it hasn't been already--I only skimmed) that natural disasters are usually understood as the government's job to remediate, whereas industrial disasters are the responsibility of the business entity in question.
If you believe the democrats then Katrina very well may have been the result of Global Warming, which itself is the result of industry. Thus they are the same!
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noel
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quote:
There is no comparing the oil rig disaster to the Katrina disaster.
Agreed, Katrina was a natural disaster, not man-made, for which the Gulf States had primary responsibility, and been given preventative federal funding for dike maintenance/construction (and which was never properly allocated in State budgets).

quote:
There is no government agency that could reasonably be expected to solve this problem from a purely technological standpoint.
Performing scheduled federal compliance inspections would have been a reasonable "technological" preventative, but I do hope BFD advocates remember this when the incoming congress refuses to fund Obamacare.

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/50621

quote:
It's stumping the folks at BP, who I think could be expected to have a plan for such things.
This hole will be plugged, and you can bet Americans are going to want an accounting from the Obama administration as to why they did not even begin a controlled-burn for the first eight days following the disaster.
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DonaldD
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Remediate, yes, Funean. But on the other hand, the government has an obligation when it comes to the prevention of industrial disasters (via regulaion of industry) whereas it has little responsibility for thr occurence of most natural disasters.

[ May 25, 2010, 11:38 PM: Message edited by: DonaldD ]

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Greg Davidson
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Just read further about the "dithering" as it was called, when Obama forced a careful consideration of policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Alter, it was through this process (and looking at why the billions in investments in Afghanistan's military had not rebuilt the forces adequately) that the Administration found out that the Taliban was paying their soldiers 1/3 more than the Afghan army. This was fixed in December, and unsurprisingly, Afghan army recruiting began to improve dramatically.
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KidB
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Greg,

I'm sorry...but there is something darkly comic about your last post. It's like saying we've progressed from blithering, socio-pathic cluelessness to dithering, murderous, incompetence.

We screwed the pooch on Afghanistan years ago. It's over. It has been over for years. We just won't admit it. No amount of "progress" will change that.

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KidB
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When it comes to American foreign policy, both sides of the spectrum are absolutely delusional. WW2 intoxicated us, and we think we're gods. But our record for the past half-century has been a series of "draws" and defeats with needlessly astronomical death-tolls, our only "victories" to be found momentarily in half-baked attempts to play Machiavelli amongst the world's poorer countries - attempts which usually backfire in a decade or two.

This is no different. This is another pointless war. People, we are blowing up families with children with remote-controlled robots. Does this make any sense?

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Daruma, I hold you in far more respect than I do G2, so let me ask you:

What do you think the criteria ought to be for making judgments about the relative competence of the government response to Katrina and the government response to the BP explosion?

And what facts do consider the most germane (when applied against your criteria) that lead you to the conclusion that the level of competence of the Obama Administration here is less than the level of competence shown by the Bush Administration?

Well...first of all, of course I was being facetious - not that I have anything nice to say about Bush OR Obama, however...

I don't believe the FEMA response was a disaster - because they accomplished precisely what they wanted to.

Population control. Disarm the populace. Herd them into a central location. Put up road blocks and stifle the press.

It was a great test run for the Feds to practice.

If you think that's just my paranoid conspiracy thinking talking, try this exercise: Google "Executive Orders AND Martial Law."

Have fun. See how far that rabbit hole goes.

As for the latest disaster - It's like Obama washed his hands of this whole mess and said "This is BP's problem, they have to deal with it."

Yeah. Like the suits in the corporate boardroom in London have to deal with the consequences of the entire Gulf of Mexico being polluted...this is a disaster in American waters. The President, if he were a real leader (and not just a corporatist puppet), would have mobilized everything possible and used all sorts of technologies to try and stop and/or mitigate the gushing ASAFNGP!!!!

It's been a month!

[DOH]

lets not forget BPs use of a highly toxic dispersant that is literally doubling down on the destruction of the sea life...and when the EPA oh so kindly and politely asked BP to consider other, less toxic technologies, BP said they'll use half. [Mad]

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Pete at Home
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I like the way that he visibly restrained himself at the last moment to keep from slapping his wife's ass at a public campaign speech. Clearly the cutest couple and possibly the best marriage to ever sit in the White House.
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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by KidB:
When it comes to American foreign policy, both sides of the spectrum are absolutely delusional. WW2 intoxicated us, and we think we're gods. But our record for the past half-century has been a series of "draws" and defeats with needlessly astronomical death-tolls, our only "victories" to be found momentarily in half-baked attempts to play Machiavelli amongst the world's poorer countries - attempts which usually backfire in a decade or two.

This is no different. This is another pointless war. People, we are blowing up families with children with remote-controlled robots. Does this make any sense?

For the "Defense" corporate contractors that develop and deploy those robots with highly lucrative tax money contracts, it certainly makes sense. [Exploding]
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KidB
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quote:
For the "Defense" corporate contractors that develop and deploy those robots with highly lucrative tax money contracts, it certainly makes sense.
Sadly, yes.
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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by KidB:
When it comes to American foreign policy, both sides of the spectrum are absolutely delusional. WW2 intoxicated us, and we think we're gods. But our record for the past half-century has been a series of "draws" and defeats with needlessly astronomical death-tolls, our only "victories" to be found momentarily in half-baked attempts to play Machiavelli amongst the world's poorer countries - attempts which usually backfire in a decade or two.

This is no different. This is another pointless war. People, we are blowing up families with children with remote-controlled robots. Does this make any sense?

*Like*
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KidB
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quote:
I like the way that he visibly restrained himself at the last moment to keep from slapping his wife's ass at a public campaign speech. Clearly the cutest couple and possibly the best marriage to ever sit in the White House.
He should've just done it.

My suggested newspaper article: "Americans appalled at presidential ass-slap, disappointed by Lost finale, but robots dive-bombing Afghanistan children still okay for another six months or so."

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Greg Davidson
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Darkly comic? Admittedly, it's not a real summary, just a single factoid. The scary part is not how screwed-up things are, it is the risk from Taliban control of Pakistani nuclear weapons. What are we going to do about that risk? Doing nothing is an option. I also understand the rationale for escalating in Afghanistan and getting the Pakistani government to fight the Taliban. And trying actual nation-building. I am worried that Karzai's regime is so corrupt that the interventions will not help. I certainly am not sure that the current policy is correct. But I don't see anything delusional in the Obama Administration's approach in Afghanistan and Pakistan, they laid out a series of alternatives, they examined them with greater scrutiny than any foreign policy decision since the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the options all sucked. That's the nature of government, sometimes you pick from poor choices.

This is the kind of liberal argument that I find to be weak
quote:
People, we are blowing up families with children with remote-controlled robots.
It is irrelevant whether civilians are killed care by remote-controlled robots or piloted aircraft, what's important is that civilian casualties are minimized, and the remote controlled robots do a much better job of that. A lot of people will be killed if we intervene, and a lot will be killed if we withdraw. The hard thing is determining which actions will both promote U.S. aims and lead to less civilian deaths, and the answers to that question are not simple.

And as someone who works in the aerospace industry, I can tell you that piloted aircraft cost a lot more than unpiloted ones, so the silly cynicism ("For the "Defense" corporate contractors that develop and deploy those robots with highly lucrative tax money contracts, it certainly makes sense") is logically unsound.

I will say that it is unusual being on the conservative end of the spectrum of an issue on Ornery

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Just read further about the "dithering" as it was called, when Obama forced a careful consideration of policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Alter, it was through this process (and looking at why the billions in investments in Afghanistan's military had not rebuilt the forces adequately) that the Administration found out that the Taliban was paying their soldiers 1/3 more than the Afghan army. This was fixed in December, and unsurprisingly, Afghan army recruiting began to improve dramatically.

Interesting stuff. Thanks, Greg.

Kid2, do you really think things are worse now than under the Talibandits?

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KidB
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Greg, we lost Afghanistan by 2003. We did next to nothing to fund the rebuilding of that country. Our foreign aid to Afghanistan was outspent by our invasion of Iraq by a factor of roughly 100-to-1. That is a mathematical fact, not hyperbole. If we had been aggressive about building and developing there from the beginning, there might have been a chance. Now, there's nothing.

This is a fragmented, tribal country that has proven ungovernable for thousands of years. If you want to talk about securing loose nukes, there is work to be done, but fighting the Taliban in villages where they can't find America on a map, much less have electricity, much less build a warhead, has nothing to do with it.

Again, there is something hilarious in the fact that you are concerned with Taliban control of nuclear weapons rather than Pakistani control of nuclear weapons. "Huzzah! We defeated the Taliban, now the nukes are safe in the hands of...oh, wait..."

quote:
It is irrelevant whether civilians are killed care by remote-controlled robots or piloted aircraft, what's important is that civilian casualties are minimized, and the remote controlled robots do a much better job of that. A lot of people will be killed if we intervene, and a lot will be killed if we withdraw. The hard thing is determining which actions will both promote U.S. aims and lead to less civilian deaths, and the answers to that question are not simple.
This is obfuscation of the highest order. It practically writes itself! I don't know about you, but it matters a great deal to me that *my* country is pulling the trigger on these civilians. Call me crazy.

Can you tell me that it is plainly obvious that many *more* civilians will die if we withdraw than if we don't? I seriously doubt it.

Can you tell me that this is making the Unites States more secure? I doubt that even more.

[ May 26, 2010, 01:13 AM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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KidB
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quote:
Kid2, do you really think things are worse now than under the Talibandits?
In some places much better, in some places worse. Believe me, I hated the Taliban long before 9-11. Right back to blowing up the Buddhas, and I learned what they were all about. I think women should go to school, and people should be allowed to listen to music. And so forth.

But we have given such short shrift to the rebuilding effort. I am utterly baffled by the strategy we have employed for the last decade. In what world can you spend bazillions on warfare and so comparatively little on developing the country? Without the latter, the warfare will not accomplish anything lasting.

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KidB
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quote:
And as someone who works in the aerospace industry, I can tell you that piloted aircraft cost a lot more than unpiloted ones, so the silly cynicism ("For the "Defense" corporate contractors that develop and deploy those robots with highly lucrative tax money contracts, it certainly makes sense") is logically unsound.
It's more than just the immediate costs. It's about developing and testing the new tech. I'm sure you can relate. There is obvious industry benefit to using the remotes. Consider it a long-term business plan.

[ May 26, 2010, 01:18 AM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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TommySama
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quote:
The hard thing is determining which actions will both promote U.S. aims and lead to less civilian deaths, and the answers to that question are not simple.
What are US aims?
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Greg Davidson
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I agree that we handled Afghanistan incredibly foolishly. But it's not like a video game that becomes "over" - we're just in an incredibly poor position

quote:
But we have given such short shrift to the rebuilding effort. I am utterly baffled by the strategy we have employed for the last decade
Which explains why under Obama we have stopped counter-productive initiatives like poppy crop eradication and focused on things like water infrastructure repairs/improvements to promote a broad range of agriculture (a lot of this was destroyed by the Soviet Union and that has helped keep the Afghani tribal groups in poverty)
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Yearly totals have nothing to do with the number of earmarks in a specific bill.

I recently asked G2 to clarify if he intends his posts to represent the truth as he sees it, or whether they represent efforts to throw in contrary arguments regardless of whether he believes that they are valid. He elected not to answer this direct question (despite me raising it several times in several forms), and consequently I am working with the latter assumption.

It's your reality Greg, make it whatever you want, facts be damned. If you want earmarks to be reduced and your usual cherry picking logical fallacy by focusing on only one narrow piece of legislation works for you, then by all means have at it( G2 would almost think you're running a little experiment with the massive volume of logical fallacies you provide here). It won't make it true but you'll feel better and that's what's really important right?

And you still have a little on your chin ... just to the right... [Wink]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Just read further about the "dithering" as it was called, when Obama forced a careful consideration of policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Alter, it was through this process (and looking at why the billions in investments in Afghanistan's military had not rebuilt the forces adequately) that the Administration found out that the Taliban was paying their soldiers 1/3 more than the Afghan army. This was fixed in December, and unsurprisingly, Afghan army recruiting began to improve dramatically.

Interesting stuff. Thanks, Greg.


Pete, this is what is known as historical revision. Greg and whoever he's channeling is trying to make the case that Obama's poor leadership led to some kind of deep insight so that Obama can look good. But check this:
quote:
Originally posted by G2, October 15, 2009 02:32 PM:
quote:
Originally posted by vulture:
Afghanistan it is simple. They either need a lot more troops - like twice as many - or they will achieve nothing but the gradual deaths of many people on both sides, followed by an inglorious cut and run. Either put 100,000 more troops in the country, or get the hell out.

We don't need that many more. We can lease Afghani's, they're cheap - I bet you could buy them for $10/day. The vast majority against us there are only in it for the money. We drop a few bucks in their pockets and they're on our side now. It worked in Iraq and it will work even better here (give me an Afghani over and Iraqi any day, Afghanis are more dependable).

We only need enough troops to be sure they stay bought. I'm not sure what that number is but it's less than 100,000 more. Paying these guys off is cheaper, easier and safer. Not to mention, we get to control a puppet regime that remains hostile to the Taliban or whoever we tell them to be hostile toward.

G2 was 2 months ahead of The Dear Leader and there were many ahead of G2. Obama's dithering was poor and inexperienced leadership, nothing more.
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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
quote:
The hard thing is determining which actions will both promote U.S. aims and lead to less civilian deaths, and the answers to that question are not simple.
What are US aims?
I'll tell you what US aims are. They are the aims of the people who control the US government. As the population has the 'right' to vote on essentially one issue, we have very little power to vote for people who reflect our "aims" in all spheres. To complicate things, the US is made up of millions of different people, and perhaps as many different "aims." Talking about US aims is a subterfuge to justify American military crimes abroad to control the rest of the world and secure the "aims" of people who benefit from such imperialism.
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Al Wessex
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==>"Greg, we lost Afghanistan by 2003."

Verily, because:

==>"This is a fragmented, tribal country that has proven ungovernable for thousands of years."

I supported the supposedly limited Afghanistan war at the beginning because it had a clear purpose to capture/kill Bin Laden and disable the support that kept him protected. The war became something else, mostly US troops wandering around the mountains of the country looking for an army of Taliban grouped in tight formation that they could shoot in groups. Since they refused to line up to be shot, we decided not to work too hard, either.

Nobody (at least nobody I've ever heard speak) defends the social policies of the Taliban, but changing the very culture of an historically tribal nation is not what our military forces are good at. That pooch can barely walk straight these days.

OTOH, Obama is reengaging in Afghanistan and conducting the war aggressively for something like the original reason. It's a fundamentally lost cause to complete the "larger mission", but perhaps some value can still come from completing what was the original limited goal.

As for the region, it's hard to pick a favorite enemy. Afghanistan is hardly a threat to anybody except themselves. Their "economy" depends on corruption, so we look foolish pushing our policy of wagging our finger at Karzai telling him to clean house.

Pakistan has a multi-layered military-civilian leadership that is inherently unstable, and they got the nukes. We should worry greatly about them and not feel mollified when one part of their leadership acts supportive toward us. They will serve us tea and shoot us, too.

Iran is so single-mindedly focused on Israel that I don't consider them to be a real threat to anybody but themselves. I still hold out hope that the secular mores of the society will influence and eventually change their peculiar parliamentary way of government.

But ultimately Iraq is my perennial favorite threat to regional peace because they have institutionalized wartime and peacetime atrocity as a function of government on top of their already formidably dysfunctional institutions. I'm afraid we'll be in and out of there for at least a generation and the region will remain at risk for at least that long. Worse, even, is that it's our fault that they have become what we made them.

All of that very personal opinion is not backed up by anything except observation and waiting to see how things unfold. The one thing that will change the game in potentially unrecognizable ways is some horrific act of terrorism on US soil. We've been relatively safe from such events for several years, but don't be fooled into complacency. If that happens (those who know most about what's going on in the world of espionage and terror say "when", not "if"), it may demonstrate how unstable we are. We teeter on the brink of society rupturing on social, religious and racial lines already. Anybody who is more certain of how things will go is selling propaganda.

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