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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Hey, President Obama? The 1980s just called. (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Hey, President Obama? The 1980s just called.
EDanaII
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@ Al Wessex:
quote:
It's not clear which groups, if any, are our allies. We share an objective with them to remove Assad from power.
Last I checked, that was the definition of ally... [Smile]


@ All arguing we didn't win in Iraq:

We did win. Things were relatively stable and then a certain someone threw it all away and opened the door to a bunch of ISILs... [Frown]

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TomDavidson
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Which two-week period would you say was stabile in Iraq?
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jasonr
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quote:
That's what I mean, you think you have to choose one side or the other. A phrase I first heard on a TV political series applies here, "See the whole board before you make that move".
Thus far I have seen nothing to lead me to believe that there is a viable third option.

But let's suppose there is one. We already saw this movie with Libya and Egypt. In Libya the secular dictator was replaced by religious lunatics. In Egypt the secular military dictator was replaced by religious lunatics, who were then replaced again by a military dictator.

So even if the third option isn't ISIL, it's still going to be religious lunatics.

Of the plausible alternatives, I would choose Assad.

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Fenring
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I couldn't believe my ears when I heard this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx6s4jO9xNY&feature=gp-n-y&google_comment_id=z13hxrwzwyenytlri04cgdqbtvqbidlqlrk0k

John McCain wants to arms rebels in Syria with armaments to shoot down the Russian planes in Syria. He really said this. May I thank the lord that Obama beat him in the 2008 election? McCain is a grade a lunatic. I've come across some meme pictures of McCain online today painting his face like The Joker, and that's no joke.

This guy wants to overtly (so overtly he'll say it on the news) arrange to shoot down planes from a nuclear power, the objective being that taking down Assad is more important than retaining stability in the world and preventing World War III. With people like McCain in power America would never have made it out of the cold war.

I am still shocked.

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Greg Davidson
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EDanall, regarding your quote below, you do realize that the Bush Administration identified specific criteria for whether or not "the surge" would be successful, and then failed to achieve virtually any of them? Given that clear and specific set of failures, how do you reach the conclusion:that "We did win. Things were relatively stable and then a certain someone threw it all away and opened the door to a bunch of ISILs..."
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jasonr
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quote:
EDanall, regarding your quote below, you do realize that the Bush Administration identified specific criteria for whether or not "the surge" would be successful, and then failed to achieve virtually any of them? Given that clear and specific set of failures, how do you reach the conclusion:that "We did win. Things were relatively stable and then a certain someone threw it all away and opened the door to a bunch of ISILs..."
Really, who cares anymore. Bush shouldn't have invaded Iraq and Obama shouldn't have withdrawn and handed Iraq to ISIL on a silver platter. What's done is done.

The lesson to be learned is that Muslim nutcases will fight Muslim nutcases and America can't stop a 1,000 year blood war, only contain it and cooperate with any rational powers. Assad seems to be the only rational power with any chance of ruling Syria. So trying to topple him is insane.

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jasonr
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quote:
John McCain wants to arms rebels in Syria with armaments to shoot down the Russian planes in Syria. He really said this.
That's pretty well what they did in Afghanistan, wasn't it?

But then again, not sure if the Americans announced this as official policy.

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LetterRip
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jasonr,

in Afghanistan the CIA armed them with foreign sourced weapons so that the US had deniability.

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
Really, who cares anymore. Bush shouldn't have invaded Iraq and Obama shouldn't have withdrawn and handed Iraq to ISIL on a silver platter. What's done is done.
What a horrific sentiment. First, the unsubstantiated assertion about removing US troops - can you make an argument that 500 bases inside Iraq and 150,000 combat troops is a better outcome for the US?

Secondly, if you refuse to learn from the past "What's done is done", on what basis do yo9u have any opinions about any actions in the future?

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Fenring
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Openly stating on the air that McCain wants to shoot down Russian aircraft is utter madness. I don't recall anything like this before, and to openly declare the intention to do this is a breach of international law and the U.S. constitution as well. Plus it's stupid beyond belief; not much deniability when you say on the air you want to do it. You may as well just shoot them down using U.S. forces at that point as the make-believe shield behind proxy forces doesn't exist any more.

I don't see how this guy still has his job. It's one thing to be a neocon who frightens people and speaks of U.S. security, but this guy - who has been one of the most vocal war-hawks in the last few years - takes the cake and has escalated things to the point where he thinks he has a right to personally threaten war against Russia. Is it a crime to advocate on the air that the U.S. engage in a crime? It might be.

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jasonr
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quote:
Secondly, if you refuse to learn from the past "What's done is done", on what basis do yo9u have any opinions about any actions in the future?
I just have little patience for more partisan bickering on this subject. There is no doubt in my mind that invading Iraq was a mistake, just as I have no doubt that abandoning Iraq wholesale (i.e. withdrawing all troops) was also a mistake that left Iraq wide open for ISIL. And to that last point, yes, a several thousand American troops could have made a big difference.

But this has to move beyond the partisan fighting.

I agree that we have to learn from our mistakes. The fall of Iraq and the Arab Spring have taught us that when secular dictators fall, they don't get replaced by secular democracies - they get replaced by Islamic lunatics. So pick your poison. I know which one I'm rooting for.

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cherrypoptart
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> "The fall of Iraq and the Arab Spring have taught us that when secular dictators fall, they don't get replaced by secular democracies - they get replaced by Islamic lunatics."

Have there been ANY exceptions recently?

If not, why would Obama think that this would be the first?

Or does he? A conspiracy minded person might begin to wonder if this wasn't his plan all along; like a regular Palpatine with this guy.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
A conspiracy minded person
As opposed to what?
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AI Wessex
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quote:
agree that we have to learn from our mistakes. The fall of Iraq and the Arab Spring have taught us that when secular dictators fall, they don't get replaced by secular democracies - they get replaced by Islamic lunatics. So pick your poison. I know which one I'm rooting for.
Given your inclination to choose, do you think we should have left Saddam in power and supported him? Should we have invaded in the first gulf war?
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jasonr
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quote:
Given your inclination to choose, do you think we should have left Saddam in power and supported him? Should we have invaded in the first gulf war?
I don't know if we should have *supported* him, but in retrospect, we would have been a heck of alot better off not deposing him, wouldn't you agree?
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
There is no doubt in my mind that invading Iraq was a mistake, just as I have no doubt that abandoning Iraq wholesale (i.e. withdrawing all troops) was also a mistake that left Iraq wide open for ISIL. And to that last point, yes, a several thousand American troops could have made a big difference.
Please explain what alternative strategy you would have pursued in Iraq that was so good that "you have no doubt" that it would have been successful.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
I don't know if we should have *supported* him, but in retrospect, we would have been a heck of alot better off not deposing him, wouldn't you agree?
But, he could have been in jeopardy. His country was in chaos, he was suppressing religious and ethnic violence, and our leadership was convinced that he was funding terrorism that was directed at the US. You would have left him there?
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DJQuag
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I think the point was that the country wasn't in chaos and the ethnic and religious violence was largely suppressed before the invasion. After, not so much.
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AI Wessex
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I think the invasion was a horrible idea for reasons that go well beyond "not so much". I'm probing a bit to find out what the rationale for taking sides and immersing ourselves in the fighting would be. What does it take to draw us in and what would our success criteria be? If "victory" is always our objective, how would it have happened and what would we be doing there now? What happened (or didn't happen) in Iraq that we can apply to our strategy in Syria?
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
quote:
Given your inclination to choose, do you think we should have left Saddam in power and supported him? Should we have invaded in the first gulf war?
I don't know if we should have *supported* him, but in retrospect, we would have been a heck of alot better off not deposing him, wouldn't you agree?
No, we had to do it. Saddam was going through with a plan to switch to petroeuro's. Had he been allowed to do that, other countries would have followed (Iran had announced its intent to do so already). Deposing Saddam has kept the petrodollar stable and intact which proved some pretty incredible benefits to the US.
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AI Wessex
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This theory was debunked as a right-wing conspiracy explanation that emerged after the war was underway. Is this now why we should invade Iran?
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NobleHunter
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I don't think we should support Assad but neither do I think we should oppose him in any material sense. I'm not sure we can support him in a way that's consistent with the moral practice of war. And even if we could, I don't want us to bear some responsibility for the people he kills after we've helped him.

If we support Assad, we'll be strengthening the narrative that the West is the enemy of Arab peoples and, by association, Islam. We might not make friends by staying out of local conflicts but at least we won't be making more enemies.

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AI Wessex
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NH, the problem with passive support of Assad, as Jason argues we should have done in Iraq by not deposing Saddam since he was "supporting" our interests, is what if Assad is losing? If you wait too long you lose the ability to control events. If you jump in too soon you contribute to a partisan outcome and *still* may not be able to control events. The latter is what we did in Iraq, with (some would say predictably) bad results. If we had done the former (which we did at the end of the first Gulf War), we would have continued to watch an inhumane leader essentially destroy his own people because of sanctions that we had imposed 12 years earlier.

"Pick your poison" is an unfortunately apt metaphor for almost any steps we take to "solve" problems in that region.

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NobleHunter
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So we shouldn't try to solve the problems. That way, if things turn out badly at least it isn't our fault.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
So we shouldn't try to solve the problems. That way, if things turn out badly at least it isn't our fault.

As I said earlier, "See the whole board". Punishing them for bad behavior or letting it go because they're not the worst bully in the gang aren't the only options. As others have pointed out, every revolution (except Egypt) in the Mideast in recent years has led to a religious takeover of some kind, and that one is no better than any of the rest. Doesn't that tell you that no matter what side you help win their cause will lead to an oppressive dictatorship?

Solve the problem economically and diplomatically, and don't expect that to work over night. If you're thinking we can't wait that long, the wars we started in Iraq and Afghanistan are now the longest wars in US history.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
So we shouldn't try to solve the problems. That way, if things turn out badly at least it isn't our fault.

How about not deliberately creating problems? But the current people in charge won't stop doing that anytime soon.
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NobleHunter
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AI, I don't think we disagree. As Fenring said, we need to avoid creating new problems. That seems to happen every time we actively intervene so we should stop doing that.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
How about not deliberately creating problems? But the current people in charge won't stop doing that anytime soon.
This is getting worse and worse over time, but it's nothing new. A lot of respected thinkers believe that *we* sowed the seeds of today's unrest over *there* back in 1922.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:
How about not deliberately creating problems? But the current people in charge won't stop doing that anytime soon.
This is getting worse and worse over time, but it's nothing new. A lot of respected thinkers believe that *we* sowed the seeds of today's unrest over *there* back in 1922.
Try WWI.
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JoshCrow
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Heh, I still blame the bloody Ottomans. (I kid... what's the Statute of Limitations on this sort of thing?)
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
So we shouldn't try to solve the problems. That way, if things turn out badly at least it isn't our fault.

Maybe we should try to solve problems rather than dropping bombs on them. Is more war really the only tool we have?
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
So we shouldn't try to solve the problems. That way, if things turn out badly at least it isn't our fault.

Maybe we should try to solve problems rather than dropping bombs on them. Is more war really the only tool we have?
Out and out war isn't the only thing we've tried. We also used the CIA to covertly overthrow democratically elected leaders, and we've supplied weapons to both sides of conflicts to keep them killing each other longer.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
So we shouldn't try to solve the problems. That way, if things turn out badly at least it isn't our fault.

Maybe we should try to solve problems rather than dropping bombs on them. Is more war really the only tool we have?
Out and out war isn't the only thing we've tried. We also used the CIA to covertly overthrow democratically elected leaders, and we've supplied weapons to both sides of conflicts to keep them killing each other longer.
Quite so, how handy of us.
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EDanaII
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
EDanall, regarding your quote below, you do realize that the Bush Administration identified specific criteria for whether or not "the surge" would be successful, and then failed to achieve virtually any of them? Given that clear and specific set of failures, how do you reach the conclusion:that "We did win. Things were relatively stable and then a certain someone threw it all away and opened the door to a bunch of ISILs..."

Obama pulled out of Iraq and it fell apart. It didn't fall apart before then. Sounds like the definition of stability to me...
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
Obama pulled out of Iraq and it fell apart. It didn't fall apart before then. Sounds like the definition of stability to me...
Define what you mean by "fall apart"? Several hundred thousand Iraqis died in Sunni/Shiite fighting after President Bush landed on carrier with the "Mission Accomplished" banner. That's more people than have been killed in Iraq since the rise of ISIS.

And you surely don't believe in the definition of stability you state, because then you would have to conclude that France achieved "stability" in 1939 after the Fall of Poland because there was no further war for a year.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
Obama pulled out of Iraq and it fell apart.
It wasn't together by virtually any definition you can think of. So, perhaps you can explain what was going so well in Iraq before Obama implemented the withdrawal George Bush proposed and signed off on?
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NobleHunter
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quote:
Maybe we should try to solve problems rather than dropping bombs on them. Is more war really the only tool we have?
I don't really think the US government is really set up to provide other kinds of problem solving. NGO seem like a more plausible method of delivering assistance. Though it helps if we aren't blowing up hospitals.
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kmbboots
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No kidding. [Frown]

If Iraq was stable, we should have been able to leave. If you have to keep holding something together to keep it from falling apart, it isn't stable.

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jasonr
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To be fair kmmboots, Korea has been (more or less) stable for more than 60 years, in large part due to the presence of thousands of USA troops. South Korea's industrial, social and economic achivements are testament to the success of that policy.

Not everything the US touches turns to ****.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
To be fair kmmboots, Korea has been (more or less) stable for more than 60 years, in large part due to the presence of thousands of USA troops. South Korea's industrial, social and economic achivements are testament to the success of that policy.

Not everything the US touches turns to ****.

Germany and Japan also turned out alright due at least in part to the American occupation forces. The key to all three areas is that American forces were needed in the long-term to maintain stability. Any sort of "knock them down, build them up, then get out" strategy is a fool's errand.
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