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Author Topic: The Venezuelan Missile Crisis
G2
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This should be interesting:
quote:
Iran is planning to place medium-range missiles on Venezuelan soil, based on western information sources, according to an article in the German daily, Die Welt, of November 25, 2010. According to the article, an agreement between the two countries was signed during the last visit o Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran on October19, 2010. The previously undisclosed contract provides for the establishment of a jointly operated military base in Venezuela, and the joint development of ground-to-ground missiles.

<snip>

In addition, Iran has given permission for the missiles to be used in case of an "emergency". In return, the agreement states that Venezuela can use these facilities for "national needs" – radically increasing the threat to neighbors like Colombia. The German daily claims that according to the agreement, Iranian Shahab 3 (range 1300-1500 km), Scud-B (285-330 km) and Scud-C (300, 500 and 700 km) will be deployed in the proposed base. It says that Iran also pledged to help Venezuela in rocket technology expertise, including intensive training of officers.

A joint Iran-Venezuela with Iranian missile officers, soldiers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. What could go wrong?
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The Drake
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Considering the number of missiles that the US has placed around the world at the disposal of those governments - in Germany, Taiwan, Pakistan, Iraq, Israel, South Korea ...

I don't see how we could possibly complain about other nations doing the same without a straight face. Of course, that only applies if you have an egalitarian mindset. If you are a realpolitik pragmatist with a Manifest Destiny mindset, then I guess it is fine to announce "Do as we say, not as we do..."

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edgmatt
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Only if you accept the premise that the US has a similar disposition towards the rest of the world as Iran or Venezuela does. Since it does not, my face will remain straight.
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Pete at Home
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Right. Because after all, military readiness is all about fairness, justice, and equal distribution, right, Drake? We mustn't let little selfish considerations like our own survival get in the way of mindless equality. The fact that the ayatollatalitarians make their people chant death to America at gunpoint shouldn't cause us to deviate from the principle that all nations should have exactly the same ammount of power. Hey, we could all end up dead, but at least no one will be able to call us hypocrites.

Next brilliant argument?

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DonaldD
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quote:
Iranian Shahab 3 (range 1300-1500 km), Scud-B (285-330 km) and Scud-C (300, 500 and 700 km) will be deployed in the proposed base.
Since Venezuela is more than 2000 km distant from the nearest point of the continental USA (the southern tip of Florida) a 1500km range missile cannot threaten any physical damage to the USA.

This will certainly affect the balance of power in northern South America; why that should be an overriding, existential question for the USA is an open question.

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LoverOfJoy
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Puerto Rico?
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Pete at Home
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Venezuela has the cute habit of hosting murderous terrorist groups like FARC that strike at Columbia, and then cross back into Venezuela'n territory. That's textbook aggression.

Armed with Iranian missiles, you can expect Venezuela to step up such aggression.

Defense of another, including defense of Columbia, is not aggression.

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The Drake
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And the invasion of Iraq, funding of Al-Qaeda AND Saddam Hussein, that's not textbook aggression?

Pete, you're welcome to play the "who cares about fairness, I only care about me and mine" card. We do what we want with impunity, and screw anyone who tries to knock the king off the mountain. Things have a way of not working out so well when somebody evenutally bumps you off, however.

As for FARC, we practically invented funding terrorist groups to overthrow governments - even duly elected ones. Especially in South America.

Military readiness is not about making sure nobody else has weapons. It is about making sure everyone knows that you will use your bigger weapons if they try to hurt you. Diplomatic readiness is about making sure that people don't have a reason to try and kill you. Denmark probably doesn't lose a lot of sleep over which missiles move where, and yet I hear they have a nice little country.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
Pete, you're welcome to play the "who cares about fairness, I only care about me and mine" card.

I didn't play the :who cares about fairness card:

I know who cares about fairness, or at least who is supposed to care about fairness. JUDGES. JURIES.

Generals OTOH are just supposed to win.

Military strategy isn't about fairness.

It embarasses me to have to explain to you something so obvious.

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The Drake
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It embarrasses me that you, as an educated citizen, think that all that matters is American military supremacy and that ethics need not be considered.

By posting your information under the title "Venezuelan Missile Crisis" are you suggesting that the US should interdict Venezuela? Or that these non-nuclear unable-to-reach US soil missiles represent a similar threat to America as those Soviet ones did? Let's also not forget that the actual resolution to that earlier crisis involved withdrawing our missiles from Turkey. I'm all for that kind of resolution. Let's stop supplying Israel with weapons, and in exchange Iran can agree not to supply our southern neighbors with missiles.

It embarrasses me that American military strategy is so similar to that of Iran - get a bunch of missiles, deploy them around the world, and act belligerent. Fund insurgent groups to overthrow governments and sow terror.

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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
Only if you accept the premise that the US has a similar disposition towards the rest of the world as Iran or Venezuela does. Since it does not, my face will remain straight.

I don't think Iran or Venezuela are in the business of getting what they want from the international community by being military superpowers, so you're right about them not having America's disposition. What was your point again?

All they're doing is trolling America for political points, not posing a serious threat to it. Because nothing they do militarily can pose a serious threat to America and everyone knows it, and whenever America starts having a hissy fit and rambling on incoherently about the terrible threat of Iran and Venezuela it just makes America look like the sort of country that relies on strength of arms for its political influence.

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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
And the invasion of Iraq, funding of Al-Qaeda AND Saddam Hussein, that's not textbook aggression?

Just a minor quibble, but I'm pretty sure America never funded Osama Bin Laden. Both he and they strenuously deny that any American money went Bin Laden's way during the 1980s, on the grounds that Osama and the CIA were both in Afghanistan for exactly the same reason: channeling insane amounts of money and material into the coffers of Mujahadeen movements. Osama didn't need American backing because he was coordinating the funds from a bunch of Arab states, and the CIA didn't need Osama because they preferred to fund mujahadeen movements directly and cultivate new contacts.

Everything else you mentioned kinda doesn't help America look like much of a champion of peace and freedom though, yeah [Smile]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
It embarrasses me that you, as an educated citizen, think that all that matters is American military supremacy and that ethics need not be considered.

It embarasses me as a former English teacher that you read what I said and got that out of it.

Or that "ethics" means making sure that fundamentalists who have sworn to murder us are as well-armed as we are.

Next?

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
By posting your information under the title "Venezuelan Missile Crisis" are you suggesting that the US should interdict Venezuela?

No, not necessarily. I was suggesting there are similarities to the Cuban missile crisis where there a growing threat from a communist regime.


quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
Or that these non-nuclear unable-to-reach US soil missiles represent a similar threat to America as those Soviet ones did?

No. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
Let's also not forget that the actual resolution to that earlier crisis involved withdrawing our missiles from Turkey. I'm all for that kind of resolution. Let's stop supplying Israel with weapons, and in exchange Iran can agree not to supply our southern neighbors with missiles.

It's all about THE JOOOOOOOOOOOS!

quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
It embarrasses me that American military strategy is so similar to that of Iran - get a bunch of missiles, deploy them around the world, and act belligerent. Fund insurgent groups to overthrow governments and sow terror.

The simplicity of your understanding of the import of these events is perhaps the most embarrassing thing for you. [Wink]

quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
quote:
Iranian Shahab 3 (range 1300-1500 km), Scud-B (285-330 km) and Scud-C (300, 500 and 700 km) will be deployed in the proposed base.
Since Venezuela is more than 2000 km distant from the nearest point of the continental USA (the southern tip of Florida) a 1500km range missile cannot threaten any physical damage to the USA.

This will certainly affect the balance of power in northern South America; why that should be an overriding, existential question for the USA is an open question.

Iran does have missiles capable of hitting the continental US from Venezuela. If Iran will arm Venezuela with these more limited missiles, what prevents them from delivering the longer range ones?

[ December 12, 2010, 05:49 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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TommySama
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quote:
I know who cares about fairness, or at least who is supposed to care about fairness. JUDGES. JURIES.

Generals OTOH are just supposed to win.

Military strategy isn't about fairness.

Clearly American response to this is not only subject to military considerations. Generals do not run US foreign policy (at least officially). Generals are supposed to obey their superiors.
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DonaldD
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quote:
If Iran will arm Venezuela with these more limited missiles, what prevents them from delivering the longer range ones?
If Iran had any kind of increase in trade with Venezuela, what would prevent them from delivering long range missiles? Nothing that isn't already stopping them from doing so.

It is a silly argument: I pointed out that the current announcement had nothing to do with the continental USA. That those two countries have any kind of trade relationship is 'oh noes'-worthy, nothing more.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
It embarrasses me that American military strategy is so similar to that of Iran - get a bunch of missiles, deploy them around the world, and act belligerent. Fund insurgent groups to overthrow governments and sow terror.

Well if that was your point, there's some truth to it. It's when you start going on about fairness, like, since we did it we need to let them do it, that things get ludicrous.

It's one thing to say that we should try to act less like Iran. It's quite another to say that fairness (or even more stupidly, "ethics") require us to just let Iran act belligerently.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
quote:
I know who cares about fairness, or at least who is supposed to care about fairness. JUDGES. JURIES.

Generals OTOH are just supposed to win.

Military strategy isn't about fairness.

Clearly American response to this is not only subject to military considerations. Generals do not run US foreign policy (at least officially). Generals are supposed to obey their superiors.
Yes ... and you think "fairness" requires us to tell those generals, bend over and take it from Venezuela and Iran, because these is just our chickens coming in to roost?
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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
quote:
I know who cares about fairness, or at least who is supposed to care about fairness. JUDGES. JURIES.

Generals OTOH are just supposed to win.

Military strategy isn't about fairness.

Clearly American response to this is not only subject to military considerations. Generals do not run US foreign policy (at least officially). Generals are supposed to obey their superiors.
Yes ... and you think "fairness" requires us to tell those generals, bend over and take it from Venezuela and Iran, because these is just our chickens coming in to roost?
No. I think that:
-anyone who denies that American imperial credibility was not seriously (if not terminally) damaged by of our foreign policy over the last 50-60 years is suspicious and creepy.
-anyone who frames this as an issue to be dealt with by generals is alarming.
-that framing this situation in terms of American survival is hyperbolic and dishonest propaganda.
-the people ought to control the military. Taking into consideration the malignant influence of the US during the Cold War, and how jealously and furiously our representatives guard knowledge from the people, fairness is (for better or for worse) a legitimate criteria for judging foreign policy.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
quote:
I know who cares about fairness, or at least who is supposed to care about fairness. JUDGES. JURIES.

Generals OTOH are just supposed to win.

Military strategy isn't about fairness.

Clearly American response to this is not only subject to military considerations. Generals do not run US foreign policy (at least officially). Generals are supposed to obey their superiors.
Yes ... and you think "fairness" requires us to tell those generals, bend over and take it from Venezuela and Iran, because these is just our chickens coming in to roost?
No. I think that:
-anyone who denies that American imperial credibility was not seriously (if not terminally) damaged by of our foreign policy over the last 50-60 years is suspicious and creepy.

I agree that American imperial credibility has been seriously damaged by our foreign policy over the last 50-60 years. But, nursing grudges from other recent threads, you will probably find ways to twist what I say to make me sound suspicious and creepy. [Frown] Because anyone who disapproves of one little thing you say has attacked a reflection of you as a person, and that must be avenged. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
the people ought to control the military.
Already agreed above.

quote:
Taking into consideration the malignant influence of the US during the Cold War, and how jealously and furiously our representatives guard knowledge from the people, fairness is (for better or for worse) a legitimate criteria for judging foreign policy.
I don't think that it's "fairness" to say, America has sinned, therefore let Iran help Venezuela to terrorize Columbia with impunity. That's not fairness. That's just stoopid.

Columbia's survival *is* at stake.

[ December 14, 2010, 08:50 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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TommySama
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quote:
I agree that American imperial credibility has been seriously damaged by our foreign policy over the last 50-60 years. But, nursing grudges from other recent threads, you will probably find ways to twist what I say to make me sound suspicious and creepy. [Frown] Because anyone who disapproves of one little thing you say has attacked a reflection of you as a person, and that must be avenged. [Roll Eyes]
Well as long as you can twist my clearly sarcastic and ironic post about how opinions are butterflies into a serious complaint, I can't help but conclude that you are deliberately being dishonest about what I said.

[ December 14, 2010, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: TommySama ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
No. I think that:
-anyone who denies that American imperial credibility was not seriously (if not terminally) damaged by of our foreign policy over the last 50-60 years is suspicious and creepy.

What does this even mean? At the very least you seem to be misusing terminology. American hasn't been Imperialistic. The left likes to use the term imprecisely just like the right uses the term communistic imprecisely.

Imperial- of, relating to, befitting, or suggestive of an empire or an emperor

Empire - a) a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority;

b) something resembling a political empire; especially : an extensive territory or enterprise under single domination or control

The US has been the dominant political, military and economic power on Earth for the last 60+ years, but it hasn't been imperialistic. It has not taken direct control of extensive territory. Going to wars with other countries is not an act of Imperialism. Setting up extensive trade and military pacts with other countries isn't Imperialism either.

Words have meaning.

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JWatts
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In related news:

quote:

Russia delivered at least 1,800 shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles to Venezuela in 2009, U.N. arms control data show, despite vigorous U.S. efforts to stop President Hugo Chavez's stridently anti-American government from acquiring the weapons.

The United States feared that the missiles could be funneled to Marxist guerrillas fighting Colombia's pro-American government or Mexican drug cartels, concerns expressed in U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and first reported in the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Link
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Aris Katsaris
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JWatts, words indeed have meaning -- so I have to wonder, why do you argue about the word "imperialism" as if it was the word "imperial" instead?

Imperialism is the policy of exploitation of other countries. There's ofcourse different *levels* of imperialism -- there's the genocidal imperialism of Nazi Germany, there's the socialimperialism of the Soviet Union, there's the colonial imperialism of the British Empire, there's the capitalist imperialism of the United States.

Each of these has its special characteristics, but the commonality is that a country forces an unequal exploitative relationship on others for its own benefit.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
JWatts, words indeed have meaning -- so I have to wonder, why do you argue about the word "imperialism" as if it was the word "imperial" instead?

[Roll Eyes]

Imperialism is a derivative form of Imperial.

imperialism - –noun
1. the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.
2. advocacy of imperial interests.
3. an imperial system of government.
4. imperial government.

Link

quote:
Imperialism is the policy of exploitation of other countries. ..., there's the capitalist imperialism of the United States.
That's a blatant misuse of the terminology. You might as well call the US Fascist as refer to it as Imperialistic. The US has not tried to extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.

quote:
Each of these has its special characteristics, but the commonality is that a country forces an unequal exploitative relationship on others for its own benefit.
Engaging in trade pacts with other nations is not exploitative. What evidence do you have that the US has engaged in systemic coercive trade pacts with other countries in the last 60 years?

The US has not systemically obtained unilateral trade agreements with other countries. We don't have companies, extracting goods from other countries at gun point. We have bilateral agreements and we buy and sell goods from and to other nations in a mutually agreed manner. Granted these trade agreements are often contentious, but the US does not force other countries into trade pacts against the will of the other country.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
What evidence do you have that the US has engaged in systemic coercive trade pacts with other countries in the last 60 years?
Throughout the cold war you helped oust, or at least supported the ousting of every single Latin American government that opposed American capitalist interests.

Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Nicaragua...

In the capitalist age, imperialism is over control of the markets. Latin America was your imperialist playground throughout the cold war, much as Eastern Europe was the Soviet Union's imperialist playground.

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DonaldD
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Even using the definition you provided, JWatts:
quote:
an extensive territory or enterprise under single domination or control

I'm hard-pressed to exclude the term domnination from the characterization of US activities in different areas of the globe in the past 40 years.

Of course, domination is not a binary concept in this context - we can certainly discuss to what degree the US has dominated certain countries/areas over the years.

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Athelstan
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Isn't Chavez getting the missiles everything to do with the Columbia - US Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in August 2009 which itself was changed, in word only, in November when the Columbians, and the rest of South America, found out what they had signed up to. The fact that a Columbian Court recently called the deal unconstitutional is probably round one to Chavez.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Even using the definition you provided, JWatts:
quote:
an extensive territory or enterprise under single domination or control

I'm hard-pressed to exclude the term domnination from the characterization of US activities in different areas of the globe in the past 40 years.
The phrase is:
quote:
an extensive territory or enterprise under single domination or control

Which means the sole authority in the area. What specific countries did the US have sole authority to run? It has indeed had great authority, but it has never taken over and run other countries directly from Washington DC or from Wall street in the last 60 years. Influence does not equal control.

I won't dispute that the US has been dominant over most of the globe for at least the last 20 years. But it has not exercised direct control, nor has it even made a serious attempt to exercise direct control of other nations.

quote:
Throughout the cold war you helped oust, or at least supported the ousting of every single Latin American government that opposed American capitalist interests.
Which, of course, is not Imperialism. Imperialism is direct control. I.E. The USSR had Imperial control over Eastern Germany, Hungary and Romania. They did not have direct control over China or Vietnam. Nor did the US have direct control over any South American countries.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
"Imperialism is direct control."
No it's not. Even the page of definitions you yourself linked to, doesn't limit imperialism to "direct control".

In left-wing political analysis the exploitation of other nations *is* imperialism, regardless of whether it's done via direct or indirect control.

quote:
"The USSR had Imperial control over Eastern Germany, Hungary and Romania. "
If you claim that the USSR had "direct" control over Romania, then why was Romania one of the few nations that objected to its invasion of Czechoslovakia?

If it had direct control over Czechoslovakia and Hungary, then why did it have to invade them at all -- why weren't the Soviet troops already there?

The USSR exerted indirect control over Eastern Europe, largely by means of the threat of its military intervention.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
No it's not. Even the page of definitions you yourself linked to, doesn't limit imperialism to "direct control".

Re-read the definitions.

quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
In left-wing political analysis the exploitation of other nations *is* imperialism, regardless of whether it's done via direct or indirect control.

That doesn't make it correct. It really just clarifies it as political rhetoric.

quote:
"The USSR had Imperial control over Eastern Germany, Hungary and Romania. "
If you claim that the USSR had "direct" control over Romania, then why was Romania one of the few nations that objected to its invasion of Czechoslovakia?
...
The USSR exerted indirect control over Eastern Europe, largely by means of the threat of its military intervention.[/QUOTE]

I think you are correct. The standard procedure for Imperial governance was direct control by members of the controlling empires ruling class. Both the Romans and English sent members of their aristocracy to rule over subjugated provinces.

The Soviets exercised direct control after the Hungarian and Czechoslovakian invasions, of course, but temporarily. Probably a better term would be hegemony.

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manji
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ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
In left-wing political analysis the exploitation of other nations *is* imperialism, regardless of whether it's done via direct or indirect control.
quote:
That doesn't make it correct.
It's a clear and consistent usage, JWatts -- that's the best that any political term can aspire to. I don't know what you mean by "correct".

It sorta seems that you want to restrict the definition of "imperialism" so much, that even the Nazi imposition of the Vichy government on France, and the Quisling government on Norway wouldn't fit your criteria for Imperialism -- as that's "indirect control" too. Nor even the Napoleonic protectorates.

At that point this becomes mere silliness. As I said -- even the page you linked to, contains definition such as
"3. the extension or attempted extension of authority, influence, power, etc, by any person, country, institution, etc: cultural imperialism"

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
It sorta seems that you want to restrict the definition of "imperialism" so much, that even the Nazi imposition of the Vichy government on France, and the Quisling government on Norway wouldn't fit your criteria for Imperialism -- as that's "indirect control" too. Nor even the Napoleonic protectorates.

I wouldn't object to referring to nations that use puppet governments to control other nations as Empires. Certainly Napoleonic France considered itself an Empire as did the Russians, Austrians, etc.

But in no case does the US fit in that definition. Using it in reference to post-WW2 US policy amounts to engaging in crude, politically expedient speech to score rhetorical points. That is precisely why the left uses it. It's not about the truth of the issue, but instead about pushing an agenda.

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Aris Katsaris
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JWatts, what's your alternative word? What word do you suggest we use for "the desire to coercive expand your nation's control and influence over the territories and resources belonging to other nations"?
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Hannibal
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There is no US missile base in Israel.

our surface to surface missiles are constructed by the Israeli industry and uses Israeli technology.

I also dont understand why a support to an ally has to do anything with a suspicous military agreement between two shady governments.

The Drake.
Every time one of the "axis of evil" countries will do something like that, the US should sell short one of its allies? is this what you suggest?

It will only make Iran put missile bases all over the place.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
Pete, you're welcome to play the "who cares about fairness, I only care about me and mine" card.

I didn't play the :who cares about fairness card:

I know who cares about fairness, or at least who is supposed to care about fairness. JUDGES. JURIES.

Generals OTOH are just supposed to win.

Military strategy isn't about fairness.

It embarasses me to have to explain to you something so obvious.

It pains me to support, applaud, and think the above statement from the babyeater is brilliant. I think I'll spend the rest of the night trying to convince myself that Drake's point of view is valid.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
quote:
I agree that American imperial credibility has been seriously damaged by our foreign policy over the last 50-60 years. But, nursing grudges from other recent threads, you will probably find ways to twist what I say to make me sound suspicious and creepy. [Frown] Because anyone who disapproves of one little thing you say has attacked a reflection of you as a person, and that must be avenged. [Roll Eyes]
Well as long as you can twist my clearly sarcastic and ironic post about how opinions are butterflies into a serious complaint,
[pete wonders for a moment if he'd misunderstood Tommy]

quote:
I can't help but conclude that you are deliberately being dishonest about what I said.
[but then Tommy goes back to channelling Everard in a pathetic and transparent attempt to avenge himself [Roll Eyes] ] Too bad. I really enjoyed the last couple months when you stopped acting like a shallow drip. I'd started respecting you and everything. [Frown]
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The Drake
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Some have called me simplistic because I suggest that we act ethically in our foreign policy. I agree, to me it is very simple. This doesn't mean that I'm rolling over for our enemies, abandoning our allies, or anything so melodramatic.

Our power is in our ability to retaliate. To put it in the words of an Air Force nuclear missile launch control officer that I once knew, "Our job is to have such overwhelming military force that someone would have to have brain damage to attack us."

That works against Venezuelan missiles as well as it does Russian ones, or Japanese aircraft carriers. Sure, you can kill a couple thousand of us. Then we will incinerate your cities and towns down to the last man, woman, and child. So don't even think about it.

We undermined this ability with "proportional response" in Vietnam and beyond. The idea that we would match force levels was a poor scenario. It tied our hands and encouraged enemies to use whatever means they had available, since we were barred from using our most potent weapons and capabilities.

Now, we have various treaties with nations to extend our umbrella of massive retaliation, particularly with NATO. Now, if we really don't want people attacking Columbia, this is a pretty good way - except that Columbia could then provoke someone into attacking and have us wipe them out.

Once again, I'm an isolationist in terms of foreign policy. I admit it, which is more courageous than most people who want to reduce our military presence in the world. I accept the fact that the world-at-large might be worse off, and that it could have a negative impact here at home. But honestly, how much worse could it really be? What if we had allowed North Korea to take over South Korea? What if Taiwan were left to fend for itself? I'm not sure that we're better off, once everything is added up. If Taiwan became another Hong Kong, would it really be so terrifying?

As to why we need to live by the words that we preach to the rest of the world, anyone whose Mom or Dad ever told them, "Do as I say, not as I do" knows the answer to that question. You lose all credibility.

Let's take our marbles and go home. I don't want to play any more. America needs to lead by example, setting an ethical example and demonstrating how very prosperous your democracy can become when you don't try to bend the rest of the world to your will. This worked really well right up until the bastard Woodrow Wilson really accelerated us on the world domination path.

quote:
While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rival ships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.
President George Washington
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
Some have called me simplistic because I suggest that we act ethically in our foreign policy.

Not that so much as your definition of what "ethical" means, i.e allowing nutcase enemies to have weapons of mass destruction.
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