What's the definition of "whole bunch?"

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Replies

  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    sherb wrote: »
    I just don't think we have thought this through. I'm a big believer in deterrence, but I don't know if a strike will have the necessary deterrent effect on Iran, and I don't think at this point we can forsee the consequences of intervention. All of this could have been avoided if Obama had not drawn a line in the sand with respect to Syria. Now he almost has to act. So we are faced with a situation where the ongoing maintenance of the modern liberal international order looks to me a lot like whack-a-mole. Baathist dictator sticks his head up, Obama whacks it down. What happens if Assad's regime suddenly collapses (along with the bureaucracy that maintains it) and the jihadists take over? Do we want that? How does THAT benefit us?

    Given the complexity of the relationships at work here it's virtually impossible to do anything with a positive political outcome. We seem to think that everything we do has to have a political impact where in fact this is a humanitarian crisis as well as a geopolitical Shitpile. I say it's important for us to make a statement on the use of horrible weapons, not doing so makes us complicit and weak. I don't give a **** who wins this war as we gain no benefit regardless of the ultimate victor. I do care about chemical or bio weapons and letting regimes cross that line.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • What gives me pause here is a sea change in elite attitudes towards the use of American military power over the last 20 years. It seems to me that the default position of our political and journalistic elites is hawkishness. But shouldn't our default position with regard to a unipolar world be one of skepticism? Skepticism about our preferred outcome. skepticism about the motives of those who support strikes. Skepticism about Iran's reaction. Skepticism about ends and means. Are these the means we want to use to reach our preferred ends? what are those ends?

    And what's crazier to me is that we haven't have a lot of success. Frankly, the results have been mixed at best. Iraq? a wash. Afghanistan? a wash (though it could have been won). Libya, victory. And yet despite this, the default position seems to be when in doubt, bomb. We have to send a message! Looks to me like the only message we are sending is that our ability to project our power is limited.
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 10,211 Senior Member
    Saw this on Facebook today. Made me laugh.

    66772_374176809351772_384308086_n.jpg
  • Just as an aside, I'm not convinced by what might be called the Ed B. argument: that since we didn't stop Saddam from using chemical weapons, we are forever barred from stopping or deterring their use in the future. I don't find that argument convincing at all. The facts on the ground might warrant intervention in a given situation, or they might not. The geopolitics of the 1980's are of limited usefulness in determining how we should act in a unipolar world.

    I just don't see this current intervention as well thought out. What is Obama's strategy or vision for the middle east? does he have one? What criteria is he relying on when he decides who to bomb or where to intervene? The entire approach appears ad-hoc, designed primarily to avoid the appearance of weakness. I'll grant that this is a longstanding issue for democrats, but by itself such grounds are inadequate.
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,941 Senior Member
    I submit that Obama's strategy for the middle east is the same as Bush's and the neocons that instigated it in Afghanistan and then Iraq. The ultimate goal is the overthrow of Iran and military/economic control of the middle east. Syria is part of the original axis of evil and it's necessary to get rid of Assad to weaken Iran so they can be overthrown and a compliant regime put in place in both Syria and Iran.

    That's Obama's strategy and it's still as insane, stupid, illegal, and immoral as it was when Bush started it over one million innocent dead people ago. What we should do is stop bullying people with our military and work to get both sides in Syria to the negotiation table to end the conflict there and then stay the hell out of the middle east were we have no good reason to be involved militarily.
  • Yes Obama's after the Falafel monopoly.
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,331 Senior Member
    I think by stating that it was a red line and now having that line crossed (again) we have to basically $hit or get off the pot. Whether we like it or not we are the world police (aka Team America) and if we are going to preach and lecture other countries about how they behave then we better back up our stance or just keep our mouths shut.

    I'm not sure what the appropriate action is at this point. But assuming we go in I would favor airstrikes and cruise missiles on any know chemical weapons sites, SAM sites and any other regime military hardware favoring Assad, such as Russian Hinds and fighters.
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    EdB wrote: »
    I submit that Obama's strategy for the middle east is the same as Bush's and the neocons that instigated it in Afghanistan and then Iraq. The ultimate goal is the overthrow of Iran and military/economic control of the middle east. Syria is part of the original axis of evil and it's necessary to get rid of Assad to weaken Iran so they can be overthrown and a compliant regime put in place in both Syria and Iran.

    That's Obama's strategy and it's still as insane, stupid, illegal, and immoral as it was when Bush started it over one million innocent dead people ago. What we should do is stop bullying people with our military and work to get both sides in Syria to the negotiation table to end the conflict there and then stay the hell out of the middle east were we have no good reason to be involved militarily.

    Ed, I am completely bewildered by your suggestion that we do nothing except mediate some sort of negotiation between the warring parties.....but both sides are American enemies...so why the hell would they be at all interested in what we might suggest? We have zero leverage in Syria now and in the future. The only people with any hope to force negotiations are friends of Syria (Iran and Russia) and friends of the rebels (???).

    You evidently care nothing for the civilians involved and would permit the Syrian government to kill as many of them as they see fit.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,941 Senior Member
    You must have seen the evidence that proves the Syrian gov't caused the horrible disaster, I haven't, or have you formed your opinion on what the U.S. gov't says happened?

    Included in negotiations would be all the countries in the area including Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Jordan plus all sides in the Syrian civil war. We would need to convince our Arab allies to stop instigating for war in Syria as well, as it is clear they are doing. After all, we have significant leverage with them through our monetary and military aid.

    How many innocent civilians will die in our attack? Do you actually believe our government's claim that there will be minimal "collateral damage"? That's what they said about our attack against Iraq which proved untrue.
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,941 Senior Member
    jbilly wrote: »
    I think by stating that it was a red line and now having that line crossed (again) we have to basically $hit or get off the pot. Whether we like it or not we are the world police (aka Team America) and if we are going to preach and lecture other countries about how they behave then we better back up our stance or just keep our mouths shut.

    I'm not sure what the appropriate action is at this point. But assuming we go in I would favor airstrikes and cruise missiles on any know chemical weapons sites, SAM sites and any other regime military hardware favoring Assad, such as Russian Hinds and fighters.

    You must have missed this info that says the rebels were responsible for previous chemical attacks.

    http://www.legitgov.org/Russia-gives-UN-forensic-proof-rebels-used-chemical-weapons-Syria

    Russia gives UN forensic proof 'rebels' used chemical weapons in Syria 10 Jul 2013 A day after Syria invited United Nations chemical weapons investigators to talks in Damascus, Russia said on Tuesday it had forensic proof that 'rebels' have used a "lethal" sarin compound and handed its evidence to the UN team for inquiry. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, permanent representative of Russia to the United Nations, told reporters he submitted an analysis, " certified by chemical weapons organizations," in "80 pages of photographs, formulas and graphs" to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon. Churkin said sarin, a colorless, odorless liquid affecting the nervous system, was in a projectile fired by the opposition into the Khan al-Asal section of Aleppo on March 19.
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,331 Senior Member
    EdB wrote: »
    You must have missed this info that says the rebels were responsible for previous chemical attacks.

    http://www.legitgov.org/Russia-gives-UN-forensic-proof-rebels-used-chemical-weapons-Syria

    Russia gives UN forensic proof 'rebels' used chemical weapons in Syria 10 Jul 2013 A day after Syria invited United Nations chemical weapons investigators to talks in Damascus, Russia said on Tuesday it had forensic proof that 'rebels' have used a "lethal" sarin compound and handed its evidence to the UN team for inquiry. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, permanent representative of Russia to the United Nations, told reporters he submitted an analysis, " certified by chemical weapons organizations," in "80 pages of photographs, formulas and graphs" to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon. Churkin said sarin, a colorless, odorless liquid affecting the nervous system, was in a projectile fired by the opposition into the Khan al-Asal section of Aleppo on March 19.

    Yeah I believe everything that Russia says about Syria. Want to buy a bridge?
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Ed, you seem to be incredibly naive about our possible influence in Syria. What possible interest would Russia and Iran have in advising Assad to negotiate with the rebels. Why would they suggest he give up anything? Syria is a client state, hugh buyer of Russia Arms and major supporter of Iran. Neither state wants any change in Syria and in fact both are working actively to support the regime. There will never be a negotiated settlement in Syria, either Assad will prevail or be replaced. Meanwhile 100's of thousands will die. Our military efforts are nothing more than a statement to Assad and Russia and Iran, simply letting them know we're watching and capable of acting.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • sherb wrote: »
    Just as an aside, I'm not convinced by what might be called the Ed B. argument: that since we didn't stop Saddam from using chemical weapons, we are forever barred from stopping or deterring their use in the future. I don't find that argument convincing at all. The facts on the ground might warrant intervention in a given situation, or they might not. The geopolitics of the 1980's are of limited usefulness in determining how we should act in a unipolar world.

    totally agree with this part.
    sherb wrote: »
    I just don't see this current intervention as well thought out. What is Obama's strategy or vision for the middle east? does he have one? What criteria is he relying on when he decides who to bomb or where to intervene? The entire approach appears ad-hoc, designed primarily to avoid the appearance of weakness. I'll grant that this is a longstanding issue for democrats, but by itself such grounds are inadequate.

    This part of the equation is more difficult as there as usual so many players in the area. Are we doing it to send a message to Iran? Are we doing it to "promote democracy" a la "W" which didn't work out either. Or are we doing it to get rid of a self serving tyrant willing to kill his citizens and let the chips fall where they may? Assad is an Alawite and they are the minority in Syria but a majority of the Syrian Army. (Similar situation in Iraq w/ Saddam but not an Alawite) You can be sure the rebels are probably in no mood to leave any Alawite military structure in the country so what happens in the power vac?

    Pay back would be my guess.
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,941 Senior Member
    This is more evidence that the upcoming attack on Syria by the U.S. is part of the original neocon plan to take over the middle east militarily.

    http://warisacrime.org/node/19200


    Gen. Wesley Clark Says Pentagon Had Plan in 2001 to Attack Seven Countries in Five Years

    By davidswanson - Posted on 04 March 2007


    This is an excerpt of Gen. Wesley Clark in a Democracy Now interview with Amy Goodman:

    GEN. WESLEY CLARK: I knew why, because I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, "Sir, you've got to come in and talk to me a second." I said, "Well, you're too busy." He said, "No, no." He says, "We've made the decision we're going to war with Iraq." This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, "We're going to war with Iraq? Why?" He said, "I don't know." He said, "I guess they don't know what else to do." So I said, "Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?" He said, "No, no." He says, "There's nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq." He said, "I guess it's like we don't know what to do about terrorists, but we've got a good military and we can take down governments." And he said, "I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail."

    So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, "Are we still going to war with Iraq?" And he said, "Oh, it's worse than that." He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, "I just got this down from upstairs" -- meaning the Secretary of Defense's office -- "today." And he said, "This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran." I said, "Is it classified?" He said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Well, don't show it to me." And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, "You remember that?" He said, "Sir, I didn't show you that memo! I didn't show it to you!"
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Gosh Ed, we're way behind schedule. Time we caught up.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,941 Senior Member
    dryflie wrote: »
    Gosh Ed, we're way behind schedule. Time we caught up.

    That's what they're trying to do in Syria as we speak.

    The gov't is behind schedule because their foreign policy is a failure. All they've accomplished is ruining the lives of millions of innocent people and plunging the entire Middle East into chaos and disorder. Do you support this neocon foreign policy?

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