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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jkcerda, Sep 18, 2014.
what a neat little mess it is
Except that is incorrect.
We have a foreign policy?
ok,what? the meme? or the fact we have a mess for a FP?
Meme. I understand what it is trying to say "our FM is a mess", but the example is inaccurate.
Which part is incorrect? Last year we were talking about intervening to take out Assad and help the rebels, now we are talking about going after IS which is one of those rebel groups. And I believe that the house just passed a bill to authorize funding to send more weapons to Syria. And while the money and weapons may not go directly to IS as the most powerful rebel group they will likely be able to get ahold of them from other rebels.
I do think that Obama is better than the other options we had to vote for the last two elections, but that doesn't mean he is actually good, the other options were just worse.
nice to see common ground
When the discussion was about supporting the rebels against Assad, IS was not part of that rebel that we were talking about. FSA is who we talked about. And we never armed or funded them as the meme implies, we stood by why they got slaughtered.
So yes, it is inaccurate.
But the idea that our FP is so confusing, messed up is super accurate. Because the way the administration talk about everything is like walking on egg shells.
Actually, in Syria, there are -there were- good rebels (like in Star Wars) but seeing he was losing ground, Assad manoeuvred so that the most radicals islamists factions got also in the fight, so that the Western powers supporting the rebels were caught between a rock and a hard place. Smart move, it's become a cluster**** of ****, and they'd all be ready to go back to the pre-arab springs status quo.
There may be slightly less bad radicals, just like there were in Afghanistan when Reagan armed the Mujahadeen against the Soviets, and look how that turned out. And there was no way that those weapons were going to stay out of the hands of groups like IS if we sent them to the "moderate rebels"
"Let me be clear" and "Make no mistake" are the two weakest and most hackneyed phrases in modern English rhetoric. When I hear Obama (or any politician) utter them, I wonder who the hell writes his speeches. College kids? His words are bloodless, stale and banal. It's little wonder most Americans have tuned him out.
It's how a every fairy tale a politician tells begins. It's like how regular folks use "Once upon a time..." or how we Southerners use, "You ain't gonna believe this..."
What would you geniuses (the ones who apparently are so much smarter than the President, the vast US intelligence, diplomatic, and military communities) do about ISIS and the situation in Iraq and Syria?
ISIS grabbed headlines because it graphically decapitated a couple of innocent Americans. It ought to be noted that they'd been graphically decapitating Syrian army troops; Iraq army troops; Christians, Shiites, and pretty much anyone they felt like for several months now. But murdering Americans (and now Brits) and posting the video on YouTube seems - not totally unsurprisingly - to get people here a little bit worked up. People expect their Government to prevent such things from happening. And when they (almost inevitably) do happen - they demand a response.
What options do we have?
1) Nuke the entire region. The gut response, but not really on the cards, for a host of reasons, starting with the fact that it would end up being the greatest warcrime in modern history.
2) Reinvade Iraq. Send a half dozen US Army combat brigades to destroy ISIS on the battlefield. Well, obviously thats not only going to be expensive and unpopular - but also unlikely to work. We spent twelve years fighting against an insurgency that merely planted roadside bombs.
3) Do nothing. Hope that the Iraqis, or the Iranians, or the Kurds, or the Saudis, or the Syrians (some part of the Syrians, not quite sure which) or the Turks get their act together and do something. But if not, wait for the regular people of Iraq and Syria to get wise to the fact that having serial decapitators running things isn't an effective strategy for good Governance.
(Arguably, this would be the smart policy. But its not politically - to say morally - going to work. What US President wants to be accused of doing nothing while not only genocide, but YouTube'd decapitations of American journalists and aid workers, were going on?)
4) Do what we are currently doing. Which means using US air power (or which we have a crap ton) to drop guided missiles on whatever ISIS assets we can identify. The chances of ISIS bringing down a US aircraft are pretty small. We can afford the gas and the bombs. It, if nothing else, is good training for the pilots and crews.
Out of the four options, I think we aren't doing that badly. Maybe one of you geniuses has a better idea - but other than heaping scorn on the current Administration - I have yet to see any evidence of this.
I'm all ears, Smart Guys.
Back in the service we started all our stories with "There I was..."
I like #3 but #4 is most realistic. However, I think we could lose some planes. ISIS has shot-down plenty of Syrian jets. While our pilots are the best in the world, the F-15/18s are not stealthy (although I'm sure they're only bombing at night) and are somewhat vulnerable to ground fire.
How can we afford that? We seem to be at risk of the government shutting down fairly regularly because the Republicans say we are spending too much, and while they are wrong for not wanting to do cuts to the military they are right we are spending too much. Before Iraq and Afghanistan we had a surplus and then we turned that into a pretty big deficit. So we can't afford it if we want to run the rest of our country.
Yep. Its been the same since the 1950s.
Start Proxy Wars against ideas countries far away from America.
Fund Both Sides
Keep making new excuses to go in.
Military industrial complex, its owners and shareholders make large profits that are then moved outside of the country.
Poor and middle class kids die in the military while being paid next to nothing and denied healthcare.
Wash and Repeat.
That is how America operates.
The military pays a decent living wage (if you're a junior enlisted with eight kids, you may get food stamps) and free healthcare is just one of the numerous benefits. A 100% free college education after you get out is another.
Very correct statement. Many believe the military is poorly paid because they have never served and don't understand how pay and allowances work. When someone in in the military is applying for food stamps they only are required to declare their base pay. Let's take an example for clarity...
SPC Johnny Smith has been in the service two years. He is married. Smith is stationed at the US Army Ranger School in Dahlonega, GA. BAH is calculated based on the zip code where you are stationed. I used one of the lowest.
Base Pay $25,221 per year ($2102 per month)
Clothing Allowance $1,567 per year (If Johnny was female she'd get $1,798)
Basic Allowance for Subsistence $4,291 per year
Basic Allowance for Housing $15,732 per year
This totals $46,811 per year. It doesn't include anything Special Pay which are based on occupations: Language Skills, Combat, Flight, Hazardous Duty. All that is used to determine food stamp eligibility? $2,102 per month or $25,224 per year.
Hopefully, this example clears up how our poorly our military is paid.
The plain and simple fact is that organisations like ISIS are never going to go away. Angry young men of all nationalities and religions like to play soldier but lack the discipline. All we can do is contain them, devoting resources according to the magnitude of the risk.
Blaming Obama (or even Dubya) for events that have unfolded over decades, if not centuries, is silly.
Pretty much. Blaming the puppet is the trendy thing to do, especially when we have a black guy in a country that still has deep seeded racism in many places.
But, in reality, the President is just that.. a puppet. This **** is run by big money and the military industrial complex, and until that changes, it doesn't matter who occupies that oval office, nothing will change.
Eisenhower warned us but Americans as a whole are too damn ignorant or lazy to pick up the history books and understand it.
I have the very strong belief that the US has not had a real coherent Foreign Policy for decades.
The US has for too long made decisions to solve short term objectives, but these same decisions have always had very long term consequences.
A classic example the support for Iraq, to act as a buffer to Iran in the 1980’s. Saddam at this period was seen a valuable ally, it was enough that he was anti Iranian.
You are incorrect.
The US Foreign Policy that is in place is very well planned and thought out. Its built to provide funds to Defense companies and Wall Street at the expensive of millions of ruined lifes, and thousands of dead American soldiers.
No, its not.
US Foreign policy over the past fifty years has been far from perfect. And you may certainly assert that the US Government has spent too much on its Defense department over that same period.
But to claim that defense spending is what drives foreign policy is to put the cart very much before the horse.
The paramount goal of US Foreign policy has been to safeguard the territory and people of the United States. And it has largely been successful in this regard.
The Foreign policy disasters of the past half-century (Vietnam and Iraq) were initiated to contain or destroy forces seen by the then administrations as representing threats to the US. The fact that those Administrations were fundamentally wrong about those assumptions is a tragedy.
But, at least in the case of Lyndon Johnson, does it not seem more likely that he would have preferred to spend this nation's treasure on social programs and infrastructure here in the US - rather than on guns, bombs, and napalm to kill Vietnamese?
One may certainly argue that we spend too much on defense. And you may also argue that Defense contractors, as an industry, have too much influence on our Congress and the Budgeting process.
But to believe that influence extends to the point of pushing the diplomats of Foggy Bottom or the policy wonks in the West Wing to maneuver the US toward more armed conflict, is simply wrong.
You have a talent for understatement. Are you sure you're American?
...and the commercial and hegemonic interests of the US, of course, at the cost of almost any collateral damage.
Stretch the envelope slightly and you could include Korea. And what about Afghanistan? Not physical threats, though, were they? Iraq wasn't any threat at all then. Now, of course, it is a nightmare for the whole region.
When all you can offer is a hammer, it makes sense to identify every problem as a nail.