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Tywin Manderly

US Politics: Time to Stock Up

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Just now, Ghjhero said:

We did that in Syria and it led to the rise of ISIS, an increase in Russian influence in the Middle East and the continuing refugee crisis we see affecting Europe which has in turn fueled the right of the far right. 

And you know what, that is better than years of US involvement there, creating its own set of problems. An Syria would likely never have happened if Iraq had never happened.

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7 minutes ago, Ghjhero said:

The correct response would have been to support Gaddafi and keep him in power and quell the uprising.

I don't think upholding dictators in the interest of global stability is the "correct" response.  In fact as we've seen post-WWII often that effort leads to increasing instability.  But, I also don't think the response to democratic uprisings among unstable regimes should be "doing nothing."  That leads to things like Clinton standing by while the Hutus eviscerated the Tutsi.  Even with more critical distance, failed states are not conducive to global stability, which is what all major powers seek.  So, again, I don't know the middle ground.  The left has come up with "smart" power, and that's a cute term, but I don't know exactly what that means beyond what we've been doing for centuries.

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21 minutes ago, Ghjhero said:

We did that in Syria and it led to the rise of ISIS, an increase in Russian influence in the Middle East and the continuing refugee crisis we see affecting Europe which has in turn fueled the right of the far right. 

Actually, ISIS was the result of US involvement in Iraq.

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It's time for the American people to stand up in every venue open to them and demand Trump resign.

He's proven his inability to lead over and over and nobody around him including his own lackeys believe he can.  He must go away now.

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4 minutes ago, DMC said:

I don't think upholding dictators in the interest of global stability is the "correct" response.  In fact as we've seen post-WWII often that effort leads to increasing instability.  But, I also don't think the response to democratic uprisings among unstable regimes should be "doing nothing."  That leads to things like Clinton standing by while the Hutus eviscerated the Tutsi.  Even with more critical distance, failed states are not conducive to global stability, which is what all major powers seek.  So, again, I don't know the middle ground.  The left has come up with "smart" power, and that's a cute term, but I don't know exactly what that means beyond what we've been doing for centuries.

For me, stability should be largely based around upholding the integrity of nation states. I have no problem of using US military force to protect the national sovereignty of other nations, particularly long established allies.

The trouble starts, in my opinion, is when we try to involve ourselves into the internal affairs of other nations. That usually involves a whole host of complicated political problems that we often don't understand or are so complex that it is hard to parse them.

In the case of a massive genocide I would be okay with a military intervention. But, it would have to be something truly horrific and not just merely a brutal conflict. Ideally that would be done with large international support.

But outside a clear and demonstrable genocide, I'm extremely skeptical of US military interventions, even if done for humanitarian reasons. It seems to me that more often than than not, those type of interventions often ending up being boondoggles. And of course, there should be a healthy dose of skepticism when politicians claim the interventions are being done for humanitarian reasons. Even if the politician is making a good faith argument, one has to ask if said politician has been realistic about the potential damage done, the length of the intervention, and the likelihood that things may not turn out as well as intended.

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Posted (edited)

I love it when I find studies that back up my bullshit claims. In this one, Sanders doesn't have more sexist supporters in general (that'd be Biden), but he attracts the MOST sexist supporters at a crazy high rate.

Quote

Among voters with the lowest sexism scores, Warren had 41 percent support; but that falls to less than 10 percent among those with the highest sexism scores. Support for former Vice-President Joe Biden increases steadily along with sexism, and individuals with the highest sexism scores disproportionately favor Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

and

Quote

“Educated Democrats who are quite sexist are disproportionately likely to be Sanders supporters,” said Cassino. “To be clear, there aren’t a lot of those people in the Democratic Party. But because of their education and social capital, they’re probably more inclined to tell people about their views and express them online.”

 

Edited by Kalbear

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This has been a sobering few weeks. For three years Trump has irresponsibly goosed the markets using all our tools to help combat a recession, and here we. Most of the gains are gone, and the market could be under 20,000 after tomorrow. We're staring down a recession with nothing to show for it except an even more broke and broken country. And now we can sprinkle some pandemic on top of it.

This is why you don't elected a failed businessman turned reality T.V. star to any office, let alone the presidency. 

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37 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

And you know what, that is better than years of US involvement there, creating its own set of problems. An Syria would likely never have happened if Iraq had never happened.

Yes

15 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Actually, ISIS was the result of US involvement in Iraq.

And yes again, we should never have gone into Iraq. That unequivocally created ISIS, but so was staying out of Syria once a crisis was already in sight. The common theme between Iraq, Syria and Libya is that I believe we should support dictators in the Middle East that maintain a stable country. We’ve seen the alternative, terrorists and failed states. It isn’t perfect, but it’s better than the alternative. 
 

Our foreign policy after the Cold War has been rather aimless and quite off the rails in the ME. Iraq was certainly our original sin and it got worse from there. Prioritizing security rather than any vague notion of nation building should be our aim. 

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6 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

The trouble starts, in my opinion, is when we try to involve ourselves into the internal affairs of other nations. That usually involves a whole host of complicated political problems that we often don't understand or are so complex that it is hard to parse them.

In the case of a massive genocide I would be okay with a military intervention. But, it would have to be something truly horrific and not just merely a brutal conflict. Ideally that would be done with large international support.

But outside a clear and demonstrable genocide

But when's the threshold?  How do you distinguish "genocide" from a civil war of a foreign state?  This isn't an academic question.  It is exactly the query when there are uprisings and they are being "quelled" by the ruling regime - or not and the insurgents are inflicting the same thing on the prior ruling class.  Or both.  "Clear and demonstrable" genocide is largely a myth.  Every war involves one group that wants to destroy another group - and vice versa - that's why there's a war.  Obviously, there are certain cases where it's very blatant, like Rwanda, Darfur, or Bosnia. 

But there are plenty of other cases where the US has the ability to step in and stop or quell mass violence.  Should we abandon that imperative just because we've been such dicks about it during the Cold War and even after?  To me that seems to be just throwing up your hands and saying "fuck it," instead of actually trying to help when we can.  This is totally idealistic and pretty much irrelevant to the reality of American politics right now, but that's not the type of country I want to be a part of.

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5 minutes ago, DMC said:

But when's the threshold?  How do you distinguish "genocide" from a civil war of a foreign state?  This isn't an academic question.  It is exactly the query when there are uprisings and they are being "quelled" by the ruling regime - or not and the insurgents are inflicting the same thing on the prior ruling class.  Or both.  "Clear and demonstrable" genocide is largely a myth.  Every war involves one group that wants to destroy another group - and vice versa - that's why there's a war.  Obviously, there are certain cases where it's very blatant, like Rwanda, Darfur, or Bosnia. 

I think you and I agree that the invasion of Iraq was a massive mistake. Yet, Saddam did, at times, commit genocide or used violence against against innocent civilians. Yet, we would both agree, the "cure" ended up being worse than the disease. I can't think of a threshold right now, but will think about this some more. But, I submit, based on Iraq, you'd agree that some kind of threshold does exist.

7 minutes ago, DMC said:

But there are plenty of other cases where the US has the ability to step in and stop or quell mass violence.  Should we abandon that imperative just because we've been such dicks about it during the Cold War and even after?  To me that seems to be just throwing up your hands and saying "fuck it," instead of actually trying to help when we can.  This is totally idealistic and pretty much irrelevant to the reality of American politics right now, but that's not the type of country I want to be a part of.

I'm not blind or indifferent to the suffering of others. But, as I said, in the prior paragraph, our attempts to cure a situation, often makes things worse.

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1 minute ago, OldGimletEye said:

I think you and I agree that the invasion of Iraq was a massive mistake. Yet, Saddam did, at times, commit genocide or used violence against against innocent civilians. Yet, we would both agree, the "cure" ended up being worse than the disease. I can't think of a threshold right now, but will think about this some more. But, I submit, based on Iraq, you'd agree that some kind of threshold does exist.

Interesting example to bring up.  A few days ago there was some consternation here that Joe Biden had the gall to say Saddam Hussein should be ousted.  As if that's a bad thing to assert.  How you do it is the question.  You're right of course, I thought at the time that the way Dubya did it was insanely stupid and would just advance Iran's interests in the region, which it did.  But that doesn't mean ousting Hussein was a bad idea.  It just means figuring out a better way to do it.  I readily admit, I don't that better way.  Maybe there isn't.  But I think it's an interesting question to throw around.

5 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

I'm not blind or indifferent to the suffering of others. But, as I said, in the prior paragraph, our attempts to cure a situation, often makes things worse.

Sure, to be clear, I'm not trying to guilt you or anyone else here on "not caring about the suffering of others."  No.  Big No.  That's not my intent in the least bit and people that do that very much annoy me.  Just think it's a good discussion while I'm effectively quarantined in my apartment or bars for the next month (at least).

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38 minutes ago, Zorral said:

It's time for the American people to stand up in every venue open to them and demand Trump resign.

He's proven his inability to lead over and over and nobody around him including his own lackeys believe he can.  He must go away now.

His base it still behind him. I was just reading a FB post where a high school friend reposted a long take from doctor that said not to panic about the virus. Immediately a bunch of Trump supporters chimed in that the whole thing is being overblown to make Trump look bad. It's disheartening. 

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

Not that this is surprising, but it is at this point entirely clear that Trump did not want further testing because he was afraid the numbers would hurt his re-election chances. And that is why the US is several orders of magnitude behind.

 

 

If this isn't brought up incessantly by Democrats seeking to get elected in any and all races this year, then they're doing something very wrong...

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

This has been a sobering few weeks. For three years Trump has irresponsibly goosed the markets using all our tools to help combat a recession, and here we. Most of the gains are gone, and the market could be under 20,000 after tomorrow. We're staring down a recession with nothing to show for it except an even more broke and broken country. And now we can sprinkle some pandemic on top of it.

This is why you don't elected a failed businessman turned reality T.V. star to any office, let alone the presidency. 

But...but...the unbridled, the unfettered, racism!

Edited by Jaxom 1974

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, DMC said:

Interesting example to bring up.  A few days ago there was some consternation here that Joe Biden had the gall to say Saddam Hussein should be ousted.  As if that's a bad thing to assert.  How you do it is the question.  You're right of course, I thought at the time that the way Dubya did it was insanely stupid and would just advance Iran's interests in the region, which it did.  But that doesn't mean ousting Hussein was a bad idea.  It just means figuring out a better way to do it.  I readily admit, I don't that better way.  Maybe there isn't.  But I think it's an interesting question to throw around.

The problem of "how you do it" is basically is how do you pull off a "regime change", without it becoming an utter mess. Even with some of the idiotic military planning that went on, thanks to the pie-in-the sky assessments of the neocons and Rumsfeld, the military part is relatively easy ( the initial military phase of invasion and removal that is). As I said, the military excels at destroying shit. But, when it comes up to setting up a stable regime in a country that has a host of political problems that are complicated and you barely understand, regime change becomes extremely hard. And unless you have a high degree of confidence that you can successfully and realistically pull off regime change, your best option is likely not to try it in the first place.

27 minutes ago, DMC said:

Sure, to be clear, I'm not trying to guilt you or anyone else here on "not caring about the suffering of others."  No.  Big No.  That's not my intent in the least bit and people that do that very much annoy me.  Just think it's a good discussion while I'm effectively quarantined in my apartment or bars for the next month (at least).

I know you're not the type to try to get cheap emotional points in an argument. So maybe I didn't phrase that as well as I could have. I guess what I mean is that often in these situations there is an urge to do something.  But "doing something" is often the result of an emotional reaction that we all feel when we see this sort of stuff happen. But, when deciding to do the right thing in these situations, we can't let our emotions get the best of us because the stakes of making a mistake are so high. We have to be utterly cool in our assessments. And that means in any given situation, we truly need to understand all the details and what could go wrong and their probable cost. Often I feel the people who advocate for interventions haven't given thorough consideration for all the issues involved and are unrealistic about the realities of combat.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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Huh, will you look at that, young voters did turn out huge for Bernie. It's just that Boomers also had a big turnout to slap their kids down once again. They won't turn out for Biden though. It's over. Four more years of Trump, I guess. The first time Democrats unified and strategized in a manner that helped them win also destroyed huge chunk of Democratic voters. 

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42 minutes ago, Zorral said:

It's time for the American people to stand up in every venue open to them and demand Trump resign.

He's proven his inability to lead over and over and nobody around him including his own lackeys believe he can.  He must go away now.

I'll send out the resistance mailers and you start buying half a million hotdogs. We will meet in D.C. exactly 20 days from now to begin our campaign of resignation!

7 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Why'd you have to go and get @Jace, Basilissa all hot and bothered? 

A mass grave without corpses is like a lace thong in Louisiana during a July heat wave. Just twisted and counterproductive.

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1 minute ago, OldGimletEye said:

But, when it comes up to setting up a stable regime in a country that has a host of political problems that are complicated and you barely understand regime change becomes extremely hard. And unless you have a high degree of confidence that you can successfully and realistically pull off regime change, your best option is likely not to try it in the first place.

I agree whole-heartedly.  But how can we!  Let's say there's a fantasy utopia, where the APSA, MPSA, SPSA conferences and all the ideas expressed therein are actually listened to by elites.  The US - we - have the capability to do so much good, if we wanted.  Much more than we actually do - just look at the foreign aid budget.  Yes, we've always fucked things up, hard to think of a counter-example on our intervention.  But!  Maybe we can figure out a way to not fuck things up?  Or do you think that's impossible?  

This isn't an emotional response.  It's a discussion question.  If you just think it's folly, fair enough.

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