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Thread: Syria crisis: France raises use of force(edited)

  1. #121
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    Re: France, suddenly has backbone

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    Freedom will end the move to extreme religion. Democracy hasn't killed Christianity either. But we in the West have stumbled and tripped our way through creating prosperous nations despite Christianity demanding obedience form kings and eventually tearing itself apart during the reformation. Perhaps we could give Arabs more than a couple years to figure a few things out? After all, they have been subjugated for a very long time. This is a region that has been shaken and shaken. Eventually, the top has to come off. Even Iraq's tribal violence has come from decades of not being allowed to sot out matters healthily.

    At the birth of being freed from oppression, this region will do what is natural and seek religious leadership. They, after all, are the organized political parties on deck. However, this is temporary. These political parties may prove more than willing to compromise because even they have accepted that after all their violence and hatred, real power only comes through democracy. The Muslim Brotherhood has learned this. They also know that in order to maintain that power in Egypt, they will have to create an environment that the people want (education, freedom of expression, etc.). They will insist on their religious BS as they go, but they will face forward. Even Iran was electing more and more liberal presidents until the Majlis saw the writing on the walls and approved of Ahmenadejed (a Khomieni disciple). "Palestine" is a special case and is important. Palestinians spend more time being reminded that they are supposed to hate by Arabs elsewhere than actually hating. Used by religious zealots throughout the region, Palestinians act as the focus point for twisted regimes who need their people hating something outside their borders. The Israeli/Palestinian issue will always do. But the fact is that if Arabs spent as much energy seeking to change their own troubles as they do about hating a country where Muslims are the freest, they would have done this "Arab Spring" long ago.

    But look at it this way. If France can take almost 75 years to get democracy right and even embrace an emporer (Napoleon) along the way.....and Germany can elect a dictator (Hitler), both of whom wrecked havoc upon Europe....maybe Arabs can be forgiven for a few stumbles that will probably not affect much?
    I see no evidence democracy ends extreme religion. In the Muslim world as well as here, the extremes exist. We are not by any streach fighting all muslims, but instead a small minority. Just as can happen here, the extremes have had good luck using religion to highten their call. We've fought on God's side a time or two ourselves. The enemy is small in number, but is helped by our inability to understand the motivations. We too often mistake the symptoms as the cause, and wrongly think we can dicatate the outcome. We can't. They have to travel that path and determine their destiny themselves. Our meddling will likley only make things worse in the long run.

    Once again, we aren't talking about the absence of terrorism. We are talking about mass organized groups, their exportation, and society's stagnation because of terrorism. McVeigh does not equal Al-Queda or the countless other organizations that thrive in the Middle East because its social environment encourages a never ending recruitment pool willing to hate a foreign devil. The freedom to express and to elect true representation greatly reduces the man's capacity to organize and be heard through other means. This is 101 stuff.
    And I did not say absence. Let me repeat what I said: "First history on not clear on your claim (freedom lessens terrorism). Terrorism has been prevenlent everywhere regardless of political system." They are not stagnet because of terrorism. And freedom will not prevent them from hating the foreign devil, in fact or efforts re-enforce that we are the devil they claim we are.

    BTW, McVey was not alone. He belonged to a group. The KKK is not alone, but a group. And when these groups feel their view of the world uis threatened, they act violently. We've seen it ebfore, and we'll see it again. Freeedom has not lessened it. Not here. Not in Brittian. Not really anywhere. The premise you present is flawed fundamentally. There is no evidence that freedom or lack of freedom plays much of a role at all in terrorism.


    I'm sure we are doing all of that as well. Iraq and Afghanistan were just our local involvements for expressed reasons. This entire regions knows that in order to be prosperos they have to join the world, which means dealing with America and allies. China is fine dealing with the dictators. We have proven that we want that behavior behind us. You think the Muslim Brotherhood will refuse to do business with the powers of the world and not give their people what they promised?
    Perhaps we are. Likely they were doing both as well. But one works against the other. The public, big show, works to keep enough angry that you lose the advantage. Where is you keep it behind the scenes, there is less clutter, less public outcry, and more ability to get cooperation. Sometimes working smarter is better than working reckless.

    This would hardly satisfy the American thirst for revenge, which is what all of America wanted.
    yes, we ahd the fever. Just as a mob does when they want to lynch someone, too often the wrong someone. But should we cater to that mentality, or do bring reason to the table? And wouldn't it have been better to have him and not be on snipe hunts all over the place? I think we get better from people when we expect better, don't you?


    Japan attacked Hawaii almost a year prior to Guadacanal. They were done with out soil.

    Germany declaring war on us had nothing to do with our soil. Castro had also declared war on us during the Cold War.

    It's our presence around the globe that offers protections to all regions where we conduct business. If we simply vacated these positions, nations like South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, etc. would be a mess of violence and upheaval...and so would our business ties.
    Fact is Japan did attack our soil. That is defense when you strike back. Afghanistan, and Iraq even more so, did nothing remotely like that.

    And when a nation declares war on you, espeically then, there is a reasonable expectation they will attack you. So it too is a different situation, and one that fits every just war situation. Castro, the result of interfering in Cuba to start with, declared no real war. And unlike Germany, had no real army. But a wise president both delt with the real threat there and didn't recklessly lead us into a mess.

    But we can work on history in the proper forum.

    As for around the world, being in South Korea is not equal to onvading North Korea. Working with allies is not equal to invading other countries. Hell, even Israel told a couople of years ago to claim down concering Iran (I won't look it up again tonight). We have to make a distinction between supporting allies and invading countries. VN is better today, more workable with us, than it was when we fought them. We were unable, and pick your reason, to make them a democracy. But, they trade with us fine now. If we look close at history, we actually could have had the relationship we have now, if not even better, minus all the death and destruction. VN is a perfect example of what being to ready to go to war for less than valid reasons leads us to. We have to use better judgment.
    Last edited by Boo Radley; 05-05-12 at 09:42 PM.

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    Re: Syria crisis: France raises use of force(edited)

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Access to Persian Gulf oil is a clear vital interest. There's little dispute as to what would happen if that supply were disrupted for an appreciable length of time. Hence, a logical commitment would be to ensure that access is safeguarded. Ensuring that the friendly suppliers have sufficient power to defend themselves is one element. Having contingency plans to intervene militarily if a hostile state attempts to block access is another.
    But we had a hostile state attempt to block it, and nothing happened. In fact, this has happened three times thus far, and nothing ever happens. Again, in a global economy, it's impossible to stop the oil from going where it is going to go. So on this point, we differ. I completely disagree with this concept.

    Leaders should never be judged by our transposing our hopes and aspirations on them. Judgment should be based on a clear understanding of how they perceive their nation's interests and their capacity to pursue/advance those interests. Saddam Hussein was not pro-Western. Indeed, during much of the Cold War, he was actually sympathetic to the Soviet Union. U.S. policy shifted toward Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. In part, that war was a consequence of the U.S. having abandoned a generally reliable ally, leaving Iran to fall to radicals who had expressed anti-U.S. and anti-democratic aspirations and the emergence of a power vacuum. IMO, the U.S. made a similar blunder when it came to pushing aside President Musharraf in Pakistan.
    I will agree that whatever a policy is, we should be consistent in applying it. If we are going to be an ally to the Shaw of Iran, then we should have remained an ally to the end. If we are going to defend south Vietnam, we should remained to defend south Vietnam to the end. One of the problems with having a government that is moving away from a representative republic, and more towards a democracy, is that policy changes with whichever way the wind is blowing, and that is bad for our reputation, and international opinion of us.

    However, I would argue that the policy should be consistently minimal international intervention. Minimal as in, last resort, and only when we have absolutely no other option. The reason is because the moment we ally ourselves with another nation, that nation inherently believes they can wield more power than they rightfully have. World War 1, was exactly this principal in action. Countries who typically would not have been bold enough to engage in hostile action, did so knowing they had allies who would be obligated to help if they needed it.

    Both in Iran and Pakistan, the U.S. could have worked behind the scenes with the Shah and Musharraf to promote gradual reform in a shape that is compatible with those countries' institutions, history, and culture. Instead, the U.S. assumed each time that the changes would lead to democracy. Today, Iran's people are no more free than they were under the Shah. Arguably, they're less free given the imposition of religious doctrine. Iran is also a hostile state and undertaking efforts that, if successful, could dramatically change the Middle East's balance of Power. Pakistan has a weak, ineffectual, corrupt and undemocratic regime. It is currently sliding toward failed state status and increasingly hostile to U.S. interests.
    My problem here is, even if something good did come out of some 'behind the scenes' action, we would inevitably be found out, and enemies would use that to rouse the public against us, and all of those 'good things', regardless. I mean, how many times have you heard someone blame the US for Pinochet in Chili? I've heard that dozens, if not a hundred times.

    Yet, when you dig into the details, we didn't do jack squat in Chili. We *DID* investigate helping, but it turned out there was a domestic push to remove Pascal Allende already in place, and the CIA advised doing nothing, and did nothing.

    Yet just because we investigated the possibility of helping, we've been blamed for Pinochet for almost 40 years.

    If we had actually done something, it would have only served to embolden anti-America groups throughout Latin America, and ruin all the good things we may or may not have accomplished. Again, it's best to just stay out. Open trade, be friendly, but have a more hands-off approach to everything.

    Foreign policy doesn't require military intervention. Many other tools exist. Military intervention should be a last resort. Containment was a much less expensive option for dealing with Iraq and, ultimately as it turns out, a much more effective approach than had been assumed. Furthermore, leaders don't engage relationships for economic reasons, alone. There can be cases where their objectives contradict free market dynamics. Resource nationalism is one example.

    Resources are sold, because they are needed. If they weren't needed, there would be no demand and, thus, no price/value. Therefore, oil cannot have no value in today's world. Oil is needed. Moreover, global demand for oil is growing as the global economy expands.
    Containment wasn't working. Iraq was constantly causing us problems all during the 90s. They were violating to cease fire non-stop, and all indications were that Saddam intended to support terrorist action against US targets. The point that with 20-20 hindsight we know he wasn't doing that yet, doesn't change the situation at the time, and who is to say that Saddam would not have eventually been the direct supporter of terrorist action against the US in the future? Well we know he won't now... because Bush finished the job.

    But back to the resources. Resource nationalism is completely irrelevant in my book. Venezuela nationalized the oil industry. Have you filled up at a Citgo lately? I have. ( Citgo is owned by Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., the nationalized Venezuelan oil company. ) So we're STILL getting their oil here in the US. We get oil from Iran which has nationalized oil, and Russia which still has government run oil companies, and dozens of others.

    Nationalizing a resource doesn't effect us one bit. The only people it effects are the citizens of the country which nationalized the resource, and typically the effect is that the citizens of those countries end up subsidizing those companies, or those companies don't grow and thus the economy loses out. But it most certainly doesn't stop us from purchasing their resources on the global market. ( which is even more ironic when you think about it. They are taxing their people, to effectively pay us to buy their oil. Crazy )

    Bailouts are a different matter. They entail benefits and risks. They also entail moral hazard. Yet, the cost of refraining from a bailout can sometimes be so excessive, that a bailout is pursued. The extraordinary support to prevent the collapse of the U.S. financial sector is one example. Had no action been taken, an unprecedented global depression would have unfolded.
    And yet what proof do you have of what didn't happen? This statement always bugs me, because you make a claim, and cite a non-existent evidence as the proof of concept.

    We're not in a depression, therefore if we hadn't bailed out the financial sector, we clearly would have had a depression. Huh? That does not follow. The fact we're not in a depression, doesn't prove we would have had one, without the bailouts.

    That's on the level of, we went to the moon, and that's why it's not made of cheese. If we had not have gone, it would have been.

    Iceland for example, specifically didn't bailout their banking system. They simply let them all fail, and go into bankruptcy. Iceland today, is doing better than the US and most of Europe.

    Lehman Brothers was not bailed out, and Lehman was larger by far than most of the other banks that were bailed out. Yet it didn't crash the entire financial sector. No, it simply went to bankruptcy, and the bond holders are getting some money, and the equity holders will get a few pennies on the dollar, and the rest of the assets have been (or are being) sold off by the court.

    So no, I don't buy this idea at all, that had we simply allowed the banks to go bankrupt, that it would have been the end of the world. The Great Depression should have proved this to us. Hoover tried to save the banks then too, and we had the great depression. Here we are today, and we've tried the same exact thing all over again, and the results have been simliar. No we're not in a depression, but unlike the last 4 or 5 recessions, we haven't bounced back. Our economy is stagnate.

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    Re: Syria crisis: France raises use of force(edited)

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    Yet it is. We recognized young that our commerce and prosperity in the world relied on open sea passages like the Suez and Panama. The Mediterranean Sea was where we first engaged an enemy in a deployed capacity. The Spanish-American war had everything to do with local intrusions, but spread out to the world (the first time a European colonial power was defeated). Though we maintained our sense of isolationalism, we understood what built and secured Europe from threats (internal threats being something different). Before the 20th century, we passed Britian as the number one economy in the world. This was due to our preservation of passages and the security of our trade partners while European colonial powers spent fortunes to make fortunes. After Europe's civil war in 1919, we had passed all other nations on earth to become the most powerful. After World War II we became the most powerful in history. And we have been creating a globalized world ever since, because a world that deals with grievances through a UN type setting and creates corporate business ties is a world without World Wars. Stable regions has been the key. Consider what the former Yugoslavia was. It was a humanitarian disaster full of gencide and ethnic cleansing....and it was the birth place of World War I. Therefore, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, and Kosovo had more to do with Europe than the former Yugoslavia. And without so much economy paired up with Europe, this made this location vital to our interests. Oil flow out of the Middle East was vital enough for the Soviet Union to covet and for us to maintain stability.

    The flip side to globalization is that it absolutely burdens us to world ties. There is no reboot. There's no way to un-globalize. But consider that today's time in history is the most peaceful in recorded history. This is because this world is tied together by not only an escalating number of democracies, but economic handshakes and shared interests. many things are vital because we can't isolate anymore and be what we need to be to secure our health.

    I doubt they will crash to 3rd world status, but even if, it only means that what we consider vital will change. Currently our commercial and diplomatic ties to China are as vital as our ties to Europe.
    Well yes, we consider it vital. That really doesn't mean much in my books. Ethanol was considered vital to our interests too, and we know what a scam that is now. (there's a few who still don't know, and I'll be glad to explain).

    My point is, vital is simply an ambiguous determination, largely by politicians. If you haven't figured out yet, I really couldn't care less what politicians think about anything. They are politicians. Inherently everything that they do and say for political advantage
    OBAMA Considers Everyone Close Allies In The New World Order - YouTube
    Granted this is about Obama, but it could be any politician. It's politics. It is inherently BS.

    But to copy your last statement:
    "I doubt they will crash to 3rd world status, but even if, it only means that what we consider vital will change."

    That's kind of my point. If what we consider "vital" can randomly change to fit the current situation, then clearly they are not "vital". If they were "vital" then if they crashed into a socialist hell, we would be screwed. But we're not. We simply would trade with others that have not crashed into a socialist hell. Japan used to be "vital". Now India and China are "vital". In the next 20 years, Africa could be "Vital", or Europe could rebound, and they could be "Vital" again. Ultimately, none of them are vital.

    They all are temporarily a good trading partner, and later may not.

  4. #124
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    Re: Syria crisis: France raises use of force(edited)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkles View Post
    But we had a hostile state attempt to block it, and nothing happened.
    Iran threatened to block it, but did not take such a stance. The U.S. warned that it would act to prevent any blockade. Given the vital interest involved, there can be no uncertainty. Were Iran actually to try to close off the Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. Navy would smash the attempted blockade.

    I will agree that whatever a policy is, we should be consistent in applying it. If we are going to be an ally to the Shaw of Iran, then we should have remained an ally to the end. If we are going to defend south Vietnam, we should remained to defend south Vietnam to the end. One of the problems with having a government that is moving away from a representative republic, and more towards a democracy, is that policy changes with whichever way the wind is blowing, and that is bad for our reputation, and international opinion of us.
    Political sentiment changes more rapidly than nation's interests change. Not surprisingly, even as the U.S. elected Democrats and Republicans during the Cold War, there was a great deal of continuity in U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis the Soviet Union.

    However, I would argue that the policy should be consistently minimal international intervention. Minimal as in, last resort, and only when we have absolutely no other option. The reason is because the moment we ally ourselves with another nation, that nation inherently believes they can wield more power than they rightfully have. World War 1, was exactly this principal in action. Countries who typically would not have been bold enough to engage in hostile action, did so knowing they had allies who would be obligated to help if they needed it.
    If you're suggesting military intervention should be a last resort, I agree. In most cases, many other diplomatic and other non-military approaches can be undertaken before military action becomes necessary. Non-military engagement via foreign aid, trade ties, etc., can and should be undertaken far more regularly.

    My problem here is, even if something good did come out of some 'behind the scenes' action, we would inevitably be found out, and enemies would use that to rouse the public against us, and all of those 'good things', regardless. I mean, how many times have you heard someone blame the US for Pinochet in Chili? I've heard that dozens, if not a hundred times.
    Of course there is risk. One of the lessons is that effective foreign policy needs a corresponding public relations strategy. That won't eliminate all such risk, but it can mitigate the risk. Although the toppling of the Allende regime, which was rapidly transforming itself into a dictatorship, was beneficial to U.S. interests, the U.S. did not directly topple the regime. It did threaten to cut aid for the anti-democratic policies that were being imposed and did not take a stance that the government should not be challenged by domestic elements (certain military officers) in Chile. Following the coup, it did not take a position that the Allende regime should be restored. Of course, when Allende committed suicide, that was not possible anyway.

    If we had actually done something, it would have only served to embolden anti-America groups throughout Latin America, and ruin all the good things we may or may not have accomplished. Again, it's best to just stay out.
    If the series of events that had been underway in Chile during the early 1970s was underway today, the U.S. would have played an even lesser role. Were situations such as the Vietnam War or coup in Chile or civil war in Nicaragua to have unfolded today, the U.S. response would have been far more restrained than it was during the Cold War. During the Cold War, national security interests made it impossible for the U.S. to be indifferent to events such events. Today, that is not the case. There are no compelling interests that justify intervention in Syria.

    Containment wasn't working. Iraq was constantly causing us problems all during the 90s. They were violating to cease fire non-stop, and all indications were that Saddam intended to support terrorist action against US targets. The point that with 20-20 hindsight we know he wasn't doing that yet, doesn't change the situation at the time, and who is to say that Saddam would not have eventually been the direct supporter of terrorist action against the US in the future?
    My reference to Containment related to the narrower WMD issue. Iraq was clearly engaging in provocations. But post-Iraq war, it was revealed that the Containment regime had proved surprisingly effective. Iraq had not redeveloped WMD. Moreover, from a geopolitical standpoint, Iraq had been a counterweight to Iran. Following the war, Iran has been pursuing a course that is threatening to transform the region's balance of power. Iraq no longer serves as a counterweight.

    But back to the resources. Resource nationalism is completely irrelevant in my book. Venezuela nationalized the oil industry. Have you filled up at a Citgo lately? I have. ( Citgo is owned by Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., the nationalized Venezuelan oil company. ) So we're STILL getting their oil here in the US. We get oil from Iran which has nationalized oil, and Russia which still has government run oil companies, and dozens of others.
    Resource nationalism is separate from nationalization. Resource nationalism means that countries will not engage in trade of resources on economic considerations alone. Resources will be used as a lever for advancing national interests regardless of market-based interests. Russia has used resource nationalism via suspension of natural gas transmission. China is engaging in it by reducing its export of rare earth minerals, even as a ready and growing global market exists for those minerals.

    We're not in a depression, therefore if we hadn't bailed out the financial sector, we clearly would have had a depression. Huh? That does not follow. The fact we're not in a depression, doesn't prove we would have had one, without the bailouts.
    Pre- and post-TARP developments tell the story. Stabilization only occurred months after TARP. A free fall was underway prior to TARP.

    Iceland for example, specifically didn't bailout their banking system. They simply let them all fail, and go into bankruptcy. Iceland today, is doing better than the US and most of Europe.
    That's incorrect. Iceland nationalized most of its banking system.

    The stunning collapse of Iceland - Business - US business - Bloomberg Businessweek - msnbc.com

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    Re: Syria crisis: France raises use of force(edited)

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Iran threatened to block it, but did not take such a stance. The U.S. warned that it would act to prevent any blockade. Given the vital interest involved, there can be no uncertainty. Were Iran actually to try to close off the Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. Navy would smash the attempted blockade.
    I was referring to oil, which is also what you were referring to prior to this post. As for specific geological locations of international trade, I hadn't considered that. Ironically though, most people consider international trade to be horrible, and logically should be in favor of such trade routes being closed. However, as it relates to my anti-intervention policy, I don't know... I hadn't considered this. I'll have to think about it.

    Political sentiment changes more rapidly than nation's interests change. Not surprisingly, even as the U.S. elected Democrats and Republicans during the Cold War, there was a great deal of continuity in U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis the Soviet Union.
    Actually, from the reading I have done about the cold war, it seems clear we didn't have a consistent policy at all. Many of the conflicts that started during that time, were situations created in many cases by us not having a consistent policy.

    If you're suggesting military intervention should be a last resort, I agree. In most cases, many other diplomatic and other non-military approaches can be undertaken before military action becomes necessary. Non-military engagement via foreign aid, trade ties, etc., can and should be undertaken far more regularly.
    No, I am suggesting that all action, non-military, diplomatic or otherwise, should be a last resort. For example, Iran. We shouldn't be having talks with Iran at all. The last 20 years should be proof that talking does nothing. We've talked, and talked, and talked, and talked, and golly.... we're still exactly where we were before. Same with North Korea. We've talked and talked and talked, and what a shock... 20 years later, we find out they were lying the entire time?

    No, we should have more of the Bush system. We wait until we have absolutely no alternative but to take action. Then we go to them and say here's the deal... you do X, Y, and Z, or we smash you. Then they either do X Y and Z, or we smash them.

    Going to Korea back in the 90s, and saying don't do this or else, and then they do it anyway and we do nothing, only makes us look like a paper tiger, and that virtually guarantees that they are going to force us to use force. See now, because we have babbled at them for 20 years and never done anything, now the *ONLY* way to make them see we're serious is to start dropping bombs. This is the natural result of 'blaw blaw' diplomacy for 20 years without backing it with action.

    So no, ANY action AT ALL, should be the last resort, and when we do anything, we should go in 100%.

    Of course there is risk. One of the lessons is that effective foreign policy needs a corresponding public relations strategy. That won't eliminate all such risk, but it can mitigate the risk. Although the toppling of the Allende regime, which was rapidly transforming itself into a dictatorship, was beneficial to U.S. interests, the U.S. did not directly topple the regime. It did threaten to cut aid for the anti-democratic policies that were being imposed and did not take a stance that the government should not be challenged by domestic elements (certain military officers) in Chile. Following the coup, it did not take a position that the Allende regime should be restored. Of course, when Allende committed suicide, that was not possible anyway.
    And we should not threaten to cut aid either. Of course I would suggest we should be in the business of giving aid. But the problem with cutting aid is that, this just gives a dictatorship, or any socialist government, that ability to shift blame for bad policies.

    I am skeptical of your claim it can mitigate risk.

    If the series of events that had been underway in Chile during the early 1970s was underway today, the U.S. would have played an even lesser role. Were situations such as the Vietnam War or coup in Chile or civil war in Nicaragua to have unfolded today, the U.S. response would have been far more restrained than it was during the Cold War. During the Cold War, national security interests made it impossible for the U.S. to be indifferent to events such events. Today, that is not the case. There are no compelling interests that justify intervention in Syria.
    The soviet union was ultimately done in by the complete failure that is all socialism. So I'm not sure it was necessary for us to be involved in preventing the spread of socialism.

    My reference to Containment related to the narrower WMD issue. Iraq was clearly engaging in provocations. But post-Iraq war, it was revealed that the Containment regime had proved surprisingly effective. Iraq had not redeveloped WMD. Moreover, from a geopolitical standpoint, Iraq had been a counterweight to Iran. Following the war, Iran has been pursuing a course that is threatening to transform the region's balance of power. Iraq no longer serves as a counterweight.
    I'm not convinced that Iraq was a counterweight to Iran after the end of the Iraq-Iran war. Clearly during the 80s it was, but I don't see that Iran was being held back during the 90s.

    And again, with 20-20 hindsight, it's easy to say Iraq wasn't a threat. That doesn't change the fact that at the time, Iraq was a very real threat. It's not like if they were in fact developing dirty radioactive bombs to pass off to terrorist groups, that Iraq would have advertised it in the New York Times.

    A president, or anyone really, can only go based on the information readily available, and that information suggested that Iraq was trying to develop such weapons, and was trying to gain a working relationship with terrorist groups. I don't know about you, but I don't want a president that is so pathetic, as to wait only until after a national danger physically happens, to react. We knew about Osama back in the 90s, and Clinton refused to do anything. We know about the Ayatollah Khomeini in the late 70s, and Carter refused to do anything. So 9/11 happens, and a 52 hostages are dragged through the streets of Tehran.

    This is the natural result of waiting until something bad happens, because the intelligence could be wrong....

    Resource nationalism is separate from nationalization. Resource nationalism means that countries will not engage in trade of resources on economic considerations alone. Resources will be used as a lever for advancing national interests regardless of market-based interests. Russia has used resource nationalism via suspension of natural gas transmission. China is engaging in it by reducing its export of rare earth minerals, even as a ready and growing global market exists for those minerals.
    Russia is a bad example. They stopped piping the gas because a country the gas went through, was diverting the gas and not paying for it. That's a market system, granted run by the government, but it's no less a market system than you refusing to pay for your car and having it repo'd.

    China is a slightly better example because they have a very large share of the market. But ironically, just like oil, if you refuse to sell, you'll just drive other people to produce more, or drive consumers to find alternatives.
    Toyota finds alternative to rare earth metals for hybrids: report | Car Advice

    As such, the market will naturally diversify sources of commodities, if someone tries to clamp down on the market. At some point China will lose it's monopoly power (unless it stops playing the market) and when that happens the market will drop to the competitive price, regardless of China.

    Again, Venezuela tried that with oil, and it failed miserably. Why? Because when they cut production, that pushes up the price, which drive others to increase production. The market will always win out eventually.

    Pre- and post-TARP developments tell the story. Stabilization only occurred months after TARP. A free fall was underway prior to TARP.
    The free-fall was due to Sub-prime Mortgage Backed Securities, that had once (because of government) been considered 'safe', being considered unsafe. That fall was good and needed. The whole problem was people making bad loans and selling them. The reason they were able to sell these bad loans, was because people still considered them 'safe'. So those assets needed to be devalued, and that naturally caused a fall in the market.

    The stabilization of those assets is not a good thing in my book. It means that poor people were taxed to pay rich people for bad assets. When stabilization means poor people paying rich, that's not a 'stabilization' I support.

    We needed those assets to crash in value, to whatever the market value was. That would force people to consider what they were investing in more carefully, so that such a problem didn't happen again. Instead, we have merely made it safe to invest in bad assets again. And no amount of regulation is going to change that.

    That's incorrect. Iceland nationalized most of its banking system.
    When a bank in the US, crashes, the FDIC takes procession, and places it into receivership, where it is shut down and the assets sold off.

    During this time, you could say the bank was nationalized because the FDIC is a government entity.

    This is what happened in Iceland. It wasn't nationalized like the government owned and ran the banks, like India for example. It was nationalized in that it was assumed controlled by a government agency, where it was liquidated and run down.

    That is because when Iceland's banks went spectacularly bust, instead of pouring in billions of taxpayers' money to shore them up, Iceland just closed them down.

    Their debts were so huge that, in truth, the country had little choice. Nevertheless, it was a radical strategy. Iceland effectively said "stuff you" to the banks' creditors.

    Foreign debts were written off - including $8bn (£4.9bn) of deposits from savers in the UK and Holland. "Bankrupting your way to recovery," it has been called.
    Iceland's banking debt was actually far larger a portion of their GDP, than the bad debt of our banks compared to our GDP. So in many ways, the relative debt of Iceland was far greater, than here in the US.

    Yet, instead of bailing them out, they simply shut them down.

    Iceland's president is certainly convinced the strategy is working. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson reels off a series of impressive economic statistics when I meet him in his stark mansion on a forbidding spit of land jutting out into the bay outside Reykjavik.

    He tells me how the economy is now growing faster than that of most other European countries and with a lower public sector deficit. Unemployment is falling and Iceland has just raised a billion dollars at favourable rates on the international market.
    BBC News - Could Iceland be a model for debt-ridden Europe?

    Yet instead of the economic doomsday predicted, Iceland is growing, and fast than most of Europe now who are still dealing with the crisis.

    Ironically, this isn't the first time the strategy was tried and succeeded. In the 90s, Estonia adopted Milton Friedman's views, and among other reforms, like flat tax and free-markets, they also determined to allow banks to fail. Most of Europe and even Russia pressured Estonia to not allow their banking system to fail. But the president persisted, and a dozen of the largest banks went bankrupt. Since then Estonia became one of the three Baltic Tigers.

    I see a pattern. What do you think?

  6. #126
    Libertarian socialist

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    Re: Syria crisis: France raises use of force(edited)

    Pfffttt the french were waterboarding Arabs way back in the 50s, show some respect!

  7. #127
    Sage

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    Re: Syria crisis: France raises use of force(edited)

    From Reuters:

    Two suicide car bombers killed 55 people and wounded 372 in Damascus on
    Thursday, state media said, the deadliest attacks in the Syrian capital since an
    uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began 14 months ago.
    The blasts further shredded a ceasefire that was declared by international
    mediator Kofi Annan on April 12 but which has failed to halt bloodshed pitting
    Assad's security forces against peaceful demonstrators and an array of armed
    insurgents.
    Syria suicide bombers kill 55, ceasefire in tatters | Reuters

    One of my major arguments against intervention in Syria is that one cannot be certain of the nature of the anti-regime elements. The movement could well have far more to do with toppling the minority Alawite dictatorship than democracy or freedom. Today's indiscriminate attack in Damascus provides some insight into the nature of the insurgency. It gives me added confidence that, brutal as the Assad dictatorship is, it is not in the U.S. interest to intervene in Syria.

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