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Thread: US provides aid to Syrian rebels

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    Re: US provides aid to Syrian rebels

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    Good God.

    The war in Iraq was over. For the last year and a half Marines were sitting around wndering why they are there.
    Exactly! Why were they there? They should have left after Saddam was found and hanged and let let them sort it out for themselves. Instead they hung around, or sat around as you say, and did nothing. Now the place is unraveling.

    This is why they shifted over the Afghanistan when they did.
    Why? More Americans killed and when they leave it be as though they were never there. Again they should have just bombed the hell out of them, made their point, and left. Why all those American deaths?
    The war in Afghanistan is done. Marines have been sitting around there for the last two years.
    American military are still getting killed. Why? Either go there to win or don't go there. What is the point of going there, having too many people die, and then, years later, just decide to leave. is that any sort of planning?

    We aren't dealing with Germany and Japan where unconditional surrenders came from single cultures.
    Right.
    The Middle East is on the correct bloody path.
    Wrong.

    They need to sort out on their own what Europeans did to them a long time ago. They suffer ultimately from bad borders. getting rid of the antagonizers that stood in the way of a correct path is our only military mission.
    Yes, like they are sorting out the Christians now and, shortly, the Jews. Let's not make excuses for them because of bad Europeans and 'bad borders' or 'antagonizers'. Once Iran gets nuclear the sorting out will certainly continue, and guys like you will still be saying it was all a result of 'bad borders'.

    "Cut and run" has nothing to do with the situations.
    Yes, its now called 'withdrawal".

    We owe nobody on this earth a thing.
    Absolutely right. In fact it is America that is owed. American blood has been shed all over the world defending liberty.
    In fact, were it not for them, Americans would be happier. The population was happier before World War I. Vietnam happened because we sided with the French colony other than Ho Chi Minh who asked for our help in his mission of national self-determination. Nasser of Egypt was driven towards Moscow for support during the Cold War because we sided with the British colony rather than agree to assist Nasser when he asked for support in his mission of national self-determination. When Iran nationalized its oil, the British trumped up intel of communist activity so we engaged and propped up the Shah. The three biggest event in the 20th century was World War I, World War II, and the Cold War - all started in Europe and sucked us in. If it weren't for Eisenhower forcing the British and the French away from Egypt in 1957, they could have ignited a World War III that would have sucked us in.
    Quite right. A vacuum was created with Britain's collapse and America filled it. The world should be grateful.

    "Cut and run?" Give me a break. We only owe ourselves and the sooner Americans learn that we have and will always be in the business of making regions stable in the interests of trade the smarter they will be. We have had two wars of revenege - Japan and Afghanistan. Everything else has been about dealing witha region's unhealthy tendencies that threatenn economic stability.
    Agreed! Make the regions stable by acting forcefully, not by sending in troops and just trying to win their goofy hearts and minds. "Grab 'em by the balls and the rest will follow' is the best advice the American leadership can ever have.

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    Re: US provides aid to Syrian rebels

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    Commonalities....

    1) Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria. Notice the commonality? The Arab Spring and democracies?

    2) Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Mali. Notice the commonality? Large Al-Queda bases of operations?
    You forgot Iran.

    Claudia Rosett: At the U.N., Iran Is a Powerhouse, Not a Pariah - WSJ.com

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    Re: US provides aid to Syrian rebels

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Exactly! Why were they there? They should have left after Saddam was found and hanged and let let them sort it out for themselves. Instead they hung around, or sat around as you say, and did nothing. Now the place is unraveling.
    Because people like Colin Powell said "if you break it you own it." This is a soft moral line that has nothing to do with hard line tactics. Our job in these cultures should be to execute mission, punish, and leave. Punitive strikes served the british well when they ruled the world. Our theme of morality has us creating bloodier and more expensive situations for ourselves.

    The place is doing exactly what it was always going to do. Maybe it will unravel more, maybe it will unravel less. It doesn't matter. It is up to them and their own decrepit culture of hate and blame to sort out. If anything, they constantly prove that their greatest enemies are other Muslims, not some foreign devil across the sea. They are proving this between Cairo and Islamabad. In the mean time, sticking around Iraq like we did was necessary only because Rumsfeld denied the military the occupation force it wanted prior to the invasion. Marines left in the spring and came back in the fall because the Army force that was there could not occupy correctly a country that didn't even know it was defeated. When we finally left Iraq for good, it was beyond time. Of course, because of the legistics involved with moving equipment and troops around the globe, everywhere war will have a period of hanging about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post

    Why? More Americans killed and when they leave it be as though they were never there. Again they should have just bombed the hell out of them, made their point, and left. Why all those American deaths?
    Because of Helmand province. After Marines conducted missions in that Province it became one of the safest as violence shifted east to the Army sectors. It gave the Afghan government time to establish permanent residency, time to prove to the Afghans its worth, and time to work on developing greater corruption skills. Like Iraq, it is time and their fate is ultimately in their own tribally minded hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    American military are still getting killed. Why? Either go there to win or don't go there.
    We did win. If they lose, it's their fate. Their thorns were removed, they were placed on the path that even the Arab Spring protested for, and the region is heading in the correct direction. It's up to them on how bloody they make that path for themselves. They no longer have Western dictators and a foreign devil to blame for what they do to themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Wrong.
    No...right. The Middle East path with the dictators was beset with oppression, social injustice, and all the ingredients civilizations in history always needed to create religious extremism at a mass level. There are commonalities amongst these nations. The greater the social injustice, the greater the religious radicalism. This means more people who pnly see violence as a means to affect change. This means more terrorist organizations throughout. And everywhere you find a religiously radical nation, you will find women oppressed. With half of your population relegated to the home and denied the opportunity to contribute, the society suffers and has no chance to compete against anybody. This means economic suffering. The populations of the MENA are currently growing faster than fresh water can keep up adding to the misery. Only democracies has proven to deal with these problems. The only difference between the Soviet Union and this MENA civilization is that the Soviets were fortunate enough to have religion in check. The Soviet Union imploded and collapsed under the weight of its political and economic system. What you are witnessing in the MENA is the failure and collapse of a civilization.

    So, when I say they are on the correct path you should reflect on te path other civilizations have taken. Europe and the rest of he world is better off for its World Wars. Our goal with the MENA is to manage it enough so that their internal slaughters stay within their bad borders or help them re-define them if they want. But we don't do that. We have this illusion that lines on a map are set in concrete upon the earth. Iraq, as a local example, suffers because the Shia, the Sunni, and the Kurds within don;t have their own countries. The Kurds are separated between Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. They represent the largest ethnic group in the world without a country and they suffer for it constantly. Such things throughout the region is precisely why they slaughter each other for control of Frankenstein's Monster like nations.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Yes, like they are sorting out the Christians now and, shortly, the Jews. Let's not make excuses for them because of bad Europeans and 'bad borders' or 'antagonizers'. Once Iran gets nuclear the sorting out will certainly continue, and guys like you will still be saying it was all a result of 'bad borders'.
    Guys like me are ignored by guys who don't want to understand the issues enough to actually fix them. There is a historical understanding that must be acknowledged if we are to understand what is going on. It's not as simple as a present day organization through murder. Then again, it may be that simple. What do you think World War I and II was really about? Those were Eropean civil wars that drug the rest of us in. Did you know that only Yugoslavia didn't have ts borders re-drawn after WWII? What happened to Yugoslavia as soon as the Cold War ended? It cracked apart into tribal faces and began slaughtering. That is the Middle East. Fixing it means understanding the problem. So far I have heard no one in Washington worth a damn to actually adress anything beyond a two day "fix."


    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Agreed! Make the regions stable by acting forcefully, not by sending in troops and just trying to win their goofy hearts and minds. "Grab 'em by the balls and the rest will follow' is the best advice the American leadership can ever have.
    "Hearts and Minds" is an ancient tactic that still works for the local mission. Our trouble is that we have fooled ourselves into thinking that a handshake and a Coke will do it. Our politicians are to blame as well as the media. We have forgotten what it takes to win wars the way history has taught. The last victory in our history was WWII. Everything since has been appeasements, armistices, just leaving, pre-mature "victories", etc. Even Bosnia has only been made safe for gun runners who supply those who are biding their time. We have forgotten that winning means making the other guy know he lost. Precision bombing has its place, but what does it do for the enemy hiding a couple miles away? He needs to see devistation. But we have a "moral" idea of war now a days and condemn our troops to death for it. This is why Iraq was such a mess. Rumsfeld tried to fight it on the cheap for political image and it cost us in blood and treasure in the end.

    Yesterday's politician had one thing going for them. War wasn't presented on television sets and the military had time to win as even Hollywood glorified the gore through black and white film. But who cares to be a patriot in today's world where corporations and utopian dreams stand in spotlights to our politicians?
    Last edited by MSgt; 04-02-13 at 06:24 PM.

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    Re: US provides aid to Syrian rebels

    Iran is a secular issue and has less to do with the regional mess that is the Sunni tribe. Another commonality amonsgt the nations I mentioned (among all the others) is that they are Sunni inspired. Tribal friction doesn't just come from bad borders where tribes of long hate were smashed together while tribes that got along were carved up and along the way was introduced to nationalism and identity conflicts. Tribal friction also stems from tribal superiority that comes from the Sunni who look down upon everybody else. Muhammad was a Sunni. There is more to this history as well, but I don't feel like typing it up right now. But I will mention that Islam's backwards trek, as the Ottoman Empire struggled to reform it, goes to the Sunni in the Arab heartland. The Middle East, known once as the intellectual center of the world, stoped as soon as the Crusades ended and the Sunni lost stewardship of the religion to the Turks. There is a lot of bitterness and anger ingrained in this society that comes from the Sunni. The religious leaders believe so strenuously that they work in God's shadow that not blaming a foreign devil for their problems means blaming themselves and God himself. This is why the struggle in the MENA is themed around a path to the past or a path to the future. The Sunni Tribe was healthiest during the Rashidun Period. This means that God is in the past and their radicals and extremists are more than happy to somehow turn back the clock. This is the environment that dictators created. A correct path can only be started in the absence of them and as generations grow beyond the idea that slavation will ether come from the Koran or from the extreme terrorists who murders for "the cause," the MENA will become healthier. It started with Iraq. This region was not going to be fixed with that asshole Saddam Hussein sitting smack in the middle. This is like trying to fix Europe around Hitler. The region includes all of them, including what used to be "our" dictator in Iraq.
    Last edited by MSgt; 04-02-13 at 06:34 PM.

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    Re: US provides aid to Syrian rebels

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    Because of Helmand province. After Marines conducted missions in that Province it became one of the safest as violence shifted east to the Army sectors. It gave the Afghan government time to establish permanent residency, time to prove to the Afghans its worth, and time to work on developing greater corruption skills. Like Iraq, it is time and their fate is ultimately in their own tribally minded hands.
    These people are to weak and unsophisticated to protect what they've been handed, and in that respect it is like Iraq.
    We did win. If they lose, it's their fate. Their thorns were removed, they were placed on the path that even the Arab Spring protested for, and the region is heading in the correct direction. It's up to them on how bloody they make that path for themselves. They no longer have Western dictators and a foreign devil to blame for what they do to themselves.
    What was won? If the situation is the same a year after we left where is the win? A win has to have some permanence to it, and Japan and Germany would be excellent examples here. Haven't heard a squeak out of either one since the war ended, and that was the result of a genuine and unambiguous victory.

    No...right. The Middle East path with the dictators was beset with oppression, social injustice, and all the ingredients civilizations in history always needed to create religious extremism at a mass level. There are commonalities amongst these nations. The greater the social injustice, the greater the religious radicalism. This means more people who pnly see violence as a means to affect change. This means more terrorist organizations throughout. And everywhere you find a religiously radical nation, you will find women oppressed. With half of your population relegated to the home and denied the opportunity to contribute, the society suffers and has no chance to compete against anybody. This means economic suffering. The populations of the MENA are currently growing faster than fresh water can keep up adding to the misery. Only democracies has proven to deal with these problems. The only difference between the Soviet Union and this MENA civilization is that the Soviets were fortunate enough to have religion in check. The Soviet Union imploded and collapsed under the weight of its political and economic system. What you are witnessing in the MENA is the failure and collapse of a civilization.
    Yes, the USSR eventually collapsed but there were tens of millions who died, or had their lives destroyed, before it did. I see that happening in the ME as well and around the world as well. It will all end because they have no intellectual support to sustain it, only violence. They will do a great deal of damage though, like Communism, before they are exhausted.

    And Communism was as much a religion for some as is Islam. They certainly made a lot of sacrifices and murdered a great many people to see it spread. Islamists are doing the same thing now.
    So, when I say they are on the correct path you should reflect on te path other civilizations have taken. Europe and the rest of he world is better off for its World Wars.
    Yes, we can do that but we can look at the devastation which occurred while all this was taking place, as well as the lengthy time lines before it all ended. I'm not certain I want to get too philosophical when there are crazed religious fanatics wanted me to recognize and follow shariah.

    Our goal with the MENA is to manage it enough so that their internal slaughters stay within their bad borders or help them re-define them if they want. But we don't do that. We have this illusion that lines on a map are set in concrete upon the earth. Iraq, as a local example, suffers because the Shia, the Sunni, and the Kurds within don;t have their own countries. The Kurds are separated between Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. They represent the largest ethnic group in the world without a country and they suffer for it constantly. Such things throughout the region is precisely why they slaughter each other for control of Frankenstein's Monster like nations.
    Yes, i can see that but this is also going international. And because of the lack of success (I believe) in Iraq and Afghanistan, would the American people support another war anywhere else in the world? It seems these wars didn't just waste American lives, they wasted American credibility as well.

    Guys like me are ignored by guys who don't want to understand the issues enough to actually fix them.
    I'd love for guys like you to fix them and you'd have my 100% support if you could, but I don't think you can. Remember these wars are being fought on several fronts and is nothing like we've ever fought before. We are losing the propaganda war (much like during the Cold War) and the religious fanatics are being portrayed as the victims. Nobody during WWII past was concerned about Germanophobia or Japanophobia but now these concerns rank high ion the leftists lists.

    There is a historical understanding that must be acknowledged if we are to understand what is going on. It's not as simple as a present day organization through murder. Then again, it may be that simple. What do you think World War I and II was really about? Those were Eropean civil wars that drug the rest of us in. Did you know that only Yugoslavia didn't have ts borders re-drawn after WWII? What happened to Yugoslavia as soon as the Cold War ended? It cracked apart into tribal faces and began slaughtering. That is the Middle East. Fixing it means understanding the problem. So far I have heard no one in Washington worth a damn to actually adress anything beyond a two day "fix."
    That's all right and true. And Drones will not work as a long term strategy, that's certain.

    "Hearts and Minds" is an ancient tactic that still works for the local mission. Our trouble is that we have fooled ourselves into thinking that a handshake and a Coke will do it. Our politicians are to blame as well as the media. We have forgotten what it takes to win wars the way history has taught. The last victory in our history was WWII. Everything since has been appeasements, armistices, just leaving, pre-mature "victories", etc. Even Bosnia has only been made safe for gun runners who supply those who are biding their time. We have forgotten that winning means making the other guy know he lost. Precision bombing has its place, but what does it do for the enemy hiding a couple miles away? He needs to see devistation. But we have a "moral" idea of war now a days and condemn our troops to death for it. This is why Iraq was such a mess. Rumsfeld tried to fight it on the cheap for political image and it cost us in blood and treasure in the end.
    Exactly. And in fact it falls into the American stereotype, unfair though it is. Though I can enjoy a handshake and a coke too!

    Yesterday's politician had one thing going for them. War wasn't presented on television sets and the military had time to win as even Hollywood glorified the gore through black and white film. But who cares to be a patriot in today's world where corporations and utopian dreams stand in spotlights to our politicians?
    At that time too the western democracies felt they had something worthwhile to defend, every man woman and child. Now the enemy, according to Hollywood and much of the media, and even our 'allies', is us. Can that be turned around? That is an important consideration.
    Last edited by Grant; 04-02-13 at 06:55 PM.

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    Re: US provides aid to Syrian rebels

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    These people are to weak and unsophisticated to protect what they've been handed......
    You are probably correct, but that is up to them. Iraqis and Afghans have a history before Saddam Hussein and before the Taliban. Afghanistan was on a path of modernization until the Soviets invaded and pulled at the tribes. This facilitaed the future Afghan Civil War where the Taliban eventually won. Likewise, Saddam Hussein tore at the tribe and oppressed and abused the Shia and the Kurds as he went on to invade Iran and then Kuwait. In both cases we have a people that naturally shouldn't live together and were injected with bitterness and hate until we intervened after 9/11, which has wider regional implications because the entire region is the problem as people are still not acknowledging because they are clinging to

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    What was won? If the situation is the same a year after we left where is the win? A win has to have some permanence to it, and Japan and Germany would be excellent examples...
    Please don't make me feel like I'm talking to a wall after this by defaulting to your position. It's done too much on this site and it makes the point of discussion, pointless....

    Racist will say that the difference is that Muslims can't do it or that Europeans (glossing over the Japanese) are civilized. They are wrong. There are two big differences between Germany/Japan and any MENA country. Both germany and Japan knew without a doubt that it was defeated. Neither the Sunni in Iraq nor the Taliban in Afghanistan ever felt defeated before we started pretending that we won and commenced to build governments. The other difference is that Japan and Germany each held a single tribe. Nobody immigrates to Japan and Germany had just spent years slaughtering anybody that didn't fit the mold. No country in the MENA have this luxury and without a brutal oppresive leader they will resort to civil unrest.

    "What have we won?" That is not the correct question. Our revenge after 9/11 removed the belligerent and we rid ourselves of the thorn in the Middle East. One month after Iraqis successfully voted without foreign security, Tunisia kicked off the Arab Spring with calls for democracy. Democracy is in our best interests. If we want to resort to the resource of the region, then we have to acknowledge that getting it through democracies is far better than getting it through dictators who create an environment that facilitates the breeding of mass religious extremists and mass terrorist organizations. It is not what we won. It is what we are winning. Everytime a Muslim population smashes up against its government in the name of reform, we get a notch towards the end game. It is simple....if Bin Laden and his kind came from a region of healthy economic systems and social justice there would have been no 9/11. Religious zealous can be maintained at a manageable level. Europeans, Asians, and Americans have proven it. Regional health matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Yes, the USSR eventually collapsed but there were tens of millions who died......
    Culture is fate. If that is the course, so be it. Did we care about the genocide in Rwanda or Sudan while we pretended to care about Europeans in Bosnia? People die. Masses of people die. Our only concern when it comes to a practical right and wrong is that any slaughter that comes from other cultures remains where it belongs. If we can assist and help with the trasition of tribal identity, good. If we cannot, we must contain it better than what we did when it came to Europe's internal slaughter.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    And Communism was as much a religion for some as is Islam. ......
    A godless religion. Very true. Again though, culture is fate. We can no longer pretend that a handy dandy dictator of our choice will bring order. This was always a temporary fix during the Cold War. The Arab Spring has proven that the European notion of colonial control is in the past. The entire world has been moving towards democracies since 1900 (120+ since). The Middle East cannot be the region left out any longer. This would be easier had we understood this 50 years ago when Nasser of Egypt asked for our help in his bid for self-determination. The same is true for Vietnam when Ho Chi Minh asked the same thing. We denied them both as we catered to our World War II allies and their colonies. Imiagine how worse the region would be if we continued to support dictators 5 years from now. You are witnessing the beginnings of a civilizational reform and the final global transition that the end of the Cold War should have already introduced. In historical terms this is as big as the Crusade period or Europe's religious wars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Yes, we can do that but we can look at the devastation which occurred while all this was taking place.......
    This is exactly why we have to contain it. Preventing it is impossible. The Arab Spring has proven that their social shift is inevitable. The build has been happening for decades. Taking out Hussein put Iraqis in voting booths. Tunisia provided the spark. Think of the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand. That event was merely the spark. Given the surmounting pressures and arms race of Europe and that Balkan locale, any spark would do. Unlike World War II, however, the Middle East isn't going to involve mass devistation provided by national powers around the world. They will resign themselves to tribal slaughter and civil unrest for generations. Like I stated before, no country in the MENA has the benefit of having a single tribe within borders like Germany or Japan.

    Crazed fanatics exist. The Red Scare was about America's fear of Bolshevism after WWI and agaisnt the Soviets after WWII. In the mean time, communist organizations sought to recruit Americans on our soil. Nazis did the same before our involvement in the war. Islamic radicals are doing the same thing. They will fail just like those before them, despite the Leftist tendencies in our country that can't see a threat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Yes, i can see that but this is also going international. And because of the lack of success (I believe) in Iraq and Afghanistan......
    Exaggeration. Even Vietnam did nothing to our international standing. To this day, those who use Iraq as an excuse to look down upon us in order to exonerate their depraved histories still seek the American dollar, the American progressive attitude, the American protection, and the American business. And you only see a "lack of success" in Iraq and Afghanistan because you want it to be like Germany and Japan. As I stated above, this is regional and this is generational. Most of what needs to be done is in their hands. Whether that means finding a way to live with each other or slaughtering their way to a single tribe doesn't matter that greatly to our security. They will be concentrated on each other rather than an imagined "foreign devil." Our military role is largely finished. The disease beyond the symptoms is a social and economic one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    I'd love for guys like you to fix them ....
    We won the Cold War. Despite propagand and mistakes along the way, the path and the global policies were sound. The policy of containment failed. The policy to keep regions stable, however, was a success. Now we are dealing with the unintended consequences of near sighted diplomats from that era and from the post Cold War era. I couldn't fix this anymore than single American presidencies could win the Cold War. Reagan just happened to be the president at the time when the Soviet Union collapsed. Before him were a string of presidents who all did their part to endure it. One day, a president will be in the White House when someone comes along as shows how healthy the Middle East is with a dramatic decline in religious radicalism. This will not make that president great. It will merely make him the benefactor of those before him.

    Think of this in terms of the Cold War. we did not win by invading Moscow. We will not win by invading Riyadh. Much of our victory is going to come from internal collapse. The Arab Spring is a correct step despite the Republican complaint about instability under Obama (it was fine under Bush). What is going on in this region is far more important than any Republican or Democrat game of hypocracy. It's they who will cause this regional transition more harm than good because of their ignorance and foolishness. This is why I always say that historians should be our leaders, not lawyers.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Can that be turned around? That is an important consideration.
    It doesn't need to be turned around because there's not a problem. The English speaking nations continue to be the strongest collaboration between nations and history has shown that this is all that has really ever mattered. Our other allies have gone nowhere as proven when the French begged for support in Libya and later in Mali. Our European allies have been burdens, not assets. Ever notice how American treasure and blood is fine when it comes to dealing with Europe's messes? Not so when it comes to using it elsewhere. We are not Europe's. They have used us for our treasure and muscle since 1915 when we began to provide arms and ammunition to the Allied side. The Gulf War proved how much they have been leaching off our success when they couldn't even provide the bare minimum of support. To this day they can't airlift their militaries to help us in Afghanistan without our aircrafts. They started two world Wars and a Cold War. Yet they reserve the right to practice their ancient anti-Americanism whenever they get the chance and try to preach to us about morality? We place too much importance on Europe and this is why we kept getting into trouble with them. Today it is just habit. Aside from making sure they behave on the continent, not suck us into anymore of their colonial messes (Vietnam, Iran, Egypt), and continue trade (which they will), they serve no other real purpose other than to provide an illusion of international cooperation. A lot of their resentments come from their own historical failures as they watched America usurp global power and do it with greater charm, humanity, and finess. Jealousy is present in their criticisms. Think about it....we have caused, been a part of, or seen the fall of 11 empires in our short history as the majority of the world began to travel our path. That's a lot of people and populations along the way that watched the UNited States prevail as their own agendas were spoiled.

    If we actually do what is in ours and the worlds best interests then we will acknowledge the necessity for an American/Chinese future. They are not our enemy just because they hail from a communist root. Communism was never our real enemy and this should be common knowledge by now. Truman based his containment policy on an article written by George F. Kennan who had earlier warned of the Soviet threat from the embassy in Moscow. In 1946 Keenan sent a telegram that stated the "Soviet Union wears communism like a fig leaf." He clearly identified the communist empire as the global threat, not communism itself. Given our history of the Red Scare, however, communism worked just fine. The fear of communism is why we chose to deny Vietminh's call for help and got involved on France's side of Vietnam. But back to my point, China is not our enemy. Europeans don't like the idea of an America getting cozy with a rising China (in the system we built by the way), because it cuts them out of the power game. But in the end, they will still be there leaching off our power and criticizing us even though we have done things things better than they ever did when they wrecked the world through colonialism and global destructions. Speaking of, the Middle East is a European legacy and responsibility for which they deny. But who's been left holding the bag since 1945 throughout the world?

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    Re: US provides aid to Syrian rebels

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    Racist will say that the difference is that Muslims can't do it or that Europeans (glossing over the Japanese) are civilized. They are wrong. There are two big differences between Germany/Japan and any MENA country. Both germany and Japan knew without a doubt that it was defeated. Neither the Sunni in Iraq nor the Taliban in Afghanistan ever felt defeated before we started pretending that we won and commenced to build governments. The other difference is that Japan and Germany each held a single tribe. Nobody immigrates to Japan and Germany had just spent years slaughtering anybody that didn't fit the mold. No country in the MENA have this luxury and without a brutal oppresive leader they will resort to civil unrest.
    I'm looking at the Islamists as a single tribe. I know there are huge differences between them, which will eventually lead to their undoing, but in the meantime they will unite against a more hated enemy, which is us.
    "What have we won?" That is not the correct question.
    We are not sure yet what the 'reform' is. Is a democracy they want? If so what type? Thomas Sowell discusses that here.Middle East The term 'social justice' can mean anything its user wants it to mean.
    A godless religion. Very true. Again though, culture is fate. We can no longer pretend that a handy dandy dictator of our choice will bring order.
    I doubt it was ever intended to bring order. Instead it was accepted as a stop gap measure until situations changed. The Cold War was intended to be fought over an extended period of time, as George Kennan suggested after WWII and as most American leaders followed.

    This was always a temporary fix during the Cold War. The Arab Spring has proven that the European notion of colonial control is in the past. The entire world has been moving towards democracies since 1900 (120+ since). The Middle East cannot be the region left out any longer. This would be easier had we understood this 50 years ago when Nasser of Egypt asked for our help in his bid for self-determination. The same is true for Vietnam when Ho Chi Minh asked the same thing. We denied them both as we catered to our World War II allies and their colonies. Imiagine how worse the region would be if we continued to support dictators 5 years from now. You are witnessing the beginnings of a civilizational reform and the final global transition that the end of the Cold War should have already introduced. In historical terms this is as big as the Crusade period or Europe's religious wars.
    Of course I hope you're right.

    This is exactly why we have to contain it. Preventing it is impossible. The Arab Spring has proven that their social shift is inevitable.
    Agreed, but my concern is the direction it will take. More will be known in the next couple of years.

    Crazed fanatics exist. The Red Scare was about America's fear of Bolshevism after WWI and agaisnt the Soviets after WWII.
    The 'Red Scare" was a legitimate fear, given that the Communists murdered over 100 million people and destroyed the lives of countless millions more. And of course Communists had their supporters throughout the democracies, and many still rhapsodize about it.

    In the mean time, communist organizations sought to recruit Americans on our soil. Nazis did the same before our involvement in the war. Islamic radicals are doing the same thing. They will fail just like those before them, despite the Leftist tendencies in our country that can't see a threat.
    I feel the Islamists are enjoying a similar propagandist success in the Western democracies as the Communists. Some have even called criticism of a religion 'racist'. That's amazing stuff.
    Exaggeration. Even Vietnam did nothing to our international standing.
    In fact Soviet leaders were first impressed that the US would get involved in a piddly country like Vietnam, but they failed to take the Leftist potential into account. They caught on soon after and soon, of course, it became a political war.

    To this day, those who use Iraq as an excuse to look down upon us in order to exonerate their depraved histories still seek the American dollar, the American progressive attitude, the American protection, and the American business.
    Nothing has changed there. That's been going on for over 200 years, and all the while calling Americans inferior. That's why I often don't have the same confidence in our fellow democracies.

    And you only see a "lack of success" in Iraq and Afghanistan because you want it to be like Germany and Japan.
    In the sense that I want them dead scared to try any stunts again, yes. But did we strike fear into their hearts? I don't think so. I want them trembling at the thought of another attack on any western nation.

    As I stated above, this is regional and this is generational. Most of what needs to be done is in their hands. Whether that means finding a way to live with each other or slaughtering their way to a single tribe doesn't matter that greatly to our security. They will be concentrated on each other rather than an imagined "foreign devil." Our military role is largely finished. The disease beyond the symptoms is a social and economic one.
    But we can't decide that our role is complete. that's up to them as well, and of course the battle will continue on several front simultaneously, and I really don't believe many understand this. Ultimately I believe you're right but the path there could be less bloody if we reacted more forcefully now. More shock and awe so that any Muslim leader would hesitate a long while before they ever thought of attacking again.

    We won the Cold War. Despite propagand and mistakes along the way, the path and the global policies were sound.
    On the other hand it took a long while for the Communists to lose. Had the left had a glimmer of how evil it was, rather than referring to it as an alternate lifestyle, the war could have been over much sooner.

    The policy of containment failed. The policy to keep regions stable, however, was a success.
    And a part of that was having to deal with dictators who would not normally receive the time of day.
    Now we are dealing with the unintended consequences of near sighted diplomats from that era and from the post Cold War era. I couldn't fix this anymore than single American presidencies could win the Cold War. Reagan just happened to be the president at the time when the Soviet Union collapsed. Before him were a string of presidents who all did their part to endure it. One day, a president will be in the White House when someone comes along as shows how healthy the Middle East is with a dramatic decline in religious radicalism. This will not make that president great. It will merely make him the benefactor of those before him.
    Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul all contributed a great deal. A fine book on that era is here.The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister - John O'Sullivan - Google Books

    Think of this in terms of the Cold War. we did not win by invading Moscow. We will not win by invading Riyadh. Much of our victory is going to come from internal collapse.
    Yes, but what concerns me is the damage that will be done before that internal collapse occurs. We can now look back at Communism collapse as strategic win but what about those millions of people destroyed before the collapse took place? I believe Patton was right
    The Arab Spring is a correct step despite the Republican complaint about instability under Obama (it was fine under Bush).
    There wasn't an 'Arab Spring' under Bush. There was a very impressive election in Iraq but that's about it.

    What is going on in this region is far more important than any Republican or Democrat game of hypocracy. It's they who will cause this regional transition more harm than good because of their ignorance and foolishness. This is why I always say that historians should be our leaders, not lawyers.
    The past is often overrated as a tool for tomorrow. (Rather catchy!!)

    It doesn't need to be turned around because there's not a problem. The English speaking nations continue to be the strongest collaboration between nations and history has shown that this is all that has really ever mattered. Our other allies have gone nowhere as proven when the French begged for support in Libya and later in Mali. Our European allies have been burdens, not assets. Ever notice how American treasure and blood is fine when it comes to dealing with Europe's messes? Not so when it comes to using it elsewhere. We are not Europe's. They have used us for our treasure and muscle since 1915 when we began to provide arms and ammunition to the Allied side. The Gulf War proved how much they have been leaching off our success when they couldn't even provide the bare minimum of support. To this day they can't airlift their militaries to help us in Afghanistan without our aircrafts. They started two world Wars and a Cold War. Yet they reserve the right to practice their ancient anti-Americanism whenever they get the chance and try to preach to us about morality? We place too much importance on Europe and this is why we kept getting into trouble with them. Today it is just habit. Aside from making sure they behave on the continent, not suck us into anymore of their colonial messes (Vietnam, Iran, Egypt), and continue trade (which they will), they serve no other real purpose other than to provide an illusion of international cooperation. A lot of their resentments come from their own historical failures as they watched America usurp global power and do it with greater charm, humanity, and finess. Jealousy is present in their criticisms. Think about it....we have caused, been a part of, or seen the fall of 11 empires in our short history as the majority of the world began to travel our path. That's a lot of people and populations along the way that watched the UNited States prevail as their own agendas were spoiled.
    I agree about Europe but that seems to be an indication of how weak the democracies really are. They'll continue to be anti American while Muslims take over their demographics and their freedoms. Only the UK has a reputation for fighting for democracy and I'm not sure of their direction at all. Even being pro British is often frowned upon.
    If we actually do what is in ours and the worlds best interests then we will acknowledge the necessity for an American/Chinese future. They are not our enemy just because they hail from a communist root. Communism was never our real enemy and this should be common knowledge by now. Truman based his containment policy on an article written by George F. Kennan who had earlier warned of the Soviet threat from the embassy in Moscow. In 1946 Keenan sent a telegram that stated the "Soviet Union wears communism like a fig leaf." He clearly identified the communist empire as the global threat, not communism itself. Given our history of the Red Scare, however, communism worked just fine. The fear of communism is why we chose to deny Vietminh's call for help and got involved on France's side of Vietnam. But back to my point, China is not our enemy.
    I should have read this before I mentioned Kennan earlier. I agree and that is an excellent point, thanks.

    Europeans don't like the idea of an America getting cozy with a rising China (in the system we built by the way), because it cuts them out of the power game. But in the end, they will still be there leaching off our power and criticizing us even though we have done things things better than they ever did when they wrecked the world through colonialism and global destructions. Speaking of, the Middle East is a European legacy and responsibility for which they deny. But who's been left holding the bag since 1945 throughout the world?
    Well said.

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    Re: US provides aid to Syrian rebels

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    I'm looking at the Islamists as a single tribe. I know there are huge differences between them, which will eventually lead to their undoing, but in the meantime they will unite against a more hated enemy, which is us.
    You cannot do this. Our intelligence agencies, Pentagon, and White House can't afford to do this. The reason the MENA is a basket case is because their tribes have not allowed for a unification under one cause. They haven't been "unified" since before the World War I. When the Turks declared independence in the early 1920s and started a democracy, they effectively ended 1,400 years of caliphate rule. Muslims in the MENA have been having an identity crisis ever since as they dabbled with military dictators and religious theocracies. Sunni nations immediately invaded Israel in 1948. The Shia in Iran had no opinion on Israel until the Lebanese Civil War of the late 1970s when the Sunni dragged the Shia tribe in and Khomeini used Israel as a rallying cry for Islamists. As time went on and social crisis developed, religious leaders found (created) more reason to dig deeper into religion and to blame Western "infection." Arab countries were denied independence from the 1920s all the way through to the Arab Spring of a few years ago. There is some cause for them to hate us, however, most of it is exaggerated and scapegoating. The MENA suffers from the narcotic of blame, but they have so many enemies in their local environments due to religion and tribe mentality that their blame game is mere surface accountability. It's rhetoric that goes nowhere and only serves to perpetuate their own denied problems. Denying a problem also denies a solution.

    Our enemy in the MENA number around 100,000 to 150,000. Our enemy is not the terrorist. He is merely the face and the symptom. The terrorist is a fish that swims within a sea of radicalism that sustains him, supports him, and breeds more of him. We can kill him, but that only addresses the surface wound, not the broken bone underneath. Because of this, we have to accept that this is regional. It is not a single country, a single dictator, or a source of black/white threat. This is largely an internal issue that only they can find solution. Democracy is the first step. The West proves that healthy regions produce less radical extremists in any light. More close to home, Turkey proves it to the Middle East. This is not an Islamist thing, but it most definately is a regional thing. Ever notice how much healthier religions and people got the further away from the Arab heartland they went? Even within Islam we see an Islamic Indonesia and an Islamic Turkey outside the Middle East (Turkey's location is arguable, bt they do lean away from the brittle concrete of Islam that the heartland prescribes).


    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Is a democracy they want? If so what type?
    Yes. Otherwise, the Arab Spring would have voiced for "caliphate" rather than "democracy." It doesn't matter what type. Their goal is social justice and this exists no matter the type. It's what Arabs wanted a couple centuries ago when Europe began colonizing. It's what Arabs wanted when Turkey declared a democracy in the 1920s (a first "Arab Spring" occurred). It's what Arabs wanted when their military leaders led coups in the 1950s. It's what the Shia in Iran wanted when they installed a democracy post WWII before we replaced it with the Shah. Today we see an Iranian population angered with their theocracy and an Arab Spring looking to finally move to the next step in social evolution. Our reply to this should not be a cowardly fear of instability. Democratic whined about it during Iraq and Republicans whine about it now with the Arab Spring. The Middle East was never going to be the odd man out in a world of evolving democracies forever. The longer it took for this take place, the worse it was always going to be. The absolute worst thing would be to wait until these countries get nukes. Pakistan is proving that danger. Historically, democracies are accountable, worldy educated, and more economically dynamic. This means an absence of wars for resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Of course I hope you're right.
    I am absolutely right. Of that I have no doubt. The only inconsistencies of this I have found have been from books written by politicians and media commentary. Since they are generally regarded daily as being full of crap and biased to agenda they cannot be trusted for anything. Textbooks, cultural experts, religious experts, and works of historical studies all carry the same themes and lead to very like conclusions. Human development and social movement cannot be the same throughout the world, except in the Middle East. They are not special. They are merely approaching it from a place the rest of us didn't have to. Because of our current day times, their social evolution is more dangerous. This is all the more reason to deny Iran nuclear power. We screwed up with Pakistan. Introducing the region to the "Shia" bomb will only entice the demand for a "Sunni" bomb. In the mean time, we have to deal with this region's symptoms (terrorists) getting their hands on airplanes, chemical weapons, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Agreed, but my concern is the direction it will take. More will be known in the next couple of years.
    Decades, not years. Consider the French who declared independence and democracy in the 1790s...

    1) Their "independence" resulted a cycle of royal power limited by uneasy constitutional monarchy...
    2) ....then the abolition and replacement of the French king with a radical, secular, democratic republic...
    3) ....which became more authoritarian and militaristic and property-based.

    Less than a century later and after Napoleon wrecked Europe, the French got their democracy right. Surely we can forgive a misstep or two from the Arabs who may not get it perfect leaving the gate. One thing is sure, they won't stmble like the French did.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    But we can't decide that our role is complete.
    This is true as well, but the social conflict within their tribes is a problem we can't solve for them. We can remove a dictator and assist them in removing a dictator, but our military role is limited. The burden of globalization makes us have to be keenly aware of developments, because ultimately we are in the business of regional stabilities. Most of what we can do, however, revolves around economic aid, the creation of programs that encourage social reform, and to permit them to stumble. A religious civilization in crisis will turn to God. he worse the crisis, the worse the remedy that religious men will submit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    On the other hand it took a long while for the Communists to lose. Had the left had a glimmer of how evil it was, rather than referring to it as an alternate lifestyle, the war could have been over much sooner.
    I don't think so. We never invaded Moscow. Doing so would have been a disaster and quite possibly hardened the Soviet case. Like Keenan stated, "Communism is a fig leaf that the Soviet Union wears." Our enemy was the empire, not the ideology. We quickly got confused. Tens of millions of corpses lie under the ground between Berlin and Cambodia in the name of communism, but really at the hands of dictators. Stalin and Mao tried to "perfect" their civilizations under a communist ideal. Hitler tried to "perfect" Germans under a fascist ideal. Do we think these men would not have slaughtered under a different ideology? This is why we haven't seen this sense of massacre in the West. Unlike socialism, communism, and fascism, Democracy is not an ism. It stands aside from the chaotic Age of Ideology. It simply will not permit the type of empire that would slaughter out its own. Communism can work in a small community level. Catro's Cuba did not seek to slaughter out the Caribbean or its own population. Communism, however, in the hands of a militaristic empire like the Soviet Union or China proved a travesty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    And a part of that was having to deal with dictators who would not normally receive the time of day.
    Some of this was necessary at the time. Some of it was out of confusion. Despite our preaching to Europe to end its colonial holdings in the world after WWII, we erred to support our allies against people who wanted self-determination and pleaded for us to help them. We denied our own beliefs out of a fear of communism and out of hurting our allies' position. If Europe wrecked the world through colonialism, then we continued it by supportig their colonies in the beginning of the Cold War.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    There wasn't an 'Arab Spring' under Bush. There was a very impressive election in Iraq but that's about it.
    Yes, but the point was the same. Regime change and democracy in Iraq was themed to the UN before our invasion, yet all protestors could whine about was how there was no WMD. othing else seemed to have mattered. Democrats used that and the internal instability that removing Hussein caused. Later in 2009, one month after Iraqis voted without international security making it safe, The Arab Spring kicked off in Tunisa with chants of "democracy" in the air. They weren't blind to what was happening in Iraq. Nor is the rest of the region that followed in the quest for democracy. Despite the occassional violence, Iraq has been proving that Arabs can do it. In fact, I would say that Iraq's experiment was the last chance the Arab world had before they completely paved their path to hell. Yet, the instability and uncertainty of Arabs removing their dictators in prior years has caused Republicans to criticize Obama for, I guess, not stepping in and supporting existing pro-American regimes. They have both been wrong, hypocritically and ignorantly, since 2003. The only ones that seem to have it right are the Arabs in the MENA who are finally self-determining. Give them time. Eventually, religious radicalism and extremism will subside. Healthy regions do not permit the degree of religious crisis that the Middle East currently produces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    I agree about Europe but that seems to be an indication of how weak the democracies really are. They'll continue to be anti American while Muslims take over their demographics and their freedoms. Only the UK has a reputation for fighting for democracy and I'm not sure of their direction at all. Even being pro British is often frowned upon.
    Well I would submit that this explains Europe, not democracy. Europe has a talent for staring at a threat until it bites half their face off. They have proven time and again, their ability to deny a threat until they suck the rest of us in. They did it for both World Wars. They did it with Kosovo and Bosnia. In all cases, it took the UNited States to get involved. Our talent lies in pretending that what happens in the world across the oceans have nothing to do with us until the issue becomes so great that we have to dedicate more treasure and blood to its solutions.

    Democracies weakness is that it will always cater to the individual's wants rather than the nation's needs. This is why fools bitch about taxes, but insist on road repair. Even our Forefathers knew of the dangers of a democracy. This is why they wanted a Republic where an "aristocracy" led the nation in virtue. They didn;t trust the common man to think beyond himself. They were quickly dissapointed when their concerns proved true before the end of the 18th century.
    Last edited by MSgt; 04-09-13 at 03:17 PM.

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