very good so far.
However, it is our very recent use of big stick/cowboy militaristic tactics in the Middle East (as well as our past addiction to influencing the governments of other nations to our way of thinking regardless of the costs to the people of those nations) that have hindered our ability to actually gain significant ground on the core issues behind the formation and growth of extremist terror cells.
Here I must say I see an ambiguous ideal with no real solution. How do you propose we do that.
We tried the "police action" method of Clinton, this partially, along with actions and inactions of previous administrations helped give us 911....
Now I realize I'm going to garner the cat calls of the "you liberals just want to blame America" and that's fine. It's typical ignorant group think like that which keeps partisan politics alive and well here at DP and abroad. But the fact is that America does have a long standing historical stake in the way things have unfolded in the Middle East (as well as many other regions of the world). We are not solely to blame of course, much of Europe as well as the Middle Eastern governments themselves share equally in the credit for what has become of the Middle East. All were forces in shaping the region and fertilizing the ground for growth of extremist elements. The invasion of Iraq was just the culmination of decades of ignorance or simple disregard for the geopolitical dynamics of the region. It was going to be our way or the highway. We were right, they were wrong. However we weren't really right and our actions gave birth to a whole new generation of extremists.
if you can drop the poor me matyr act, no one as far as I can see, and certainly not I have accused you of blaming America. Perhaps you can not throw out baseless accusations, I know I try not to do things like that when I have no evidence of it.
Given that the oil for food program had hussein and the UN, france, etc all getting huge kick backs while blaming the US for starving muslims in Iraq, could you explain how the status quo would help our image in the middle east.
We aren't just fighting an idealism, we are fighting the ghosts of past failures as well. The idealism is a very real dynamic of this "War on Terror" in that it is a primary fuel for what drives our enemy and we, as Americans...as Westerners...cannot defeat it. WE CANNOT DEFEAT IT. It's not tangible, we cannot bomb it away. It has to die out though moderate evolution of the geopolitical situation in the region. Take a look at the mentality of Al Qaeda for prima facia evidence of what I say. They took years to plot, plan, train, and finally execute their attacks. We not only have long standing, deep rooted terror cells acting out...we have a whole new class of recruits that are just as motivated to kill and destroy. They can look back out our history, the history they know (not what we are contented to tell ourselves about ourselves) and find plenty of reason to lash out. We trained and supported men who exploited their own people for the benefit of themselves and their paymasters...the U.S. and Europe. Combine this history with the very real and very distinct religious differences of the region and you have some extremely volatile ingredients...that we ignored. That we continue to gloss over and not talk about because it "undermines the war effort" and it's "liberal apologistics."
I see a lot of complaining again. However I would like to ask, how you see a solution, what would it entail?
So far I got from you, and correct me if I am wrong, is that we are doing it wrong, we can not win.
I heartily disagree, I cannot see us giving up and sucking our thumbs. see in your 1st paragraph you say we have to take it to them, now you say we can not win.
Can you explain this?
Again ambiguous in what we have to do. are you suggesting we go back to the clinton years of running from somalis and flacid responses to terrorist responses?We are right in taking the fight to our enemy, they are trying to kill us. But we cannot continue to walk around with this cowboy swagger and simply say "**** 'em, bring it on!" We have to act with discretion, we have to act with caution, and we have to make sure we get it right. We cannot afford to continue making monumental blunder in foreign policy at the tip of a bayonet
How is this a solution?
Being a patriot is loving one's country and doing what is best for it. Self-examination and coming to terms with our past transgressions is the only way we can ever hope to not repeat those mistakes in the future. That is not being "un patriotic" yet it's very frequently inferred. The invasion of Iraq was not all that long ago when you compare that time line to the backdrop of our historical involvement in Middle Eastern affairs. At some point we as a nation have got to stand up to the hawks among us who decry "patriotism" and shout down those that don't agree with them calling them "traitor, terrorist sympathizers, and apologists." It's not a conservative/liberal or Republican/Democrat thing. It's an American thing and we've got to get a hold of it or we can look forward to decades more of the same old same old.
kinda a strawman, who is calling you a traitor?
And once again, what is your actual solution. there is a lot of ambiguous general ideas, but no concrete solutions as usual.
If you all think you can do it better, how come we have not heard how all these years?
Matthew 10:34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
It's not so much ambiguous as it is simply a broad statement of truth about the overall history of our actions. It's succinct. I wasn't inferring a solution with this, just making commentary. But a very good start would have been "not invade Iraq for no justifiable reason." And "don't let corporate endeavors influence our foreign policy relating to regime changes, invasions, and covert action." Those are two off the top of my head.Here I must say I see an ambiguous ideal with no real solution. How do you propose we do that.
By past administrations you are obviously including Reagan, Bush Sr., Carter, Truman, Eisenhower, et. al. Read some John Lewis Gaddis sometime and you will begin to see how the U.S. projection of influence throughout the world impacted the geopolitical environment to the point that we now have an entire sub-culture whose purpose is to destroy the west. When you back leaders who sacrifice the lives and livelihood of their own citizens to protect corporate interests of western nations and ensure their own base of power through ruthless dictatorial practices you breed generations of resentment. This goes back decades.We tried the "police action" method of Clinton, this partially, along with actions and inactions of previous administrations helped give us 911....
I didn't say you did, I merely anticipated a reaction that has already played out here with your post #25. Exactly how hard do you try "not to do that?" 10 was clearly lamenting our actions and how they have inflamed the resentment towards our nation. You called her post "whiny liberal blame America nonsense."if you can drop the poor me matyr act, no one as far as I can see, and certainly not I have accused you of blaming America. Perhaps you can not throw out baseless accusations, I know I try not to do things like that when I have no evidence of it.
Well first of all, I have not endorsed the U.N. action in Iraq. It was corrupt and ineffective. The sanctions on Iraq were so poorly mismanaged and such a bad idea to begin with that the only people who actually suffered were the citizens. Hussein's military was stifled and no longer a threat to anyone outside their own region. That was not a result of the sanctions, that was the severe ass beating they took at the hands of the coalition. The sanctions prevented him from building an offensive capability that would make him a regional threat, but his stranglehold on his people was very much in tact. He insured this by funneling much of the resources that made it past the sanctions to his own military and police. He took care of his first. The real victims of the sanctions were the Iraqi people.Given that the oil for food program had hussein and the UN, france, etc all getting huge kick backs while blaming the US for starving muslims in Iraq, could you explain how the status quo would help our image in the middle east.
I never said we could hope to bat a thousand, but we don't have to settle for batting sub one hundreds either. We are going to be criticized, but that is no reason to just say "screw it, they are blaming us anyway." The sanctions were a bad idea the way they were enforced. The U.N. did a piss poor job of running that show from the top down. Anyone could have seen that Saddam was going to keep his military going if only to maintain his own power base, the citizen could starve to death for all he cared. When you have literally billions of dollars flowing with little to no honest, competent oversight the probability of wide spread corruption is going to go through the roof. It was a bad plan from the start and the U.S. was integral to implementing it.
Complaining? Your partisanship is shining through again. There is no complaining here. There is observation and commentary. Not whining. I'll give you my ideas for how we can make progress but I would appreciate some actual thought being put into your responses as opposed to the all too typical "whiny liberal" or "you're just complaining" responses.I see a lot of complaining again. However I would like to ask, how you see a solution, what would it entail?
I don't have a "solution" otherwise I wouldn't be here on Debate Politics sparring with the likes of you. I would be off brokering peace and winning the Nobel. But I am very well read about the subject so I can give some learned insight on this subject.
I can and often do take the time to refer back to our mistakes, it's part of the learning process. It's not complaining, especially when we continue to make them. The typical response to the radical Islamic problem is to raise our fist and declare war. "We will hunt them where they live and kill them right there"..."Fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here"...and "you are with us or you are with the terrorists." We can start by understanding that Arab nations can't make the easy decision of being "with us or with the terrorists." Especially when we are just coming off of a very rough eight years of George W. Bush diplomacy (or lack thereof). Many Arab nations, if not all, don't trust us one inch. They view every effort we make as having strings attached that lead to claymores. It's an extremely convoluted situation that will require several instances of trying and failing, trying again, and hopefully an inch of progress at a time. We have to do this if we are to actually address the root problems and counter the core threat. And that threat lies in the radical madrassas and mosques that are found in so many Muslim nations throughout the Middle East and other regions for that matter. It's the ideology bread from fundamentalist clerics who pervert the religion and decades of bad western foreign policy. It's in the living conditions that make so many young Muslims at risk candidates for these radicals to swoop in and influence.
We have to back up and re-examine just how infectious corporatism is in U.S. foreign policy. We have to dedicate serious resources to assisting Muslim nations whose governments are actively trying to contain the spread of radical Islamic influence. That doesn't mean we just funnel guns and tanks to them, it means we make sure we examine their methodology for dealing with the problem and if it appears they are exacerbating the situation we stimulate them to change course, not by military might or covert action, but by being disciplined with our aid packages and trade agreements. We speak up, even against our allies, if they are obviously making the situation worse. We put the focus back on the local geopolitical environment and we assist where we are invited, not where we think we have a reason to. We no longer dangle carrots in front of dictators for as a means of ensuring influence in a region. We don't dictate. We don't just swing a big stick. You know, all those things we have historically done. We are talking about a paradigm shift in U.S. foreign policy. Not just with Muslim nations, but with every foreign nation.
No problem...I'll correct you. You are wrong. You obviously place this thing in very basic, black and white terms. And that is your problem. That is why you quickly react by calling people out as wanting to surrender, being whiny, or complaining all the while avoiding giving any substantial commentary of your own. Now either you are taking pot shots from the bleachers or you really don't have any clue as to root causes of the problems or the possible methods to mitigate them. In either case your lack of serious contribution leaves you in a very exposed position within this debate.So far I got from you, and correct me if I am wrong, is that we are doing it wrong, we can not win.
Yet here again is an example of you not understanding the problem. You gave me a clear glimpse into your mindset with your "I'm not concerned about the idealism" comment early on. You are content to swat flies and ignore the dung pile they are swarming around. Radical Islamic fundamentalists are born of a culture, a culture that has taken years to root and manifest itself in these groups we are fighting. We, as Americans, as Westerners, as infidels, cannot defeat a culture like this with bullets, smart bombs, and guided missiles. It's impossible. Why? Because until we figure out a way to help moderate Muslims assimilate at risk Muslims into a more tolerant and peaceful culture we will simply reinforce their desire to destroy us with every one of them we kill. You see, they don't view themselves as terrorists like we do. They come from a life embroiled in years of repression and misery, constant indoctrination by clerics who beat it into their skulls that we are blame for what has become of their sacred land. Their religion, their sovereignty as a nation is everything to them. Our influence in their affairs has had a negative impact upon their lives, either by our supporting a dictator, subverting their religious culture, or bombing their infrastructure into the stone ages. You name it, we've done it. We can't fix it. They have to fix it. We have stop running around the middle east blowing stuff up because every time we do it we energize the radical element, we give them ammunition to recruit. The at risk sector of the Muslim community in that region don't are not just pre-disposed to take a western view of the actions of Al Qaeda and Hamas. To many of them, those groups are held up as champions, lashing out at the west, the west that has impacted their lives in such a horrible way. You cannot defeat idealism. It has to be changed over time. I'm not saying we don't act when we have to, but we can't embark upon broad military action, sweeping up suspected individuals and sending them off to secret prisons or just killing them in the field. We are right now considered invaders and occupiers of Muslim lands. Whether you or I like that moniker that is what the majority of Islamic nation thinks of us. Do you see where this is not helping a situation that already had decades to take root and spread?I heartily disagree, I cannot see us giving up and sucking our thumbs. see in your 1st paragraph you say we have to take it to them, now you say we can not win.
Can you explain this?
To be continued and subject to editing as I'm sure I've made some grammar and spelling flubs.....
Last edited by Lerxst; 01-11-09 at 12:53 AM.
What exactly do you think I'm trying to present with my comments? Where am I inferring that I have a solution? I'm offering a counter to your gung ho mentality of bombing the **** out anything that isn't on our team. Did I even suggest running from them? No, in fact I think I said...Again ambiguous in what we have to do. are you suggesting we go back to the clinton years of running from somalis and flacid responses to terrorist responses?
How is this a solution?
Suggesting discretion in when and where we use force is not implying surrender. Again this gets back to this "you are with us or against us" mentality. If someone suggests anything other than the current course of action (which isn't helping the situation) they are somehow suggesting surrender, sitting on our hands, or giving up.Originally Posted by Me
Nobody, I'm commenting on a prevalent attitude that runs throughout America, particularly on the extreme right. It's reared it's ugly head here before. I'm just revisiting the issue.kinda a strawman, who is calling you a traitor?
Hell, I'm still waiting on you to offer an idea that consists of more than three sentences and doesn't involve criticizing someone else for not fixing the Middle East.And once again, what is your actual solution. there is a lot of ambiguous general ideas, but no concrete solutions as usual.
I don't know if I could do it better, and I'm not a member of Congress, a high ranking theater commander, or the President. So it's irrelevant. I have however studied the issues in depth and read many works on the subject...from both sides, trying to understand how we got where we are. I understand that human beings, not necessarily monsters, are involved on both sides of the situation. If I can apply some of what I have learned and see the mistakes that have so clearly been made here and understand why we shouldn't have done what we did, I don't think it's beyond our grasp to fix. Am I the guy to do that? No, probably not. But there are people out there who have some damn good ideas if they were given a fighting chance. Of course, as I said before, when billions of dollars are at stake, politics has a funny way of failing the people.If you all think you can do it better, how come we have not heard how all these years?
Now let me take a page from your play book and demand a solution from you.
Last edited by Lerxst; 01-11-09 at 12:36 AM.
Stupid 25 minute edit timer.
Lerxst, I read you long post, and yes it's good to look at the past mistakes. But the mentality around here has been to use it as a political baseball bat to blacken the opponents eye. Frankly I don't think anyone's foreign policy has been worth copying, but I'm afraid that is exact what Obama will do. Playing appeaser will not win any foreign policy victories anymore than the use of force. Furthermore, dealing with a group of people that have "Destroy Israel" as the first bullet on their foreign policy agenda makes it rather difficult to sit down and talk. The corruption in our own govt has been a source for our foreign policy problems.
"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)