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WAR!!!

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achilles
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Re: WAR!!!

Postby achilles » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:53 am

Eli Katz wrote:
There may be a security interest in punishing the Assad regime for using chemical weapons. As far as I know, no government leader has used them since Saddam did in the late 1980s against the Kurds. People have been talking about the establishment of a chemical weapons taboo for the last 25 years. Beyond immediate humanitarian concerns (which are important), it may be wise to rebuke Assad for breaking the taboo. That way, we discourage other countries from using them or supplying them to terrorist groups.

As for Obama lacking a plan, that's a silly point. I'm sure the Pentagon has provided him with multiple strategies. It always does. The generals war game everything. It's up to the president to determine which is the best strategy.

This case, I think, is very similar to Libya: there's a humanitarian crisis that the world is watching. The U.S. loses credibility as it sits on the sidelines and allows tens of thousands of civilians to die. But it risks making the situation worse by intervening. Islamist groups could gain control and turn Syria into a terrorist stronghold. People in the region may interpret the intervention not as a humanitarian mission but as an imperial project. No doubt, local governments will spin it as such to foster deeper resentment against the U.S. Or possibly, military strikes by the U.S. could make the Assad regime even more desperate, encouraging it to increase rather than cease its use of chemical weapons.

The Syrian situation is without good options, I think. So Obama will ultimately make the "wrong" choice, but only because there are no "right" choices. So the question may be whether he makes the least bad choice. And because I don't know enough about Syria, I'm not sure what the least bad choice is.


Obama does lack a plan. At least a good one. I'm sure the Pentagon, (which opposes the strikes), has provided him with a list of targets, but so what? That isn't a plan. A plan constitutes the totality of the operation, including what to do if Iran and Hezbollah launch missiles at Israel or Iran attacks our troops in the region, or closes the Straights of Hormuz. And what to do if they launch terrorist attacks against US and Western interests worldwide as a result.

Like I said, this isn't about humanitarian intervention---if it was, Obama wouldn't have waited until over 100,000 people were killed. It isn't about the use of chemical weapons---they did that months ago, and Obama went through contortions then, trying to ignore it.

It's about Obama and his ego, his desire not to look silly and be mocked. This we have in fact by some Pentagon people who are apparently very unhappy that he's using them in a Clintonesque manner to make sure he doesn't look bad.

And in doing so, he fails to consider the ramifications of his intended actions.

I'd call that lacking a plan.

Hell, Bush the Lesser had a "plan" in the sense you talk about for Iraq, but it would be hard to argue that he had a real plan in the sense that he considered what would actually happen if he invaded Iraq.

As for the US losing credibility, whose fault is that? It was Obama himself who shot off his mouth without engaging his brain first. He was the one of the "red lines". He himself created that crisis.

Limited cruise missile attacks will probably do nothing to stop Assad from killing his people. It seems that Obama is happy to let him do just that, so long as he uses bullets and bombs, rather than chemical weapons. Actually, it seems he's happy for the guy to use chemical weapons, so long as he does it in a low key way that Obama can officially ignore.

As for the "options" that the Pentagon likely provided Obama, let's look at what they are.

Well, ground invasion. That's out of the picture for obvious reasons. Manned air strikes. Probably not going to happen, Obama doesn't want the press going on about pilots getting shot down. Cruise missile bombardment---this is the most likely candidate, low risk.

But it's also low reward. Obama's basically been spending the last week telling Syria what he's going to do, giving them plenty of time to move their critical assets out of the way, (about the only thing he's open on is our own military strategy, since he loves telling the world what we're going to do). And the one target ironically he won't hit are the chemical weapons stores themselves, even assuming we know where they are. For some good reasons I might add.

He's also not going to go after Assad, since US law forbids that, (not that he cares about US law all that much---he violates it more than any President since Nixon). But it would also make him look bad internationally, and open him up to foreign legal action.

So what he's going to do basically is lob a few cruise missiles at them. Much like Clinton hitting that aspirin factory, except that he's going to hit a few military targets so that he won't be mocked as doing a Clinton.

And in doing so, he'll open a whole hornets nest of possible reaction. All because he first couldn't keep his mouth shut, and second, let his ego rule his actions. As usual.
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achilles
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Re: WAR!!!

Postby achilles » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:07 am

S.F. Jude Terror wrote:
Except that American debt is never meant to actually be paid back. All of the countries that own US treasury bonds know damn well that they can never cash them in, which makes the money effectively tribute, just like the uneven flow of imports into our country. America's chief export is military might, and in the end that's all that really matters and what this whole thing is really about. The US can't afford for its chief export to be devalued by perceived weakness.


Yeah, how's that working out for the military?

And no, you are incorrect. US debt IS meant to be paid back. To say otherwise is frankly puzzling. No one would buy our marketable securities otherwise---they expect to be paid back. There is an intergovernmental component that consists of what amounts to the government lending itself money, but that is only one component.

And there are real and huge risks to the economy by having an unsustainable amount of debt, which is what the GAO labels our current path. For example, low economic growth seems to go hand in hand with high debt levels. There's a good reason why countries all over the world are trying to reduce their debt levels, (except us).
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Re: WAR!!!

Postby achilles » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:18 am

Also, let me note that while given his background it seems likely, there's no "proof" that Assad used chemical weapons. Or so say most observers not connected with Obama. And most of the international community refuses to go along with Obama. He isn't seeking UN approval for the strikes, which under his own criteria, well his criteria from before he wanted to do this, makes these strikes illegal.

Also, both Obama and Biden were previously of the opinion that the President must seek formal Congressional approval for strikes. With Biden even calling failure to do so "an impeachable offence". Well, that was when Bush was in office. Evidently the laws and the Constitution changed when Obama entered the picture... :wink:
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Re: WAR!!!

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:59 am

:lol: The US is never paying its debt.
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Re: WAR!!!

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:03 am

achilles wrote:There's a good reason why countries all over the world are trying to reduce their debt levels, (except us).


Yes, there is. It's because they (usually) have to actually pay it. :lol:
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Re: WAR!!!

Postby achilles » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:26 am

S.F. Jude Terror wrote::lol: The US is never paying its debt.


Actually, it does. Like I said, if it didn't, it would never get anyone to buy it's issues. This is in fact at the heart of the various EU problems, with bondholders of various country's securities taking "haircuts", and thus making them less willing to invest in those countries in the future. And why default is such an issue. The whole thing with Greece for example was about avoiding default.

What you mean is that it's never paying OFF it's complete debt. Those are two separate issues.
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Re: WAR!!!

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:27 am

achilles wrote:
Actually, it does. Like I said, if it didn't, it would never get anyone to buy it's issues. This is in fact at the heart of the various EU problems, with bondholders of various country's securities taking "haircuts", and thus making them less willing to invest in those countries in the future. And why default is such an issue. The whole thing with Greece for example was about avoiding default.

What you mean is that it's never paying OFF it's complete debt. Those are two separate issues.


No, I mean it is never paying up. China could demand we give them gold for their bonds tomorrow and we would say no.

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Re: WAR!!!

Postby achilles » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:29 am

S.F. Jude Terror wrote:
Yes, there is. It's because they (usually) have to actually pay it. :lol:


So do we. The problem is that so far, we're increasingly paying it by issuing new debt. Sooner or later however, investors are going to get nervous about that. In fact, they probably already are. We start getting downgraded, investors demand more for their buck, and new debt becomes more expensive. And so on and so forth. Actually defaulting is something we haven't done yet, and if we ever do, it would probably lead to a total economic collapse.

So, yeah, we do have to make good. We can defer it in various ways, but eventually the bill comes do. Obama and his pals are banking that they'll be out of power and/or dead by that time. After that, they just don't care.
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Re: WAR!!!

Postby Rockman » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:47 am

guitarsmashley wrote:
Thats the way most republicans are going about this. I think Donald Rumsfeld having any opinion on Syria is hilarious. I have the same opinion on this as I did 10 years ago on Iraq and Afghanistan.


That's the way most partisans go about it period. Democrats have no problem with Obama continuing Bush era policies now that a Democrat is doing it, many republicans suddenly care about spending but were totally silent during Bush's own spending sprees. A lot of people choose not to objective about this stuff, it's easier to tow party lines.

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Re: WAR!!!

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:56 am

achilles wrote:
So do we. The problem is that so far, we're increasingly paying it by issuing new debt. Sooner or later however, investors are going to get nervous about that. In fact, they probably already are. We start getting downgraded, investors demand more for their buck, and new debt becomes more expensive. And so on and so forth. Actually defaulting is something we haven't done yet, and if we ever do, it would probably lead to a total economic collapse.

So, yeah, we do have to make good. We can defer it in various ways, but eventually the bill comes do. Obama and his pals are banking that they'll be out of power and/or dead by that time. After that, they just don't care.


Total economic collapse would be the greatest thing to ever happen to the world.

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Re: WAR!!!

Postby Rockman » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:08 am

yep way better than the discovery of penicillin or the invention of the printing press.

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Re: WAR!!!

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:20 am

Rockman wrote:yep way better than the discovery of penicillin or the invention of the printing press.


Agreed.
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Re: WAR!!!

Postby Spektre » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:51 am

S.F. Jude Terror wrote:
Except that American debt is never meant to actually be paid back. All of the countries that own US treasury bonds know damn well that they can never cash them in, which makes the money effectively tribute, just like the uneven flow of imports into our country. America's chief export is military might, and in the end that's all that really matters and what this whole thing is really about. The US can't afford for its chief export to be devalued by perceived weakness.


Very little of the nation's debt is to other nations as you seem to indicate you know in your next post.
Last edited by Spektre on Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WAR!!!

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:57 am

Spektre wrote:
Very little of the nation's net is to other nations as you seem to indicate you know in your next post.


Yes. The imaginary money.
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Re: WAR!!!

Postby habitual » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:21 pm

This thread is hilarious! :lol:

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