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Author Topic: Yay! More political issues!  (Read 1925 times)
MooseMom
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« on: February 06, 2012, 11:05:51 AM »

I'd like to get away from the politicking and focus a bit more on some actual issues that have been on my mind recently.  I realize that it is not easy to divorce policy from politics, but go on...give it a try! 

While the US economy is the issue that is front and center, be it an election year or not, the rest of the world doesn't stop its descent into chaos just because the US is voting on new legislators and a new President.  I am concerned that other issues may be escaping our attention and that other questions are being ignored.

Syria is one of those places descending into chaos.  Russian and China vetoed a UN resolution to "help".  I don't know what "help" was being vetoed, but that begs the question...what do you think is the appropriate American response?  President Obama issued an executive order placing the strictest sanctions possible on Syria; is this enough?  Do you think having a stable Syria is even in our national interest?  Should we care, and if so, why?

There are a lot of countries very interested in making sure that Iran doesn't get nuclear weapons, not just the US and Israel.  Other Arab nations in the region do NOT want to see this happen.  There have been all sorts of interesting measures taken by mystery agents, worthy of spy novels or movies starting Tom Cruise.  Hacking into computers, introducing computer viruses, assassinating Iran's nuclear scientists, to name a few.  How big of a threat do you perceive Iran to really be?  If you think they are a big threat, are the above measures appropriate?  Should the US be doing more?  There are reports that the Israelis are thinking about military action but that the US still sees room for negotiation.  Would you support Israel in any military action?  Do you think the US should deploy our troops there to seek out and destroy Iranian nuclear facilities?

Speaking of assassination, what do you think of the assassination of OBL?  Do you think there is a fundamental difference between that action and the assassination of Al-Alwaki, killed in Yemen but American-born?  Does the fact that this man was an American citizen give him special rights?  One would think, "Of course!  Due process!"  The Department of Justice did give the legal go-ahead, so there was obviously much thought given to this decision.  Was it the right one?  The Obama Administration is about to make known the reasons and reasoning for its action, but I am not sure that will satisfy everyone.  Opinions, anyone?

Last question...drone attacks.  I am not au fait with military tactics, but I find it interesting that our military seems to be veering away from massive attack forces and focusing more on special forces and streamlined action.  I know that the defense budget is being cut, but even after all of the cuts, our military will still be staggeringly enormous, and as such, we need to make sure we use our defense monies wisely.  While I was watching the film, "War Horse", during the scene where the British unit attacked the German encampment, it struck me that the English were using outdated tactics complete with bagpipes.  Maybe our military today is shaping itself to be more responsive to the type of warfare needed in places like Afghanistan.  But pilotless drones engaging in "surgical strikes", well, that makes me a bit uneasy.  These attacks seem to be effective, but when there are civilian casualties, these types of attacks take on a distastful stench that I am not sure I like.  What do you all think?

Oh, sorry...I do have one more question.  Europe.  What do you think will happen there?  Whoever gains the Presidency this year here in the US will have to deal with Europe, so this begs the question, what role should the US play in the rescue effort in Greece or Italy?  Should we see this as purely a "European problem", or should we take steps in the hope that Europe won't drag us down with it?  Is there anything the US President CAN do?

Needless to say, the US is not the only country in the world in a difficult position.  We have members on IHD from all over the planet, so I'd be interested to hear the thoughts and perspectives of those outside the US.  What kind of debates are being heard in, say, Australia about Syria and Iran?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 11:27:17 AM by MooseMom » Logged

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lmunchkin
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2012, 12:47:37 PM »

I know this doesnt answer your questions but I'd like to know your views on that movie "War Horse"?  Been thinking about renting it! Was it worth seeing IYO?

lmunchkin :kickstart;
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MooseMom
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2012, 01:19:47 PM »

I know this doesnt answer your questions but I'd like to know your views on that movie "War Horse"?  Been thinking about renting it! Was it worth seeing IYO?

lmunchkin :kickstart;

I enjoyed it, and I think you would, too!
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"Eggs are so inadequate, don't you think?  I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken.  Or a duck.  Or whatever they're programmed to be.  You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of last week."
Gerald Lively
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2012, 10:29:12 AM »

I would like to respond to the large question at the beginning of this thread - as soon as I have time.  Vascular Surgeon today.  Dialysis tomorrow.

There are no short answers, so, don't go away.

gerald
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Gerald Lively
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2012, 03:13:34 PM »

MooseMom;

You have asked a terrific question and I really wanted to do it justice, however, my schedule just got itself ate up with another surgery.  If it okay, I’ll do this from memory.  That means there may be errors in some statements.  I hope not.

1.    I am anti-war.  I tend to make a distinction between “just” wars and other wars.  World War II was a just war.  Every military conflict after that could have been handled differently.  You may recall a very famous speech by Dwight Eisenhower as he was leaving office, The “Military Industrial Complex” speech where he characterized a dangerous attitude of jingoism.  America has not listened and as a consequence, we are worse off for it.
2.   I am all in favor of economic warfare.  When that does not work, use covert action for the purpose of removing key elements, whatever that might be.  Each case is different.
3.   The so-called “Arab Spring” didn’t just happen.  There are too many signs of a hidden-hand at work.  I would not be surprised if all of this wasn’t one of our own covert projects.  I do not know anymore than that, so it would be difficult to comment.  In the case of Libya, the action became critical forcing our hand, causing a more overt effort. 
4.   It is my humble opinion that America should not be the World’s policeman, this was supposed to be the job of the UN.  As far as I can determine, the UN barks occasionally and does little more. The weakness of the UN was demonstrated when China and Russia veto’d the Syrian resolution.  So, what to do?  This one has to be the Arab League’s responsibility.  If the US gets in there with troops, we lose “face” much as we did in Iraq.  We can still work behind the scenes and play 007, we can still use economic sanctions but we cannot go to war in that country.
5.   Iran and their nukes.  I believe they already have the nuclear weapon but do not have the delivery system.  Iran knows that we are stationed on two sides of them and adding to their misery, an aggressive Israel is in the mix.  This could make them trigger-happy.  There are plenty of signs indicating an effort to slow them down, keeping them from putting together the entire nuke package.  The Iranian nuclear development system is spread all over the country making it very difficult to  bomb or remove their nuclear capability.  I don’t see any other answer.  Just impede their progress.  Yes, Russia and China are lending technical help.  Most likely we are preventing them from bringing material aid.
6.   The assassination of a head of state is usually not considered.  In Iran’s case, it wouldn’t make any difference.  It might work in Syria.  This requires a Presidential order and that isn’t likely either.  Some schools of thought say this is what happened to JFK in retaliation for our attempt on Fidel Castro.  And, Saddam Hessians attempt on George Bush Sr. led to the invasion of Iraq and the execution of Saddam himself. At least I think that way.
7.   Drones have a limited use.
8.   Once upon a time I wrote a book.  The background of that book was a war between European nations and oil producing countries. Since Europe has very little of its own oil, this could happen.

This is a poor response, but for a quicky, this is all I have.  I will think on it.

gerald   
 
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MooseMom
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2012, 03:39:35 PM »

Thanks, Gerald, for your reply, even if it was a quickie.  LOL.

What role do you think other Arab nations might be playing in the situations in Syria and Iran?  I cannot believe that they are sitting back, doing nothing, while the US and Israel and other western nations are playing about.  I'm sure that, say, Saudi Arabia doesn't want to be seen to be attacking another Muslim country, so maybe they are getting us to do their dirty work for them?

I hope your surgery went well.   :cuddle;
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"Eggs are so inadequate, don't you think?  I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken.  Or a duck.  Or whatever they're programmed to be.  You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of last week."
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 04:17:46 PM »

According to Iran's interpretation of what they call the "Coming of the 12th Imam," King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is THE "evil" leader whose death will trigger the coming of the 12th Imam. So in other words, the Iranians would love to see King Abdullah take his final dirt bath.

Also, the current leaders of Iran Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are considered by the most "orthodox" of Muslims to be men who were prophesied a thousand years ago to be precursors to the coming of the 12th Imam. The assassination of either would likely have some serious blowback and significant unanticipated consequences between Islam and the rest of the world.

According to Muslim belief, when he comes the 12th Imam will subjugate the entire world in the name of Islam. It is very interesting how these beliefs parallel those concerning Christian eschatology as believed by millions of Christians.

An Iranian documentary (English subtitles) that discusses the 12th Imam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwiadYT-N9k .  This film is well worth the time to get insight into the thinking of (at least) the Iranian leadership. It is a mistake to think that everyone thinks like us and will act accordingly. We Americans are a bit arrogant in that regard.

 

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MooseMom
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2012, 04:58:13 PM »

Willis, I watched that entire clip, and it makes me wonder just how prevalent those beliefs are.  I mean, does the average Iranian Joe think that way?  How about his wife and his kids?

I certainly agree that not everyone thinks like us, but then again, not all of US think like us!  LOL!  And I understand that there are certainly people you just cannot negotiate with no matter how hard you try.

"final dirt bath"..hahaha!
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"Eggs are so inadequate, don't you think?  I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken.  Or a duck.  Or whatever they're programmed to be.  You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of last week."
Gerald Lively
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 11:29:03 AM »

MooseMom said, “What role do you think other Arab nations might be playing in the situations in Syria and Iran?”

They are not playing much of a role.  Saudi Arabia traditionally sees itself as protector of Mecca.  They open their borders to all muslin nations and therefore cannot take an antagonistic public position. Saudi Arabia took a big risk by permitting US air bases during the various Iraqi operations, and drew a lot of criticism from other Arab nations.  Most of the remaining middle eastern nations are involved in some sort of conflict. Jordan is an exception but it is strategically placed in a poor position and cannot afford to be much more than a moderate. 

The Arab League could possibly arrange for increased oil exports in the event that Iran attempts to close the Straits of Hormuz.  That would take some doing.

Iraq is trying to sound like the major member of OPEC and Afghanistan doesn’t have oil.  Russia is lining up with Syria and China has been buying up oil companies in the middle east for a decade.  OPEC will not move to help. 

Where does that leave us?  Israel.  Someone has to tamp down Iran’s nuke industry and I believe, but cannot prove, that we are in there doing just that.  Our public image is to harass Iran thru hacking, small bombing and bribery.  In the long run that will not work. I think Israel will eventually do the deed, unless we find a way to involved Russia.  Right now, Russia has commercial interests in Iran and Syria, and as long as that exists, Russia will obstruct any and all efforts to curtail Iran’s nuke program.

As for Syria, someone in the crowd of dissidents is planning an assassination, which may or may not work.  It is unlikely any outside nation will help unless the tide turns against the Syrian power structure, as it did in Libya.   

Gotta go do dialysis.  See ya later.

gerald

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Hodgkin's Lymphoma - 1993
Prostate Cancer - 1994
Gall Bladder - 1995
Prostate Cancer return - 2000
Radiated Prostate 
Cataract Surgery 2010
Hodgkin's Lymphoma return - 2011 - Chemo
Renal Failure - 2011
Renal Function returned after eight months of dialysis - 2012
Hodgkin's Lymphoma returned 2012 - Lifetime Chemo


Human hopes and human creeds
have their roots in human needs.

                          Eugene Fitch Ware
Willis
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2012, 04:20:49 PM »

Willis, I watched that entire clip, and it makes me wonder just how prevalent those beliefs are.  I mean, does the average Iranian Joe think that way?  How about his wife and his kids?

I certainly agree that not everyone thinks like us, but then again, not all of US think like us!  LOL!  And I understand that there are certainly people you just cannot negotiate with no matter how hard you try.

"final dirt bath"..hahaha!
I tried to be careful in my earlier comments to point out that the documentary and the belief in the 12th Imam is probably strongly held by the most devout Muslims (and I think perhaps this is a Shi'ite belief as opposed to the Sunni branch of Islam). I have no idea how deep this belief is, but it seems the leadership is making an effort to plant or reinforce the idea to the "masses." If and when some of the events they have pre-interpreted come to pass they can use the events to justify whatever actions they want. If the government can successfully turn political actions into religious actions then it becomes that much harder for the average guy to resist. 

Having watched the documentary, then you will probably agree that it was fascinating and effective propaganda. Of course, the people who made the film and those who believe its premise would call a lot of our stuff propaganda also--and they'd be correct!

 
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lmunchkin
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2012, 05:15:31 PM »

 
Having watched the documentary, then you will probably agree that it was fascinating and effective propaganda. Of course, the people who made the film and those who believe its premise would call a lot of our stuff propaganda also--and they'd be correct!
[/quote]
________________________________________________________________________________________________
This was really fascinating to watch.  I totally understand that we wonder how could they believe this and they probably think the same. It really makes me aire on the side of caution. These people are deep in their believes and will go to links of even possible suicide to prove it I suppose!

Very interesting Willis!
lmunchkin
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12/2004 to 6/2009 Home PD
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