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US Politics Hamsterwheel v2.0

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US Politics Hamsterwheel v2.0

Old 20th Dec 2018, 23:26
  #16861 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by wishiwasupthere View Post
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46640114

The last adult has left the White House.
I wonder if this is over the Syria withdrawl. Earlier this week senior administration officials were assuring all and assundry that the U.S. forces were there to stay..then comes the tweet that all is done and dusted

Far from me to determine if the U.S should have forces in Syria, and if so, for how long, but a bit of consistency in such matters is, I am sure, critical to those like Mattis who must speak with allies.

Sounds as if Mattis simply has had enough of the petulant child-god cult leader.
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Old 20th Dec 2018, 23:45
  #16862 (permalink)  
 
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So now a bunch of you will have to choose. Pick "a" or "b":

a. The Americans should not be sending troops into countries where there is no threat to the US, like Syria. They're not the world's policeman.
b. The Americans are screwing things up by withdrawing their troops from Syria. America has to involved in the world's trouble spots.

I'm sure the most popular answer is "whatever Trump is doing, it's the worst possible thing in the world".
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 00:15
  #16863 (permalink)  
 
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No, OB, I disagree. Whether forces shoud be there is a very tough question and deserves a dispassionate analysis

We know, that like a garden untended, regions without some semblance of governance are ripe to be used by ISIS and its ilk. We might not like it, but that is the reaity and it requires a response--including the apportionment of forces.

Don't do the topic a disservice by twisting it into a platform from which you claim a leftist attack on the child-god. This is a matter that is hard to solve and I respect those that have to untangle it. That is why I believe Mattis is stepping out. He knows that it is a complex issue and is not solved by a tweet. He could not handle the lack of a clear strategy.

Yes, Mattis serves at the pleasure of the POTUS, but he is there voluntarily and has had enough. This has nothing to do with heretical questioning of the infant deity.

Last edited by Uncle Fred; 21st Dec 2018 at 00:34.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 00:24
  #16864 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by obgraham View Post
So now a bunch of you will have to choose. Pick "a" or "b":

a. The Americans should not be sending troops into countries where there is no threat to the US, like Syria. They're not the world's policeman.
b. The Americans are screwing things up by withdrawing their troops from Syria. America has to involved in the world's trouble spots.

I'm sure the most popular answer is "whatever Trump is doing, it's the worst possible thing in the world".
But didnt Trump proclaim during the campaign trail that he would bomb the sh*t out of ISIS and destroy them within a matter of weeks?

I know hes not famed for following through but the truth is the truth....or so I believe.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 00:48
  #16865 (permalink)  
 
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Mattis the warmonger is gone and the deep state media are going apoplectic. It’s actually rather sad to watch CNN become unhinged.

And poor old deep state mouth peace Lindsey Graham looked pathetic pleading with Trump to keep honoring the demands of the military industrial complex.

Please sir more war!!!

This is where the rubber hits the road. This is why Trump has been under constant attack by the deep state since his incompetent and corrupt ass arrived in DC.

Trump has finally made his move to try to disconnect the deep state and its military industrial complex from the decision-making apparatus in Washington.

His actions this week and the resignation of Mattis today have made it much harder for the crazies in Washington to get the Syria/Iran/Russia/China conflict they have been pushing for all these years.

I wonder if Kennedy is looking down at the proceedings with a cautioning grimace.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 00:50
  #16866 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Orange future View Post
Mattis the warmonger is gone and the deep state media are going apoplectic. It’s actually rather sad to watch CNN become unhinged.

And poor old deep state mouth peace Lindsey Graham looked pathetic pleading with Trump to keep honoring the demands of the military industrial complex.

Please sir more war!!!

This is where the rubber hits the road. This is why Trump has been under constant attack by the deep state since his incompetent and corrupt ass arrived in DC.

Trump has finally made his move to try to disconnect the deep state and its military industrial complex from the decision-making apparatus in Washington.

His actions this week and the resignation of Mattis today have made it much harder for the crazies in Washington to get the Syria/Iran/Russia/China conflict they have been pushing for all these years.

I wonder if Kennedy is looking down at the proceedings with a cautioning grimace.
Now that was bizarre.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 00:56
  #16867 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post


Now that was bizarre.
Westie, On this one I stand right beside you. That is just bizarre.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 01:16
  #16868 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by obgraham View Post
So now a bunch of you will have to choose. Pick "a" or "b":

a. The Americans should not be sending troops into countries where there is no threat to the US, like Syria. They're not the world's policeman.
b. The Americans are screwing things up by withdrawing their troops from Syria. America has to involved in the world's trouble spots.

I'm sure the most popular answer is "whatever Trump is doing, it's the worst possible thing in the world".
Another bunch, perhaps the majority, will be interested in an adult discussion about what is the best course of action, given where we are now, and how best to achieve what we all want.

If your view or the world is a) or b) and your chief concern is for proving a point on an anonymous forum, that's probably a discussion you're welcome to stay out of.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 01:18
  #16869 (permalink)  
 
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Well good, Fred, I am happy to discuss the matter in a thoughtful way, but unfortunately such is not the way these days.

It seems to me the US sent troops into Syria mostly out of guilt over messing up the rest pf the “Arab Spring”, which led to the creation of ISIS. But they went with no clear goal. When would a win be a win? If we turfed out Assad, who would take over? Which side is Turkey on? Were we really fighting Putin?

Complex issue for sure. We should have left Syria alone. Americans are tired of using our blood to sort out a medieval part of the world. Beyond helping the Israelis stay secure we have no business there. Good on Trump to recognize that, even belatedly.

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Old 21st Dec 2018, 01:38
  #16870 (permalink)  
 
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One thing for sure neila83, is that I do not require your permission to enter a discussion here, much as you might see your role as some sort of overseer.

I am well aware of the difference between online posting and policy decisions. Our role here is largely the former.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 02:04
  #16871 (permalink)  
 
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 04:18
  #16872 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by neila83 View Post
Another bunch, perhaps the majority, will be interested in an adult discussion
Nice job of disqualifying yourself from said discussion.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 07:08
  #16873 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
You weren't prepared to be called out.
Not at all, my original post made it clear I refrained from doing so owing to right-wing fact resistance. But, since you insist: Do smart people tend to be more liberal? Yes, but it doesn't mean all conservatives are stupid

Feel better now?
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 07:25
  #16874 (permalink)  

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Some time ago I worked for a Hospital group with a toxic CEO
One minute someone was "fantastic", a few months later they were a "loser"
A constant churn of staff, who all had to be "trained"
Nurses faithful but increasingly confused
Contradictory memos flying backwards and forwards
"Bridge-building" barbecues that didn't
An expensive fountain (that nobody liked or wanted) ordered for the lobby
Secretaries and admin-staff regularly in tears of frustration and humiliation

Our youngest and brightest surgeon left after two years
Two years later, so did I

Yeah, I know what it is like.

Mac
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 07:39
  #16875 (permalink)  
 
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Tough one. Does - has anyone ever won anything in the middle east? What would be winning? Why is anyone there? Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. They will never emulate the west. Just want selected western goodies. Change is well nigh impossible.
These are societies where the sound of automatic gunfire is a celebratory gesture. To fire off AK47s into the air at weddings and the like is considered high praise. Think about it.
An only slightly civilized, stagnant cesspool - most of it

However to vacate with no plans B or C is perhaps foolhardy, not to mention the utter disdain shown to all the coalition countries.
There will never be a victory over there - there should now be great effort put into containment rather than troops on the ground in foreign lands.
Redefine blockade. Let them stew in their own pots. Try to keep the many bad actors from hurting beyond their borders.

Meanwhile, there must be some political and/or business deal (Saudi, Turkey, Russia) behind the, all of a sudden, whim. They won't be home for Christmas however and a financially viable country is likely to be closed for a squabble over operating funds anyway.
Happy Christmas government staffers all.
Think your boss in sunny Mar-a-lago will be worrying about paying the rent or mortgage or the presents under a tree?

Fore........

Last edited by meadowrun; 21st Dec 2018 at 07:49.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 07:43
  #16876 (permalink)  
 
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It is worth reading General Jim Mattis' letter in full (and reading between the lines):-

Dear Mr President:

I have been privileged to serve as our country’s 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.

I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department’s business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong US global influence.

One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.

Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.

My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department’s interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability within the Department.

I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.

I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.

Jim N Mattis
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 08:45
  #16877 (permalink)  
 
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So the Kurds are screwed, again, but Erdogan is happy. Netanyahu not so much.
Interesting times.
Per
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 09:31
  #16878 (permalink)  
 
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Reading between the lines ....

"My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

"Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours .... "

There is Mattis telling Trump, and the rest of us, that Trump does not treat allies with respect nor believe in the "solidarity of our alliances." Not news, really, just the first time that Mattis has come right out with why he's no longer willing to front for Trump.

I was quite disappointed in that other former Marine, retired four-star general Kelly, after he lied outright about what Representative Wilson had said in an earlier speech. Kelly seems to think, still, that it was correct to lie on behalf of Trump, since Kelly was acting as his Chief of Staff when Wilson had got into a spat with Trump. He has ruled out giving Wilson an apology despite clear evidence that he had lied about what she'd said in a speech. It's difficult to follow how Kelly reasoned that lying was the right thing to do, unless he took this as his obligation as the protector and enabler of his boss, notorious liar Trump.

Kelly's disgrace started with Trump causing emotional distress to the young widow of an Army sergeant killed in an ambush in Mali. Wilson had sat in on the offending call to the widow, made on speaker-phone, when Wilson then chipped in as a friend of the family to criticize what Trump had said. Of course she also got some publicity from this, but .... Kelly fired right back in true Trump fashion with a lie about Wilson being a publicity hound as shown by a speech she had earlier made, except that she never said what he claimed she said; Kelly obviously lied about that, as clearly shown by videotape of Wilson's speech.

One thing that makes this really, umm, regrettable is that the dead sergeant, his young widow, and Representative Wilson are all black and from South Florida, while Kelly is from a paper-white background, having grown up in a predominately Irish Catholic Boston suburb. That reinforces the image of Trump and his cadre as essentially racist, by the way this affair was handled, first by Trump and then by Kelly.

Anyway, so much for " ... and to keep our honor clean." Mattis did that in large part, while Kelly largely failed. Trump ... find me a way to write those two words in one sentence,"Trump" and "honor," so that they fit together. Mattis seems to have managed to have both stood and spoken pretty straight despite working for this very crooked man, Trump. He can leave with his reputation only slightly stained, not badly damaged as in the case of Kelly.

There's this rather dodgy Islamist preacher in the States, living there in exile from Turkey: Fetulla Gülen. He was once an ally of Erdoğan in their joint campaign to subvert the founding principle of modern Turkey: secularism. (Trump does not seem to know this, but Erdoğan is a pretty radical Islamist and an enemy of Turkish democracy.)

Gülen fled to the States to live in exile, somewhat in the same way as the late journalist Khashoggi had done, both fleeing big trouble with their home regimes. Gülen seems to have retained a network of activists in Turkey, making him a major problem for Erdoğan. For Trump to hand Gülen over would probably paper over a lot of the present trouble between Trump and Erdoğan, and to count for Trump as a foreign policy "win" at a time when he seems to need one.

That there is much more to this than just making Erdoğan happy with Trump probably does not occur to Trump, just as it did not occur to him that there was more to the Khashoggi affair than keeping some Saudi prince happy with him. The USA has had a long and relatively honorable history of offering asylum to dissidents under risk in their home countries, including such prominent figures as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. If it's now to be that one or another of them is to be presented as some sort of present to a foreign despot then that will send a chilling message to dissidents world-wide that they should not count on protection from the USA, at least not with Trump as our President.

Last edited by chuks; 21st Dec 2018 at 09:53.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 15:39
  #16879 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SMT Member View Post
Not at all, my original post made it clear I refrained from doing so owing to right-wing fact resistance. But, since you insist: Do smart people tend to be more liberal? Yes, but it doesn't mean all conservatives are stupid

Feel better now?
That’s your proof? Now I see why you were reluctant to post it.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 16:48
  #16880 (permalink)  
 
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The irreconcilable situation in the middle east transcends American presidencies, be they interventionist or isolationist. So let's leave Trump out of this while I ask your opinions:

Given that ISIS has been whacked pretty hard, perhaps in large measure to the presence of US Special Forces, where should we go from here?
If we leave Syria, will they pop back up like that whack-a-mole? (IMHO, probably yes. See Taliban for an example)
If we stay in Syria, can we keep ISIS down in their spiderholes? (probably, but for how long -- permanently?)
Can we get Assad to act rationally, or can we influence who might replace him? (IMHO, no. Leave him alone.)

I think we have been there long enough. The people there sadly seem to prefer death and destruction of their own lands to peace and prosperity. Now that we do not have strategic energy needs from the middle east it is time for the US to pull back from military intervention there. Others (China, Japan, perhaps Europe) are more dependent on oil from the region and their interests are now diverging from the US interests. Let them enforce stability in their own ways now.

The US should turn its efforts in that region to education. Schools. Teachers. Universities. Technical training. Offer the women and the young people of the region some way to improve their lot, and leave the scrappy old bastards to fight to their own deaths.

I know: Naive. Kumbaya. All that. But it is time.
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