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Old 2014-08-05, 19:52   Link #1261
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Oh the tone of Saddam, do recall that the first time was because he invaded Kuwait and the US and others went in there to stop him, then left him to stew with an air space restriction and heavy observation for 12 years. Then we decide to go kick his ass after 12 years of nonsense.

Not exactly a quick process.
The Americans weren't keen to go in after Highway of Death.
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Old 2014-08-05, 20:11   Link #1262
Ithekro
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US invasion and military threat nuetralization is very fast and effective.

Occupation and dealing with insurgancy? Not as good, but now experianced. They were trained fight a war or two at a time, but not to occupy the place following the war. That draws out the purse strings and the manpower.
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Old 2014-08-05, 20:31   Link #1263
Urzu 7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
US invasion and military threat nuetralization is very fast and effective.

Occupation and dealing with insurgancy? Not as good, but now experianced. They were trained fight a war or two at a time, but not to occupy the place following the war. That draws out the purse strings and the manpower.

Bush and co. went into Iraq and Afghanistan with no good exit strategies. Now we have the Islamic State in Iraq, the Afghanistan war is still going on in 2014, costing many lives (domestic and US/allies), has cost us trillions of dollars, and we'll eventually pull out of there, and...taliban will come back, Islamic state will move in, etc. It won't take long for all things to go to shit.

The Bush wars have been absolutely disastrous.
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Old 2014-08-05, 22:58   Link #1264
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Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Controversial discourse notwithstanding - if you are dead set to treat your political opponent not as a fellow American with a different opinion on what to do, but as a traitor to the people, a menace of everything American, and combine that with your political system which _requires_ the search for a consensus as minimum, I find it hard to see how this deadlock can be resolved.
Well, that's why it seems nothing gets done. Either party's agenda's literally "the other one's wrong" though IMO one is significantly more proactive. If only the more moderate Republicans could take back their party, but I think it may require a lot of pulling teeth. Of course, I live in the San Francisco area where you get a lot extremists from the other side so I can't be helped but be resentful of the Dems as well.

I guess the main realization I often push is that nobody's shit doesn't stink and yes the other side might actually have something useful to say. And while I often seem to be on the high horse myself, well, that's just me being bitter.
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Old 2014-08-06, 04:14   Link #1265
Libros
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Not exactly, or are you seriously suggesting things like the details behind trade/policy negotiations, calls between various country’s leaders/senior officials along with the literal mountain piles of subsequent bureaucratic proceedings all be made public and disseminated, thus making said negotiations pretty much impossible in the first place?
This may be a silly question but why would widely disseminating information about negotiations that might seriously impact one's country "make said negotiantions pretty much impossible in the first place"? Is that not the definition of 'transparency'? Is that not what the U.S and many other first world governments are constantly harping on about?
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Old 2014-08-06, 08:55   Link #1266
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Well, that's why it seems nothing gets done. Either party's agenda's literally "the other one's wrong" though IMO one is significantly more proactive. If only the more moderate Republicans could take back their party, but I think it may require a lot of pulling teeth. Of course, I live in the San Francisco area where you get a lot extremists from the other side so I can't be helped but be resentful of the Dems as well.

I guess the main realization I often push is that nobody's shit doesn't stink and yes the other side might actually have something useful to say. And while I often seem to be on the high horse myself, well, that's just me being bitter.
The only places were the two parties really differ is social issues, and even then there's a lot of overlap. Most of the social issues are used for political points and wedges, and it's rare to see actual policy ideas proposed. In terms of economics and foreign policy, the parties are much more closely aligned.

I won't say they are in cahoots, because they really aren't (except when it comes to preserving the two party system), but when it comes down to who they really serve, it's far more likely to be the lobbyist or rich donor than the general population. And forget the poor or the sick. They have no representation at all.

But it's hard to blame them for being like this. Business is how the country is run, and the general population rarely comes together to bully the politicians into taking a position and following through.

This is why I tend to separate ideology from political affiliation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Libros View Post
This may be a silly question but why would widely disseminating information about negotiations that might seriously impact one's country "make said negotiantions pretty much impossible in the first place"? Is that not the definition of 'transparency'? Is that not what the U.S and many other first world governments are constantly harping on about?
Not to mention that "free trade" deals end up with skewed benefits. NAFTA being one of the most obvious examples. So yeah, people are going to be suspicious of a big trade deal that's being negotiated in secret, because it's a clear sign that someone is going to get screwed.
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Old 2014-08-06, 09:15   Link #1267
maplehurry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Libros View Post
This may be a silly question but why would widely disseminating information about negotiations that might seriously impact one's country "make said negotiantions pretty much impossible in the first place"? Is that not the definition of 'transparency'? Is that not what the U.S and many other first world governments are constantly harping on about?
It doesnt make negotiation impossible in theory, it just handicaps you. It's like both sides trying to argue for a bigger piece of the pie, but when you are the only one being transparent while the other side doesn't, then you are at a disadvantage. Transparency is fine, but only if "everyone else does it too".

As for US, we all know they spend alot on wiretapping. The other somewhat surprising fact is that Canada does it too, and their argument is that they do gain alot of useful intel out of it.
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Old 2014-08-06, 10:28   Link #1268
kyp275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Still, I don't think it's that irresponsible of a decision of the Obama administration to think we are over invested/overextended in these areas.
Probably not, but as usual the disagreements is in how overextended we are, and what steps should be taken to change it.

Quote:
Hmm, well that's the thing. Can we afford such a large military? Mismanagement is its own problem.
It depends. While in absolute numbers the US spends the most by far, as a % of GDP it is much more in line with the rest of the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Libros View Post
This may be a silly question but why would widely disseminating information about negotiations that might seriously impact one's country "make said negotiantions pretty much impossible in the first place"? Is that not the definition of 'transparency'? Is that not what the U.S and many other first world governments are constantly harping on about?
Transparency is good, but that’s really only to a point if you want things to remain functional. Imagine someone with their significant others – few would say that transparency in a relationship is not good. But what if that means both sides always have to say exactly what they’re feeling and thinking? It would quickly become an impossible relationship to manage.

The same goes for politics. If everything is out in the open in real time, options and dialogues that may be unpopular will almost certainly be off the table. Imagine a negotiation between Israel and Palestine. If everything that’s being said in those negotiation is made public, you can be sure that the only thing that’ll ever be said would be hardline PR speak, making any sort of negotiation extremely difficult – at least, if the politicians want to keep their job, and they usually do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Not to mention that "free trade" deals end up with skewed benefits. NAFTA being one of the most obvious examples. So yeah, people are going to be suspicious of a big trade deal that's being negotiated in secret, because it's a clear sign that someone is going to get screwed.
That’s just the nature of free trade agreements in a world where you have unequal labor and economic standards though.
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Old 2014-08-06, 10:50   Link #1269
GDB
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
It depends. While in absolute numbers the US spends the most by far, as a % of GDP it is much more in line with the rest of the world.
Pretty sure it's still at least double the next highest spender, even in terms of % of GDP. Last I recall, ours was 4.4% or something, and China was next at 2%.
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Old 2014-08-06, 10:55   Link #1270
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB View Post
Pretty sure it's still at least double the next highest spender, even in terms of % of GDP. Last I recall, ours was 4.4% or something, and China was next at 2%.
3.8. Less than Oman's 11.5 (wtf are they buying?)

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/MS.MIL.XPND.GD.ZS
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Old 2014-08-06, 13:11   Link #1271
Archon_Wing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
The only places were the two parties really differ is social issues, and even then there's a lot of overlap. Most of the social issues are used for political points and wedges, and it's rare to see actual policy ideas proposed. In terms of economics and foreign policy, the parties are much more closely aligned.

I won't say they are in cahoots, because they really aren't (except when it comes to preserving the two party system), but when it comes down to who they really serve, it's far more likely to be the lobbyist or rich donor than the general population. And forget the poor or the sick. They have no representation at all.

But it's hard to blame them for being like this. Business is how the country is run, and the general population rarely comes together to bully the politicians into taking a position and following through.

This is why I tend to separate ideology from political affiliation.
Well, I suppose social issues, in particular that of choice tends to be more important than me. But I guess when people become a bit less comfortable they'll get a bit more up in arms. Sadly it seems certain other types are more likely to become fired up first. For, example take the Tea Party. It's nice they became riled up when the direction of the country opposed theirs, but then again their own direction is quite objectionable to some of us. Or stuff like Occupy which is well meaning but doesn't have the direction or perspective. But in any case, once stuff starts affecting people personally, that's when they get really mad oftentimes.

And yes, it's pretty tough to fit people of different ideologies under a single umbrella, which is where a lot of the folly comes in when they try to create two sides that must be at each other's throats. But what if people realize that don't have to be do that? That maybe that things such as sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry especially hurt those in more vulnerable social and economic positions and it's perfect for those in power to divide and conquer? That would be how the poor in the South in the 1800s would support slavery. But that's issue for another time, and as much as how I like to claim it's so simple to explain and it would sound easy to get over it and solve everything, it's just not how things work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Libros View Post
This may be a silly question but why would widely disseminating information about negotiations that might seriously impact one's country "make said negotiantions pretty much impossible in the first place"? Is that not the definition of 'transparency'? Is that not what the U.S and many other first world governments are constantly harping on about?
Well, consider any competitive arena. You don't want to spill the beans behind your plans until it's over right? There's also legitimate security risks to giving out too much information. Plus everything said publicly can get twisted out of context and it's a very fragile game.

Now obviously there needs to be some degree of transparency for proper communication but for practical reasons 100% isn't always wise. This is why every contract ever made pretty much tries to cover all corners.
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Last edited by Archon_Wing; 2014-08-06 at 13:23.
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Old 2014-08-06, 13:19   Link #1272
Reckoner
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I won't say they are in cahoots, because they really aren't (except when it comes to preserving the two party system), but when it comes down to who they really serve, it's far more likely to be the lobbyist or rich donor than the general population.
Well assuming this is really that simple, I think it is important to consider which donors or lobbyists each party serves since they are definitely not the same. IMO avoiding anything having to do with the Koch brothers is only going to benefit this country.
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Old 2014-08-06, 13:23   Link #1273
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
And yes, it's pretty tough to fit people of different ideologies under a single umbrella, which is where a lot of the folly comes in when they try to create two sides that must be at each other's throats. But what if people realize that don't have to be do that? That maybe that things such as sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry especially hurt those in more vulnerable social and economic positions and it's perfect for those in power to divide and conquer?
Worse: what if they realize that they may not need to, but they want to do that. To be sexist, racist, bigots. That their happiness can't be complete without someone to piss on, even if it means they'll be pissed on in turn?
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Old 2014-08-06, 15:42   Link #1274
Solace
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
But in any case, once stuff starts affecting people personally, that's when they get really mad oftentimes.
Which is exactly why the division on social issues it exploited to the degree it is. Even when the public is irate about something not social, like a bank bailout or a foreign issue, someone will utter "class warfare" or push the patriotism/nationalism angle. It's a distraction from actually talking about problems.

On a meta level, all issues are social issues. But people don't really think in terms of systems mechanics. They focus on the parts. This is why the Tea Party and Occupy haven't really worked. It's why most activism that is successful can only, at best, address one issue at a time. It's holistic thinking that is lacking, because the problem/solution paradigm of activism is so focused and "inside the box", that root causes are never really addressed.

This is why I groan when someone proposes, for example, more regulation in response to financial corruption. How many times do we go through the more/less regulation fight before people realize that the whole point of regulation is to function as a band-aid for a broken system?

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Well assuming this is really that simple, I think it is important to consider which donors or lobbyists each party serves since they are definitely not the same. IMO avoiding anything having to do with the Koch brothers is only going to benefit this country.
The money flowing into politics these days is from the FIRE economy. It used to be manufacturing, but the labor economy died out by the 1980s (and with it, most union power). The US is purely a service economy now, and labor has no real power anymore.

It's all good to single out the Koch brothers, but even if you removed their money/influence it wouldn't change much. Most of the top donors for both parties in the last presidential election, for example, were from Ag and FIRE, with education (colleges) and health (pharma) following suit.
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Old 2014-08-06, 19:56   Link #1275
maplehurry
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post

The same goes for politics. If everything is out in the open in real time, options and dialogues that may be unpopular will almost certainly be off the table. Imagine a negotiation between Israel and Palestine. If everything thatís being said in those negotiation is made public, you can be sure that the only thing thatíll ever be said would be hardline PR speak, making any sort of negotiation extremely difficult Ė at least, if the politicians want to keep their job, and they usually do.
That's more of a symptom of longstanding nontransparency such that if the government suddenly becomes transparent, it leads to a "transparency shock".
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Old 2014-08-07, 07:32   Link #1276
kyp275
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Originally Posted by maplehurry View Post
That's more of a symptom of longstanding nontransparency such that if the government suddenly becomes transparent, it leads to a "transparency shock".
I think it’s just the nature of human society and social interaction. The things people can say and do are simply different depending on whether it’s in public or private, and the people they’re interacting with. Generally speaking, what you can say to your friends is likely to be different then what you can say to your parents, and it’s probably a bad idea to talk to your boss the same way you do with your bf/gf etc.

The same goes for politicians – there are things they can say to each other that most likely won’t go over too well with parts of their constituents, because it’s impossible to please everyone. This doesn’t mean everything needs to be secretive and in the dark, but going to the other extreme is just as bad.

When everything is out in the open and viewed with a microscope, the whole thing will become nothing more than PR management. Think about how you’d behave if you know that everything you say, whether it’s at work or at home, will be broadcasted to the entire world?
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Old 2014-08-07, 11:17   Link #1277
maplehurry
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
The same goes for politicians – there are things they can say to each other that most likely won’t go over too well with parts of their constituents, because it’s impossible to please everyone. This doesn’t mean everything needs to be secretive and in the dark, but going to the other extreme is just as bad.

When everything is out in the open and viewed with a microscope, the whole thing will become nothing more than PR management. Think about how you’d behave if you know that everything you say, whether it’s at work or at home, will be broadcasted to the entire world?

You are right. That's the way things are that largely stems from human psychology. When people are rewarded for acting certain way, they tend to do so; and vice versa. (A somewhat oversimplification, but in general that's how it goes yes.)

I was basically trying to elaborate on the point that the way the general public disagrees with diplomat X is different from the way diplomat Y disagrees with diplomat X. The disagreement between different diplomats is often over the specifics or based on pragmatic reasonings that they are all more or less aware of. But if part of the general public wants a diplomat fired, then they are not merely on different pages, they are reading an entirely different book. When there's such overreaction, then it's not just psychology, but also largely because of "cultural gap".

Last edited by maplehurry; 2014-08-07 at 11:46.
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Old 2014-08-07, 14:05   Link #1278
SaintessHeart
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Islamic State surges in North Iraq, near Kurdistan border

You Yanks REALLY need to go back in, Rangers/Airborne/Marines; the Iraqis (or rather, UN), is useless. Or the rest of the world pays more for fuel, which means paying more for shipping, then food, reduced consumption, lower PMI, slower economies.......you get the idea.
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Old 2014-08-07, 14:26   Link #1279
Libros
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One woman asked how authorities could ensure any child migrants from Central America sent to New Hampshire were free from disease, although it was not clear at the time if any had actually been resettled in the state.
I wonder where exactly those kids would end up. You can't just send them back, their parents sent them across the border illegally for a reason.

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Old 2014-08-07, 21:07   Link #1280
kyp275
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Islamic State surges in North Iraq, near Kurdistan border

You Yanks REALLY need to go back in, Rangers/Airborne/Marines; the Iraqis (or rather, UN), is useless. Or the rest of the world pays more for fuel, which means paying more for shipping, then food, reduced consumption, lower PMI, slower economies.......you get the idea.
No way they'll send ground forces back in, there's not the political will nor public support for it.

However, they HAVE authorized limited airstrikes, so we'll see how that pans out:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/07/world/...html?hpt=hp_t1
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