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-   -   Objectively intelligent. (http://www.lawtalkers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=884)

Tyrone Slothrop 01-02-2020 04:37 PM

Objectively intelligent.
 
Carry on.

Tyrone Slothrop 01-02-2020 05:25 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
I'm looking forward to the stories we can expect in 12-24 months about all the crazy stuff about Trump that insiders and journalists who cover the White House "couldn't" tell us when it was happening, i.e., now.

Tyrone Slothrop 01-02-2020 07:42 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Brad Delong criticizes Obama for helping to cause the mess we're in:

Quote:

Barack Obama is not the biggest author of our current debacle. But he is an author. Every time I see his picture, I think of him in January 2010: "Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same. (Applause.) So tonight, I'm proposing specific steps to pay for the trillion dollars that it took to rescue the economy last year. Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years..." I still cannot find anyone willing to take ownership fo that policy proposal, so I suspect it same direct from Obama: Paul Krugman: The Legacy of Destructive Austerity: 'A decade ago, the world was living in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. Financial markets had stabilized, but the real economy was still in terrible shape, with around 40 million European and North American workers unemployed. Fortunately, economists had learned a lot from the experience of the Great Depression. In particular, they knew that fiscal austerity—slashing government spending in an attempt to balance the budget—is a really bad idea in a depressed economy. Unfortunately, policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic spent the first half of the 2010s doing exactly what both theory and history told them not to do. And this wrong turn on policy cast a long shadow, economically and politically... helped set the stage for the current crisis of democracy.... The austerity years left many lasting scars, especially on politics. There are multiple explanations for the populist rage that has put democracy at risk across the Western world, but the side effects of austerity rank high on the list.... Beyond that, I’d argue that austerity mania fatally damaged elite credibility. If ordinary working families no longer believe that traditional elites know what they’re doing or care about people like them, well, what happened during the austerity years suggests that they’re right. True, it’s delusional to imagine that people like Trump will serve their interests better, but it’s a lot harder to denounce a scam artist when you yourself spent years promoting destructive policies simply because they sounded serious. In short, we’re in the mess we’re in largely because of the wrong turn policy took a decade ago...

Greedy,Greedy,Greedy 01-03-2020 09:51 AM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
https://scontent-bos3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...2f&oe=5EA343A1

sebastian_dangerfield 01-03-2020 09:59 AM

Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...
 
Bolton got his Christmas wish with that strike on the Iranian general.

God only knows how this will work out.

Hank Chinaski 01-03-2020 10:32 AM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop (Post 526792)

Wasn't there an incoming R congress that forced "belt-tightening" anyway? President Obama might simply have been playing towards what he knew would be inevitable.

Adder 01-03-2020 12:28 PM

Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield (Post 526794)
Bolton got his Christmas wish with that strike on the Iranian general.

God only knows how this will work out.

The one positive thing I had to say about 45 was the he seemed to be resisting influences like Bolton to avoid escalating against Iran. So much for that. I guess the opportunity to push his other problems out of the headlines, give a potential witness against him something he wanted, lure the media into it's usual war-backing and kill some bad guys was too strong.

Yeah, that isn't surprising.

Apparently these were actually bad - I'll admit to having never heard of them awhile they were alive - but this is going to get ugly in the best case scenario (i.e., Iranian retaliation that doesn't spark further escalation) and very ugly in the likely bad scenario (i.e., renewed regional war).

Adder 01-03-2020 12:32 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski (Post 526795)
Wasn't there an incoming R congress that forced "belt-tightening" anyway? President Obama might simply have been playing towards what he knew would be inevitable.

Yeah, a lot of left-criticism of Obama seems to completely forget what he was dealing with in Congress (not saying that of Delong). But it's also true that if you're the sort of lefty who doesn't like the Dem establishment, you're right that Obama was very much of the Dem establishment.

Frustrating to see those people making the same mistakes as 2016 though. Yeah, Biden's the Dem establishment. Yeah, you find that disappointing. No, the other guy isn't the same thing on any of the metrics you purport to care about (again, save the war thing until yesterday).

sebastian_dangerfield 01-03-2020 12:39 PM

Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Adder (Post 526796)
The one positive thing I had to say about 45 was the he seemed to be resisting influences like Bolton to avoid escalating against Iran. So much for that. I guess the opportunity to push his other problems out of the headlines, give a potential witness against him something he wanted, lure the media into it's usual war-backing and kill some bad guys was too strong.

Yeah, that isn't surprising.

Apparently these were actually bad - I'll admit to having never heard of them awhile they were alive - but this is going to get ugly in the best case scenario (i.e., Iranian retaliation that doesn't spark further escalation) and very ugly in the likely bad scenario (i.e., renewed regional war).

I think a more long range worst case scenario is the rulers in Iran finding a way to use the death of this figure to gin up nationalism and hatred for the US among a population that is not anti-US or anti-Western.

I'm all for killing the degenerate hard liners who rule Iran. Nobody anywhere wants them in power. The world hates them; most of their own people hate them. But the calculation Bush and Obama made was that to engage in aggression against the country in any manner could give the rulers an issue around which to rally the people. The rulers are currently pretty desperate, as we've really strangled their economy. They were praying for a reaction like Trump's. Lets hope the population sees through the propaganda of the rulers and rejects efforts to stoke up nationalism.

And let's hope Iran doesn't react in a manner that results in Trump inviting Wolfowitz and Perle to the White House to provide advice.

sebastian_dangerfield 01-03-2020 12:57 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop (Post 526792)

I think that's one half of it. The other half is the selective bailout. We made a decision to reinflate stock and r/e prices for investors and asset holders while ignoring the losses to workers. (Other than unionized auto workers, who were powerful enough to cut themselves a discrete deal.)

If the bailout had been structured so that Main Street received some of the money (recall, Bush did something along those lines), it would have worked much better and saved both Main Street and Wall Street at once. Wall Street would have received less, but the money given to Main Street would have been spent on mortgages and other debts that instead went bad. And who held that paper? Wall Street. Win/Win.

We could have at least tried to save Main and Wall. But we didn't. "Wise" men (including me... I argued the bailout made sense, and technically it did) said all we needed to do was shore up the financial system and it would in turn stabilize Main Street. Instead, it took all the money and did exactly what rational actors would in that situation. It speculated on assets outside the Main Street economy. And worse, it preyed on Main Street with aggressive foreclosures, and foreclosure abuses.

The 2008 Bailout will never be over. It destroyed Main Street's trust in govt and finance. And finance runs on trust. Without trust, money doesn't flow. Which it isn't. You can cite me any stat on subprime lending and floating home loan rates re-emerging as proof the lending spigot has opened to Joe Sixpack, but those are outliers. They might as well be credit card lenders, which have loaned freely through most of the entire crisis up to today. But the guy trying to borrow for a business loan, the little guy, he's still stuck in vicious cycle:
If you don't need money, you can borrow as much as you like at low rates. But if you need it, fuck you.
2008 was socialism for the affluent, period. It's defended by jackasses who'll say it's imperfect because it had to be done so fast, or that it saved the retirement accounts of millions of common people. Bullshit. We could have done all of that while allowing the people in those banks to lose their asses along with the little guys. We could have allowed investors to suffer on par with labor. But when the fuck did any govt anywhere do that, right? This is why Trump is in office and Bernie is surging. Obama bit his lip and kept the ship afloat for eight years, following the sage wisdom of those who above all else sought to maintain the status quo. Admirable work in some circles. But he never broke the fourth wall and told the little people what Bernie and Trump and Warren are: You're getting fucked in a rigged system. The little guy knows it. He gets it. And now that cat is out of the bag - openly discussed and admitted. I don't know how we ever go back to 2007. It appears impossible. Our democracy is permanently altered.

Greedy,Greedy,Greedy 01-03-2020 01:04 PM

Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield (Post 526798)
I think a more long range worst case scenario is the rulers in Iran finding a way to use the death of this figure to gin up nationalism and hatred for the US among a population that is not anti-US or anti-Western.

I'm all for killing the degenerate hard liners who rule Iran. Nobody anywhere wants them in power. The world hates them; most of their own people hate them. But the calculation Bush and Obama made was that to engage in aggression against the country in any manner could give the rulers an issue around which to rally the people. The rulers are currently pretty desperate, as we've really strangled their economy. They were praying for a reaction like Trump's. Lets hope the population sees through the propaganda of the rulers and rejects efforts to stoke up nationalism.

And let's hope Iran doesn't react in a manner that results in Trump inviting Wolfowitz and Perle to the White House to provide advice.

Here's my long-term worst case scenario: Somewhere along the way, the autocrats in Turkey, Iran, and Arabia decide to carve up the Middle East among themselves and to hell with it. Iran gets Iraq, Kuwait, and Azerbaijan, and a green light to do what they will in Central Asia, the Sauds get Yemen, Oman, the gulf states, and Jordan, and get a free hand in Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti, and Turkey gets Syria, Lebanon, Armenia and Georgia, and a free hand in the Caucuses' and the Black Sea basin in general, as well as Cyprus, and then Turkey and the Saud's split Egypt (Turkey gets Alexandria and Cairo but the Saud's have the Suez and lower Egypt).

Each of those countries would be roughly as populous or more populous and at least as wealthy as Russia to the North and otherwise all would be bordered by significantly weaker countries in the Balkans, Africa, and Central Asia.

Sykes and Picot aren't the only ones with crayons.

Adder 01-03-2020 01:55 PM

Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield (Post 526798)
I think a more long range worst case scenario is the rulers in Iran finding a way to use the death of this figure to gin up nationalism and hatred for the US among a population that is not anti-US or anti-Western.

That would be whom?? I mean, we've done kinda a ton to the people of the region to earn that for ourselves.

Quote:

I'm all for killing the degenerate hard liners who rule Iran. Nobody anywhere wants them in power.
I'm not. When have we ever been able to kill our way to foreign leadership that we liked better? Post-WW2 Japan, I guess, but are you ready for that scale of effort?

sebastian_dangerfield 01-03-2020 02:01 PM

Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...
 
Quote:

That would be whom?? I mean, we've done kinda a ton to the people of the region to earn that for ourselves.
Iran is not a hard line society. It's a diverse group of normal people governed by hard liners. They're not anti-West. Quietly, socially, most of them behave like westerners.

Quote:

I'm not. When have we ever been able to kill our way to foreign leadership that we liked better? Post-WW2 Japan, I guess, but are you ready for that scale of effort?
I was talking perfect world scenarios. It'd be great if we could just kill the hard liners and see them replaced by moderates. But that's not possible. I also meant it in the sense that I'm happy to see hard liners of any country who repress their people die. Preferably more slowly than by drone strike.

Adder 01-03-2020 02:04 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield (Post 526799)
You can cite me any stat on subprime lending and floating home loan rates re-emerging as proof the lending spigot has opened to Joe Sixpack, but those are outliers.

Wait, you think returning to the bubble years' lending would be (a) good and (b) a sign of improvement for Joe Sixpack? Um, no. That was Wall Street preying on the vulnerable. We want that reined in.

Quote:

We could have done all of that while allowing the people in those banks to lose their asses
No we couldn't and trying to would have gone an immense amount of damage to the little guys. See, every bank run ever. Whose mortgages and savings do you think are on the bank's balance sheets?

Quote:

We could have allowed investors to suffer on par with labor.
How? In your (moronic) morality tale, investors were "bailed out" with low interest rates and loose monetary policy. You think labor is better off without those measures? Because they aren't.

Adder 01-03-2020 02:06 PM

Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Greedy,Greedy,Greedy (Post 526800)
Here's my long-term worst case scenario: Somewhere along the way, the autocrats in Turkey, Iran, and Arabia decide to carve up the Middle East among themselves and to hell with it. Iran gets Iraq, Kuwait, and Azerbaijan, and a green light to do what they will in Central Asia, the Sauds get Yemen, Oman, the gulf states, and Jordan, and get a free hand in Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti, and Turkey gets Syria, Lebanon, Armenia and Georgia, and a free hand in the Caucuses' and the Black Sea basin in general, as well as Cyprus, and then Turkey and the Saud's split Egypt (Turkey gets Alexandria and Cairo but the Saud's have the Suez and lower Egypt).

Each of those countries would be roughly as populous or more populous and at least as wealthy as Russia to the North and otherwise all would be bordered by significantly weaker countries in the Balkans, Africa, and Central Asia.

Sykes and Picot aren't the only ones with crayons.

Each of those countries sounds fractured, unstable and prone to civil war. You think the autocrats believe they can manage them?

Tyrone Slothrop 01-03-2020 02:07 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski (Post 526795)
Wasn't there an incoming R congress that forced "belt-tightening" anyway? President Obama might simply have been playing towards what he knew would be inevitable.

He seemed to really believe it, and he was wrong.

Tyrone Slothrop 01-03-2020 02:09 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield (Post 526799)
I think that's one half of it. The other half is the selective bailout. We made a decision to reinflate stock and r/e prices for investors and asset holders while ignoring the losses to workers. (Other than unionized auto workers, who were powerful enough to cut themselves a discrete deal.)

If the bailout had been structured so that Main Street received some of the money (recall, Bush did something along those lines), it would have worked much better and saved both Main Street and Wall Street at once. Wall Street would have received less, but the money given to Main Street would have been spent on mortgages and other debts that instead went bad. And who held that paper? Wall Street. Win/Win.

We could have at least tried to save Main and Wall. But we didn't. "Wise" men (including me... I argued the bailout made sense, and technically it did) said all we needed to do was shore up the financial system and it would in turn stabilize Main Street. Instead, it took all the money and did exactly what rational actors would in that situation. It speculated on assets outside the Main Street economy. And worse, it preyed on Main Street with aggressive foreclosures, and foreclosure abuses.

The 2008 Bailout will never be over. It destroyed Main Street's trust in govt and finance. And finance runs on trust. Without trust, money doesn't flow. Which it isn't. You can cite me any stat on subprime lending and floating home loan rates re-emerging as proof the lending spigot has opened to Joe Sixpack, but those are outliers. They might as well be credit card lenders, which have loaned freely through most of the entire crisis up to today. But the guy trying to borrow for a business loan, the little guy, he's still stuck in vicious cycle:
If you don't need money, you can borrow as much as you like at low rates. But if you need it, fuck you.
2008 was socialism for the affluent, period. It's defended by jackasses who'll say it's imperfect because it had to be done so fast, or that it saved the retirement accounts of millions of common people. Bullshit. We could have done all of that while allowing the people in those banks to lose their asses along with the little guys. We could have allowed investors to suffer on par with labor. But when the fuck did any govt anywhere do that, right? This is why Trump is in office and Bernie is surging. Obama bit his lip and kept the ship afloat for eight years, following the sage wisdom of those who above all else sought to maintain the status quo. Admirable work in some circles. But he never broke the fourth wall and told the little people what Bernie and Trump and Warren are: You're getting fucked in a rigged system. The little guy knows it. He gets it. And now that cat is out of the bag - openly discussed and admitted. I don't know how we ever go back to 2007. It appears impossible. Our democracy is permanently altered.

It's a little worse that that. As I recall, the bailout was structured to give relief to Main Street as well as Wall Street, but Geithner (in particular) didn't want to do that, and didn't use the tools Congress gave him.

Greedy,Greedy,Greedy 01-03-2020 02:18 PM

Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Adder (Post 526804)
Each of those countries sounds fractured, unstable and prone to civil war. You think the autocrats believe they can manage them?

Certainly.

I think the Autocrats all have their eyes on some degree of expansion already, but are generally opposing expansion by the others as they each want a dominant role as the main regional power. The big problem I suggest is that they could get together and expel the US and Russia by working together and each be better off than if they fight each other and play client state to the two external powers.

And at some point in history, each of those powers has occupied the territories I assign them and more.

Tyrone Slothrop 01-03-2020 02:30 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
I generally think assassination of another country's leaders is a bad idea, because it's unlikely to have strategic effect (the country just elevates another leader) and because it invites the same sort of response.

But what was Suleimani doing in Baghdad?

sebastian_dangerfield 01-03-2020 02:37 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop (Post 526806)
It's a little worse that that. As I recall, the bailout was structured to give relief to Main Street as well as Wall Street, but Geithner (in particular) didn't want to do that, and didn't use the tools Congress gave him.

It was initially supposed to create bad banks to soak up and modify bad loans, but that was nixed (don't know who was responsible there). Then there was supposed to be a ton of money allocated to mortgage modifications. That was a fucking joke. The lenders set up new servicers to milk that (Wells Fargo most luridly, and perhaps criminally). They actually made money off the modification system while making it near impossible for borrowers to get modifications. There are a couple really amazing studies on it.

I believe Geithner was a big fan of citing moral hazard (the little people can't be taught they can be bailed out... that only applies to the TBTF clowd). He was also a proponent of the argument that the little guy wasn't as good a risk, while the banks would surely pay back Uncle Sam at profit. Nevermind that by bailing out the little guy with direct subsidies (same way Bush gave everyone checks during a bad economy a few years prior, only much bigger), Wall Street would have been the ultimate recipient of a lot of the funds.

Greedy,Greedy,Greedy 01-03-2020 02:42 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop (Post 526808)
I generally think assassination of another country's leaders is a bad idea, because it's unlikely to have strategic effect (the country just elevates another leader) and because it invites the same sort of response.

But what was Suleimani doing in Baghdad?

Have you seen Andrew Exum's piece today?

He notes that they were regularly tracking Suleimani as he traveled between Syria and Iraq. Someone has to train all those militias.

I expect large portions of the Iraqi government welcomed his presence. Remember, Iran and the Shi'a militias played a big role in pushing Isis out.

Adder 01-03-2020 02:59 PM

Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Greedy,Greedy,Greedy (Post 526807)
And at some point in history, each of those powers has occupied the territories I assign them and more.

Yes, but there are also reasons beyond "western" intervention why they don't anymore, and while not particularly applicable to those three, significantly changed international norms about what you're allowed to do to placate troublemakers since then.

Tyrone Slothrop 01-03-2020 03:00 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield (Post 526809)
It was initially supposed to create bad banks to soak up and modify bad loans, but that was nixed (don't know who was responsible there). Then there was supposed to be a ton of money allocated to mortgage modifications. That was a fucking joke. The lenders set up new servicers to milk that (Wells Fargo most luridly, and perhaps criminally). They actually made money off the modification system while making it near impossible for borrowers to get modifications. There are a couple really amazing studies on it.

I believe Geithner was a big fan of citing moral hazard (the little people can't be taught they can be bailed out... that only applies to the TBTF clowd). He was also a proponent of the argument that the little guy wasn't as good a risk, while the banks would surely pay back Uncle Sam at profit. Nevermind that by bailing out the little guy with direct subsidies (same way Bush gave everyone checks during a bad economy a few years prior, only much bigger), Wall Street would have been the ultimate recipient of a lot of the funds.

I think you and I mainly agree about this.

Adder 01-03-2020 03:07 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield (Post 526809)
the banks would surely pay back Uncle Sam at profit.

Which they did, but doesn't stop some people from going on about how much money was "given" to the banks.

Quote:

Nevermind that by bailing out the little guy with direct subsidies (same way Bush gave everyone checks during a bad economy a few years prior, only much bigger)
1/3 of the ARRA was tax cuts. I'm struggling to remember exactly what form those took, but this site (no idea what it is) says that there were withholding tax cuts and some other stuff, in addition to unemployment benefit expansion and additional SSI payments. There was actually money spent - not loaned - to give to the little guy.

Should it have been more? In my view, preferably more actual spending rather than more cash, but that's primarily because when you build a bridge or a wind farm you both get to pay the workers and wind up with a bridge or wind farm.

Tyrone Slothrop 01-03-2020 03:28 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Greedy,Greedy,Greedy (Post 526810)
[1]Have you seen Andrew Exum's piece today?

[2]He notes that they were regularly tracking Suleimani as he traveled between Syria and Iraq. Someone has to train all those militias.

[3]I expect large portions of the Iraqi government welcomed his presence. Remember, Iran and the Shi'a militias played a big role in pushing Isis out.

[1] No. Do tell.

[2] OK, but it's weird for someone that senior in a government to spend so much time doing operational stuff outside his country's borders. He surely wasn't training the militias himself.

[3] Yes.

Hank Chinaski 01-03-2020 03:41 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
From a friend's Facebook- he immigrated from Iraq after serving as an aide during the second Iraq War. For context he is very anti-current Iraqi government, especially the behavior during the recent protests.

Whether the president is republican or democrat today is irrelevant, the situation with Iran would have been the same, the Bush and Obama's policies toward Iraq were disastrous, the Bush administration didn't figure out how to stabilize Iraq until the last year of his residency and their plan needed couple of years to work (first few years of Obama's presidency) but Obama who ran on ending the Iraq war didn't want to wait long enough for Iraq to stabilize so he pulled out the troops right after Iraq was stabilizing, Obama's biggest mistake was giving Iran a seat at the table of the Iraqi politics, any Prime Minister should be approved by Iran like Maliky which the Obama admins admitted that it was a mistake by allowing Iran to keep Maliky in power even though he didn't win the elections back in 2010.

Anyhow, since the US pulled it's troops, Iran have build many many armed militias, they are all anti Americans and pro Iran, they are stronger than the Iraqi military, they control peoples lives, they kidnap, they bomb, they kill all this while destroying the Iraq economy, people have no jobs, no electricity, no safety, they see their wealth controlled by Iran and corrupt politicians, so they took the street protesting.
Iran have gotten way stronger than they were because they control more and more of Iraq everyday.
the Iraqi protesters didn't choose to leave their country and travel to Europe through the sea, they chose to fix their country and since they started, the Iranian militias been kidnapping them and kill them, then they these militias started attacking military bases.

What would any president do? even if Trump is benefiting from this, its still the right thing to do, and a democratic president would have done the same, its either that or leave Iraq and let Iran to officially take over and get more and more strong.

Trump did the right thing in hitting Iran, I just hope he doesn't leave things half way or undone like Bush and Obama, I loved Obama and voted for him but always criticized his Iraq/foreign policy, and just because I'm not a Trump fan doesn't mean I won't agree with this.

Greedy,Greedy,Greedy 01-03-2020 03:52 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop (Post 526814)
[1] No. Do tell.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...le-man/604375/

Quote:


[2] OK, but it's weird for someone that senior in a government to spend so much time doing operational stuff outside his country's borders. He surely wasn't training the militias himself.
It's like he was the general of the French Foreign Legion. It's kind of in the job description for the QUDS Force.

Quote:

[3] Yes.

Adder 01-03-2020 04:15 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski (Post 526815)
From a friend's Facebook- he immigrated from Iraq after serving as an aide during the second Iraq War. For context he is very anti-current Iraqi government, especially the behavior during the recent protests.

Whether the president is republican or democrat today is irrelevant, the situation with Iran would have been the same, the Bush and Obama's policies toward Iraq were disastrous, the Bush administration didn't figure out how to stabilize Iraq until the last year of his residency and their plan needed couple of years to work (first few years of Obama's presidency) but Obama who ran on ending the Iraq war didn't want to wait long enough for Iraq to stabilize so he pulled out the troops right after Iraq was stabilizing, Obama's biggest mistake was giving Iran a seat at the table of the Iraqi politics, any Prime Minister should be approved by Iran like Maliky which the Obama admins admitted that it was a mistake by allowing Iran to keep Maliky in power even though he didn't win the elections back in 2010.

Anyhow, since the US pulled it's troops, Iran have build many many armed militias, they are all anti Americans and pro Iran, they are stronger than the Iraqi military, they control peoples lives, they kidnap, they bomb, they kill all this while destroying the Iraq economy, people have no jobs, no electricity, no safety, they see their wealth controlled by Iran and corrupt politicians, so they took the street protesting.
Iran have gotten way stronger than they were because they control more and more of Iraq everyday.
the Iraqi protesters didn't choose to leave their country and travel to Europe through the sea, they chose to fix their country and since they started, the Iranian militias been kidnapping them and kill them, then they these militias started attacking military bases.

What would any president do? even if Trump is benefiting from this, its still the right thing to do, and a democratic president would have done the same, its either that or leave Iraq and let Iran to officially take over and get more and more strong.

Trump did the right thing in hitting Iran, I just hope he doesn't leave things half way or undone like Bush and Obama, I loved Obama and voted for him but always criticized his Iraq/foreign policy, and just because I'm not a Trump fan doesn't mean I won't agree with this.

Interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing.

Leaving aside the legalities (which have been muddied by prior administration practice), my primary concern isn't so much getting rid of this guy as where it leads and whether this administration has planned carefully for it. I have zero faith that it has.

Tyrone Slothrop 01-03-2020 04:25 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski (Post 526815)
From a friend's Facebook- he immigrated from Iraq after serving as an aide during the second Iraq War. For context he is very anti-current Iraqi government, especially the behavior during the recent protests.

Whether the president is republican or democrat today is irrelevant, the situation with Iran would have been the same, the Bush and Obama's policies toward Iraq were disastrous, the Bush administration didn't figure out how to stabilize Iraq until the last year of his residency and their plan needed couple of years to work (first few years of Obama's presidency) but Obama who ran on ending the Iraq war didn't want to wait long enough for Iraq to stabilize so he pulled out the troops right after Iraq was stabilizing, Obama's biggest mistake was giving Iran a seat at the table of the Iraqi politics, any Prime Minister should be approved by Iran like Maliky which the Obama admins admitted that it was a mistake by allowing Iran to keep Maliky in power even though he didn't win the elections back in 2010.

Anyhow, since the US pulled it's troops, Iran have build many many armed militias, they are all anti Americans and pro Iran, they are stronger than the Iraqi military, they control peoples lives, they kidnap, they bomb, they kill all this while destroying the Iraq economy, people have no jobs, no electricity, no safety, they see their wealth controlled by Iran and corrupt politicians, so they took the street protesting.
Iran have gotten way stronger than they were because they control more and more of Iraq everyday.
the Iraqi protesters didn't choose to leave their country and travel to Europe through the sea, they chose to fix their country and since they started, the Iranian militias been kidnapping them and kill them, then they these militias started attacking military bases.

What would any president do? even if Trump is benefiting from this, its still the right thing to do, and a democratic president would have done the same, its either that or leave Iraq and let Iran to officially take over and get more and more strong.

Trump did the right thing in hitting Iran, I just hope he doesn't leave things half way or undone like Bush and Obama, I loved Obama and voted for him but always criticized his Iraq/foreign policy, and just because I'm not a Trump fan doesn't mean I won't agree with this.

I don't understand the criticism of Obama here. W. invaded the country and removed its government. Since then, unsurprisingly, Iraq's government has been weak and has lacked legitimacy. Obama didn't "give Iran a seat at the table." Iraq is majority Shi'a, and Iran is Shi'a. Iraq's Shia's gave Iran a seat at the table, as was inevitable when W. removed the prior Sunni regime. Also, IIRC, many people criticized Obama for removing troops, but that was the deal the Iraqis gave us. Your friend is saying that Obama should have forced Iraq to do what he wanted instead of having its own government.

He is right about the militias and the mess that the country is, but it's hard for me to see what Obama or anyone else could have done with the mess that W. left.

Hank Chinaski 01-03-2020 05:06 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop (Post 526818)
I don't understand the criticism of Obama here. W. invaded the country and removed its government. Since then, unsurprisingly, Iraq's government has been weak and has lacked legitimacy. Obama didn't "give Iran a seat at the table." Iraq is majority Shi'a, and Iran is Shi'a. Iraq's Shia's gave Iran a seat at the table, as was inevitable when W. removed the prior Sunni regime. Also, IIRC, many people criticized Obama for removing troops, but that was the deal the Iraqis gave us. Your friend is saying that Obama should have forced Iraq to do what he wanted instead of having its own government.

He is right about the militias and the mess that the country is, but it's hard for me to see what Obama or anyone else could have done with the mess that W. left.

https://themoth.org/stories/leaving-baghdad

I talk to him about Moth Judges, not Iraq politics. But from this post he felt the invasion was good. He feels that Bush waited too long to implement steps that would stabilize the country, but he did near the end of his term. He feels Obama pulled the plug before those steps could gel. He feels Obama should not have let Iran into the government and should have taken more action as Iran grew more powerful within Iraq. He might be a moron or he might really know what he is talking about.

His Facebook has recently been focused on the protests and the kidnapping of all the protesters. He is quite strongly anti-Iran. But I can't answer your questions, just give you the perspective of one person that has a much different view than any of us have.

Tyrone Slothrop 01-03-2020 05:32 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski (Post 526819)
https://themoth.org/stories/leaving-baghdad

I talk to him about Moth Judges, not Iraq politics. But from this post he felt the invasion was good. He feels that Bush waited too long to implement steps that would stabilize the country, but he did near the end of his term. He feels Obama pulled the plug before those steps could gel. He feels Obama should not have let Iran into the government and should have taken more action as Iran grew more powerful within Iraq. He might be a moron or he might really know what he is talking about.

His Facebook has recently been focused on the protests and the kidnapping of all the protesters. He is quite strongly anti-Iran. But I can't answer your questions, just give you the perspective of one person that has a much different view than any of us have.

He might be brilliant and know far more about Iraq than all of us put together, and yet be entirely unrealistic about how easy it is to rebuild a functioning government in a place like Iraq once you have removed the existing regime. I think it's far-fetched to think that the Bush Administration could rebuild Iraq. Also, I don't understand why he thinks Obama "let Iran into the government." A lot of Iraqis, the majority, are Shi'a. (I gather he is Sunni.) Iran has influence because it is Shi'a. Saddam Hussein's regime was undemocratic, Sunni, and antagonistic to Iran. Any democratic regime that followed was going to be much more sympathetic to Iran. Because democracy. It wasn't Obama's idea to introduce democracy to Iraq.

Anyway, I appreciate his perspective, but there are a lot of people who were unrealistic about what invading Iraq and removing the regime could reasonably accomplish, and maybe he was one of them. It's not like Iraq has a tradition of democratic power-sharing between different factions.

sebastian_dangerfield 01-03-2020 05:53 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Adder (Post 526813)
Which they did, but doesn't stop some people from going on about how much money was "given" to the banks.



1/3 of the ARRA was tax cuts. I'm struggling to remember exactly what form those took, but this site (no idea what it is) says that there were withholding tax cuts and some other stuff, in addition to unemployment benefit expansion and additional SSI payments. There was actually money spent - not loaned - to give to the little guy.

Should it have been more? In my view, preferably more actual spending rather than more cash, but that's primarily because when you build a bridge or a wind farm you both get to pay the workers and wind up with a bridge or wind farm.

I’m not one of those saying the banks were gifted money. I fully realize that they were merely failed businesses which deserved to collapse which were given lifelines thousands of other businesses failing at the same time were not.

That’s really the rub with 2008, isn’t it? Those who are supposed to die and be eaten by their betters were instead given a do over on terms which allowed them to steal even more assets at crazy low prices, watch them reinflate due to lax monetary supply, and then make new fortunes on the appreciation. The little guy, even the mid sized to large businessman, was only invited to this party via the stock market, where he often wound up buying shares in the same would-have-failed-entities. That’s a dry assfucking for Main St. is what that is.

It’s always been a somewhat rigged game. But it was so naked this time around, no one could refute it.

This shit, the drug war, institutional racism, Citizens United, all of this crony capitalism... It’s not a theory. It’s no longer something we can credibly dispute. This country’s got no legitimate authority on which to demand respect except for force. It’s “wise” to assert populism peaks volcanically and quickly fades. This round of it started in the fallout from the housing collapse, became overt in 2009 with Santelli’s “tea party” rant, and has now culminated in Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders raising the highest levels of campaign cash on the backs of this message: The Establishment is weak and corrupt and needs to go.

And where the media could unify to stanch that sort of message in the past, today’s media is atomized.

I’d put Geithner next to Gingrich in the list of People Responsible for the Freakshow. And I don’t see this Freakshow ending any time soon. This appears to be Populism 3.0 in a 10 stage cycle.

ETA: And what was Geithner’s genius after 2008? Continue policies that encouraged bank consolidation. And regulate the little banks just like big ones. A better recipe for an even more extreme TBTF mess, and a dearth of lending on Main St, couldn’t be conceived. But it can’t happen again, right? A madman in the Oval and a crazy spike in oil prices similar to 2005 could never create another 2008...

Hank Chinaski 01-03-2020 07:32 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop (Post 526820)
He might be brilliant and know far more about Iraq than all of us put together, and yet be entirely unrealistic about how easy it is to rebuild a functioning government in a place like Iraq once you have removed the existing regime. I think it's far-fetched to think that the Bush Administration could rebuild Iraq. Also, I don't understand why he thinks Obama "let Iran into the government." A lot of Iraqis, the majority, are Shi'a. (I gather he is Sunni.) Iran has influence because it is Shi'a. Saddam Hussein's regime was undemocratic, Sunni, and antagonistic to Iran. Any democratic regime that followed was going to be much more sympathetic to Iran. Because democracy. It wasn't Obama's idea to introduce democracy to Iraq.

Anyway, I appreciate his perspective, but there are a lot of people who were unrealistic about what invading Iraq and removing the regime could reasonably accomplish, and maybe he was one of them. It's not like Iraq has a tradition of democratic power-sharing between different factions.

As to letting Iran in, I asked him. As to reestablishing the country, he was still there when Obama took over. Seems like he thought things were gelling until we bailed.

Hank Chinaski 01-03-2020 10:45 PM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
From an Iraqi who was there: the desperation of Obama to get out of Iraq and ends a war got them to the table.
In 2010 a democratic party with a democratic secular leader won the most votes and under the Iraqi constitution the party with most votes wins and form a government. Iran wouldn’t approve the win and they would interfere and they called a summit with all the religious parties heads to meet and form a bigger body in the gov and amend the constitution so they can take power and keep Maliky in power.
The Obama admins approved and they thought they could work with Maliky and pull out the troops that way they can avoid keeping the troops longer bcoz if they let the democratic party wins they will need to stay longer to deal with any Iranian threat.
Thats how Iran stole the 2010 Iraqi election.
Later when ISIS was formed Obama Admins admitted their mistake and said they shouldn’t have allowed this “under the table” deal to go through bcoz Maliky was Iranian puppet and he created these militias in Iraq and allowed others to form.
The Obama mistake was his desperation to leave Iraq quick without thinking of how weak Iraq was and how quickly Iran can take over.
They did exactly what they did with Lebanon by supporting Hizbullah and now Hizbullah is an Iranian tool.
If we won’t stop these militias from forming and if we don’t kick Iran out of Iraq there will be huge threats to the middle east and the American interest there and here too.
Iraqs wealth and geography specially being the land link between Iran and Syria then Lebanon is something Iran wants to hold on to, without it they are weak


Of course the fact that he was there doesn’t necessarily give him more cred than an American who thought Obama was a lizard shape shifter, so I’m just passing it on. I do not know what religion or branch thereof either.

Tyrone Slothrop 01-04-2020 12:04 AM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski (Post 526823)
From an Iraqi who was there: the desperation of Obama to get out of Iraq and ends a war got them to the table.
In 2010 a democratic party with a democratic secular leader won the most votes and under the Iraqi constitution the party with most votes wins and form a government. Iran wouldn’t approve the win and they would interfere and they called a summit with all the religious parties heads to meet and form a bigger body in the gov and amend the constitution so they can take power and keep Maliky in power.
The Obama admins approved and they thought they could work with Maliky and pull out the troops that way they can avoid keeping the troops longer bcoz if they let the democratic party wins they will need to stay longer to deal with any Iranian threat.
Thats how Iran stole the 2010 Iraqi election.
Later when ISIS was formed Obama Admins admitted their mistake and said they shouldn’t have allowed this “under the table” deal to go through bcoz Maliky was Iranian puppet and he created these militias in Iraq and allowed others to form.
The Obama mistake was his desperation to leave Iraq quick without thinking of how weak Iraq was and how quickly Iran can take over.
They did exactly what they did with Lebanon by supporting Hizbullah and now Hizbullah is an Iranian tool.
If we won’t stop these militias from forming and if we don’t kick Iran out of Iraq there will be huge threats to the middle east and the American interest there and here too.
Iraqs wealth and geography specially being the land link between Iran and Syria then Lebanon is something Iran wants to hold on to, without it they are weak


Of course the fact that he was there doesn’t necessarily give him more cred than an American who thought Obama was a lizard shape shifter, so I’m just passing it on. I do not know what religion or branch thereof either.

I appreciate your sharing his point of view.

I'm not sure how the US is better off for our involvement in Iraq since we invaded almost two decades ago, for all of the lives that have been lost and all of the money that has been spent. The idea that if we had just invested some more lives and money and gotten a better result seems like absolute craziness.

Hank Chinaski 01-04-2020 10:02 AM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop (Post 526824)
I appreciate your sharing his point of view.

I'm not sure how the US is better off for our involvement in Iraq since we invaded almost two decades ago, for all of the lives that have been lost and all of the money that has been spent. The idea that if we had just invested some more lives and money and gotten a better result seems like absolute craziness.

I posted it for his take on whether killing the general was flat out insane impeachment avoidance, or if it might have been rational. Obama was the President of the US, and of course it’s interests are what he should have followed. But this guy is saying perhaps the US interests long term could have been better protected by insisting Iraqis rule Iraq.

sebastian_dangerfield 01-05-2020 10:45 AM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski (Post 526825)
I posted it for his take on whether killing the general was flat out insane impeachment avoidance, or if it might have been rational. Obama was the President of the US, and of course it’s interests are what he should have followed. But this guy is saying perhaps the US interests long term could have been better protected by insisting Iraqis rule Iraq.

Everything big done for the remainder the articles remain unresolved will be seen as an attempt to divert attention from impeachment. But ask, does Trump really want to divert attention from impeachment? No. He wants an acquittal and a victory lap.

If this assassination is anything political, I think it’s just a general attempt to gin up nationalism and look strong. He’s getting a good bit of positive press from those who think Obama let Iraq slide into Iran’s hands.

My suspicion is this was a win for Trump in response to Iranian provocation (the aggressive protests). It’s consistent with his plan of strangling Iran’s leadership. And I was wrong earlier when I suggested it could create a domestic oil spike. I forgot about our ramped up domestic production. A Middle East price spike is actually a potentially huge economic benefit to domestic producers.

Greedy,Greedy,Greedy 01-05-2020 11:57 AM

Re: Objectively intelligent.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski (Post 526825)
I posted it for his take on whether killing the general was flat out insane impeachment avoidance, or if it might have been rational. Obama was the President of the US, and of course it’s interests are what he should have followed. But this guy is saying perhaps the US interests long term could have been better protected by insisting Iraqis rule Iraq.

I appreciated the post. I generally find takes from friends who were born in Iraq or Iran very interesting. There is a ton of anger at Suleimani among all of them. Raw anger, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum.

There also is a much broader, non-polar range of views on what is going on, rather than the US foreign policy for-it-or-against-it view.

Certainly global interests are better solved by insisting Iraqis rule Iraq. It all depends where you define US interests what US interests are. If we want peace, well, that's one thing, if we're happy to have lots of people die so we have cheap gas and wealthy defense contractors, that's another.

LessinSF 01-05-2020 03:56 PM

Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Adder (Post 526801)
I'm not. When have we ever been able to kill our way to foreign leadership that we liked better? Post-WW2 Japan, I guess, but are you ready for that scale of effort?

Vietnam. Cambodia. Laos. Colombia. Panama. Grenada. The Philippenes. Mexico. Or, Great Britain?

LessinSF 01-05-2020 03:59 PM

Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LessinSF (Post 526828)
Vietnam. Cambodia. Laos. Colombia. Panama. Grenada. The Philippenes. Mexico. Or, Great Britain?

The Balkans.
Edited to remove WWII references.


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