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Old 01-03-2020, 05:32 PM   #31
Tyrone Slothrop
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski View Post
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.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:53 PM   #32
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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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...
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:32 PM   #33
Hank Chinaski
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
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.
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Old 01-03-2020, 10:45 PM   #34
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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.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:04 AM   #35
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski View Post
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.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:02 AM   #36
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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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.
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:45 AM   #37
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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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.
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:57 AM   #38
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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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.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:56 PM   #39
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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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?
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:59 PM   #40
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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Vietnam. Cambodia. Laos. Colombia. Panama. Grenada. The Philippenes. Mexico. Or, Great Britain?
The Balkans.
Edited to remove WWII references.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:32 PM   #41
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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Vietnam. Cambodia. Laos. Colombia. Panama. Grenada. The Philippenes. Mexico. Or, Great Britain?
You've got a good start going, but 1953 Iran needs to be on the list. Kermit Roosevelt actually paid both sides to get into a massive fight that left 300 dead in order to create a crisis and overthrow Mosadegh.

It's sort of like twitter battles between the Russian MAGA accounts and the Russian Bernie accounts, but with bodies.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:31 AM   #42
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10 Risks for 2020

https://www.eurasiagroup.net/issues/Top-Risks-2020

Ian Bremmer is a bit like Fareed Zakaria, in that he's not usually saying anything terribly revelatory. But his selection of risks, organization of points, and economy of words makes his stuff a compelling read. I can't really disagree with or add to any of this.

Particularly insightful is the observation that populism is not peaking globally, but still in a building phase. Bremmer sees no 2020 risk of it impacting policy, but sees future risk as it continues to grow. I'd have liked to see him predict what it mutates into as it rambles forward. The fascinating thing about populism through history is it almost always fails because the component parts of it - differing groups with similar grievances but too diverse to fuse into a coalition - fail to transform into a serious political movement with concise policy demands. But that assessment/prediction is based on pre-Internet history. Domestically, the overlap between the Trump, Sanders, and Warren voters suggests an environment in which the right messaging, shrewd use of connective technology, and a candidate not as polarizing as any of them could bring a majority of voters in those camps into one tent. That'd be an actually formidable third party. But what would it look like?
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:05 AM   #43
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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You've got a good start going, but 1953 Iran needs to be on the list. Kermit Roosevelt actually paid both sides to get into a massive fight that left 300 dead in order to create a crisis and overthrow Mosadegh.

It's sort of like twitter battles between the Russian MAGA accounts and the Russian Bernie accounts, but with bodies.
There are some advantages to the shift to cyber warfare. For one, the CIA can create bots at 1/1000th the price of hiring local thugs.

More generally, why has there been no discussion of our role in creating the Iranian Revolution? Or the mess in Iraq?

If people are to understand the chain of events that caused Iran and Iraq to become the problem states they are today, we have to start with the dimwitted Brits' carving of boundaries. I believe it was Churchill who assessed Iraq as an ungovernable area of warring tribes long before its arbitrary boundaries were cut. That was the start of the shit show.

Few Americans would care to hear about how we installed the Shah, or understand that this stooge we installed over a democratically elected leader was a repressive incompetent who ruined the country's economy. And it's notable this favoring of a monarch would put them in a camp with Revolutionary Tories, no? Best to have a crown. The people can't think for themselves. But fuck all of that naysaying. Better to dust off the "Nuke Iran" stickers from '79.

That's not to say Trump was wrong. If Iran's leaders have to be checked, then check them. And few things send a message to the fundamentalist vermin who repress both the population and the valid, elected leaders of that country like killing a man who was basically their Secretary of State. And if Iraq's sovereignty must be breached to stanch Iran's influence, then do that too. Just be aware, you're possibly angering a population of Iranians who'd rather be your friends.

And as a disclaimer at the bottom of every story about Iran and Iraq, a recognition that this is a "We broke it, so we now own it" situation should be included. Khomeini didn't appear out of nowhere. He emerged from a nation we repressed. Iraq's Shi'a majority hasn't fallen in with the Iranians for no good reason. That accrues from our backing Hussein and the Ba'athists who persecuted the population of the country.

If we must act in our naked self interest, let's at least be honest about it.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:47 AM   #44
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Re: Like that Amazon package that arrives two weeks late...

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There are some advantages to the shift to cyber warfare. For one, the CIA can create bots at 1/1000th the price of hiring local thugs.

More generally, why has there been no discussion of our role in creating the Iranian Revolution? Or the mess in Iraq?

If people are to understand the chain of events that caused Iran and Iraq to become the problem states they are today, we have to start with the dimwitted Brits' carving of boundaries. I believe it was Churchill who assessed Iraq as an ungovernable area of warring tribes long before its arbitrary boundaries were cut. That was the start of the shit show.

Few Americans would care to hear about how we installed the Shah, or understand that this stooge we installed over a democratically elected leader was a repressive incompetent who ruined the country's economy. And it's notable this favoring of a monarch would put them in a camp with Revolutionary Tories, no? Best to have a crown. The people can't think for themselves. But fuck all of that naysaying. Better to dust off the "Nuke Iran" stickers from '79.

That's not to say Trump was wrong. If Iran's leaders have to be checked, then check them. And few things send a message to the fundamentalist vermin who repress both the population and the valid, elected leaders of that country like killing a man who was basically their Secretary of State. And if Iraq's sovereignty must be breached to stanch Iran's influence, then do that too. Just be aware, you're possibly angering a population of Iranians who'd rather be your friends.

And as a disclaimer at the bottom of every story about Iran and Iraq, a recognition that this is a "We broke it, so we now own it" situation should be included. Khomeini didn't appear out of nowhere. He emerged from a nation we repressed. Iraq's Shi'a majority hasn't fallen in with the Iranians for no good reason. That accrues from our backing Hussein and the Ba'athists who persecuted the population of the country.

If we must act in our naked self interest, let's at least be honest about it.
It is amazing how well the memory of the Mossadegh coup and the installation of the Shah as our proxy has remained alive and at the front of peoples' minds, not just in Iran but the whole Middle East. It is referred to constantly. I think the last beg seismic event in the US that is comparable is probably the Civil War.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:44 AM   #45
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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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.
Yes, the failure in your analysis is in appreciating that banks are different from other businesses.

And, in fact, the fact that they paid all that money back with interest at least somewhat undermines the argument that they were all failed businesses. Turns out those assets weren't all completely worthless after all.

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Those who are supposed to die and be eaten by their betters
But they were eaten by their betters. There's no more Wachovia, Washington Mutual and a bunch of others. Much more so than other industries, failed banks get literally taken over by other banks that aren't failing.
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