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Monday, June 02, 2014

OTP - June 2014: Iraq war costs U.S. more than $2 trillion: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war’s death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.

Bitter Mouse Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:48 AM | 4613 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: otp, politics, stupid ideas

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   3401. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 18, 2014 at 10:35 PM (#4730117)
"Olivia Chow is a Stooge for the Introduction of Fundamentalist Islam into Canada".


Some sort of Purina product, I take it.
   3402. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 18, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4730121)
Anyway, it's good to see that Andy has awakened from his fainting couch after the revelations in #3270. Hope Hillary Clinton's vile nativist child-hating racism didn't hit you too hard, Andy.

Since I'm not Ray and don't restrict my vote only to candidates I agree with on everything, I don't have any problem saying (1) I don't agree with her emphasis, while at the same time noting that (2) she's still light years ahead of any candidate that the Republicans are going to be putting up against her. She's in favor of a comprehensive immigration reform law that would allow for a path to citizenship, a stand no Republican seeking the presidency would dare to take.

In a perfect world, I'd vote for Elizabeth Warren over Hillary, but that's not likely to be the choice we're going to be facing come 2016. We went through that purity crap back in 2000 and wound up with Roberts, Alito, and a war in Iraq.



   3403. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 18, 2014 at 10:57 PM (#4730131)
Homeland attacked by terrorists? Who cares? Sh!t happens, dude.


Not what I said.

Why worry about ISIS when the nation is beset by daily mass bombings by "right wing Christian terrorists"?


And again, not what I said.

You two are utterly incapable of actually responding to what I do say. It is kind of pathetic. Oh well. Moving on.
   3404. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 18, 2014 at 11:11 PM (#4730136)
Moderate Republican William Saletan:

The Republican Party has a long-standing philosophy about welfare. It goes like this: People take responsibility only if they must. The more we intervene to prop them up, the less they do for themselves. We can’t save them from their bad choices. They have to face the consequences and adjust their behavior accordingly.

...Now we have a different problem. It isn’t that Republicans overemphasize self-reliance in the context of welfare. It’s that they’ve forgotten self-reliance in the context of foreign policy. They’ve become grandiose and naive. Case in point: the emerging crisis in Iraq.

...Three years ago, President Obama offered to extend the “status of forces” agreement under which some of our troops would stay there with Iraq’s approval. Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, didn’t accept the deal.

Everyone told Maliki that to keep his country together and peaceful, he had to build relationships with Iraq’s Sunnis and Kurds. As Slate’s Fred Kaplan explains, Maliki ignored the advice. He didn’t just neglect the Sunnis. He mistreated and alienated them. That’s a big reason why a Sunni extremist group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now controls much of Iraq’s territory and is advancing on Baghdad.

President Obama’s analysis of the ISIS threat sounds a lot like the GOP’s analysis of the war on poverty... In sum, said Obama, “We can’t do it for them.” That’s a straightforward application of self-reliance. We’ll help you, but only if you clean up your act. Our help is limited, and your initiative is required.

Republicans have made the same points, repeatedly, in proposals to reform welfare... All these concepts—dependency, self-sufficiency, insistence that recipients do their part—vanish when the conversation turns to foreign policy.


---------

Liberal Ezra Klein:

It was called the Democratic Domino Theory. First Iraq would become a beacon of political freedom and economic success. Then, one by one, the populations across the rest of the Middle East would rise up and force their countries to follow. The war on terror wouldn't end with a fight. It would end with a vote.

...The totality of the Bush administration's failure in Iraq is stunning. It is not simply that they failed to build the liberal democracy they wanted. It's that they ended up strengthening theocracies they feared.
   3405. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 18, 2014 at 11:30 PM (#4730142)
I appreciate your willingness to admit the "convenient HD crash" talking point is lunacy. But then you follow that up with willful ignorance and abject refusal to accept facts inconvenient to your partisan blather. There is absolutely zero reason to suspect the 6 month tape archive system, followed by reuse of old tapes for the next round of backups, is false. Absolutely zero. That's more or less a standard practice across verticals, and no one really considers email systems to be core requirement for longterm backup and disaster recovery. Refusing to believe the backup process timeline is just stupidity, or an ignorance of how IT generally works. You realize the "convenient HD crash two years before any scandal erupted" talking point is dead, due to the stickiness of linear time, so you glom onto some make believe that the IRS IT department is lying about its backup process as part of some sort of deep, multiple department and agency wide coverup to save face for a mid-level bureaucrat. Absolute make believe.


Of course when this happens to a large Broker Dealer, they are fined $7.5 million dollars, and that's for just not having the emails (in the case of LPL, millions of them) available from a six year period.
Good thing the IRS doesn't have to answer to the SEC 17a-4 or FINRA rule 4510. You must have the most recent two years of all email in a readily accessible place and must be able to produce all of the previous 3 years.
   3406. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: June 18, 2014 at 11:33 PM (#4730143)
I think the kabuki theater of body scans every 20 feet, "only tiny shampoo bottles", etc is utterly pointless and a massive waste of time and funds. I think the world would be 99.9% as safe tomorrow if we rolled back TSA and airport security to 9/10/2001 processes tonight.


The body scanners absolutely have to go. They do absolutely nothing. I have never been through a body scanner. Not because I am on some trusted traveller list, but merely because since they became in widespread use, I have never flown without my children. Adults traveling with children under 12 do not have to go through body scanners. Thus, assuming they can detect things the normal metal detector cannot, anyone wishing to smuggle those things through security will do so accompanied by a child. Thus... a useless and expensive inconvenience.

The same goes with shoes or jackets, neither of which a 70+ year old has to remove and put through x-ray. "OK gramps. I need to smuggle this through security in some shoes so I can blow up the New York to London flight. I got you a ticket to Miami, so wear these through security and I'll meet you on the other side." It's absolutely stunning that we put up with this nonsense.
   3407. tshipman Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4730156)
The body scanners absolutely have to go. They do absolutely nothing. I have never been through a body scanner. Not because I am on some trusted traveller list, but merely because since they became in widespread use, I have never flown without my children. Adults traveling with children under 12 do not have to go through body scanners. Thus, assuming they can detect things the normal metal detector cannot, anyone wishing to smuggle those things through security will do so accompanied by a child. Thus... a useless and expensive inconvenience.


You also don't go through body scanners for most international flights inbound to the US.
   3408. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 07:12 AM (#4730213)
You two are utterly incapable of actually responding to what I do say. It is kind of pathetic. Oh well. Moving on.

That's exactly what you said. You made a big deal out of "right wing Christian terrorism" and that's accounted for one death in 15 years. And even that isn't really "right wing Christian terrorism," or "terrorism" at all; it's (illegitimate) political violence aimed at interfering with the machinery of abortion. There's analogous behavior on the left -- eco-"terrorism" and the like, e.g. -- but no one with even a hint of brains would suggest that "domestic left wing terrorism" measures up to al-Qaeda.
   3409. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 07:43 AM (#4730220)
You made a big deal out of "right wing Christian terrorism" and that's accounted for one death in 15 years.


I said right wing terrorism has in its history (you decided on 15 years, you found some links and ran with it, but I never limited it like that) done more damage to the US than ISIS. And I said "Christian", specifically using scare quotes because I don't think those nuts are truly representative Christians any more than ISIS represent Muslims.

Here is the exact quote: "Because right wing "christian" groups have done more damage to the US than ISIS ever will?"

Suggesting domestic terrorists are a bigger deal than some foreign terrorist group is hardly "making a big deal". And I am not suggesting "making war" or bombing domestic terrorists. I used the example because you want to treat ISIS as an excuse to continue your nutty war against Islam, but would never use domestic terrorists similarly, because that is too obviously stupid even for you.

Like I said you are utterly incapable of responding to what I actually say.
   3410. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 07:44 AM (#4730221)
The body scanners absolutely have to go.


According to JoeK AQ makes us use those scanners. It is not our choice at all. Because reasons.
   3411. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 07:55 AM (#4730228)
It's not even a matter of doctrine, much less a rabid insistence on adherence to same.


You believe, doctrinaire, with no argument or reasoning, that culture X is greater than culture Y. Your defense of this position is the always laughable appeal to "self-evidence." You present no case for your position other than the position itself, and if anyone fails to take your begging of the question as gospel, you fly off into frothy rants about how those people fail to understand reality itself.

This is fundamentalism

You wish to implement your fundamentalist faith in western liberal "culture" (not, mind you, the ideals behind that culture, just the "culture") via political operations (military colonization of the "infidel.") You want to leverage as much fire power and state sponsored violence in that end as required to beat the heretical infidel into submission forever.

This is fascism.

You want to station military troops and governors across the globe, to manage the territory and peoples of the "infidel" lands unendingly into the future.

This is imperialism.

The fact that you wrap your base instincts in an American flag and tell the world that you're really doing it a favor doesn't change the underlying structures of your preferred actions.

You are a fundamentalist. You are a fascist. You are an imperialist.
   3412. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 08:01 AM (#4730233)
Good thing the IRS doesn't have to answer to the SEC 17a-4 or FINRA rule 4510. You must have the most recent two years of all email in a readily accessible place and must be able to produce all of the previous 3 years.


If you are proposing to apply similar backup requirements to the IRS, I have no real issue with that. You'll have to fund the agency so it can upgrade its infrastructure, but that should almost certainly happen anyway. I have no problem taking this and turning into better policy and regulation of the agency going forward.

What take issue with is the nutjob level of paranoia required to turn the HD crash and lack of a tape backup into part of an "coverup" scandal. That simply fails to engage reality at any level. We have no reason in the known details to believe the HD crash in 2011, nor the inadequate tape backup strategy, are anything more than the every day facts of life within the federal behemoth. We're talking about a sequence of agencies where they still run AS400, because it's too expensive to migrate to something from 1995.
   3413. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 08:47 AM (#4730244)
You believe, doctrinaire, with no argument or reasoning, that culture X is greater than culture Y.

To be fair, we all believe Western culture is superior to Islamic culture. Does anyone here harbor desires to emigrate to Qatar, or the UAE? I would doubt an Islamic country is on any of out "top-25 countries where we'd like to live" lists.
   3414. villageidiom Posted: June 19, 2014 at 08:51 AM (#4730246)
You are a fundamentalist. You are a fascist. You are an imperialist.
Is that wrong? Should I not do that? I tell ya, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started that that sort of thing was frowned upon... you know, because I've posted on a lot of sites, and people are like that all the time.
   3415. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4730247)
To be fair, we all believe Western culture is superior to Islamic culture.


Stipulated. That's not the point. The point is our beliefs are founded in nothing more than preference and comfort. There is no objective measure by which to prove it to be the case or not. All of SBB's caterwauling to the contrary won't change that fact. We all take western superiority as an article of faith. SBB takes that article of faith and projects it into the world as a false-objectivity, and then demands that we bomb to death anyone failing to believe his gospel. That's fundamentalism of the same sort ISIS is preaching, only the nutters in ISIS at least have the sack to kill for themselves. Bear prefers to offload that to tech and poor kids with no job opportunities from the South.
   3416. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4730251)
Stipulated. That's not the point. The point is our beliefs are founded in nothing more than preference and comfort. There is no objective measure by which to prove it to be the case or not.

SBB may not have articulated them, but there are certainly objective reasons to prefer Western Culture (not that they justify a massive Imperial expedition to the Mid East).

Hell, I'd rather live in ancient Rome than modern Saudi Arabia, and that doesn't have anything to do with comfort.
   3417. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4730255)
SBB may not have articulated them, but there are certainly objective reasons to prefer Western Culture


I doubt this.

(not that they justify a massive Imperial expedition to the Mid East).


You're on my side of the SBB wars, then.

Hell, I'd rather live in ancient Rome than modern Saudi Arabia, and that doesn't have anything to do with comfort.


No, just preference. (And a false sense of what life would be like without indoor plumbing or antibiotics.)
   3418. GregD Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:04 AM (#4730256)
Hell, I'd rather live in ancient Rome than modern Saudi Arabia, and that doesn't have anything to do with comfort.
And get fed to the lions?

You wouldn't want to live in ancient Rome as one of the slaves--probably the largest by numbers slave society in history.

Nor as a child--50% dead before the age of 10

   3419. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4730257)
You're on my side of the SBB wars, then.

I guess I'm in the middle. I don't think we can stay completely out, but I also don't think occupying countries does any good.

No, just preference. (And a false sense of what life would be like without indoor plumbing or antibiotics.)

Life would suck w/o indoor plumbing. Still better than a place where I can't even get a damn drink
   3420. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4730260)
And get fed to the lions?

You wouldn't want to live in ancient Rome as one of the slaves--probably the largest by numbers slave society in history.

Nor as a child--50% dead before the age of 10


Like I'd do any better in Saudi Arabia. They have plenty of slaves too, they just call them guest workers.

Everybody has to die sometime.
   3421. BrianBrianson Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4730263)
To be fair, we all believe Western culture is superior to Islamic culture.


Well, yes and no. There are upshots and downshots to both, and there's some combination of the two that's better than either individually.
   3422. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4730264)
If you lived in Ancient Rome, there is a 75% chanced you would be a slave.
   3423. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4730265)
To be fair, we all believe Western culture is superior to Islamic culture.

Well, yes and no


Secular culture is superior to theocratic culture.
   3424. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4730266)
Life would suck w/o indoor plumbing. Still better than a place where I can't even get a damn drink


As I say, a false sense of what life would be without indoor plumbing. Did I ever mention that the house my grandparents lived in until I was six had an outhouse? I don't think you really understand the concept of shitting in a hole in the middle of the night, much less the idea of #### running down the streets from slop buckets.
   3425. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:11 AM (#4730267)
Secular culture is superior to theocratic culture.


Your faith in secular culture is theocratic.
   3426. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:11 AM (#4730268)
Life as a guest worker in S.A. Is orders of magnitude better than life as a slave in Ancient Rome.
   3427. BDC Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4730270)
To be fair, we all believe Western culture is superior to Islamic culture

The dichotomy alone is misleading, since there are millions of Muslims in Western countries, and several highly Westernized countries with Muslim majorities. It's not an either-or. The two have informed each other for a very long time now.

I know what you're saying, for sure. I am a secularist and an atheist, and I would be about as comfortable in Iran as … well, as a whole lot of Persians are, which is to say not at all. I value freedom of conscience greatly. There are countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia where it doesn't exist as a public principle. That is a bad, bad state of affairs. Count me out of apologizing for that kind of lunacy.

"Islamic culture" takes in a lot of things, though. Great art and architecture, mystic philosophy, traditions of hospitality, and yes, peace and tolerance, though somebody's going to call me a PC parody for saying it :) Plus a religion that I admire and find fault with in about equal measure, in ways that track my attitude toward the Catholic Church or Southern Baptists. I'd be hard-pressed to say that Islam (a very diverse thing, remember) is somehow per se and across-the-board inferior to Judaism or Christianity (very diverse things too).

   3428. GregD Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4730271)
To be fair, we all believe Western culture is superior to Islamic culture. Does anyone here harbor desires to emigrate to Qatar, or the UAE? I would doubt an Islamic country is on any of out "top-25 countries where we'd like to live" lists.


I'm not sure what western culture means in this context. If you mean something specific enough to exclude Japan and South Korea and Singapore, to name a few non-settler societies, then you're into parsing precise differences between say France and Japan to try to get to what is "western." I'm sure some of those might incline to France or the UK, some to Japan, many would not reflect culture at all, and some would be a wash.

If you mean western culture to include Japan, South Korea, Singapore, then of course you don't mean western culture at all.

In terms of Islamic countries to live in, I know lots of people who loved living in Istanbul and would do so again in a heartbeat unless things take a turn, as they might be.

Obviously lots of business people live in the tiny gulf states and live it very large, and it's not that hard to get execs to take postings there.

I've heard Dakar is a pretty good place to live for expats.

Albania wouldn't be in top 25 but has some good things going for it.

Lebanon is amazing, and I know lots of people who happily live in Beirut when there isn't warfare. I think many people would consider Beirut one of the most-cultured cities on the planet. It has problems, but culture isn't one of them.

If you're including countries with large but not quite majority pops, lots of European businesspeople are moving to Lagos, Nigeria

And among that group of big but not majority, I would live in Sarajevo pretty happily.

   3429. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4730273)
Indoor plumbing. Yup it is up there with the printing press, electricity, and antibiotics as must have.
   3430. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4730274)
Your faith in secular culture is theocratic.


It's pragmatic.
   3431. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4730275)
If you lived in Ancient Rome, there is a 75% chanced you would be a slave.

I doubt that number seriously, but even if I accept it, north of 60% of the people in Saudi Arabia have no more rights than slaves (all women and the many guest workers).

As I say, a false sense of what life would be without indoor plumbing. Did I ever mention that the house my grandparents lived in until I was six had an outhouse? I don't think you really understand the concept of shitting in a hole in the middle of the night, much less the idea of #### running down the streets from slop buckets.

It would suck for someone magically transported from 2014, but that's the way the whole world lived until the 18th century. They survived.

Also, the Romans had plumbing. Public toilets and baths were ubiquitous in urban areas.
   3432. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4730277)
It's pragmatic.


I doubt that.
   3433. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:17 AM (#4730278)
I'm not sure what western culture means in this context.


I think what we (me anyway) really mean is the culture whose tradition began and flourished in the west, before spreading around the world. It is a mostly democratic, secular, and consumerist culture with a mix of capitalism and socialism (capitalism is the "base" economy, but with socialistic "fixes" and a fairly strong welfare state), though there are numerous flavors and calling it "West" does a disservice to Japan, South Korea and so on.
   3434. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4730280)
It's pragmatic.

I doubt that.


Perhaps with a judicious application of prayer you could claim irrefutable knowledge of it.
   3435. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:19 AM (#4730282)
Your faith in secular culture is theocratic.


Secular culture has shown itself to be much better at producing stuff and encouraging technological advancement than has non-secular culture. To the extent one values "stuff" and technological progress one should favor secularism. To the extent one favors the non-material benefits of religion, one should favor that.

Note: It is hardly surprising a worldview centered around the material world would excel at that world, while one more concerned with non-material concerns would excel there. This is hardly faith or theocracy, just some fairly simple logic.
   3436. Ron J2 Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4730286)
Mid-level functionaries of federal agencies tend to have crappy machines bought on the cheap


Most people just can't get their head around this. It's a classic penny wise situation. My work computer was out of date years ago and it routinely impacts me.
   3437. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4730287)
Secular culture has shown itself to be much better at producing stuff and encouraging technological advancement than has non-secular culture. To the extent one values "stuff" and technological progress one should favor secularism. To the extent one favors the non-material benefits of religion, one should favor that.


Yes. And the logic by which we justify "western superiority" takes the assumptions of "better stuff" and such as given. It's circular begging of the question. ####'s turtles all the way down.
   3438. Greg K Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4730289)
As I say, a false sense of what life would be without indoor plumbing. Did I ever mention that the house my grandparents lived in until I was six had an outhouse? I don't think you really understand the concept of shitting in a hole in the middle of the night, much less the idea of #### running down the streets from slop buckets.

We only got indoor plumbing* at my family cottage when I was 15 or so. The outhouse was far enough away, and there are enough wildlings in those woods, that you really wanted to take care of your business before the sun went down. Other than that it was fun times! ...except for the occasional emptying of the bucket.

*Well we had a pump bringing water up from the lake to run a faucet, but no flushables.
   3439. BDC Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4730290)
the Romans had plumbing. Public toilets and baths were ubiquitous in urban areas

In fact, there was a well-developed recycled-urine industry in Rome. Clean and green! Or yellow, as the case may be.
   3440. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4730291)
Yes. And the logic by which we justify "western superiority" takes the assumptions of "better stuff" and such as given. It's circular begging of the question.


See if you can beg that infection away, chumrade. Maybe you can beg your way to the moon.
   3441. Lassus Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4730292)
Your faith in secular culture is theocratic.

Is this the same as that "Your atheism is faith. HA ha!" argument?

I don't mean that as snarkily as it comes out. It is that argument, isn't it?
   3442. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4730294)
takes the assumptions of "better stuff" and such as given.


Well any judgement has assumptions, you can't prove everything from first principles (and most first principles are assumed anyway). Freshman philosophy aside I am more than willing to go with preferring the material to the non-material*, and given that am willing to categorically state my preferences accordingly.

Of course this also informs my opinion our society is not actually in decline.

* Note: I am not suggesting the non-material is ... well immaterial, just my preferences skew towards the material. Morals, ethics, standards of behavior, rights and responsibilities are all very important and non-material. Happily the "west" (as defined above) seems to do a very nice job of meeting my desires in that direction, and hits my personal preferences for the non-material better than the non-secular societies historically have. That is a matter of personal preference though, obviously.
   3443. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4730295)
Is this the same as that "Your atheism is faith. HA ha!" argument?


Pretty much. Similarly, not collecting stamps is my hobby.
   3444. Ron J2 Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4730297)
#3391 I have more experience than most in dealing with tapes as a long term retention strategy. They have a high failure rate. They are quite a bit more reliable when used in relatively short roll-overs (like 6 months). IOW the described strategy makes a great deal of operational sense.
   3445. GregD Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4730298)
I think what we (me anyway) really mean is the culture whose tradition began and flourished in the west, before spreading around the world. It is a mostly democratic, secular, and consumerist culture with a mix of capitalism and socialism (capitalism is the "base" economy, but with socialistic "fixes" and a fairly strong welfare state), though there are numerous flavors and calling it "West" does a disservice to Japan, South Korea and so on.


It's not just that Japan, South Korea, coastal China are part of the west (acknowledging that coastal China is definitely not democratic.) It's that none of those things are inherently western. GregK can correct me as it is his time period, but broad chains of commerce didn't spread from the West to the East, quite the contrary. China was the most-developed commercial society in the world for centuries. Even when Europe finally started to break out of backward guild protections that stagnated commerce, it was aiming to try to break into the Chinese trade, often unsuccessfully because they lacked commodities superior to those the Chinese could get from elsewhere. Not to mention that Arab traders were the people who made the Italian city-states rich.

So commerce and consumption are 1) banal and 2) not particularly well developed in the west until the 17th century and not superior in the west until probably the 19th century. Why call them western?

Now democracy is different.

Secular? Obviously China is way more secular than we are, and not because they are copying us.

I don't have any problem with articulating values I have for a society, and I don't have a problem saying that certain countries match those values better than others. Scandinavia is probably at the top. But 1) those values did not always come to being in the west, 2) those values are often not widely held in the west (you can easily construct definitions of western values where the US doesn't count as "western" since it is far less secular than Europe, and 3) even when those values arose in the west, they didn't always go from west to east but arose spontaneously in different places and 4) many of those values aren't inherently an outgrowth of "western" culture but are actually impositions by governments to force changes in western culture, especially as regards religious tolerance. That was a state project to quiet uprisings, not a mass production of culture, forced down upon people who happily slaughtered each other over religious differences, and enforced at gunpoint. And it was hard to achieve even when enforced within a country's stable borders by a government that was identified with its people in terms of language and religion. It's a noble goal to want to make that the law everywhere, but I'm not sure how you do it. And I'm not sure that goal--liberal rights--is easily reconcilable with democracy, at least in a country's early years.
   3446. villageidiom Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4730299)
To be fair, we all believe Western culture is superior to Islamic culture.
We all believe Western culture is superior to fundamentalist suppression of culture. There are elements of Islamic culture (and the cultures propagated by other faiths) on either side of that.

Secular culture has shown itself to be much better at producing stuff and encouraging technological advancement than has non-secular culture.
In the last two centuries. Whether that progress has to do with secularism is not shown, especially given the progress in times when non-secularism was rare. One could argue that a capitalist culture has been the driver. I prefer the argument that the driver of technological progress is a culture centered around baseball. YMMV.
   3447. Ron J2 Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4730303)
Life as a guest worker in S.A. Is orders of magnitude better than life as a slave in Ancient Rome.


I think one thing most people ignore about the life of a slave in Rome is that they could not testify unless they had been tortured.
   3448. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4730304)
Hell, I'd rather live in ancient Rome


According to Philip K. Dick, you do. So do I. The rest of us, too.
   3449. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4730305)
We all believe Western culture is superior to fundamentalist suppression of culture.

What does that even mean? There is a major stream of Islamic culture that believes Islam governs every aspect of life, and that Sharia law is the proper expression of that.

That is part of Islamic culture, not a suppression of it.
   3450. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4730307)
I have never flown without my children.


Don't make us take them away.
   3451. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4730308)
In the last two centuries. Whether that progress has to do with secularism is not shown, especially given the progress in times when non-secularism was rare.

Western culture has been progressing faster than non-Western, in areas of technology, science, and economic growth, for about 1000 years. China and the Islamic world were way ahead at the beginning of the 2nd millennium, but since that piint, the West has grown faster (except for the last 25 years of China catching up).
   3452. Ron J2 Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4730310)
#3428 I actually have lived in Iran. Granted, under the Shah rather than the mullahs, but that's not a terrible comp for the states he's mentioned.

I hated it, but the reasons had zip to do with the religious character of the country. And only a little bit to do with the totalitarian nature of the state.
   3453. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4730312)
Why call them western?


Mostly because - due to a variety of reasons - Western Europe essentially conquered the world and colonized it with big chunks of its culture and worldview*. Really no other reason. Feel free to come up with a better term.

* Note: It was not all one direction, the world's cultures greatly impacted Western Europe's and obviously so calling it Western is, as I said upstream, reasonably disrespectful and more than a little solopsistic. Shrug.
   3454. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4730318)
I don't have any problem with articulating values I have for a society, and I don't have a problem saying that certain countries match those values better than others.


I reduced the rest, because I am not a fan of the mass copy-paste. Basically I believe you are overthinking it. Calling it western is a label, referring as I said to the western powers which collectively conquered the world and to some degree remade it. The degree of purpose or justice or whatever in the project varied widely, but out of the 19th and 20th centuries came a societal slurry (as described upstream) which has IMO show itself to be very adaptable and very good at advancing technology and making stuff, while affording its citizens a high standard of living, both materially and non-materially.

EDIT: Put more simply I think those nations share more commonality with each other than they do with their own past incarnations or with the various non-"western" nations that still exist.
   3455. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4730319)
out of the 19th and 20th centuries came a societal slurry (as described upstream) which has IMO show itself to be very adaptable and very good at advancing technology and making stuff, while affording its citizens a high standard of living, both materially and non-materially.


Even theocrats must admit it's done a bang-up job of reducing demonic possession, quelling the effects of witchcraft, and removing many of the deleterious effects of the evil eye.
   3456. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4730324)
t's done a bang-up job of reducing demonic possession, quelling the effects of witchcraft,


How soon we forget about Chris Truby & Albert Belle.
   3457. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4730327)
I don't mean that as snarkily as it comes out. It is that argument, isn't it?


Both arguments hinge on the same, *ahem*, fundamental truth; the fact that you don't call your innate, presumed assumptions about the world "religion" doesn't change the fact that they come down to a laundry list of articles of faith. Of course atheism, properly understood as a-theism, is a sort of theism of not. Much like theisms in general, it begs questions it can't answer about the existence or lack thereof of supernatural facts. Theists claim to know they exist, where they simply can not; they mistake their deeply held article of faith for fact. Atheists claim to know they don't exist, where they simply can not; they mistake their deeply held article of faith for fact.

With all of the rightly mentioned caveats about what is or is not "Muslim culture" vs "western culture" mentioned by others above, the fact of the matter is we all assume western liberalism to be the best, because we all assume the things western liberalism at least nominally delivers (to us, but not to the people SBB wants to subjugate by explosive violence) are the right things for a "culture" to strive for. And we all assume that to be the case because we were born into the depths of western liberalism. And yes, this is fundamentally (ha!) about the relative nature of truth and the impossibility of the sort of pristine Truth with a capital T that Bear is begging off about.
   3458. The Good Face Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4730328)
Even theocrats must admit it's done a bang-up job of reducing demonic possession, quelling the effects of witchcraft, and removing many of the deleterious effects of the evil eye.


True, but I can't remember the last time we've enjoyed the wacky hijinks of a good old fashioned penis snatching panic in the northeast corridor. Progress perhaps, but at what cost?!?
   3459. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4730329)
Yes. And the logic by which we justify "western superiority" takes the assumptions of "better stuff" and such as given. It's circular begging of the question. ####'s turtles all the way down.

My conclusion that Western civilization is superior to Islamist civilization has little to do with the "better stuff" we create.

I'd have thought the conclusion could be stipulated to. Do you really need me to outline the reasons, or were you just troling there?

(And of course, arriving at a sociological conclusion bears no resemblance, much as you try, to "fundamentalism" or "fascism." The occupy-and-civilize option would be somewhat "imperialist," but that term doesn't give me the howling fantods as it does the leftists.)

   3460. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4730331)
If we outlaw penis-snatching, only outlaws ...

Hmmm. I need to work on this some more.
   3461. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4730332)
True, but I can't remember the last time we've enjoyed the wacky hijinks of a good old fashioned penis snatching panic in the northeast corridor.


You probably aren't look hard enough, I think teenage boys snatch their penis every chance they get and the only panic is getting caught by Ms. Balbricker.
   3462. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4730333)
There is a major stream of Islamic culture that believes Islam governs every aspect of life, and that Sharia law is the proper expression of that.


And there's a only-barely-minor strain of US political culture that believes the United States is a "Christian nation" that should be governed by "Biblical law." It's quite popular in Texas, and GOP candidates court that body politic every national cycle. Do they control the munitions? No. We have that under control so far. But it's not like they don't exist in "western culture." The entire argument here derived from SBB refusing to acknowledge that there exists an Islam external to the militant fundies, with whom we should make common cause regardless of religious belief, while pretending that the "west" was just totally over the baser instincts that drive ISIS and the like.
   3463. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4730337)
I'd have thought the conclusion could be stipulated to. Do you really need me to outline the reasons, or were you just troling there?


Considering that this is your underlying justification for bombing the #### out of millions of people and imposing a global empire based on "western culture" via the US military, yeah, you're going to have to outline your assumptions kiddo.
   3464. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4730338)
Who are we kidding here? The countries in the Middle East are almost all theocratic, rabidly anti-gay, rabidly anti-women, and rabidly illiberal with virtually no civilized mechanisms by which those things can be peacefully changed. You joker-poseurs would detest it there.
   3465. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4730341)
Who are we kidding here? The countries in the Middle East are almost all theocratic, rabidly anti-gay, rabidly anti-women, and rabidly illiberal with virtually no civilized mechanisms by which those things can be peacefully changed. You joker-poseurs would detest it there


None of which is justification for engaging in a global empire to stomp out the vile Muslims.
   3466. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4730342)
And there's a only-barely-minor strain of US political culture that believes the United States is a "Christian nation" that should be governed by "Biblical law." It's quite popular in Texas, and GOP candidates court that body politic every national cycle. Do they control the munitions? No. We have that under control so far. But it's not like they don't exist in "western culture." The entire argument here derived from SBB refusing to acknowledge that there exists an Islam external to the militant fundies, with whom we should make common cause regardless of religious belief, while pretending that the "west" was just totally over the baser instincts that drive ISIS and the like.

They have little to no political traction here and are vastly outnumbered and their ideas run contrary to the larger polity and the nation's governing documents. Nor do I blanche from calling them Christianists. Their use of violence to impose their idea of Biblical law is virtually nil. Cf., the Islamists.

They start taking to widespread arms to impose "Biblical law" by force, we'll talk.

And what in the holy #### are you talking about I don't acknowledge? I've said six times that Islamism and Islam are different things, and posted several outside sources describing/defining Islamism and the etyology of the term.
   3467. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4730346)
And there's a only-barely-minor strain of US political culture that believes the United States is a "Christian nation" that should be governed by "Biblical law." It's quite popular in Texas, and GOP candidates court that body politic every national cycle. Do they control the munitions? No. We have that under control so far. But it's not like they don't exist in "western culture." The entire argument here derived from SBB refusing to acknowledge that there exists an Islam external to the militant fundies, with whom we should make common cause regardless of religious belief, while pretending that the "west" was just totally over the baser instincts that drive ISIS and the like.

That Christian fundamentalist strain does exist, but, they're not generally violent, and there is far less support for that view in the actual Christian Scriptures, or the Theology of Christianity. There are no major Christian religious figures calling for Biblically based law, while there are many, many Muslim religious leaders who are more or less supportive of Sharia.

I completely agree that we should make common cause with non-militant Muslims, but, the problem has been that in the Middle East, those non-militant Muslims don't seem to want to actively side with us. The non-militant Muslims vote in people like Morsi and Erdogan, and when the most pro-Western Muslims remove, or try to remove those rulers, the Western liberals get pissy.

What we need is non-fundamentalist Muslims to align actively with the West (and with local non-Muslims in places like Nigeria, Sudan, Lebanon, etc.) and kick the ever loving #### out of the fundamentalists. Until non-fundamentalist Muslims show that willingness to turn against their own "tribe" and do so lethally, the possibility for "westernization" and modernization in these countries is sharply limited.
   3468. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4730347)
Considering that this is your underlying justification for bombing the #### out of millions of people and imposing a global empire based on "western culture" via the US military, yeah, you're going to have to outline your assumptions kiddo.

Go back and read. I never said anything about bombing and I never said anything about global.

You guys are the ones who support the gutless bombing of civilians -- see, e.g. Serbia. I support boots on the ground.
   3469. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4730348)
Both arguments hinge on the same, *ahem*, fundamental truth; the fact that you don't call your innate, presumed assumptions about the world "religion" doesn't change the fact that they come down to a laundry list of articles of faith.


But you are conflating faith with religion, and they are not the same thing. Faith, a belief in certain assumptions, axioms, or foundational truths is one thing. Religion is entirely different.

I believe in continuity, the idea that the physical laws that function today also functioned yesterday and will function tomorrow. That is an article of faith, there is nothing that says it MUST be true (and in fact current theories of cosmogony suggest otherwise pre-big bang), but in order to function I take it as given and move on with my life. However that is not a religious precept of mine, because their is no religion around it. it is an assumption, but typically religions have a whole pile of explanation, reasons, and "meaning" wrapped around the whole thing.

Every belief is not a religion, and asserting it is essentially renders the definition of religion useless.
   3470. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4730350)
the problem has been that in the Middle East, those non-militant Muslims don't seem to want to actively side with us.


Well a history of colonialism and more recent history of supporting convenient monsters and semi-random* invasions, bombings and drone attacks might be figuring into the equation. That is why we need to step back a decade or so and let them find their way. They are more likely to side with us if we build up some less warlike history in the region.

* Yes there are reasons for all of it, but from ground level a drone attack that kills your 5 year old sister is more than a little annoying, no matter the reason.
   3471. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4730357)
I completely agree that we should make common cause with non-militant Muslims, but, the problem has been that in the Middle East, those non-militant Muslims don't seem to want to actively side with us.


Do you consider the role that 50 years of tyranny imposed by our pet dictators, combined with 15 years of bombardment from on high, might play in the process of non-Militant Muslims overseas not wanting to actively side with us? This is, of course, going to spin old man SugarBear off into a Depends wetting frenzy of "blaming the US," but it can't be helped. What, exactly, has America and "the west" done in the Middle East to actually promote to the general citizenry, non-militant variant, that we actually believe our own rhetoric as opposed to singing hymns to human liberty while bombing the #### out of anyone we feel like it on any given day?
   3472. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4730358)
* Yes there are reasons for all of it, but from ground level a drone attack that kills your 5 year old sister is more than a little annoying, no matter the reason.

The primary reason is that the methods used are so one-sided and gutless. If a child family member of mine got killed by a drone, I'd take up arms without hesitation.
   3473. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4730363)
Well a history of colonialism and more recent history of supporting convenient monsters and semi-random* invasions, bombings and drone attacks might be figuring into the equation. That is why we need to step back a decade or so and let them find their way. They are more likely to side with us if we build up some less warlike history in the region.

* Yes there are reasons for all of it, but from ground level a drone attack that kills your 5 year old sister is more than a little annoying, no matter the reason.


Why do all the people who lose relatives to our military actions turn against us, but the many more people killed by the Islamists bombings of markets, mosques, etc., not turn against the Islamists?

People die in war, and where you place the blame depends on your sympathies going in. A committed nazi who lost a relative to Allied bombing blamed the US/UK. A Frenchman under Nazi occupation who lost a relative to Allied bombing blamed the Nazis.
   3474. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4730364)
This is, of course, going to spin old man SugarBear off into a Depends wetting frenzy of "blaming the US," but it can't be helped. What, exactly, has America and "the west" done in the Middle East to actually promote to the general citizenry, non-militant variant, that we actually believe our own rhetoric as opposed to singing hymns to human liberty while bombing the #### out of anyone we feel like it on any given day?

I don't support bombing.

I support boots on the ground. If the casus belli isn't sufficient to make you risk boots on the ground, it isn't sufficient to justify bombing.

   3475. GregD Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4730366)
I reduced the rest, because I am not a fan of the mass copy-paste. Basically I believe you are overthinking it. Calling it western is a label, referring as I said to the western powers which collectively conquered the world and to some degree remade it. The degree of purpose or justice or whatever in the project varied widely, but out of the 19th and 20th centuries came a societal slurry (as described upstream) which has IMO show itself to be very adaptable and very good at advancing technology and making stuff, while affording its citizens a high standard of living, both materially and non-materially.


1) They didn't conquer China, Japan, and Korea in the 19th century. You can make a good argument that countries that were never colonized are smoking countries that were colonized, and that's a powerful argument, but a very different one.

2) Many of the things you are talking about long precede western culture and had their roots elsewhere and are things that the west--rightly and smartly--took from them. Given that

3) There's a good chance that high-commerce low-political freedom societies are emerging the growth model in the world. And that they can produce increased standards of living. A west/non-west binary fails to capture the actual play of conditions on the ground. Free trade and democracy do not inherently go hand in hand.
   3476. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4730369)
Do you consider the role that 50 years of tyranny imposed by our pet dictators, combined with 15 years of bombardment from on high, might play in the process of non-Militant Muslims overseas not wanting to actively side with us? This is, of course, going to spin old man SugarBear off into a Depends wetting frenzy of "blaming the US," but it can't be helped. What, exactly, has America and "the west" done in the Middle East to actually promote to the general citizenry, non-militant variant, that we actually believe our own rhetoric as opposed to singing hymns to human liberty while bombing the #### out of anyone we feel like it on any given day?

Most of the tyranny was not imposed by our pet dictators. Most of the Middle East was anti-US, if not overtly pro-Soviet during the Cold War.

My question is, why does our bombing allegedly whip people into an anti-US frenzy, but the Islamist's bombing and killing doesn't whip people into an anti-US frenzy?

   3477. GregD Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4730373)
I support boots on the ground. If the casus belli isn't sufficient to make you risk boots on the ground, it isn't sufficient to justify bombing.
How many? I don't think you responded to my post yesterday about the typical standard for occupation among policy analysts being 1:10, one soldier for every 10 civilians.

So Iraq at 32 million people would require 3 million + US soldiers on duty at all times. Requires a force of over 4 million in the Army to sustain that. More than eight times the current size, more than seven times the size of the force at the height of the Iraq war. Which requires a draft.

Are you for that?

I don't think you responded either to the point that occupations of that size are believed to be capable of restoring order, policing, and setting up some basic functions, not for civilizing. And the 19th century empires you mention did not in fact aim to disrupt local cultures but work through them. Thus, the relatively small number of Anglicans in India (or even the Republic of Ireland!)

What's your example of an occupation that did impose a new culture?
How effective was it?
How much force did it require?
How long did it take?
Do you support something similar--a draft for decades--for Iraq?
And if so, do you also support something similar for other countries in the region? Syria?
   3478. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4730376)
How many? I don't think you responded to my post yesterday about the typical standard for occupation among policy analysts being 1:10, one soldier for every 10 civilians.

So Iraq at 32 million people would require 3 million + US soldiers on duty at all times. Requires a force of over 4 million in the Army to sustain that. More than eight times the current size, more than seven times the size of the force at the height of the Iraq war. Which requires a draft.

Are you for that?


That's not actually a fair analysis. Imperialists always use mostly local troops.

As insane as the idea of a long-term occupation of Iraq is, you could probably do it with 250,000 US troops, and 750,000 local troops/police/etc.
   3479. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4730377)
Why do all the people who lose relatives to our military actions turn against us, but the many more people killed by the Islamists bombings of markets, mosques, etc., not turn against the Islamists?


Why do you think they don't? Al-Q is opposed to ISIS because ISIS kills Muslims and that turns people against Al-Q.
   3480. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4730379)
How many? I don't think you responded to my post yesterday about the typical standard for occupation among policy analysts being 1:10, one soldier for every 10 civilians.

I'm not sure where that number comes from. How many British soldiers occupied India?
   3481. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4730380)
And the Kurds don't count. They'd welcome and assist a US protectorate/occupation of Iraq.
   3482. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4730383)
NM.
   3483. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4730386)
We sent 500,000 troops into Iraq in Desert Storm.

But they weren't all American, and we didn't sustain them for decades.

Frankly, if you wanted to occupy the Middle East, why not just focus on the narrow band around the Persian Gulf. That's where most of the oil is, and very few people live there.
   3484. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4730387)
Frankly, if you wanted to occupy the Middle East, why not just focus on the narrow band around the Persian Gulf. That's where most of the oil is, and very few people live there.

Because the mission is also to civilize the area away from Islamism. That's the primary focus of the mission. If that can be done without occupation, I'd be for it -- but I don't see how.
   3485. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4730394)
Because the mission is also to civilize the area away from Islamism. That's the primary focus of the mission. If that can be done without occupation, I'd be for it -- but I don't see how.


Simple, really. Contain the violence of the Muslim Reformation/Counter-Reformation to the ME and North Africa, knowing that occasionally it will seep out a little. Wait them out. Do not in any way whatsoever get drawn into MENA's 30 Years War.
   3486. simon bedford Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4730397)
hardly seems like that is this mission at all, you invade a country that has a leader who is actively hated by islamic extremists and create an enviroment where they suddnely can flourish, seems to me the mission is to do the complete opposite, as extremists actually fan the fires of instability in a way that us foreign policy has alwaus tilted towards. the fear isnt of a radical islamic power ( if it was saudi arabia wouldnt be the united states favoured friend) its of a democratic middle class based political power coming to the fore who would easily be anti american based on americas godawful track record in this region
   3487. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4730399)
   3488. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4730401)
Simple, really. Contain the violence of the Muslim Reformation/Counter-Reformation to the ME and North Africa, knowing that occasionally it will seep out a little. Wait them out. Do not in any way whatsoever get drawn into MENA's 30 Years War.

Probably more like 100 years war.

But, how do you contain the violence? In an every increasingly globalized world that's much easier said than done.
   3489. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4730402)
1) They didn't conquer China, Japan, and Korea in the 19th century. You can make a good argument that countries that were never colonized are smoking countries that were colonized, and that's a powerful argument, but a very different one.


Well conquer is maybe strong, but the first opium war sure looked like China was conquered as much as the Brits wanted to conquer it. Similarly it was not always direct military conquest and colonialism, but Japan, for another example, was not allowed to stay closed, though there was no direct conquest.

And I have already granted it is not strictly "western", but if you think Western Europe did not dominate the last couple hundred years then you are wrong.
   3490. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4730404)
Simple, really. Contain the violence of the Muslim Reformation/Counter-Reformation to the ME and North Africa, knowing that occasionally it will seep out a little. Wait them out. Do not in any way whatsoever get drawn into MENA's 30 Years War.

Fine. But that's no more moral or humanist than occupy-and-civilize.

There's also the embedded assumption that the bloodletting and exhaustion will lead to them finally tiring of war and killing, as the West did, and building new institutions and constructing new habits of mind and courses of conduct around their new perceptions. That assumption is very much open to question.

Nor can we really be bystanders and contain the violence, as they have brought us into their problems.
   3491. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4730410)
And the Kurds don't count.


The Kurds are all right.
   3492. simon bedford Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4730414)
when did the west tire of killing and war? you think that islamic violence would occur without us support of the corrupt regimes in saudi arabia, or the support of past corrup regimes in egypt iran and iraQ? your understanding of how this cycle started and what motivates these people is so far from reality that you dont begin to understand the problem so you cant possibly address it,
   3493. GregD Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4730416)
That's not actually a fair analysis. Imperialists always use mostly local troops.
Right because imperialists don't want to impose culture. India is not Anglican! Large parts of India never had much English language penetration. That's because local troops won't do those things for you.

SBB is talking about imposing a culture that he does not believe is present among the locals, and that is going to require a much larger force.

I'm not sure where that number comes from.

Here is the standard work on the subject

How many British soldiers occupied India?
As mentioned above, the British never did--nor made any slightest effort to do--what you are talking about doing. They kept local rulers in place, worked through magistrates, tried like crazy not to do anything other than keep trade going and tamp down rebellion, never converted many people to Christianity, never taught many people English relative to the population, were literally never seen in large parts of the countryside...and there were still hundreds of thousands of troops there for 90 years post-Mutiny. And civilizing was barely even a rhetorical goal and never an actual practice.

You have to either change your goal or acknowledge the incredible demand for troops and the historical uniqueness of the mission you are advocating. It might be the right mission, but you can't justify it in the absence of knowledge about what it will require.
   3494. The Good Face Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4730419)
Simple, really. Contain the violence of the Muslim Reformation/Counter-Reformation to the ME and North Africa, knowing that occasionally it will seep out a little. Wait them out. Do not in any way whatsoever get drawn into MENA's 30 Years War.


I support this policy, but adherents of whig history must be prepared to accept that what emerges may not be at all to their liking and refrain from interfering to get the "right" result. Otherwise we're right back in the soup.
   3495. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4730420)
I wouldn't be averse to a draft to create an Iraqi occupation force. I'd have to think about it a little more to affirmatively favor it.

   3496. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4730426)
I wouldn't be averse to a draft to create an Iraqi occupation force. I'd have to think about it a little more to affirmatively favor it.

Why would we expend such a massive effort over 20-30 years to potentially reform one modest-sized country?

Even if it succeeded completely, the cost-benefit analysis just doesn't work.
   3497. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4730429)
But, how do you contain the violence? In an every increasingly globalized world that's much easier said than done.


It will seep occasionally. Building a wall is impossible. Containment and patience is.

Fine. But that's no more moral or humanist than occupy-and-civilize.


I'm not the one insisting FP be based in moral fundamentalism.
   3498. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4730432)
Why would we expend such a massive effort over 20-30 years to potentially reform one modest-sized country?

Because the reforms would spread and a liberal state would be an example to the rest of the region that would be far more appealing than Islamism.

   3499. simon bedford Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4730433)
does it not occur to any of you that radicals in iraq only gained a toe hold AFTER you invaded? does it therefore not seem entirely predicatable that a continued us military prescence guarantees further militant activity as you provide them with an ongoing target? how does any of this plan make any sense? you give your enemy exactly what they need to continue to draw support , while adding further to the instability that also allows your opponents to flourish and make you look weak and ineffective in the process. what exaclty is the plan in that?
   3500. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4730434)
It will seep occasionally. Building a wall is impossible. Containment and patience is.

Well, we could have much stricter vetting of travelers to the US. Why not actually control our borders, and apply Israeli type security screening to anyone who wants to enter the US? Why is that out-of-bounds?
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