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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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   3501. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4730437)
Also a scenario where we detach and contain is more moral than a strategy where we engage, slaughter and colonize.
   3502. SteveF Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4730440)
does it not occur to any of you that radicals in iraq only gained a toe hold AFTER you invaded?

If the US were willing to run Iraq like Hussein ran Iraq, I'm sure there would have been fewer radicals.
   3503. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4730441)
http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/war-christians_794945.html

Here's a good article for all of you afraid of the big, bad Christians.
   3504. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4730443)
I'm not the one insisting FP be based in moral fundamentalism.

No, you're the one insisting it be based on sitting by while people slaughter each other en masse for at least a generation, occasionally nihilistially slaughtering Americans, while American society remains in a state of quasi-war until they finally tire of the slaughter.

You can see the lack of appeal in that dark and dystopic vision, I assume.
   3505. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4730444)
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.


Neocon 101.
   3506. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4730445)
Also a scenario where we detach and contain is more moral than a strategy where we engage, slaughter and colonize.

There wouldn't be a slaughter.
   3507. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4730446)
Neocon 101.

The neocons didn't set up institutions of liberalism in Iraq, or anything close.
   3508. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4730447)
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?


Who said it was out of bounds to improve border screening?
   3509. simon bedford Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4730450)
stevef thats exactly the issue, the states foreign policy shows zero interest in radicals, instability in the middle east has always been a seen as more postivie than the "bad example " goverments that at one time flourished in iran and iraq. the idea that the regoin is incapable of adapting to a more sensible and democratic style of government is one that has never been tested as american policy has always been to keep arab states away from such set ups .
   3510. BDC Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4730451)
Speaking of intractable issues and the Middle East, here's a political story from the opera world (The Guardian):

New York's Metropolitan Opera have cancelled an international simulcast of John Adams' opera The Death of Klinghoffer due to "an outpouring of concern" that it "might be used to fan global anti-semitism".

The Death of Klinghoffer is a coproduction between the Met and English National Opera; Tom Morris's production opened first in London in 2012, with eight performances scheduled in Manhattan from October. As with many other Met productions, opera bosses scheduled a live HD broadcast to 2,000 cinemas around the world; that event, planned for 15 November, has now been axed.

"I'm convinced that the opera is not anti-semitic," said Peter Gelb, general manager for the Met, "but I've also become convinced that there is genuine concern in the international Jewish community that the live transmission of The Death of Klinghoffer would be inappropriate at this time of rising anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe."


It's hard to opine on the issue when I haven't seen the opera … and now I'm not going to see the opera.



   3511. Lassus Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4730453)
Well, we could have much stricter vetting of travelers to the US.

I have a group of middle-class boring traveler tourist Polish friends who gave up trying to visit the U.S. because the vetting for tourists was the worst for any country they'd attempted previously. (So they reported, anyhow. I obviously haven't ever attempted it.)


It's hard to opine on the issue when I haven't seen the opera … and now I'm not going to see the opera.

Would you have anyhow? :-) (The performances in Lincoln Center haven't been affected, FYI, just the simulcast.)
   3512. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4730456)
There wouldn't be a slaughter.


Are you actually Paul Wolfowitz? Doug Feith?
   3513. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4730464)
Are you actually Paul Wolfowitz? Doug Feith?

Why would a large invading force slaughter Iraqi civilians? And then why would the post-invasion occupying force slaughter Iraqi civilians?
   3514. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4730466)
I saw the opera thing a couple days ago. What's (allegedly) anti-Semitic about it?
   3515. Publius Publicola Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4730470)
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?


It absolutely would.

Look, India elects their own leadership. There's lot's of Islamic violence there. We have no role in the leadership choices of Russia or Chechnya. There's lots of Islamic violence there. The Phillipines elect their own leadership. There's lots of Islamic violence there. We have no role in the leadership choices of Nigeria. There's lots of Islamic violence there.

Where else? Somalia? No role. South Sudan? No role. Myanmar. No role. China. No role. Azerbaijan and Armenia. No role. Indonesia. No role. uzbekistan. No role. Nepal. No role.

In fact, looking at the global map, wherever a prodominantly muslim area bumps up against a non-muslim one, or a country exists with a significant muslim minority, there is a uniform pattern of violence, terrorism and social unrest, and it always seems to stem from the demands of the muslims to either live separately from the infidel, to tailor the legal system so it is satisfactory to the muslims, to claim the territory in question as "muslim lands" or to impose the will of the muslims on the others. There never seems to be compromise if the muslims don't come out it as the dominant partner. And the definition of "muslim lands' seems to be anywhere that was under muslim jurisdiction or control at any time in history.

And this has been going on for centuries, long before the US even existed. Heck, even before western Europe became dominant. Before that, the Sunnis were fighting with the Byzantines, the Persians, the Tatars, the Hindus and the Mongols.

So it's kind of ridiculous to make the claim that the problems in the middle east are the result of colonialism or imperialism or American dominance when these problems had been festering like a squalid sewer long before any of those entities ever existed. And it ironically betrays a lack of curiosity and a conceited condescension by western observers who think they have such overwhelming influence they have made and can break all of this mess.
   3516. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4730472)
the idea that the regoin is incapable of adapting to a more sensible and democratic style of government is one that has never been tested as american policy has always been to keep arab states away from such set ups .


No, it isn't. We invaded Iraq 11 years ago with the express purpose of freeing it up for elections, and elections have been held.
   3517. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4730476)
Elections are the WMD.
   3518. Ron J2 Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4730482)
Golf clap for 3491
   3519. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4730487)

Why would a large invading force slaughter Iraqi civilians? And then why would the post-invasion occupying force slaughter Iraqi civilians?


Well, you might start with the 200,000 we killed last time and figure out how that came about.
   3520. BDC Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4730492)
I saw the opera thing a couple days ago. What's (allegedly) anti-Semitic about it?

The opera gives Klinghoffer's killers a voice, and allows their characters to try to justify their actions. Whether that glamorizes them, or makes them seem even more reprehensible, is again hard to say without seeing the piece, and is going to be in the eye of the beholder to some extent anyway.
   3521. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4730511)
Why would a large invading force slaughter Iraqi civilians?


Of the various factions at play in 2014-Iraq, exactly one of them - the Kurds - want the US to engage militarily in the country. ISIS? Will resist violently to US presence. The rest of the Sunnis? Will resist violently to US presence. al-Maliki and his Iranian sponsors? Will be slightly more subtle but will sponsor violence against any US presence. With the sole exception of the Kurds, the only way for the US to actively engage your "colonize and civilize" pipe dream would be to kill at least a few hundred more thousands - probably inching up towards the M mark when we account for cross fire and "collateral damage," much like in the 2002-11 war, and then brutally repress any element that wasn't on board with serving their Western betters going forward.

Your desired solution requires slaughter, imperial colonization, and brutal repression into the foreseeable future.

My desired solution requires acknowledging the limits of US power, putting to rest the high moral dudgeon by which we've been justifying crusades for centuries, and waiting it out while containing it as best we can. IN addition, my solution doesn't require military actors sponsored by the state to which I at least theoretically apply some sort of voter-mandate control to actively slaughter and oppress hundreds of thousands to millions of other human beings. An lack of crusading to save the world and letting it be whatever it will be is morally superior to a brutal act of crusades, occupation, slaughter and oppression. Active vs passive voice and all that.
   3522. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4730518)
Well, you might start with the 200,000 we killed last time and figure out how that came about.

I highly doubt 200,000 Iraqi noncombatants were killed by US forces, but in any event the numbers were so high because of the anarchy unleashed by the ineffective occupation. Far fewer would have died had we invaded and occupied with a right-sized force.
   3523. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4730520)
If we want to do something for the region, we could start by spending money to shelter and resettle refugees and being much more open to inviting those fleeing sectarian violence to the United States.
   3524. BDC Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4730521)
My desired solution requires acknowledging the limits of US power

The minute you start believing that Americans have any limits, you've as good as surrendered. Better move to France, pound some chardonnay, and run up the white flag, bro.
   3525. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4730522)

I highly doubt 200,000 Iraqi noncombatants were killed by US forces, but in any event the numbers were so high because of the anarchy unleashed by the ineffective occupation. Far fewer would have died had we invaded and occupied with a right-sized force.


Perhaps, but the 'right-sized force' if we wanted to clamp down was in the 500,000-1,000,000 range and there was no support for such a commitment.
   3526. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4730525)
Better move to France, pound some chardonnay, and run up the white flag, bro.


I had tamales and Tecate for lunch today. I'm basically Mexican already.
   3527. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4730527)
I highly doubt 200,000 Iraqi noncombatants were killed by US forces, but in any event the numbers were so high because of the anarchy unleashed by the ineffective occupation. Far fewer would have died had we invaded and occupied with a right-sized force.


Neocon crusades can't fail. They can only be failed.
   3528. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4730528)

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.

That was part of the rationale back in 2003, and it was one I admittedly bought into.* But it relied, at the very least, on an occupation that was run with extreme competence and we soon found that wasn't the case. 11 years later, with a track record of having messed it up the first time, I don't see any reason to think we can be successful without requiring a much larger and effectively indefinite occupation.

* This was before the disingenuous shift of the message to "We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here," as though drawing all of the world's worst terrorists and Islamic militants into a battle for Iraq was all part of the plan. If that had indeed been the plan, it would have been immoral and cruel to the Iraqis we were ostensibly trying to help, not to mention stupid, but I don't it really was -- that message was purely for domestic political consumption.
   3529. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4730529)
If we want to do something for the region, we could start by spending money to shelter and resettle refugees and being much more open to inviting those fleeing sectarian violence to the United States.


We could just cut out the middleman and make Iraq a new state. Worked for Vietnam after they surrendered to Dr. Manhattan.
   3530. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4730531)
My desired solution requires acknowledging the limits of US power, putting to rest the high moral dudgeon by which we've been justifying crusades for centuries, and waiting it out while containing it as best we can.

I've already pointed out that you come to your position not based on acheiving worthwhile goals and confronting actual problems, but primarily through a subjective evaluation of the worthiness of the United States and its past actions. This proves it. Yet again.

"Acknowledging the limits of US power" and "putting to rest the high moral dudgeon by which we've been justifying crusades for centuries" simply aren't valid criteria for 21st century foreign policy. They aim to fix what you perceive to be wrong with the US, which doesn't do a thing about the civilizational war Islamism has declared against us, and the nihilistic internecine intra-Islamist violence.

You're fixing and blaming America again. Focus on the actual problem.
   3531. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4730537)
"Acknowledging the limits of US power" and "putting to rest the high moral dudgeon by which we've been justifying crusades for centuries" simply aren't valid criteria for 21st century foreign policy. They aim to fix what you perceive to be wrong with the US, which doesn't do a thing about the civilizational war Islamism has declared against us, and the nihilistic internecine intra-Islamist violence.


I'm sure if you sit around and wish it were true really, really hard, the limits of American power will disappear in poof of Green Lantern glow and pixie dust. Again, my position is to disengage from the active slaughter and oppression of millions of people in the service of letting them sort #### out for themselves. My position removes from the US active slaughter and oppression while supporting the fundamental principle of western liberalism, the right to self determination.

Your position actively engages the US in slaughter and oppression in service of denying millions of humans the right to self-determination.

My position is clearly more moral than yours, within the construct of western liberalism.
   3532. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4730539)
Yes, how silly for Americans to focus on fixing the United States, when we could be tackling the much more tractable problem of solving the internal divisions within Islam.
   3533. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4730544)
Yes, how silly for Americans to focus on fixing the United States, when we could be tackling the much more tractable problem of solving the internal divisions within Islam.

It is indeed silly (and docile) that the first reaction upon someone killing 3,000 noncombatant Americans for no reason, and then declaring civilizational war, is "It's our fault. We have to fix what's wrong with us."
   3534. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4730545)
Your position actively engages the US in slaughter and oppression in service of denying millions of humans the right to self-determination.

The right to self-determination in Iraq would be effected by partitioning the country into three. How's that going to come about?

And, no, western liberalism isn't about dividing the world up into ethnically pure bantustans bristling with seething, primitive hatreds. Western liberalism is cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic, and pluralist.
   3535. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4730546)
It is indeed silly (and docile) that the first reaction upon someone killing 3,000 noncombatant Americans for no reason, and then declaring civilizational war, is "It's our fault. We have to fix what's wrong with us."


Your favorite chestnut is still a bunch of strawman bullshit. The people who took down the WTC were in Afghanistan. They are now dead. You're trying to justify invading the wrong damned country again, because 'muslims scary' or something.
   3536. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4730547)
The right to self-determination in Iraq would be effected by partitioning the country into three. How's that going to come about?


As it did in Yugoslavia. Violently and painfully. But not our fleas; not our circus.
   3537. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4730549)
As it did in Yugoslavia. Violently and painfully. But not our fleas; not our circus.

The United States intervened in Yugoslavia.
   3538. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4730553)
Your favorite chestnut is still a bunch of strawman bullshit. The people who took down the WTC were in Afghanistan. They are now dead. You're trying to justify invading the wrong damned country again, because 'muslims scary' or something.

What does their nationality have to do with your knee-jerk blaming of the United States?
   3539. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4730554)
If we want to do something for the region, we could start by spending money

Strike one!

to shelter and resettle refugees

Strike two!

and being much more open to inviting those fleeing sectarian violence to the United States.

What, and open our doors to terrorists? America for the Americans! Strike three!
   3540. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4730556)
The United States intervened in Yugoslavia.


At NATO's request. It was a questionable call, but hardly comparable to the current Iraqi mess. Again, the only faction in Iraq who would request us might be the Kurds. If they do, sort it out with the Turks and give air cover to Kurdistan. But again, that's not what you want. You want a million boots on the ground to colonize all of Iraq, against the wishes of the vast majority of Iraqis.
   3541. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4730559)
What does their nationality have to do with your knee-jerk blaming of the United States?


1. I never blamed the US for 9/11. You're just making #### up to cover for me handing you your ass today.

2. Your argument here is that we need to colonize Iraq because of something some dead guys did 14 years ago, based out of Afghanistan. You're doing that fun neocon 101 thing where you believe anyone who isn't flying the American flag out of their window are part of the same "enemy." (This is why you're so desperate to cling to the "Islamism" term.)

The men who did 9/11 were in Afghanistan. They are now dead. 9/11 is utterly irrelevant to any FP decision we make in 2014.
   3542. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4730565)
If you really want a project, how about Libya? 1/5 the population of Iraq, no Sunni-Shi'a divide, no Iran problem, no Syria problem, no Kurdish problem, much easier to access, no need for a military presence, next to a fledgling democracy in Tunisia -- you'd even have more political support on both sides of the aisle.
   3543. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4730568)
9/11 is utterly irrelevant to any FP decision we make in 2014.

It's not remotely irrelevant. You want it to be irrelevant because you want foreign policy to be about blaming and fixing America, but it obviously isn't. 9/11 was an escalation of the civilizational war that's still on and still confronts us and that has worsened with the Islamist gain of wide swaths of territory and riches in recent weeks.

The men who did 9/11 were in Afghanistan. They are now dead.

So? They were one small set of actors in part of a much wider and broader movement. (Nor of course were they "in Afghanistan." They had "trained" in Afghanistan, but left it well before 9/11. If memory serves, they were "in" Germany right before 9/11.)
   3544. zenbitz Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4730569)
Fine. But that's no more moral or humanist than occupy-and-civilize.


I am willing to entertain the possibility that massive intervention now could theoretically result in a long term net gain of lives, reduction in pain and increased freedoms.

I am not willing to entertain the possibility that you have accurately forecast this probability properly weighed against the probability of the opposite occurring. And I sure as hell don't trust the USG (or the UN?) to properly execute such an operation -- they can't even keep their emails backed up properly.

   3545. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4730573)
So? They were one small set of actors in part of a much wider and broader movement.


You realize we can all see you moving your hands when you try this trick, right?
   3546. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4730576)
You realize we can all see you moving your hands when you try this trick, right?

Is this the "there's no such thing as Islamism" thing again?
   3547. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4730583)
I am willing to entertain the possibility that massive intervention now could theoretically result in a long term net gain of lives, reduction in pain and increased freedoms.


There has to be better ways to spend the resources though. Even if it could be done (which I doubt). I bet a couple of trillion dollars could come in handy right now in fact. Maglev trains across the whole nation and plenty of money left over (not that that is the perfect way to spend money mind you, but better than how we spent it).
   3548. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4730585)
Is this the "there's no such thing as Islamism" thing again?


This is the "we see you when you try to pretend invading the wrong goddamned country was actually okay, so much so that we should do it again" thing again. You can't even grasp the fact that ISIS and al-Q are actually FIGHTING EACH OTHER. They're all one big bogeyman of "Islamism" to you. As are the Iranians, who are actually fighting ISIS and al-Q at the same time, in Iraq, right now. Apparently the fact that the three factions are in fact at war with one another is not convincing argument to you that they're not all part of a single, global strategy designed to impose sharia on the Upper West Side.
   3549. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4730590)
It is indeed silly (and docile) that the first reaction upon someone killing 3,000 noncombatant Americans for no reason, and then declaring civilizational war, is "It's our fault. We have to fix what's wrong with us."


And this is why it is clear that cowardice drives you by the way. Yes they killed some people. And if they could they would have done it many times over. But in your terror of them doing it again you have convinced yourself it is not some terrorists engaged in terror tactics, but it is rather a war of civilizations. Because only such a thing could scare you so.

It is that kind of fear that drove the US into invading a random country near Afghanistan and costing much more in lives and money than the original terror act ever did.

The way to beat terrorists is to first refuse to be terrorized. And you have failed at that.
   3550. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4730592)
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.


Korea was colonized (by Japan)

The non-European countries that can make the claim to have never been "colonized" within the past 300 years or so is very short.

Sub-Saharan Africa basically comes down to one country: Ethiopia (unless you count the Italian conquest, 1936-1941, but that was more a temporary territorial conquest).

North and South America: no a single aboriginal state/region avoided subjugation to Europeans, most were in fact either displaced by or simply numerically overwhelmed by Europeans.

Asia: Japan, China, Thailand... China was pushed around quite a bit and foreigners were beginning to increasingly influence if to dictate Chinese domestic policy, but it somehow stayed a largely intact independent state... moving west, a goodly sized chunk of what is now Afghanistan was never colonized, Neither was Iran but Europeans were starting to peck away at it in much the same way they were pecking away at China (Iran also lost some territory, some temporary- some permanently- but the core of the country remained intact and sovereign)...

I'm sure I missed a country or two.

   3551. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4730600)
This is the stew of internicine fighting that SBB claims is a single minded "Islamism."
   3552. Publius Publicola Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4730601)
It is that kind of fear that drove the US into invading a random country near Afghanistan


No it wasn't, Bitter.

The administrative team Bush II ended up choosing was hellbent on reinvading Iraq well before 9/11 ever occurred. If 9/11 hadn't presented itself as an excuse to go back there, they would have found some other escuse. But they were going back one way or the other, no doubt about that. 9/11 actually interrupted their plans to some degree and was a distraction. that's one of the reasons they went in so light in Afgthanistan. They needed to keep thier powder dry for Iraq.
   3553. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4730603)
I am willing to entertain the possibility that massive intervention now could theoretically result in a long term net gain of lives, reduction in pain and increased freedoms.


Well it did happen once, our entering WWII resulted in a "in a long term net gain of lives, reduction in pain and increased freedoms."

Of course our entry into WWI didn't quite work out that way, nor did our involvement in Vietnam...

   3554. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4730608)
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.


Thanks for reminding me. In International Developmental Economics (my grad school area of specialization) we discussed often when some Less Developed Countries did well after WWII and others did not. One theory was in how the countries were set free and how they reacted. Nations which kept the basic framework in place, kept the officials and everything else and went from there generally did much better than nations which tore down the "evil colonial apparatus of oppression" and tried to rebuild from scratch..

Having a functional government, even if the one the europeans installed, turned out to generally be better than trying to build it up from nothing. Of course some newly free nations did not have much legacy government, and other s had a great deal, because the Western Europeans handled their various colonies in very different ways (even the same nations handled different colonies differently). Essentially governmental stability trumped resources and many other factors as an indicator for future economic success.

Not really shocking I guess, but still.
   3555. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4730611)
The administrative team Bush II ended up choosing was hellbent on reinvading Iraq well before 9/11 ever occurred.


Speculation, but even if true selling it to the American people and the world required exactly the sort of fear I am talking about.
   3556. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4730612)
Well it did happen once, our entering WWII resulted in a "in a long term net gain of lives, reduction in pain and increased freedoms."

Of course our entry into WWI didn't quite work out that way, nor did our involvement in Vietnam...


Korea turned out pretty well. Have to imagine not having the North Korean state inflicted on the whole peninsula has saved more than a few million lives,
   3557. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4730613)
Well it did happen once, our entering WWII resulted in a "in a long term net gain of lives, reduction in pain and increased freedoms."


Fighting a defensive war is different than invading a country as part of a war of civilizations (or whatever SBB is babbling about). When ISIS becomes a national government and represents a world power which then declares war on us, then your analogy gets much closer.
   3558. The Good Face Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4730614)
And, no, western liberalism isn't about dividing the world up into ethnically pure bantustans bristling with seething, primitive hatreds. Western liberalism is cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic, and pluralist.


Ummm... some of the most ethnically pure bantustans are some of the most peaceful, prosperous countries in the world.
   3559. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4730615)
ou can't even grasp the fact that ISIS and al-Q are actually FIGHTING EACH OTHER.


No they're not, they are fighting each other the way the tea party is fighting the GOP, they are fundamentally on the same side.

Now ISIS and Iran/Hezbollah?Assad regime are enemies (despite what some wingnut sites are trying to peddle)- Assad's regime did leave ISIS alone for awhile as it concentrated on attacking Western backed rebels but that was purely tactical (As bad as Assad & Co are, they are beacons of humanity and civilization compared to the ISIS wackos).

There does seem to be an unholy alliance between ISIS and some former Hussein Baathists- but that won't last.

But ISIS and Al-Q, no all you have is a personality spat among some leaders, they are on the same side.
   3560. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4730618)
Having a functional government, even if the one the europeans installed, turned out to generally be better than trying to build it up from nothing.


My economy professor once quipped that if you were a third world country getting colonized by the UK was less bad than getting colonized by France or someone else- the English did make some effort (not everywhere of course) to put in government structures that employed natives as part of "management" so to speak
   3561. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4730620)
Korea turned out pretty well. Have to imagine not having the North Korean state inflicted on the whole peninsula has saved more than a few million lives,


Trouble was we thought our Korean experience was translatable to Vietnam.
   3562. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4730622)
But in your terror of them doing it again you have convinced yourself it is not some terrorists engaged in terror tactics, but it is rather a war of civilizations.

Actually, it's their words and actions. Believe it or not, when I'm trying to figure out a movement, I tend to listen to the things the members and leaders of the movement say more than I listen to the rantings and ravings of random US liberals holed up in the swamps and non-coastal lily-white suburbs.
   3563. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4730623)
When ISIS becomes a national government and represents a world power which then declares war on us, then your analogy gets much closer.

ISIS is the government in much of Iraq.
   3564. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4730624)
Trouble was we thought our Korean experience was translatable to Vietnam.

And if Vietnam had been a peninsula, with a narrow neck it might have. Understanding terrain is pretty much the key to successful military action.
   3565. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4730628)
Fighting a defensive war is different than invading a country as part of a war of civilizations (or whatever SBB is babbling about).


There was point where both theatres essentially switched from being purely defensive to becoming a war to invade, occupy and civilize (as SBB is wont to say)... of course you could argue that both Japan and Germany were already "civilized" countries (using whatever SBB's definition is), just ones that had gone temporarily insane- getting conquered and occupied essentially knocked the crazy out of the system- whereas in Iraq getting conquered and occupied seems simply to have uncorked the bottles that Hussein had kept closed with his fingers.

   3566. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4730638)
And if Vietnam had been a peninsula, with a narrow neck it might have. Understanding terrain is pretty much the key to successful military action.


There were every different political dynamics in play.
Korea was as purely as possible an east/west, democracy/communist fight, Korea was the proxy battlefield
by the end it was basically US troops against Chinese troops (armed by the USSR)

The Vietnam war from the Vietnamese POV was always a Vietnamese War (And from their POV it stretched literally from 1940 to 1975) that the US (inexplicably to them) sought to intervene in.
(We also opposed the wrong side- in WWII we worked with and aided Ho Chi Minh, the OSS assumed that he would lead post WWII Vietnam just as Tito lead post WWII Yugoslavia and that we could and would work with him- France our alleged ally screwed that up massively by trying to reclaim their colonial empire- then the "logic" of the Cold War took over)

   3567. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4730639)
Actually, it's their words and actions.


So every nation, no every single group, that bad mouths us needs to be invaded, we need to engage in a War of Civilization! against? Really?

So North Korea, right? And the various groups in Somalia and Yemen. China. Russia. Where does it end. Just because in your fear your see the bogeyman around every Islamic corner does not make it so. Israel has not lost its war of civilizations and it is small and right next door, and the words and actions aimed at them dwarf those aimed at the US. We are a world away. We should take reasonable precautions, use our police type forces, and move on without randomly invading countries that frighten you.
   3568. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4730642)
There were every different political dynamics in play.
Korea was as purely as possible an east/west, democracy/communist fight, Korea was the proxy battlefield
by the end it was basically US troops against Chinese troops (armed by the USSR)

The Vietnam war from the Vietnamese POV was always a Vietnamese War (And from their POV it stretched literally from 1940 to 1975) that the US (inexplicably to them) sought to intervene in.
(We also opposed the wrong side- in WWII we worked with and aided Ho Chi Minh, the OSS assumed that he would lead post WWII Vietnam just as Tito lead post WWII Yugoslavia and that we could and would work with him- France our alleged ally screwed that up massively by trying to reclaim their colonial empire- then the "logic" of the Cold War took over)


And still, if Vietnam had been a peninsula, like Malaysia, and North Vietnam had been unable infiltrate hundreds of thousands of troops into the South to sustain the war, we would have won the counter-insurgency.
   3569. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4730645)
snapper, you asked a while back why US bombing annoyed the locals more than domestic acts of terrorism. as was stated the domestic acts do bother them, but when foreigners do that sort of thing it always annoys people more. Domestic terrorism is seen as a local issue, while invasion by another country, a foreigner bombing the homeland is always seen as much worse, for obvious reasons.
   3570. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4730648)
So every nation, no every single group, that bad mouths us needs to be invaded, we need to engage in a War of Civilization! against? Really?

When a movement avowedly declares war against us, and ratifies that declaration through action, we have the right to defend ourselves and prosecute the war against them. The nation's right to self-defense is self-evident and a fundamental principle of, inter alia, the UN Charter.

Watch closely: Words ... and ... actions.

The broader civilizational feature of Islamist violence was covered well by Kevin in his summary of the relentless pattern of Islamist civilizational frontier violence, which I adopt. The Islamist beef isn't really aimed at states per se, but at civilizations and ways of life, and issues forth not from states but from supra-state Islamist civilization, on behalf not of states but of Islamism. Thus, the term "civilizational war" is entirely appropriate.
   3571. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4730652)
snapper, you asked a while back why US bombing annoyed the locals more than domestic acts of terrorism. as was stated the domestic acts do bother them, but when foreigners do that sort of thing it always annoys people more. Domestic terrorism is seen as a local issue, while invasion by another country, a foreigner bombing the homeland is always seen as much worse, for obvious reasons.

But lots of the terrorism is not domestic, it's foreign too. Most of the Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters in Iraq are not Iraqis.

Islamism is a transnational phenomenon. They don't recognize existing nation states.

I think the core fact, that makes this struggle so difficult, is that the majority of Middle Eastern Muslims have more sympathy for the jihadists than for Western liberalism.
   3572. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4730656)
When a movement avowedly declares war against us, and ratifies that declaration through action, we have the right to defend ourselves and prosecute the war against them. The nation's right to self-defense is self-evident and a fundamental principle of, inter alia, the UN Charter.


So what actions has ISIS done against the US? Surely North Korea has done worse.

And even where we can randomly invade in order to "defend" ourselves, that doesn't make it a good idea. The Iraq invasion was plenty "legal", we went before the world and everything. That did not make it a good idea. In fact it was a terrible idea from start to finish.
   3573. BDC Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4730657)
When a movement avowedly declares war against us, and ratifies that declaration through action, we have the right to defend ourselves and prosecute the war against them

I agree. But as I often say, "war" needs to have objectives, focus, and a sense of what victory (or indeed defeat) would look like, so you know when it's been achieved.

Indefinitely killing people across a swath of the globe for secret reasons, without any goal except eventually killing the people who object to the killing, is a futile, not to say immoral, way to run a war.

I've always said that 9/11 was essentially a criminal act, and should have been followed by prosecutions. If people are shielding the suspects, sure, invade and find them. But make prosecution, not indefinite pre-emptive killing, the express goal, and do so openly.

Otherwise you get the situation Obama is in now with his drones: of heading an extra-legal international death panel that operates in the shadows and attempts to adjudicate who lives and dies in any of a dozen different countries. That's not a sustainable system of justice or of warfare.
   3574. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4730659)
I've always said that 9/11 was essentially a criminal act, and should have been followed by prosecutions. If people are shielding the suspects, sure, invade and find them. But make prosecution, not indefinite pre-emptive killing, the express goal, and do so openly.

Not really. Terrorism is distinct from mere criminality.

I do agree that random drone strikes are a bad approach. But, criminal prosecution is a terrible model; terrorists and illegal combatants don't have any procedural rights under international law. Putting them is a US courtroom, with US rights is to confer unwarranted dignity on their actions.
   3575. SteveF Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4730660)
That's not a sustainable system of justice or of warfare.

I actually do think it's sustainable, and that's what terrifies people the most. Drones (as long as they are being used in other countries, at least!) poll better than Christmas.
   3576. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4730662)
No they're not, they are fighting each other the way the tea party is fighting the GOP, they are fundamentally on the same side.


Excepting that whole blowing each other up part. They're on the same side in much the same way the CSA and the Union were on the same side.
   3577. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4730663)
Putting them is a US courtroom, with US rights is to confer unwarranted dignity on their actions.


Actually, it confers dignity on our actions.
   3578. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4730664)
I've always said that 9/11 was essentially a criminal act, and should have been followed by prosecutions. If people are shielding the suspects, sure, invade and find them. But make prosecution, not indefinite pre-emptive killing, the express goal, and do so openly.


This is obviously true. One might even say "self-evident." Unless one's adult undergarments were so full of piss that he required some sort of bullshit construction by which to describe a basic act of mass murder by a non-state actor living in caves "civilizational war."
   3579. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4730666)
#3573 to #3578 are all posts I agree with to one degree or another. Maybe not the longest streak ever in this thread, but likely close :)
   3580. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4730669)
we would have won the counter-insurgency.


umm we did win that part of the war....
   3581. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4730734)
This is obviously true. One might even say "self-evident." Unless one's adult undergarments were so full of piss that he required some sort of bullshit construction by which to describe a basic act of mass murder by a non-state actor living in caves "civilizational war."

It's become quite clear that you don't want to prosecute the civilizational war, but instead blame the United States for causing it.

And pay no heed to statements of civilizational war such as OBLs on October 18, 2000:

"I am not afraid of the American threats against me," he said. "As long as I am alive there will be no rest for the enemies of Islam. I will continue my mission against them."

   3582. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4730751)
It's become quite clear that you don't want to prosecute the civilizational war, but instead blame the United States for causing it.


So where exactly is he blaming the US for starting anything? He is saying it is dumb for the US to participate in your pretend war; he is not saying the US is starting it, because it doesn't exist.
   3583. Publius Publicola Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4730769)
Speculation


It's not speculation. I know this to be true. I can't tell you how I know.
   3584. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4730780)
umm we did win that part of the war....

But at too high a cost, and too late to be sustainable, because the North could just keep infiltrating NVA regulars to replace the VC and NVA that we killed.
   3585. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4730782)
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.

Could you remind me when I said this? Thanks.

***
It's not speculation. I know this to be true. I can't tell you how I know.

LOL. His name's Bond.

Kevin Bond.
   3586. zenbitz Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4730785)
Korea turned out pretty well. Have to imagine not having the North Korean state inflicted on the whole peninsula has saved more than a few million lives,


Not that I have any counter evidence but you are assuming that if NK beats SK they are still NK, not an amalgam. What if we had won in Vietnam (but splitting the country), but lost in Korea and the situations were now reversed?

   3587. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4730786)
Prosecutors: Gov. Walker part of criminal scheme

Prosecutors believe Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a potential 2016 Republican candidate for president, was at the center of a nationwide “criminal scheme” to illegally coordinate fundraising with outside conservative groups, according to previously secret court documents released Thursday.


The attack ads write themselves. Clearly the Obama administration's efforts to blacken the name of GOP Govs continues to bear fruit. Sweet Jack Booted Fruit.
   3588. Publius Publicola Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4730787)
And still, if Vietnam had been a peninsula, like Malaysia, and North Vietnam had been unable infiltrate hundreds of thousands of troops into the South to sustain the war, we would have won the counter-insurgency.


Having a tough time believing this, snapper. They would have found some alternative way of smuggling arms in. And even if they couldn't, the situation would have degenerated in some other way. The South had no viable govermental alternative. The Nhus and Diem and Thieu were all fatcat Brahmins who collaborated with the French and had no street cred. That's who we were aligning with whether we knew it or not, the Vietnamese 1% who were the very definition of exploiters.

And you can't bludgeon people into wanting to be ruled by you. Part of the reason Germany and Japan worked out so well is that both of those countries realized what happened to them they brought on themselves. There was no sense of injustice being forced on them by the occupier like there was in Vietnam.
   3589. Publius Publicola Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4730794)
What if we had won in Vietnam (but splitting the country), but lost in Korea and the situations were now reversed?


That's the real tragedy. We basically did win. We have excellent relations with Vietnam now, and US business and culture do very well there. And we could have gotten all that without all the bloodshed.
   3590. zenbitz Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4730800)
Has ISIS actually killed any Americans?
   3591. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4730801)
Not that I have any counter evidence but you are assuming that if NK beats SK they are still NK, not an amalgam. What if we had won in Vietnam (but splitting the country), but lost in Korea and the situations were now reversed?

The Kims were/are all batshit insane. All of Korea would be the same Stalinist hell-hole. South Vietnam would probably be a prosperous modern country, like South Korea.

You can extend the argument to ask what if Chiang Kai-Shek had simply consolidated his power in the south of China, rather than losing the best part of his army in a failed attempt to reconquer the north. You might have seen a permanent partition of China, with the south experiencing their capitalist miracle 40 years sooner.
   3592. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4730804)
The South had no viable govermental alternative.


As far as I can tell this is the major problem. The government was a total trainwreck, corrupt and ineffective. A bit like the government in Iraq and also Afghanistan (from what I can tell).
   3593. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4730807)
Has ISIS actually killed any Americans?


Words and actions. Pay attention :)
   3594. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4730811)
Having a tough time believing this, snapper. They would have found some alternative way of smuggling arms in. And even if they couldn't, the situation would have degenerated in some other way. The South had no viable govermental alternative. The Nhus and Diem and Thieu were all fatcat Brahmins who collaborated with the French and had no street cred. That's who we were aligning with whether we knew it or not, the Vietnamese 1% who were the very definition of exploiters.

Diem was a real nationalist and had real support. There was a sizable minority in the South that opposed Ho, and supported the French/Americans. The middle class, Catholics, non-Vietnamese minorities (Montagnards, Hmong, etc.).

If they had been relatively safe from NVA invasion, I think they could have held the country together. They came damn close in 1970-72.
   3595. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4730848)
Diem was a real nationalist and had real support.


This guy?

Read the article. I (or this site) have been defeated by non western alphabet :(

Basically dude was Catholic who got more votes than existed and tried to set himself up as a dictator, eventually getting assassinated. If anyone is to blame for the North/South split he has to be in the running.
   3596. Publius Publicola Posted: June 19, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4730858)
Can you edit that quote, Bitter? It's such a mess it makes me not to ant to read it.
   3597. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 19, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4730866)
It's become quite clear that you don't want to prosecute the civilizational war, but instead blame the United States for causing it.


I have no need to make up a bogeyman of "civilizational war" where none exists. That's your pants shitting thing, man, not mine.

I have no need to "blame the United States" for anything other than what the United States does.

I realize you can't think outside of your desire to commit genocide against those different from yourself, so I won't expect you to see the difference.
   3598. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4730867)
Yeah. I don't pretend to be an expert of Vietnam, but my impression has long been that Diem was pretty much a classic tinhorn despot.

But of course he was Catholic, which I guess in some circles might be seen as atoning for any number & degree of sins.
   3599. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 19, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4730874)
What if we had won in Vietnam (but splitting the country), but lost in Korea and the situations were now reversed?


That's the real tragedy. We basically did win. We have excellent relations with Vietnam now, and US business and culture do very well there. And we could have gotten all that without all the bloodshed.

And that's the simple truth.

--------------------------------------------------

Diem was a real nationalist and had real support. There was a sizable minority in the South that opposed Ho, and supported the French/Americans. The middle class, Catholics, non-Vietnamese minorities (Montagnards, Hmong, etc.).

Diem was a Catholic in a country that was overwhelmingly Buddhist, and he about as much chance of surviving in the long run without western military crutches as an ice cream cone in the Sahara. Eisenhower himself admitted that in a free election in 1954, Ho Chi Minh would have been the winner. The North Vietnamese quickly established a Stalinist state after the partition, with "land reform" and mass evacuation, but there was never any credible nationalist force that had any chance at all of succeeding without a permanent American occupation.
   3600. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 19, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4730905)
with "land reform"


Well from what I just read the land situation was horrifying with a very small percent owning huge amounts of the land and charging huge rents (70% and even more occasionally). Shocking that the communists were able to use that to get the serfs on their side.

When Capitalism runs amok and becomes plutocracy it becomes ripe for nonsense like communism. One of many reasons we need to get income inequality under control, and why under the threat of Communism the US and others tempered their Capitalism to the benefit of the worker.
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