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1 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 11:59:39am

My reluctance to send our troops back to Iraq or into Syria to get after these guys is completely gone.

2 CuriousLurker  Mar 6, 2015 12:50:30pm

I completely understand your reaction, but I suspect luring us into the conflict is exactly what they want. I can think of too many things that could go wrong in too many ways if we did that, and I’m sure there are plenty I haven’t thought of.

The countries in the region need to take this on, and if the ones that we assist in any way balk, then we should start twisting arms. We can provide back-up in terms of support, cover, logistics, etc., but that’s it. To date, I can’t think of any of our forays into the Mideast that could be termed a shining success. I fear we’d just get bogged down yet again in things we don’t fully understand and end up creating more resentment that would feed further radicalization.

Plus, imagine what they’d do to any of our soldiers they caught—I don’t doubt that they can come up with things even more horror- and anger-inducing than what they’ve already done—and how will we react then? Turn swaths of the Mideast into glass and trigger WWIII?

It’s not enough that we are militarily stronger than these brutish thugs, we must be smarter—we need to have nerves of steel, to stay as calm & rational as humanly possible, or we’ll risk tripping and falling flat on our faces. That won’t help us or the people being traumatized & killed, it’ll just make things worse.

3 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 2:53:04pm

CL I agree with you. I just get stuck on a few perceptions I have. And a frustration or two. Lets start there. The feared and resented force in Iraq is the US military. The alleged “occupier” despite our departure. Am I wrong to observe the force most likely to leave ASAP after rolling Daesh back to insignificance is the US military more so that it would be the IRG or out of town militias. Those types tend to set up as warlords and treat the locals as a mineable resource so to speak.

Perception-1. it takes tens of thousands of troops (including support people) to roll back an entrenched enemy that is equipped reasonably well and knows the terrain. If they have cowed the local populace into joining them look out.

2. The local Arab nations do not have the troops to send. Jordan only has two brigades total. Saudi Arabia sends money but no troops. Given the dynamic of their own radicals not sure they can send troops at all ever. Egypt? Libya? Lebanon? Which brings us to Iran.

3. If Iran is the big effective force on the ground they get to drive policy until they leave. Now that could be a real blessing for the Iraqi Shia. How ell they settle with the secular and Sunni aspects of local politics is the perilous opportunity.

Bottom line…. If not us, not the locals then who?

4 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 3:55:36pm

CL I would point out the liberation of Kuwait went just fine. And notably that force had a lot of pan Arab forces involved. So yeah that’s critical. And when we fight for the right reasons I think we have a fair shot at a positive outcome. IMHO.

I’d love the Arab countries to take care of this. Best scenario without our help at all. Next best with our help.

Now what these guys would do to a captured soldier is truly awful. Letting that stop us from sending troops would be a mistake. A professional military is not so easily scared off. Not having the USAF Search And Rescue Special Forces forward deployed & available to get the Jordanian pilot before Daesh could capture him was a terrible error on our part. He was doing a mission we asked him to do via his government. Shame on us for not even being able to try. Anyone… am I wrong here?

I agree it’s not enough to be stronger. Strength without wisdom is no strength at all. Let’s consider the consequences of relatively weaker forces arrayed against Daesh. A weaker force will take longer, cost more lives and risk outright failure. If Baghdad fell to Daesh even briefly well that’s truly a nightmare scenario.

Big edit-I guess if we do go I just will not be one to object. But please note I’ll not be celebrating either. I’ll be as worried as the critics. Not until Daesh is a mere footnote will I want to celebrate events there. I hope by then the shape of events will be such we can all celebrate. Sooner not later. Those people deserve a sane and stable governance.

5 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 6, 2015 3:58:06pm

re: #4 Great White Snark

Curious: how much are you willing to see taxes increase to pay for something like this?

6 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 4:08:44pm

re: #5 klys (maker of Silmarils)

Heh. just hit the 1%ers. won’t hurt us won’t hurt them either. And if we went in smart, with the locals behind us it would be a lot more like Kuwait than Afghanistan.

BTW please don’t take my now depleted reluctance or objection to the idea of our guys going in as a cowboy or GWBush-esq arrogance we can just up and kick ass. I don’t think like that. I just do have a deep fear of what happens if for any reason Daesh is not rolled back. FWIW One atrocity at a time my reluctance drips away. And the end of them is not in sight.

7 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 6, 2015 4:12:28pm

re: #6 Great White Snark

Ok, can we hit the 1% for things that are actually more directly applicable to people who live in this country? Like taking care of our own citizens?

For all the progress the ACA has made, far too many Americans die because they can’t afford to see doctors. Just as an offhand example.

(Also, that still avoids the issue of cost to our troops - because deployment overseas is not easy, nor simple, even for something as “easy” as Kuwait was. My aunt missed over half my cousin’s first year because she was deployed in support of Kuwait. Do our troops really need to serve as the primary policemen for every conflict?)

8 CuriousLurker  Mar 6, 2015 4:19:42pm

re: #3 Great White Snark

1. Okay, say we send thousands of troops in and the jihadis melt into the civilian population. Then what? How do we tell them apart? Do we just go ahead and kill innocents along with the bad guys? And what about the right-wing Christian nutters in the military—there are still a bunch of them—what happens when they start up again with Bible verses on rifle scopes, or passing out Bibles in the local language as “gifts”, like they did in Afghanistan?

You could also pick any of the 10 items from this list. And all that’s not even counting private contractors overstepping, American soldiers killing & raping (not many, but it did happen), or things like Abu Ghriab, pissing on corpses, etc. I know what Daesh does is worse and/or on a larger scale, but is that really against whom we want to measure ourselves?

I understand that war is tough & stressful and there are going to be excesses, but the added religious element in dealing with Muslims makes it much, much more of a minefield (pun not intended), especially considering the centuries-long animosity between the West and the Muslim mideast. And now that everyone has smart phones and access to social media…

Add to all of that our decades of using the Mideast as a proxy theater for fighting the Soviets, our support of despotic tyrants, the disastrous results of our ill-conceived “nation building”, our very close relationship with Israel (Netanyahu just made things way worse this week), and I really have trouble being optimistic about us getting involved again. We thought AQ was really bad until Daesh came along—what if we go in there and make it even worse?

We have a LOT of baggage, my friend.

2. I believe the local Arab states can be rallied, but we keep enabling their reluctance, IMHO. Why should they fight when we’re willing to do it for them?

3. Let’s say we do go in—how are we going to pay for it?

9 CuriousLurker  Mar 6, 2015 4:20:35pm

re: #5 klys (maker of Silmarils)

Curious: how much are you willing to see taxes increase to pay for something like this?

Heh, you beat me to the question.

10 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 4:34:03pm

re: #8 CuriousLurker

Okay my friend got ya at an honest heartfelt “not just no but hell no” call on this one. I share all those worries you rightly listed. I got to where I am even with all the baggage.

Now my turn for not just no but hell no. Hell no we don’t go house to house shooting every heartbeat. Hell no we don’t let religious insults go unpunished. Nor any gear or behavior designed to foment religious strife. Hell no we don’t use Blackwater or it’s progeny.

And I respect your call. It’s not mine but I get ya. I’m not even going to get into how we might do this more like Kuwait and nothing like how we did regime change. I’ll just say my view is based on that kind of premise, not that of a repeat of removing Saddam. That of course would reverse my position. Freely admitted.

11 CuriousLurker  Mar 6, 2015 4:38:12pm

re: #4 Great White Snark

CL I would point out the liberation of Kuwait went just fine. And notably that force had a lot of pan Arab forces involved. So yeah that’s critical. And when we fight for the right reasons I think we have a fair shot at a positive outcome. IMHO.

Do you think if Kuwait (and neighboring Saudi Arabia) didn’t have scads of oil that we would’ve given a rat’s ass about liberating them? If so, then why don’t we do the same for countries that don’t have oil?

BTW, the invasion of Kuwait and our subsequent presence in SA is part of what riled up AQ. From a reporter who met & spoke with Bin Laden twice:

At that second meeting, we spoke about what he was fighting for, and what he hated. At first, he told me, he had been opposed to the Americans because of their military presence in Saudi Arabia and because he felt they were too near to Mecca. That was a provocation to the entire Muslim world, he said.

But once those early encounters in his homeland had stoked his feelings, he came to concentrate more on America’s involvement in the Middle East. He declared a jihad against America and Israel jointly, he said, because he believed Israel was killing and punishing Palestinians with American money and American arms. […]

theguardian.com

So I’m gonna say the outcome was good for the Kuwaitis and good for the Saudis (who aren’t even close to being a democracy), but for us? Not so much.

BTW please don’t take my now depleted reluctance or objection to the idea of our guys going in as a cowboy or GWBush-esq arrogance we can just up and kick ass. I don’t think like that. I just do have a deep fear of what happens if for any reason Daesh is not rolled back. FWIW One atrocity at a time my reluctance drips away. And the end of them is not in sight.

I know you’re not a cowboy type, but I think you are reacting with emotion, a gut-level horror at what Daesh is doing, and I fear that’s exactly what they want—reaction. That’s what all their snuff films are about. Why else would they film & distribute such things?

They’re horrible, but things can always get worse. As I said above, we thought AQ (not to mention the Taliban) were really awful, the worst thing we’d ever seen, then along came Daesh…

12 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 4:39:54pm

re: #7 klys (maker of Silmarils)

I wish crisis did not come in parallel. But they do. I can’t look at the ACA and have that make me feel any more comfortable with pulling up short anywhere else or acting as truly needed somewhere.

I happen to reject the idea that Kuwait was easy. It was really a tough task. But we got it right, so much so we got everyone in line with us and acted in such an overwhelming force that it was made to look easy. But it could have gone just as badly. Maybe worse, had we made the same mistakes that were made later.

13 CuriousLurker  Mar 6, 2015 4:44:23pm

re: #10 Great White Snark

I get you, and let me just say that I’m not 100% opposed to us going over there to help, but we need to be smart and be sure that we actually are helping. We also need to be sure (or as sure as possible) that whatever we do doesn’t result in nasty blowback 5-10 years down the road.

Hindsight is 20/20 and all that, y’know? We need to not repeat our mistakes.

14 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 6, 2015 4:45:23pm

re: #12 Great White Snark

But you said you were comfortable raising taxes on the 1% to fund something like this. Why not to fund additional programs here at home that would help resolve crises that have been going on for far longer than Daesh has been in the picture, and with much more direct impact on the day to day lives on Americans here?

I point out that when dealing with the situation with Kuwait, we were dealing with a defined force, backed by a sovereign country recognized by others. Not terrorists.

A better analogy to this situation would be, in my opinion, to look to the dealing with Hamas or Hezbollah. Or AQ. The Taliban.

None of these comparisons make me want to support our direct involvement in the form of boots on the ground.

15 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 4:46:04pm

re: #11 CuriousLurker

Sure it’s emotion. It’s pre genocidal panic if you will. For the Yazidis. The gays. The little sects of humanity that are caught behind the lines. so yeah my mind and heart is yelling somebody, anybody stop these people. I just got to where I care not who. us. Iranians. Russians. Martians.

Okay oops.

;-) Had to lighten it up a sec. Maybe the locals can get it done. I hope so, pray so and feel it to my bones.

16 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 4:47:27pm

re: #14 klys (maker of Silmarils)

I’m just taking separate issues separately. Of course I would like to see domestic needs addressed. I don’t see this as mutually exclusive.

17 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 6, 2015 4:48:29pm

re: #16 Great White Snark

I’m just taking separate issues separately. Of course I would like to see domestic needs addressed. I don’t see this as mutually exclusive.

I can virtually guarantee you that the Republicans in Congress currently do. And I believe in dealing with the political reality.

18 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 4:56:40pm

re: #17 klys (maker of Silmarils)

In conversations like this we risk muddying the waters with very different issues. Love to talk ACA maybe in another thread, but that’s for clarity. How the GOP Congress does what it does and why is a completely separate phenomenon from my motives in keeping the issues separate.

On the politics, well Daesh may be the driver not the driven. They cook up a couple western women or a bunch of kidnapped Christans on livestream & YouTube and all the reluctance and budget deficit in the world won’t stop the hell that follows. Strength without wisdom or reluctance. If they just laid low, started acting more like the social network Hezbollah has and all the military pressure fades away. Even our bombers stay home.

I don’t even want to talk about this becoming a partisan pissfight from the Congress. I will wind up too angry for rational conversation. I firmly believe any and all partisan politicizing of Deash to be a wholly despicable crime against peace and reason.

19 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 4:57:51pm

re: #13 CuriousLurker

I get you, and let me just say that I’m not 100% opposed to us going over there to help, but we need to be smart and be sure that we actually are helping. We also need to be sure (or as sure as possible) that whatever we do doesn’t result in nasty blowback 5-10 years down the road.

Hindsight is 20/20 and all that, y’know? We need to not repeat our mistakes.

+1 and a Fave.

20 CuriousLurker  Mar 6, 2015 4:58:16pm

re: #16 Great White Snark

I’m just taking separate issues separately. Of course I would like to see domestic needs addressed. I don’t see this as mutually exclusive.

But there’s only so much money to go around. If we start spending like funds are infinite, we’re going to end up in big trouble—maybe even bigger trouble than what we (narrowly) escaped in 2008.

And on that note I have to go. Gotta finish last months timesheets. Ugh.

21 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 6, 2015 4:59:46pm

re: #6 Great White Snark

Heh. just hit the 1%ers. won’t hurt us won’t hurt them either. And if we went in smart, with the locals behind us it would be a lot more like Kuwait than Afghanistan.

BTW please don’t take my now depleted reluctance or objection to the idea of our guys going in as a cowboy or GWBush-esq arrogance we can just up and kick ass. I don’t think like that. I just do have a deep fear of what happens if for any reason Daesh is not rolled back. FWIW One atrocity at a time my reluctance drips away. And the end of them is not in sight.

Also this is still bugging me.

I asked how much you would be willing to see taxes go up to fund something like this. Implicit in that statement was it being *your* taxes, which I should have stated explicitly, I’ll agree. But instead your answer was to raise taxes on other people (regardless of whether or not those other people should be paying more in taxes, which is a separate discussion).

Since you’re not in the military, you wouldn’t pay the cost in that form. At what point are you willing to put your money where your position is? How much? You are asking other people to sacrifice so that you can feel good about how we stopped Daesh. No. That’s not how this should work.

That is a big part of what has gotten us into some of these messes that we’ve made.

22 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 5:00:53pm

Hey you two it’s Friday night. I’m going home and going to end all serious thought for now. Drinks for all my friends including the finest of non alcoholic deliciousness on ice for you CL and anyone who abstains.

23 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 6:12:57pm

re: #21 klys (maker of Silmarils)

Just gonna say this is not so I can feel good about us doing anything. That’s a little bit offensive to me. It’s about actually stopping Daesh.

My tax comment reflects my belief that no income tax increase is appropriate at the middle and lower brackets.

24 Lumberhead  Mar 6, 2015 6:37:47pm

I’ve been otherwise occupied most of the day and was surprised to come back and find this many comments on my page. I was expecting the worst but it’s nice to see a respectful discussion even though there is obvious disagreement. LGF at it’s best. Updings all around.

25 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 6, 2015 7:25:21pm

re: #23 Great White Snark

Just gonna say this is not so I can feel good about us doing anything. That’s a little bit offensive to me. It’s about actually stopping Daesh.

My tax comment reflects my belief that no income tax increase is appropriate at the middle and lower brackets.

I ask again: how much of an increase in your taxes are you willing to accept in order to fund the operations to stop Daesh? Keeping in mind, of course, that this is an enemy that has much more in common to AQ, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. than what happened in Kuwait and therefore I believe strongly that that is where we should be looking at what might be required in order to “win.”

If you feel so strongly that they need to be stopped and that we are the only ones who can do it, it is not an unreasonable question to ask what you would be willing to pay for that.

26 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 8:12:37pm

re: #25 klys (maker of Silmarils)

I ask again: how much of an increase in your taxes are you willing to accept in order to fund the operations to stop Daesh? Keeping in mind, of course, that this is an enemy that has much more in common to AQ, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. than what happened in Kuwait and therefore I believe strongly that that is where we should be looking at what might be required in order to “win.”

If you feel so strongly that they need to be stopped and that we are the only ones who can do it, it is not an unreasonable question to ask what you would be willing to pay for that.

I will not advocate a general income tax increase for my bracket or the next lower, or the next up. Why are we assuming the income tax is the way to go at all? You may posit a false lack of choice. Why not sell Stop Daesh war bonds? I would buy in. Why not a corporate tax? National sales tax? Gas tax? Sugar? Alcohol? Marijuana? All of the above? Please tell me why the income tax is IT.

Bottom line you insist I quote how much money I would put up to back my position. Assuming everyone else at my tax bracket and up is in, and I mean everyone…. as much as it takes.

27 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 6, 2015 8:38:25pm

re: #26 Great White Snark

I’m sorry asking the question of who pays the cost bothers you, but I think it’s an important one we have to engage in before we charge into another war based on emotional responses - which you have freely admitted is what’s driving your feeling that we need to be involved.

I think it’s unrealistic to think that the current Republicans in Congress would agree to pay for something like this in any way other than cuts. You keep trying to draw similarities to a different situation (Kuwait) and ignore the more similar comparisons that point to a war that would be drawn out, expensive, and likely fuck things up more in a region where we have already blundered around substantially.

Do I support stopping Daesh? Absolutely. Do I think American boots on the ground is the best - or only - way to accomplish that? Not at all.

28 Great White Snark  Mar 6, 2015 8:56:02pm

re: #27 klys (maker of Silmarils)

Well sure I admit to emotional response. Is the most common response to genocide or its prevention emotional? It’s not pragmatism. At some point emotions simply reflect necessity. Does war cost money? Sure.

Do I have any fucks to give about printed paper money in the face of the video above?. No. I. Don’t. I will not put money ahead of my heart. Not with this.

May we table this now?

29 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 6, 2015 8:57:53pm

re: #28 Great White Snark

Sure.

30 FemNaziBitch  Mar 7, 2015 8:26:50am

I’d like to think we could intervene and stop all the bad things that happen in the world.

Right now, I think we have to work on keeping our own side of the street clean.

Looking at other countries is a convenient way to avoid looking at our own injustices.


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